Hacker Beach #9: Wherever you go

As our regulars already know, and everyone else has likely guessed at this point, there will not be an official Hacker Beach location this coming January.

After 8 consecutive years of gathering random hackers in amazing, overlooked tropical locations, hell has finally frozen over. We spare you yet another Internet comment on the whys, hows, shouldas, and wouldas. All things considered, there is simply no way to invite people from around the globe to the same location at the same time this coming month.

Some of us are still escaping their colder winters for a bit, and some will also meet each other. However, if you don’t want to stay at home yourself, you will obviously have to plan according to your individual geographic and health situations.

As always, we’re still hanging out in #hackerbeach on Freenode. And people who have physically joined a gathering before also still have access to our invite-only XMPP room, hackerbeach@kosmos.chat. (If you think you should have access to the latter, but don’t, please ask about it on IRC.)

There will also be at least a couple of remote beer conferencing sessions on some video chat tool in January. Stay tuned in the chatrooms for that.

With that, until the next try, we wish you a good winter, good health, good company, and lots of fun and success with your computers and other interests! Let’s hope we can officially go back to traditional hackerbeaching in January 2022.

Hacker Beach #8 – “The only risk is wanting to stay”

This may just be the latest announcement post we have ever done, but you know the spiel: Hacker Beach #8 is happening as always, this coming January, for however long you want to join! Same procedure as every year, James.

After not having returned to the Americas on our normal next-continent-over schedule, we’re finally back in the EST timezone and on a coast of the Caribbean Sea.

Everyone, please feel cordially invited to meet your fellow hackers (and associated life-forms) in Palomino, Colombia, this coming month!

Colombia is an amazing country, and so incredibly diverse that attempting to summarize it in one sentence is almost impossible. Hence, we’ll just use the Colombian tourism office’s official explanation: “Colombia, the only risk is wanting to stay”. How inviting is that?

We’re still collecting detailed information on the wiki page for episode 8, but here are some choice bits upfront:

  • The closest airport (and city) is Santa Marta (SMR). Only a few local airlines go there, so you may be better off booking a connection to SMR separately from your ticket to a major city in Colombia (e.g. Bogotá, Cali, or Medellín).
  • It’ll be easily possible to enjoy your time on less than 30 USD/day (one of our unwritten rules). In fact, you could even get a hammock for like 3 USD/night.
  • After a bunch of scuba diving in recent years, this time we can surf again.
  • There’s not just a beach, but a massive natural reserve with tall mountains directly next to where we are: the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
  • Why not look at some photos to get you in the right mood for Palomino?

As always, the public conversation is happening in #hackerbeach on Freenode IRC. And you can also ask questions on the fediverse or Twitter, in case you’re interested.

See you in Colombia!

Hacker Beach #7 location confirmed

As you probably know, our informal process for deciding on our next destination is “whoever books the first flight, after finding rough consensus on IRC”. And so, someone just booked a flight!

Without further ado: next January, we’ll be hanging out in the North-East of the Philippine Palawan province. We haven’t decided on the exact island yet, but most likely it will be Coron or El Nido. For now, the most important thing is that you can book a flight to Manila for whatever period of time you want to join us during the month of January. From there, you can take a local flight, ferry or even fisherman’s boat to our little hacker paradise on Earth.

El Nido, photo by gameoflight on Flickr (licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

A detailed announcement will follow at some point in the not-too-distant future. Until then, follow us on the fediverse (or Twitter if you absolutely have to), and/or join our IRC channel #hackerbeach on Freenode.

Hacker Beach #7 (Jan 2019) Update

  • As usual, you can count on Hacker Beach returning to some fantastic island or coast in 2019. If you weren’t sure if you should add it to your calendar, here’s your official confirmation.
  • As usual, it will happen during the month of January, all of January, for however long you want to join.
  • As usual, the location search is ongoing throughout the year. And the location will most likely be decided upon sometime between September and November. If you have one to propose, tell others on IRC and/or add it to the wiki.

After this year’s road trip from Sénégal to the Gambia (which was fantastic by the way), we’re planning to go back to gathering at one location for the entire month. Also, we’ll try to announce that location earlier this time, in the hopes of making it just a little bit easier for you to join us again.

If you want to stay tuned, subscribe to this blog and ideally join us in #hackerbeach on Freenode IRC.

You can also follow us on the fediverse (Mastodon). If you don’t have a fediverse account yet, check out joinmastodon.org. We also have space for more users on kosmos.social, which is run by Hacker Beach regulars.

Hacker Beach #6 is a go!

A longer-form announcement is following soon-ish, but here are the most important facts for now:

As usual, Hacker Beach is happening next January. All of January, for however long you want to join. The general area will be along the coast of Sénégal, south of Dakar (Petite Côte). The first hackers have booked their flights, arriving in Dakar from January 3rd onward.

The idea is to find our nice paradise location on the way South, and maybe also visit Banjul in the Gambia towards the end of January. Please join us in #hackerbeach on Freenode if you’re interested, and add your name to the wiki page when you’ve booked a flight.

You can also follow us on the Fediverse (Mastodon), or on Twitter.

