Demosplash 2011

What is this insanity?

It's a rare chance to experience some very cool computer graphics and electronics music while learning about some really esoteric hardware and hanging out with like-minded people in a hacker-conference-style venue.

What's a demo?

Demos are real-time graphics and music programs that have been written for many years, on computers old a new, that show off a programmer's skills and push the limits of the hardware. Think 3D graphics on a Commodore 64 or entire scenes built out of exploding cubes on a modern PC.

Is this a demoparty?

Sort of. Traditionally, a real demoparty is all about people writing their own demos and showing them off to one another. We'd like to see more of this in the US, and we have a general demo competition category for anyone that would like to submit one. This does seem to be much more popular in European hacker culture, so even if we don't get too many entries, we'll still be showing off plenty of good demos, which is the next best thing. And some other fun events too.

Is this just a demoparty?

Definitely not! There will be talks on many of the hardware platforms and related topics, several competitions, and some gaming areas. See the schedule for more information.

Should I bring my big gaming PC?

Only if you really can't live without it. This isn't a LAN party, so there won't be room for everyone to setup desktop machines. We aren't promising sufficient access to power, and we definitely aren't promising network connectivity.

Where can I sleep/shower?

At a hotel or the home of someone you can find to stay with, seriously. All event rooms close at midnight both days, so please find accommodations. Check the visitor info page for more information.

I have this cool piece of retro hardware. Can I bring it to show off?

If it's something relatively small that you think others may be interested in, sure. Please bear in mind that other than a few general hackery rooms, there isn't space for everyone to setup a computer as you might at a LAN party or larger demoparty. Also, we are not responsible for any loss or damage, so don't bring it if it's expensive and you don't want to watch it constantly.

If you are bringing something just to impress or taunt the organizers, please don't. We've almost certainly heard of it, have probably seen one, and if we don't already have one, it's because we don't have the time to play with it or just don't think it's that cool (sorry). Also, to keep scheduling sane, this year we aren't showing demos at the main event on any attendees' machines, but if you're dying to show off demos on some obscure platform you have, there's probably room for you to setup somewhere.

If you've got a piece of hardware that's broken and you'd like someone to help fix it, check out the retro clinic. Outside of that, you might get some help if you can find friendly knowledgeable people, but please don't ask the organizers -- we're really busy!

Can I sponsor and/or sell stuff at your event?

This event doesn't have a tradeshow or expo component, both due to logistical complexity and issues with university tax-exempt status. For this reason and in fairness to others abiding by this, solicitation of products or services will be strictly prohibited.

However, if you would like to sponsor the event as a way to advertise, we would welcome your support. Please see the sponsorship page.

Can I donate hardware, cash, or prizes for the event or the CMU computer club?

Definitely! Please see the sponsorship page.

I'm a journalist, can you summarize this or provide a press pass?

Please see the press info page for more information.