This page is updated with the general information and rules for DebConf. It will be updated as things change, so check back here occassionally.
If you have not departed, for please see specific travel directions, maps and travel cheat sheet.
Welcome to Debconf!
It is important to know a few things before you come to Debconf; we need to make things smooth for you but we also need to ask you to help us. The most important thing to remember is that we are guests in someone else's home, and it is like we have asked out our host if we can have 300 of our closest friends come to a week long party. Surprisingly, they agreed, but are very nervous that things will go well. The Debconf 10 unofficial motto is 'fly under the radar', which means we all need to be mindful of having a low-impact on our hosts, we need everyone to strive to leave Columbia better than we found it. They are most concerned about keeping things tidy, and not having trash, food, drinks left around or piles of stuff. They are also worried about security, and people being rowdy. They are worried because they are sponsoring us, and it is ultimately their responsibility if something happens.
So please, be conscious of your impact on our guests, keep things clean around you and help us keep the rooms that we so generously have the permission to use to look as good as if not better than we found them.
Do not leave your laptops, equipment or anything laying around, even in the hacklabs like we have in the past. Not only should you be concerned about the general security of your items, but we have explicitly been asked to keep people from doing this. Do not leave your laptop to save your space while you go to lunch. You must take it with you and make sure the space you were using is cleaner than when you arrived.
Drinking alcohol is not allowed in public in the U.S. If you drink on campus, you should carry alcohol around inside of something else so it is not visibly alcohol, and preferably not make too big a deal to people on-campus. We will be evaluating our alcohol policies based on how we see things going. Do not drink alcohol in the central lounges (as opposed to the DebConf-floor lounges). The idea again is to 'fly under the radar' at Columbia. Putting alcohol in a brown paper bag and leaving campus with it is likely to get you in trouble with the police, so do not try it.
In the dormitory accommodations, please do not wander around to other floors that we are not using. These other floors are used by other groups and we have been asked to keep this from happening.
Do not leave a mess anywhere or be anything but courteous guests, or Darwin will not just kill a lot of kittens but make them all go extinct at once. Clean up after yourself, or your neighbor will have to clean up for you.
What to bring
- DebConf numbers, so you can call if you have problems (freephone: +1 888-882-2026)
- a print out of your specific travel directions, maps and travel cheat sheet
- subway map
- directions to dorms, instructions on check-in, instructions and hours of hacklabs
- long ethernet cord (5m is safe, 10m if you nicely want to route it around the walls, you can find a way to make do with shorter (2-3m) if you rearrange desks or not use a desk)- the rooms have wired internet *only* and you will need to go from one side of the room to the other. no cords will be provided
- power adapter for your country to convert to US
- bring powerstrips/powerbars and routers/switches for use in the dorm lounges
- soap and shampoo
- bathing suit / towel / hat / sunblock and other beach supplies (day trip)
- your health insurance details
- visa help phone number from visa page (888-744-2480, ask for Frank)
- night arrivals: know where and when to be the next morning, for the most part the front desk opens at 0900 the next morning.
- suggestions for places to eat/things to do that night, if arriving late.
There will be the following provided to you: Two sheets, blanket, towel, pillow, pillowcase
Front Desk / Hacklabs / Network
Our front desk is in the lobby of Mudd Hall. Attendee emergency contact is 888-882-2026 (freephone/toll-free number, so you can call it from a pay phone for free). It will be answered 24/7. You can call it as sip:firstname.lastname@example.org .
There is a hacklab in Carleton Cafeteria, right inside the lobby of Mudd and next to the front desk.
The primary hacklabs are open until 01:00 during DebCamp and 03:00 during DebConf (but only 20:00 on July 25). They reopen at 09:00 in the morning. You should make use of outside space for hacking as well, as it is nice. Overnight, you can use the dorm lounges (Carman basement, Furnald ground floor). There is wireless and power in these lounges, though you may want to bring power strips. You can use these anytime they are not reserved by another group (whose schedule we do not know).
Carman and Furnald our our two dorm buildings. You can enter both of them, however, do not go to non-DebConf floors.
Carman and Furnald had a laundry room in the basement. It costs $1.25 to wash (You need quarters - 25 cents).
If you get locked out of your room, go to the check-in desk in Carman for help. We (and thus you) will be charged for lost keys, so do not lose yours!
To turn on the airconditioning in the Furnald rooms, press down on the back of the left panel on the old heater-looking thing in front of the window, turn the fan speed dial to high/med/low and the temperature dial to cool/cold (or warm if desired).
Our talk schedule is in Penta. The talks are in the Schapiro building, right next to our hacklabs. There are two talk rooms on the ground floor, and one on the seventh floor (Interschool Lab). (No, there aren't public stairs up - sorry).
Davis Auditorium is on the ground floor to the right. Schapiro 414 (BOFs) is inside, straight and to the left. Interschool lab is up the elevators, on the seventh floor. This room is in a research-heavy area. When you are on this floor, be quiet and respectful, and follow the signs directly to the rooms. Being able to use this room is a privilege, and we should make sure that we do not lose it.
If you would like to give a talk that has not yet been scheduled, there will be a system to sign up for empty slots the day before. Please check this space later for the way it works.
If you would like to use the BOF room during DebCamp, please ask the front desk to find an organizer.
The talk schedule is:
- 0930 - 1030
- 1030 - 1130
- 1130 - 1230
- Lunch, cafeteria open weekdays from 1130 to 1400
- 1400 - 1500
- 1500 - 1600
- 1600 - 1700
- 1700 - 1800
- Dinner, cafeteria open weekdays from 1700 to 1900
During the weekdays, our cafeteria (John Jay) is open for breakfast from 0700-0930, lunch for 1130-1400, and dinner 1700-1900. We have only sponsored lunch and dinner. You can go and pay for breakfast for around $9, lunch for $13 and dinner for $15.
We need to know in advance what meals you will eat. More information on this system is forthcoming.
You must have a meal ticket to eat, FIXME.
For July 26-27, we are not eating at the cafeteria, ask at the front desk for information.
Columbia has open wifi through campus which will give you public IPs.
There are switches on the hacklab tables for you to plug into. Bring your own LONG ethernet cable.
Please do not go rearranging the topology of the network as different segments have different restrictions governing their use policies.
Each client on the network has a total transfer quota per day for upstream data, on the order of 1Gb (or 1GB?). If think you've hit the limit, please check the network quota page. If you have a concern about this cap, please mail email@example.com and we'll try to sort things out.
The Columbia Campus
The campus is open to the general public 24/7. Feel free to make use of this space anytime, in a respectful manner. There are many little spots which you may enjoy working outside. If you use these spaces, leave it better than you found it - pick up litter.
Keep in mind that there is a full complement of research and academic staff working over the summer. It is our goal to minimize our impact on them, while allowing interested persons to enjoy the fun of a DebConf.
Most buildings are not restricted access, but avoid random wandering into research or staff areas. You won't get in trouble, but let's try to not make us unwelcome for any future events.
Morningside heights is a relatively safe neighborhood. To ensure that you see the benefits of this safety, you should ensure that you take the precautions you would take while traveling anywhere.
North/South avenues (Broadway, Amsterdam) are populated all night. At night, try to stick to them while traveling if possible, since they are very safe. Cross-streets are less well traveled but not horribly unsafe. If you want to cross from Amsterdam to Broadway at night, consider using 116th or 114th streets.
Morningside Park has a notorious reputation for crime. This was true in the 80s but is less true nowadays, however, we recommend you avoid Morningside Drive and cross streets near there at night (daytime is generally fine). The park is not a very defensible place (many occluded areas), thus if you go into it maintain awareness around you at all times. Don't even think about going there at dusk or overnight. It can be a nice place during the day, though.
Riverside park is considered safer, however, we recommend not going to the lower levels after dusk.
South is safer than north, however, New Yorkers can feel safe whichever direction they travel anytime of day or night by sticking to the busiest streets.
Contact Columbia Public Safety for any emergency issues you may have while on or near campus. Their emergency number is 212-854-5555. They have 24-hour guard stations at Broadway and Amsterdam at 116th street. Public Safety can dispatch CU-EMS, a state-certified ambulance, to anywhere in the area. While away from campus, dial 911 for any emergencies.
Running/Jogging: Riverside park
- Hamilton Deli (Amst/116)
- Westside Market (grocery+dely, Bway/110)
- Duane Reade: (drugstore, Bway/112)
Late night food: