Million Man Lan 2 - Louisville, Kentucky 

Million Man Lan 2 - Louisville, Kentucky

I realized I never did a post about it... It was a LAN held from June 26-29 ( Their Site ). it was a 15 hour drive to get there from Connecticut... Mark's mother and godmother were nice enough to volunteer to drive us there (they planned their own vacation anyway, we hardly saw them the whole week other than in the car). It was a decent drive (surprisingly) considering we fit Mark's mom, Mark's godmother, Mark, Andrew, and me in the car along with three (3!) computers and monitors, a cooler, pillows and blankets, a portable TV and DVD player and GameCube (with a power adapter), and luggage for 7 days (strapped on the roof.. I broke one of the straps as we packed to leave... I was a little worried about losing all our luggage on a major highway). Needless to say, that van was HEAVY. It really struggled getting up those Ohio hills. