Tux visits the Penguicon Consuite
|Genre||Science fiction/Linux User Group|
|Venue||Westin Southfield Hotel, Southfield, MI (2014)|
|Organized by||Penguicon Staff|
Penguicon is a convention in the midwestern United States designed originally to mix the communities of science fiction fandom and Linux User Groups. In addition to educational panels on science fiction in the media, attendees participate in professional and beginner-level panels on Linux and Open-source software.
Penguicon expanded its focus over the years to include panels and events for foodies, cosplay, filk music (the folk music of science fiction fandom), gaming, and makerspaces. Along with the panels, the convention hosts a "geek prom", a film room, swordfighting demonstrations, a masquerade dance, OpenCola (open source soda making), live action role-playing game, computer, board and cards.
Working alongside local makerspaces i3Detroit and All Hands Active, Penguicon has offered instruction in learning to solder electronic components, which allowed attendees to create their own LED badges.
For the 2014 convention, Penguicon's Tech track will focus on privacy and cryptography, with panels on installing cryptographic software, GPG encryption, and setting up a physical firewall on your home network. Cory Docotorow is returning as a Guest of Honor Emeritus to talk about privacy in a post-Snowden world.
- Ernest Cline, author of science fiction novel, Ready Player One.
- YTCracker, nerdcore rapper and hacker
- Eva Galperin, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Erika Carlson, cofounder of the Detroit branch of Girl Develop It, a non-profit foundation promoting teaching women to program.
- Hack of Honor:Gameface Labs, creator of an Android-based wireless Virtual Reality headset.
Recurring almost guest of honor
Wil Wheaton has been a guest of honor over multiple years, and has had to cancel each time. In 2009, he had to cancel the morning of the convention, and wrote an apology letter which was read aloud at Opening Ceremonies.
Every year, Penguicon invites a dozen or more people (authors, hackers, and entertainers) who are not full Guests of Honor, but are celebrities in their own right, and calls them Featured Guests (formerly "Nifty Guests"). They also invite former Guests of Honor as "Guest of Honor Emeritus". In 2010, this included author Jim C. Hines, musician Tom Smith, and open source advocate Eric S. Raymond.
Jay Maynard is known for his self-made electroluminescent Tron Guy costume, which he says debuted at Penguicon in 2004. After submitting photos of himself to Slashdot, he ended up doing regular reporting segments, in costume, for Jimmy Kimmel Live. He has also been on America's Got Talent and a commercial for Duck Brand duct tape. He says he "hasn't missed a Penguicon, and doesn't intend to."
In the Media
A Science Channel show, Outrageous Acts of Science, replayed a video from Penguicon 2006 in which Guest of Honor Howard Tayler recorded people dumping the remains of a dewar of liquid nitrogen into the hotel pool. In 2010, Howard Tayler came back to Penguicon and hosted a second video involving liquid nitrogen and a pool.
Penguicon is held in the spring in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area. The venue, a hotel, changes from year to year. This year's hotel is the Westin Southfield Hotel in Southfield, Michigan.
In 2013, Penguicon listed the New Beginnings Animal Rescue as their official charity, and Penguicon members donated $700 and 123 pounds of food during the convention weekend.
- 2014 Rocked!, Penguicon.org
- Rob Landley - History of Penguicon From One of the Co-founders
- Penguicon Convention 2012 Mixes Science Fiction, Linux, And DIY Exploration, Huffington Post
- After Report, Disjointed Images
- About Penguicon, penguicon.org
- PenguiCon Boot Camp!, All Hands Active
- If This Is Saturday It Must Be ... Where Am I?, journal.neilgaiman.com
- And Now, My Penguicon Guest of Honor Bio, whatever.scalzi.com
- Michigan's Penguicon will focus on crypto and privacy this year, BoingBoing.net
- 2014 Programming, penguicon.org
- Gamers, makers, and sci-fi fans unite! at Penguicon 2014, opensource.com
- Penguicon Guests of Honor, Penguicon wiki
- To Everyone at Penguicon, wilwheaton.typepad.com
- Nifty Guests, Penguicon wiki
- What is Penguicon?, YouTube Video
- Memes Pwn The Web: What Lolcats, Tron Guy, and Doge Tell Us About Ourselves and the Future of Humanity, TechRepublic.com
- Liquid Nitrogen Into A Swimming Pool, YouTube
- Outrageous Acts of Science - Power Junkies, Science Channel (via YouTube)
- Liquid Nitrogen in the pool at Penguicon 2010, YouTube
- Penguicon Venues, Penguicon wiki
- ADOPTS honor roll, Detroit Zoo
- New Beginnings Animal Rescue, Facebook entry
- MHacks Sponsors, MHacks
- MHacks III, Hackathonwatch