Hosts on Stage
John ´Cap´n Crunch´ Draper and Oliver Soehlke
John is well known in the computer world. “He was the king of the nerds,” says Allan Lundell, who runs an independent film company and has chronicled the evolution of Silicon Valley. John developed one of the first word-processing programs as well as the technology that made possible voice-activated telephone menus. He learned how to make free calls by imitating the tones used by the phone company. He learned from other “phone phreaks” — as the hackers called themselves — including blind teenagers with near-perfect pitch. They showed him that a toy whistle found in a cereal box would also imitate the required tones, earning him the nickname Cap’n Crunch. Co-host Oliver Soehlke collects vintage computer and created the page www.myoldmac.net in 2003. John and Oliver have organized this second “CaptainCrunch ComeTogether GeekFest” in Berlin.
Speaker List 2016 – On Screen
Click here for the GeekFest 2016 Schedule.
-> Jim Warren
Educator, Computer Professional, Entrepreneur, Publisher
In 1977, Jim co-founded the West Coast Computer Faire, he was its self-titled “Faire Chaircreature,” organizing eight conventions. The WCCF was the largest public personal computer show of its time, intended to popularize the personal computer in the home. In 1978, Jim published the Intelligent Machines Journal, the first subscription news periodical about microcomputing. He hosted PBS television’s Computer Chronicles series for their first two seasons and was the founding Editor of Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Computer Calisthenics & Orthodontia, the first computer magazine to focus on microcomputer software, published by the nonprofit People’s Computer Company. Jim founded and chaired the first Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference, held in 1991. The CFP confs have been continuing, they’re now in their 25th year, consistently drawing national and international attention and attendance. Jim has three grad degrees, taught math for 10 years and did biomedical research programming for another ten.
-> Liza Loop
Co-founder of LO*OP Center, Educational Technology Pioneer
Liza is an educational technology pioneer, futurist, technical author, and consultant. She is notable for her early use of computers in education, her creation of a public-access computer center, consulting work with Atari, Apple, Radio Shack and others as well as philosophical musings on the future of learning environments from the 1970s on. In 1975, she co-founded the LO*OP Center (Learning Options * Open Portal) non-profit organization and opened the second public access computer center located outside a museum. After visiting the center, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was impressed enough with her work that he gave her the first Apple computer ever produced to use in her center. The Liza Loop Papers from 1972 to 1984 (donated in 1986) are housed in Stanford University Libraries’ manuscript division and detail the early years of educational computing. Liza gave the first talk on computing in education, titled Sharing Your Computer Hobby with the Kids at Jim Warren’s First West Coast Computer Faire. In the early 21st century, she became an advocate of preserving the early history of computing in education. Picture credit: Frank Adler.
-> Richard Stallman aka RMS
Founder of Free Software Foundation and GNU Project
Richard is a software developer and software freedom activist. He worked at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT from 1971 to 1984, learning operating system development by doing it. He wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor there in 1976, and developed the AI technique of dependency-directed backtracking, also known as truth maintenance. In 1983 Richard announced the project to develop the GNU operating system, a Unix-like operating system meant to be entirely free software, and has been the project’s leader ever since. In October 1985 Richard co-founded the Free Software Foundation, of which he is president as a full-time volunteer. He developed a number of widely used software components of the GNU system: the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU symbolic debugger, GNU Emacs, and various others. The GNU/Linux system, which is a variant of GNU that also contains the kernel Linux developed by Linus Torvalds, is used in tens or hundreds of millions of computers. Richard pioneered the concept of copyleft, and is the main author of the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license, which implements copyleft.
-> Jay Smith
Father of the Vectrex Game Console
Smith Engineering/Western Technologies was a videogame company started by Jay Smith, an engineer who was previously an employee at Mattel. Jay, head of Engineering at Western Technologies gave the go ahead and headed the project, which became known as the Vectrex Game Console. The idea for the Vectrex was conceived by John Ross of Smith Engineering in late 1970’s. He, Mike Purvis, Tom Sloper, and Steve Marking had gone to Electro-Mavin, a surplus warehouse in Los Angeles. They found a cathode ray tube from a heads-up display and considered that a small electronic game could be made of this. The system was ultimately licensed to General Consumer Electronics in 1981. The launch sales were strong enough that Milton Bradley bought out General Consumer Electronics in early 1983. However, the Video game crash of 1983 turned Milton Bradley’s support of the Vectrex into a costly episode. In 1984 the Vectrex was discontinued. Prior to the Vectrex’s discontinuation, a successor console with color screen had been planned. After the rights reverted to Smith Engineering, the company made plans to revive the Vectrex as a handheld, but the imminent arrival of Nintendo’s Game Boy put an end to those plans. In the mid-1990s, Jay released the Vectrex product line into the public domain, if the materials are not used commercially. Jay will be accompanied by Vectrex Development Team member Gerry Karr.
