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

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 5]

JailbreakCon Part Four: Workshop Day

I found myself awake bright and early on the first day of JailbreakCon 2014, and after showering and getting dressed, I headed downstairs for breakfast and to read a bit of news. Just as I was preparing to leave for the conference center, a familiar looking face was coming down the hall. It was Julian Weiss (@insanj) , an enthusiastic young tweak developer. We said a quick hello and goodbye as I was anxious to head over to the conference center.

Missed the first three parts? Start the journey here: JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 1]

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 4]
@cammywrites with Julian Weiss (@insanj) at JailbreakCon 2014.

I arrived at 9:30 on the dot, but already people were filing in the doors to get registered and name tagged. Sebastien and Melissa were manning the desk at first, but after 15 minutes, Sebastien had "had enough of that", so he and I headed into the main conference room for the opening presentation. We joined Jim Gresham, also of iDownloadBlog, who teasingly asked, "You're not gonna copy my blog article are you?"

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 1]
Sebastien was so over the registration process... so it was time to take some seflies!

Soon the opening session began as Britta, Saurik, Ryan and Craig explained how the day would proceed, with lunch and breaks etc. People chose workshops and everyone headed their separate directions. Sebastien and I stuck around in the tweak development class a few moments, but when things got a bit too geeky for our expertise level, we decided to head into Ryan Petrich's workshop with current developers. We walked in and sat at the table with Thientam, Cyril and Kevin who were all putting last minute touches on their presentations — or in some cases, just beginning them (yes, Kevin, I'm looking at you).

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 4]
It's Saturday morning, and guess what? None of these guys' JailbreakCon presentations are ready yet!

I began honing in on the session, which was a really good one. In it Ryan had all the developers stand and share their names/twitter handles and recent tweaks or projects they were working on. As the workshop proceeded, it was a time for sharing and the gathered developers spoke openly about problems they were having with tweaks they had or were developing, lessons they'd learned along the way and brainstorming ideas for new tweaks. The free sharing in the room was an encouraging sight to see.

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 3]
Ryan Petrich's workshop for tweak developers. Tons of great developers attended, with sharing and collaboration heavily encouraged.

Ryan then turned to the bloggers to ask what tweaks we would be interested in seeing developed. Of course I had to as about one tweak on my wish list, which I wasn't sure would come to fruition - VideoPane for FaceTime. Surprisingly, Ryan somewhat tacitly confirmed the fact my tweak would be a reality in the near future with the comment, "In a couple of weeks, you should have the answer to that question."

Craig and I then started a hashtag — #wwjctweakideas — for sharing new tweaks with the community of developers assembled there. Hopefully we'll see a few of those come to fruition too as well.

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 4]
Lunch Time at JailbreakCon 2014: Melissa, Surenix, Joshua Tucker, @ih8sn0w and sister, Sebastien, Kevin,Joshua Hill, Shannon, Ep0k_ and Cyril.

When the session ended it was time for lunch and our group headed into the main hall where hoagie sandwiches, chips, soda, cookies and more were being served. I have to say, the lunch both days was excellent, with lots of time reserved for chatting and getting to know one another. Early that morning during registration, several of us had met an extraordinary young person who was attending the event names Justin or @s33wack as some of you may be familiar with on Twitter.

Justin is blind but hasn't let that condition stop him from doing extraordinary things with his iPhone (more on this later). We had all been amazed in the day to see how this young fellow had modded his phone via jailbreaking to suit his own needs. Now as we sat around the lunch table we debated about inviting him to join us. Cyril was anxious to meet him but no one wanted Justin to feel we were only interested in him because of his disability. After several moments we decided to invite him after all and he spent the next hour chatting at our lunch table with Cyril and the others assembled there.

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 1]
Cyril (@pod2g) with Justin Wack (@s33wack), a blind jailbreak enthusiast.

As the hour came to a close, it was time to break for the Mini Talks. Sebastien Page started things off with a flourish, sharing with tweak developers some killer tips for marketing tweaks successfully. All the tips mentioned were essential in my opinion, and it was one of the best Mini Talks of the day. Behind him we heard talks from developers like @Insanj and @0x8badfl00d, a talk on how to run a successful repo by none other than Kyle Mattews of Modmyi, as well as an inspiring update from Tim Collins on the funds raised by the jailbreak community for Because of Ezra.

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 1]
Kyle Mattews of ModMyi Mini Talk on how to run a successful repo.

After the mini talks, there was one last round of workshops and Melissa Archer and I chose to remain in the themeing session together. Both of us were quite interested in learning more about how to do some themeing ourselves. While I've never attempted to do any kind of themeing or tweak development, I soon discovered Melissa actually had. During the weekend I'd been surprised numerous times by what a "geek" Melissa actually is, despite being a soap opera actress. The evening before we spent quite a lot of time discussing how she became interested in the jailbreak scene and why she attends the events. The story may surprise you as well (more on that soon).

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 1]
Don't be fooled by her gorgeous appearance! Melissa Archer's more of a geek than you think!

The session was presented by @Surenix, @TC_Centrex and @Subywrex — all experienced themers with very different theming styles. During the presentation, attendees learned the first steps in how to create a theme, the ways in which themeing has changed because of iOS 7's introduction of the grid system and layered icons, while also giving future themers suggestions for useful tools and tweaks in themeing. The presentation made me all the more anxious to get my hands into making something for the jailbreak community.

As the session came to a close, it was time for dinner and everyone broke into groups dependent on their eating preference, with plans to meet back up at the conference center again afterwards for working and collaborating together on tweaks and other ideas.

Our group headed to Hoolihan's and what began as just twenty, soon ballooned to a group of over fifty spread across several long tables in the restaurant. The mood was jovial as everyone eating and talking together at those tables was such a great time, and it gave people both within the core of the community and those who are simply jailbreak fans a chance to mingle and mix together.

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 3]
The crowd at Houlihan's after JailbreakCon 2014, Day 1

After dinner, most headed back to the conference center, with everyone having different tasks to complete. Craig, Cyril, and Joshua T. were busy about getting the live stream equipment ready while Surenix practiced for his presentation the next day, making sure everything would go smoothly during his demonstration of the exciting new tweak only a few of us knew her would be releasing. In the background, tweak developers were working together on projects and ideas they had been sharing throughout the day with Britta and Jay overseeing everything. It was about this time Jeff Benjamin, who we'd been looking for all day, finally arrived, and of course, I had to take a selfie.

As 10 pm rolled around we all headed back to our respective places for bed, so we would be prepared for another full day of JailbreakCon.

JailbreakCon 2014: A 4 Day Journal Chronicling This Incredible Jailbreak Community Experience [PART 1]
Jeff Benjamin in the house!!! Such a pleasure to meet this legendary voice!

Click Here for Part 5 JailbreakCon 2014: Day 2 Lectures

Cammy Harbison

Writer/Reporter For iDigitalTimes

For More OSX, iOS, Jailbreak And Infosec News

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