JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 1]

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Jailbreakcon 2014 came and went this weekend, and though the event is over, the memories and the impact it had on me as a blogger, a jailbreak fan, and member of this incredible jailbreak community is still quite alive in my mind.

I've sat down multiple times to write this account, and each time I found my head so full of ideas, moments and memories it was difficult to decide on what to focus. While to some this post will be vaguely reminiscent of the incredible piece Sebastien Page wrote two years ago, my hope is that in the writing you will take away the excitement, the passion and the sense of community I experienced at this event, and if you've never attended, perhaps it will convince you to make the journey in 2015. Without further ado, here's my story of the four days I spent at JailbreakCon, featuring the people and ideas that make this community so incredibly unique.

JailbreakCon Part One: The Barbecue


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It was a foggy day arriving in San Francisco for JailbreakCon 2014

My plane arrived in San Francisco Thursday afternoon, and upon de-boardng, I could already see my iMessages brimming with unanswered texts — the most recent from Craig Fox which read,

"Come to the jailbreak house anytime. We're all here and more arriving soon."

I felt exhilarated and nervous all at once. I was finally about to meet people I had corresponded with through Twitter, Skype and iMessage for nearly two years, but now, for the first time, I would be putting flesh and bones to voices and minds.

I grabbed my luggage, checked out the rental car, put the address into the GPS and headed towards the Jailbreak house hidden within the foothills of the San Burno Mountains of San Francisco. I arrived at the house about fifteen minutes later, got out the car and tried my best to quiet the butterfly feeling in my stomach. As I stepped onto the porch and rang the doorbell, no one answered immediately, but inside I could already hear the buzz of conversation and music and people meeting people. I turned the handle and stepped inside just as Thientam Bach (@Surenix) was coming to the door. I would discover that weekend he was just about the only person who knew how to answer a door at that house.

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 1]
Me with Thientam Bach (@Surenix) and his girlfriend Stephanie.

We hugged, said our hellos and then walked up the stairs to the main level. As I entered the kitchen, there stood Melissa Archer, Sebastian Page, Kevin (@NitoTV), and Filippo Bigarella holding beers and chatting. I held out my hand to Sebastien as Surenix introduced me to the group. I don't think he recognized me at first, but a moment later it seemed to all come together. I went on to greet Melissa, Kevin, and Filipoo feeling so incredibly nervous I was sure I was being a little awkward.

Craig soon popped in behind me and took me around to meet a few others. My head was spinning and I had so much adrenaline flowing I don't even recall who all I met, when or how. I soon found myself gravitating toward two lovely ladies I'd just been introduced to, that became my regular sidekicks throughout the weekend — Rosa of iCarbons and Stephanie, Thientam's girlfriend. We three chatted on and off the whole evening as Rosa shared with us the incredible story of how she and Bruce founded their iPhone skin business. Such an inspiring tale!

JailbreakCon 2014 Is Coming To San Francisco, Will You Be There? Jailbreak Community Members Explain Why They Wouldn't Miss It For The World
Shannon, Rosa, Me, Stephanie at the Jailbreak house barbecue Thursday night.

More people were coming through the doors now, including Shannon, @p0sixninja and @ep0k_ with a huge basketful of treats. Shannon had packed everything imaginable from chocolates to cookies, beef jerky to spicy peanuts. We were eating treats from that unending cornucopia of goodness the whole weekend long.

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Shannon's EPIC basket of Jailbreak house goodies. Yum Yum! (Photo: Twitter @Shznakl)

I had seen @pod2g when I first walked into the house, but he was moving quickly in the direction of some unnamed room so I didn't dare to stop him, but now I was curious to see where he was, as he was the only one of the four evad3rs attending JailbreakCon this year. Soon my wish was granted as he emerged from the back of the house, along with his lovely girlfriend Claire, whom we all deemed "Miss @Pod2g" for the weekend. It was exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time. He and I have chatted at length online and now it almost seemed I had no words to say! I shook his hand, introduced myself to Claire and then continued in my conversation with Rosa and Stephanie.

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 1]
Cyril (@pod2g) and Claire

The party was really starting to pick up now as DJ Manny and his sidekick Austin arrived, setting up the speakers and equipment to entertain us that evening. Meanwhile, outside on the deck, Craig was removing the first burnt offering from the grill — a massive pile of singed ribs which were still on fire for several minutes after they were removed, making some of us think is was charcoal. I'm sure the flavor was probably just about that!

Jailbreakcon 2014
The world famous Jailbreak grill masters, Craig and Leon (Photo: Twitter @iCarbonsRosa)

Not too much longer later, the burgers and hot dogs were ready and it was time to dig in! We ate and talked and sat around for a while as more party-goers entered the Jailbreak house, including Grant Paul, Saurik and Britta! I was a little star struck I have to admit seeing all these people gathered in the same room made me shy, but as the days passed, so did the shyness as I soon came to realize all of these people were everyday folks like myself.

Once DJ Manny got the tunes rolling, NitoTV and Melissa really started showing their true colors as these two party animals danced the night away, even if no one else joined them! Of all the folks in the jailbreak house, those two never seemed to stop. At one point, we got Cyril to make good on his promise and do a little DJing for us and, hey, he wasn't too bad — though he would argue otherwise!

jailbreakcon 2014
Cyril (@Pod2g) doing a little DJing for us at the Jailbreak house barbecue.

As the night wore on, the crowd dwindled. Some headed back to their hotels while others took to their beds in the Jailbreak house exhausted and jet lagged . Other folks took to the back deck to smoke and drink and make plans for the days to come. I'm not a drinker or smoker and the wind was quite chilly that night so I opted to stay inside chatting with Thientam and Ryan — the other non-drinkers in the crowd. It was during that time I got to know a little about Ryan and what he does outside of making some of the most fabulous jailbreak tweaks within the community.

jailbreakcon 2014 san fransisco ryan petrich
Ryan Petrich was one of my favorite people to meet at JailbreakCon 2014

Of all the people I met that weekend, he was the one whom I was most delightfully surprised to meet, as he's just a regular guy with whom I could relate. We talked work, movies, media — whatever came to mind, but soon I found myself really feeling spent, the jet lag catching up to me, so I said my goodbyes and headed back to my hotel.

Click here for JailbreakCon 2014 Part 2: Sightseeing



Cammy Harbison

Writer/Reporter For iDigitalTimes

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