This impromptu event started as a complete whirlwind! It went from an off hand comment, to reality extremely quickly! I have no clue which of the two of us got the goofy ass idea in the first place, but next thing I knew we were pricing out trucks with lift gate options.
For those of you that are not aware Derbycon is an extremely chill east coast conference for computer security oriented topics, and all things “hacker” oriented. The “hacker family” that runs Derby are both peers, and friends of ours, and the community that the con serves likewise touches many peers, colleagues, and friends alike. At some point I shot a text and call over to DakyKilla since he was both local, and close to some of the Derbycon fam, he immediately shot out contact to HackingDave, and CantComputer. We pretty well got sign off right then and there.
Without skipping a beat Josh, and I went into pre-planning mode, each taking on the bits that were were able to with our already hectic schedules! We started hunting all over for details on the logistics of moving the cabinets that we had. Josh was point man on the *real* logistics, actually coordinating with both event, and hotel staff so that we could use the loading dock, and obtain a permit to park our truck on the street, etc. I on the other hand tried to do some *operator* level logistics, and get us prepped for linking games together, as well as readying my two cabinets from a restoration stand point. Both Josh and I needed to get coin doors working, and locks functioning, etc. Oddly enough we wound up running the machines in free play mode, so some of that effort wasn’t immediately necessary, although fruitful.
We had several small problems to tackle, nothing impossible. At the very least we needed to get one cabinet up from my basement and onto the ground level, so that it could be loaded on the box truck. I had previously removed a monitor in order to get one of the other cabinets in my basement, so I was aware of the mechanics of making it happen. My biggest fear was decapping the tube accidentally, shocking the fuck out of ourselves, or degloving a hand accidentally during the move. Studying a few youtube videos on rotating monitors, and reading forum posts about tearing down the cabinets to bare metal helped set the stage for success. We have yet to have the need to actually tear a cab down to bare metal, none the less I can say after this trip I’d be much more comfortable doing so. I’m starting to feel like I know these cabs pretty well.
In addition to the cab in my basement we also needed to get two driving cabinets, one in my garage, and one in Josh’s. Lucky for me Josh had dollies, ratchet tie straps, and skills to drive a big ass box truck. One of the best things Josh did for our hustle was to figure out the center of gravity on these Naomi upright cabinets. I watched two large men with a hand truck struggle to get my New Net City in the basement, likewise with my 18 Wheeler (sans monitor) one of my big lumber jack friends helped get it down the stairs on a hand truck. Josh being the engineer that he is noted that the monitor is half the weight of the cabinet, and suspended basically on a pendulum. Once the center of gravity goes so far in one direction the whole thing wants to go where ever it feels. If you work smarter, and not harder moving the cabs around is no big deal.
Josh came up with a technique in which we were able to use square dollies and in essence rock the cabs over to one side, and subsequently secure the dolly underneath with ratchet straps. This really took stress off the castors on the bottom of the cabinet, and made moving the cabs pretty darn easy. We basically manhandled the cabinet in the basement up the stairs, which was pretty easy sans the monitor, and then put both cabs onto dollies in my garage. That really was perhaps the hardest part of the physical moving on the way down.
We had kicked around various options for vehicles, and open top trailer, a closed trailer, a standard moving truck with a ramp, or a lift-gate truck. I think we went from UHaul, to Penske, to ultimately settling on Enterprise. After studying the scene a bit we decided the lift-gate was not optional, it was a *must*. Josh and I rolled down to pick this beast up, they gave us a brand new 2019 model! We rolled the tank back to my house, and parked in front of my driveway. We of course played with the lift gate a few times. Loading up was ultimately a non-event, short of the little bit of rain that started literally as we began to roll the cabs out. Josh had done all the pre planning on the moving blankets, and ratchet straps, and everything else, it really went seamless.
The ride down was uneventful really, some of the initial bumps were a bit unnerving. We learned after the first stop in Cincinnati that perhaps we could have strapped the machines a bit better, but for the most part, there were no casualties! Picking up the second driver was exactly the same as the first two cabinets from my garage, the only difference being that it was Josh’s garage instead. The roads between Columbus, and Cinci are awful! The ones between Cinci and Louisville were not as bad, but we were certainly painfully aware of every pothole. The drive was pretty chill, the biggest limitation was our governor being set to 66mph.
Once we got to the hotel we had some *backdoor* negotiating to do, the hotel staff wasn’t quite familiar with all the arrangements we had made via the event staff. We were basically using the loading dock sans an appointment, and “after hours”. Josh rolled in and parked the truck in one shot like a boss!