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NC2600 in it's current incarnation got it's start in late Summer of 2004 after a few people who had been talking on the 2600 IRC since 2002 or so managed to begin gathering in person in Raleigh. In ancient history, there was a Raleigh 2600 meeting that began in the early 90's but ran into some trouble and eventually ceased meeting. Ms. Mouse might be willing to fill in some details if you ask nicely. Very few, if any people from that era ever returned to attend, or if they did they managed to conceal their identities and never let anyone know of their previous involvement.

2600 Meetings:

At first, the monthly in-person meetings were held in the food court of Crabtree Valley Mall, mostly due to a holdover from the previous era. This was where the meeting location had been published in 2600 magazine, so that's where we went. A few of us had gone off and on looking for the meeting in the late 90's/early 00's but never managed to find anyone else, prior to actually arranging with people beforehand. Our first meeting was actually at the Barnes & Noble at Triangle Town Center mall, however that was not on the first Friday of the month, and was not an authorized 2600 meeting but we made arrangements there, and several of us met up the following month at Crabtree.

The food court was an absolutely terrible place for a meeting. It was crowded, noisy, you had to shout to make yourself heard, and it closed early. We met there for a few months but coming home with ringing ears and a sore throat from shouting sucked, so we moved to an internet and gaming cafe called The Tek. We lasted there probably around 6 months. They were very accommodating to us but the business model was unsustainable and the Tek ended up closing it's doors rather abruptly. From there, we held a single meeting in October of 2005 at the Caribou Coffee in North Raleigh however oddly enough, they ended up going out of business the following month as well. The following month we relocated to another internet cafe in downtown Raleigh called Bit Players. We lasted at Bit Players for a good while but unfortunately they ended up out of business within the year as well. In retrospect, we blew through 4 meeting locations in less than 2 years.

By this point, which was Summer of 2006, a new coffee shop called the Royal Bean had opened in the same location where The Tek used to be. We moved back there, and as luck would have it they actually managed to remain in business. We held meetings there from August of 2006 through June of 2014, when the Bean shut down suddenly. Scrambling to find a new location by the July 2014 meeting, we settled on the Cup A Joe on Hillsborough St. This nearly killed the meeting. The venue was a shithole, didn't really have room and was not at all accommodating to large groups. Attendance dwindled until we were down to 3 or 4 people max on a good month. Even though at the time it seemed like we were stuck there forever, by February of 2017 we moved to the Morning Times in downtown Raleigh, which is where we still meet and will hopefully be our permanent home for a while.

The BBS:

Initially, a handful of us were communicating via the 2600 IRC (which incidentally is still operational), and more so via an NC2600 Yahoo group. Nobody liked Yahoo, even back then so in September of 2004 we relocated to a self-hosted phpBB messageboard at that Lexicon built for us. There was more interest than we had initially realized and the group grew fairly quickly. Within a few months we went from 3 or 4 people showing up at meetings to between 25 and 30 every month. At the same time, a similar group was developing in Charlotte, and shared the nc2600 BBS with us, along with a few outliers from Asheville, Greensboro, Wilmington and Fayetteville. The BBS had a lot of traffic over the years, especially during the late 00's when web based messageboards were at their peak popularity. There were a few issues with the software over the years and due to dwindling interest in the board and lack of time by the admins, the forum eventually broke in 2017 and was no longer functional. In 2019 Uncue, arcane and Tokachu upgraded the board to vBulletin and got it functional again. Unfortunately, due to a lengthy absence, the previous dwindling interest before it's untimely death, a splintering community and successive hacking/infosec groups and events which have seen unprecedented popularity, and the rise in popularity of various new methods of communication, it has at this point still not gotten back off the ground and likely never will, which is where we are now.

The Lab:

In mid-2006 we opened a Lab. Similar to what a few years later people started calling Hackerspaces, this was intended to be a location where contributing members of the community could go hang out, hack on some hardware they might not otherwise have access to, and collaborate on projects. Largely due to financial contributions by Vic Vandal, Quiet Riot, Uncue, and maybe a few others an office space was rented and equipment was brought in. Unfortunately, the space was very small and once the furniture and equipment was brought in, there was only room to fit 3 or 4 people comfortably. It was also impossible to access unless one of the 2 or 3 people who had a key was there, or was contacted in advance to meet there. It was not financially viable for the people who were paying, and it was not a comfortable or workable space for anyone else looking to use it, so it wasn't around long.

The Con:

By early 2005, after a number of discussions, we decided that it would be awesome if we could get all the 2600 groups from the state together in one place for a big 2600 meeting/party. Largely thanks to pushing, planning and financial contributions from Vic Vandal and a few others, in June of 2005 CarolinaCon was born and is still running to this day 15 years later. The initial concept for CarolinaCon was an old-school, underground hacking conference that was an affordable (borderline free), non-discriminatory gathering that would provide a hacker con experience for local people who couldn't otherwise afford to attend events like Defcon. Although over the years on the surface it morphed into more of an "information security conference", it still retained an intimate atmosphere, a borderline free cost and became well regarded in the hacker community. The original plan was for the con to move around throughout North Carolina to give each group fair representation at having a local con. That didn't really pan out and for the majority of it's life it has been hosted in the RTP area, though it has since relocated to Charlotte and is under new management (with the old management's blessing and support).

This page may have a more recent version on sites): PmWiki:History, and a talk page: PmWiki:History-Talk.

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Page last modified on June 16, 2020, at 02:05 PM