!!Con West 2019 Notes

A conference about the joy, excitement, and surprise of computing!

23 Feb 2019

!!Con is a conference held every spring in New York City. It’s two days of lightning talks that can be about anything related to computers!

At the beginning of last year’s !!Con, I wrote:

This conference is a great showcase of the diverse backgrounds of the NYC tech scene. I’m really going to miss it when I move back to the Bay Area.

Fortunately, I spoke too soon! This year, we got !!Con West, held at UC Santa Cruz, which might be the UC campus with the most redwood trees. Here are my notes.

A staircase from a building leads to a trail head.

Day 1 Keynote

The Best Parts! Of My Favorite Things!

Lynn Cyrin

Session 1

IMUs FTW!! Building IMU-based gesture recognition!

Jennifer Wang

EarthBound’s almost-Turing-complete text system!

Alex Rasmussen

/etc/services is made of people! (and also ports!)

Breanne Boland

“Wheels within whiles!” or possibly “Whiles within wheels!”

Michael Albaugh

Sadly, I had to leave early on the first day.

Day 2 Keynote

Glitch Nuggets of Resistance!

VJ Um Amel

Session 5

Guiding a starship with noise! And blinking!

Simon Porter

The secret life of Not-a-Number!

Annie Cherkaev

Hacking Lego! Computer generated Lego instructions!

Michael Knowles

The world’s first racing-the-beam ray tracer on discarded FPGA hardware!!!

Tom Verbeure

Session 6

Robots, rockets, and more! Control theory in 10 minutes

Wesley Aptekar-Cassels

Minimax search and the structure of cognition!

Zack M. Davis

Postgres plays Pokémon!

Liz Frost

Software patterns… from the 9th century?!!

Michael Arntzenius

Session 7

How to throw out 95% of pixels in virtual reality, without anyone noticing!!

Amrita Mazumdar

How to calculate the phase of the moon very, very badly!

André Arko

Value Your Types!

Eric Weinstein

The Conjuring: ransomware edition!!

Pranshu Bajpai

Session 8

Observability in the Kitchen: Improve Your Breadmaking Skills with Open-Source Monitoring!!

Daisy Tsang

Computers are fast! But how come they sometimes feel slow?

Mike Lazer-Walker

My, my, TTY!

Tabitha Sable