Let’s meet at SHA2017

Just a quick invitation, while you’re probably waiting for someone to announce location plans for next January: some Hacker Beach regulars will be pitching a tent at the Dutch hacker camp SHA2017 in early August. SHA2017 is this year’s edition of the Dutch counterpart to the German Chaos Communication Camp, traditionally breaking each other’s 4-year pauses into less depressing 2-year waits.

If you’re attending, and you’re interested in tropical hacker gatherings without the “digital nomad” crowd, but with plenty of open-source software hackers and associated lifeforms, we’ll gladly tell you all about the past 5 years and places. And we’ll likely also be researching and discussing next January’s location during the camp.

If you haven’t planned on attending yet, there’s still time! The camp sold out last week, but the organizers added an additional 500 tickets, of which, at the time of writing, ~420 are still available.

As always, the easiest way to get in touch is the #hackerbeach channel on Freenode. You can also subscribe to our blog‘s RSS feed, and follow us on the fediverse, or on Twitter.

See you at the camp!

Hacker Beach #5: First Impressions

With most people staying until the end onf the month, there’s still time to book a flight and join us on what locals call “FBI” – Flores Beautiful Island. Here’s what it looks like:

Amazing sunsets

Sun setting over #hackerbeach on Flores

A photo posted by Râu Cao (@raucao) on

Hacker Bay

Most of us ended up getting a room at Waecicu Beach Inn, a bit north of Labuan Bajo. It’s located in its own bay, with its own beach and a small island you can swim to. Let us know if you want us to reserve another room! We were able to talk them down on the price a bit, so it’s just under 30 USD/night.

#hackerbeach

A photo posted by Râu Cao (@raucao) on

The Tropical Shire

The peninsula north of Labuan Bajo, which Waecicu is situated on, is absolutely gorgeous. It consists of grass-covered volcanic hills, sprinkled with a few palm trees. As soon as you come out here, the panoramic views in all directions are just stunning, all the way up to the North end of the island (a 2-hour hike).


More posts coming up soon, containing some details about the Internet situation. Also check out hashtag #hackerbeach on the Web, if you’re interested.

Hacker Beach #5: Mantas & Dragons

In case you missed it on Twitter, we recently announced the location for Hacker Beach #5 in January 2017, and you’re all invited to join:

Flores is one of the larger islands in South-East Indonesia. The official Hacker Beach central will be Labuan Bajo, a small town on the far Western end of the island, and a launchpad for hundreds of adventures around the neighboring Komodo archipegalo as well as the interior of Flores itself.

In regards to aquatic activities, contrary to last year’s 10-mile surf break, next Hacker Beach will be all about underwater exploration! The Komodo islands and national park feature some of the richest marine biodiversity on earth, and hence are the perfect playground for snorkeling and diving. How about a swim with 4-meter-wingspan manta rays before or after work?

Diving with a manta ray

Photo: Elias Levy

If you don’t have a diving license yet, you’ll be able to learn this beautiful activity together with other hackers in one of the most stunning underwater environments on the planet, instead of your hometown swimming pool.

Speaking of amazing nature, Komodo island is of course also home to the biggest lizard in the world: the Komodo dragon. Organize a trip to the island with some fellow hackers in order to see actual dragons in the wild!

So let’s get to the logistical part:

Getting there

In good old Hacker Beach tradition, there is no direct way to get to Labuan Bajo. It does have an airport with local flights however: LBJ. There’s also a variety of options for getting in via boat. Check out WikiTravel for details.

Visa

Citizens of almost all countries get a 30-day free entry stamp for Indonesia. It is possible to apply for extended visas at an Indonesian embassy. This should ideally be done before travelling to the country. Source

Accommodation & Cost

You should easily be able to survive on $30 a day (our unofficial price target for a comfortable extended stay).

As Hacker Beach is not an organized event and certainly no pre-packaged vacation, you’re on your own with finding a room or apartment. As always, it’s not a bad idea to find others you can share an apartment with, or to stay at the same hostel/guesthouse/bungalows as other hackers.

Communication

We’re hanging out in #hackerbeach on Freenode. You can usually catch a friendly person on the channel any time of the day. Here’s a Web chat, in case you don’t have an IRC client set up. We also log the channel publicly.

Wiki / Knowledge Base

We finally came around to setting up a wiki this year. Any help with adding and editing content is most appreciated!

RSVP

In case you decide to join, we’d be happy to have your (nick)name on our list of participants. Head over to the wiki page for HB5.

Join us!

Nothing left to do but looking for a plane ticket and coming to Labuan Bajo in January. See you there!

Hacker Beach 2017 Update

People are getting excited about Hacker Beach 2017, so I thought we should give you an update. It’ll be short and sweet, as there’s really not much to say at this point:

Hacker Beach Episode 5 in January 2017 is happening and you’re invited!

We’re currently looking for a location, same as every year, and you’re invited to propose one! We finally set up a wiki this year, so you can check and add proposals there. (Also has a page for Hacker Beach 2017.)

Discussion is happening on IRC, in #hackerbeach on Freenode. You can find channel logs in this little app we hacked up last time. If you don’t have an IRC client, here’s a Web chat you can use.

If you can’t wait for January (I know I can’t), there’s also a little pre-hackout in Chiang Mai, Thailand with a few people hanging out there in November and December!

So, keep the locations coming, say hi on the IRC channel, and maybe even see you in Chiang Mai! The next post will be the official announcement for Episode 5.