Sunday, August 16, 2009

HAR2009 thoughts, returning back to earth..

I just got back from HAR2009, and am slowly returning to earth. HAR is the fifth installment (or sixth, depending on who you speak) of the 'HXX' series of hacker events here in The Netherlands. These usually attract in the order of 2000 of the best geeks of Europe (& beyond), and HAR2009 was no exception.

Over 2200 people trekked to Vierhouten, to attend 106 presentations, many many parties, and have lots of fun. Most of them slept on-site in their tents or caravans.

The event lasts four days, but many people arrived early, and some of them are staying late to help with cleanup.

But for me it is over now, and like I said, I'm slowly returning back to earth. It was tremendous. Awesome to the point that I nearly got emotional when it really was time to go home.

I have tried and failed to express in words why events like these are so wonderful (and why HAR2009 was the best yet), but it is not working. It is one of these 'You had to be there' things. Suffice it to say that if you are a geek at heart (and I am definitely one), this was the place to be.

I did a presentation on "DNS Security in the Broadest Sense", here is a photo just before my presentation, while Niels helped me out because my HP #$@#$ 'netbook' failed to switch to the proper resolution, even though I had tested this on the projector a few hours earlier:

(image courtesy of

My presentation: pdf

Badly transcoded movie of the presentation, will be replaced at a later point with a better one:

My lovely son Maurits watching the live stream (this photo is NOT shopped!)

(many thanks to my wife Mirjam, who is very pregnant, but insisted that I went to HAR, because she knew it meant so much to me!)

A video Interview in Dutch about my presentation can be found on

Update! Interview (in English) on HARFM can be found here (plays in Firefox 3.5, otherwise try VLC)

All in all, it was a TREMENDOUS event, and I am told people liked my presentation. I'm also proud that PowerDNS powered the whole HAR2009 DNS infrastructure, and that it held up and was not compromised. A good thing at a hacker conference.

I'm also proud that both PowerDNS and Fox-IT could play a part in this. Aldert, I don't believe you when you said HAR2009 would not have happened without us, but the thought is much appreciated! It must have been the good food at our BBQ :-)

There are moments from HAR2009 that I will never, ever, forget again. Thanks to everyone that made it happen!

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