-> Mark Abene aka Phiber Optik
Entrepreneur, Security Advisor and Data Scientist
Mark was introduced to computers in the early 1980’s, and he’s been programming them ever since. Once the proud owner of a 4K TRS-80, he ventured into the unknown armed with a 300 baud modem and found fame in the then computer underground as an accomplished hacker and phone phreak, becoming involved in the notorious hacker groups Legion of Doom and Masters of Deception. The experience he gained during those years in exploring the telephone network, private data networks, as well as countless minicomputers and mainframes, proved invaluable as he found himself in high demand in the 90’s; as a sysadmin of some of the first Internet service providers in NYC, and soon, as one of the first hackers employed as an expert security consultant by top auditing firms to service Fortune 500 clientele. After forming a security firm with friends and traveling the world as a consultant for a great many years, he became an entrepreneur and relocated from NYC to Silicon Valley to build his security startup, a revolutionary new idea combining network intrusion detection, data science, and high performance computing. After the success of this venture, he took some much needed time off, only to return as a security advisor and data scientist, once again in high demand, while he ponders his next move…
-> Wietse Venema
Author of TCP Wrapper, Postfix and CoAuthor of SATAN
SATAN CoAuthor Dan Farmer says “Wietse as I know him. Well, I think he’s one of the two top internet security people (Steve Bellovin being the other, I’m not close); he’s *the* best security programmer in the world – he can actually write correct, working, secure code that is nearly flawless. That’s pretty amazing, and I’ve never seen it elsewhere.” Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks (SATAN) was a free software vulnerability scanner for analyzing networked computers. SATAN was designed to help systems administrators automate the process of testing their systems for known vulnerabilities that can be exploited via the network. This was particularly useful for networked systems with multiple hosts. Like most security tools, it was useful for good or malicious purposes – it was also useful to would-be intruders looking for systems with security holes. SATAN was released in 1995 and development has ceased.
-> Roy Nordblom
Artificial Intelligence Programming Wizard
Roy grew up near NASA at Edwards Air Force Base immersed in aerospace and rocket science. At Stanford he was a L.O.T.S. (early timesharing system) pioneer and Homebrew Computer Club regular. He taught himself LISP and assembly language and became an applications programmer for a series of early artificial intelligence programs at Stanford in the late 70’s. At the Med School he did artificial intelligence programming in genetics, assisting in DENDRAL and MOLGEN, early important expert systems. At the SRI International AI Center he worked on early visual AI research and assembly language programming on PDP-20’s with some of the godfathers of the artificial intelligence field. At the MIT AI Lab 1982-83 Roy did applications programming for artificial intelligence, and on the side helped RMS with the launch of the Free Software Foundation. Back at Stanford in the late 80’s Roy became an early developer of neural networks and parallel distributed programming, finally getting a degree in Symbolic Systems with self designed concentration in Brain-Style Computation. Roy is #68 on the very first WHOIS list for the Internet. Roy felt he had had enough, and became anonymous in 1990’s, changed his name, and disappeared – until “discovered/outed” by Captain Crunch December 2011.
-> Kit GallowayCulture Hacker and Telecollaborative Artist
In 1984, Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz (1950–2013) co-founded the Electronic Café International (ECI), a cafe, networking centre, performance and workshop space and art hub in Santa Monica, California. Until Rabinowitz’s death, they created numerous art works which could be categorised as communication aesthetics, telematic art and digital theatre. In 1980, Kit and Sherrie (K&S) created a “Hole in Space” by linking bigger-than-life displays in New York and LA with a satellite feed. It was the mother of all video chats — they showed that size and bandwidth matter in communicating presence and emotion. Over three evenings, people could see, hear, and converse as if having a sidewalk encounter. No signs or sponsor logos were posted — no explanation was offered. No intervening self-view video monitors to distract from the phenomena of the encounter with the life-size image. Hole-In-Space suddenly severed the distance between both cities and created an outrageous new context for a pedestrian intersection. The original Electronic Cafe Network was operational for seven weeks during the 1984 Summer Olympic Arts Festival. Artists and educators helped find the host venues for their EC installations. They were trained as EC systems operators and everyone drew upon their talents as community instigators, helping themselves and others in the community to culturally, and politically animate “their” network node. The original Electronic Cafe Network was a model for a regional resource and intended to demonstrate in a very public way the rewards of acknowledging, cultivating, and acculturating multimedia, telecollaborative, virtual space.
-> Reuben Paul aka RAPst4r and Mano Paul
CEO of Prudent Games and cybershaolin.org
Ten year old Reuben Paul is CEO and founder of Prudent Games Inc., a gaming company that teaches users while they play, and very well established in the cyber security universe as “The RAPst4r”. As founder and chief architect of CyberShaolin, Reuben’s primary responsibility is to develop and publish educational content to increase and promote the awareness and education of cybersecurity and technology to kids and adults. Reuben will be accompanied by his father, author and security expert Mano Paul. Like his son, Mano has been featured in various domestic and international security conferences and is an invited speaker and panelist.
-> Weston Hecker
Sr Pentester/ Senior Security Engineer @Rapid7
Weston has 11 years of penetration testing experience and 12 years of security research and programming experience. He has recently spoken at Defcon 22 & 23, HOPE 11 and at over 50 other speaking engagements from telecom regional events to Universities on security subject matter. Weston worked with the University of Houston and Department of Homeland Security on 911 emergency systems attack mitigation plans for telephone denial of service. He found several vulnerabilities in very popular software and firmware, including Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, HTC and Verizon. Weston has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Minnesota and coauthored “SkimBad,” an open source anti-malware framework.
-> Gerry Karr
Vectrex Developer and Programmer Team
Gerry, among other responsibilities, designed the hardware of the gameplay computer and the vector generator of the Vectrex. The vector generator used analog integrators to directly make the voltages driving the X and Y axis of the monitor. By Fall of 1981, the work began on the actuall Vectrex prototype with the goal being the hardware and 12 games completed by June of 1982. John Ross puts together the hardware, consisting of an advanced 8-bit 1.5 MHz Motorola 68A09 CPU, accompanied by the versatile 3-voice AY-3-8192 sound chip by General Instruments. Gerry and John Hall work on the ROM software to control all this, known in the industry as the “Executive”. Later additions to the team include Georgia Tech co-op students William Hawkings and Chris King, who end up staying on with the project. The Vectrex was a completely vector graphics based system, hence its name. Vector graphics are the kind of graphics used in such popular games as Asteroids, Battlezone, Space War, and Tempest.
Sounds made by…
Frau Silberfischer from Berlin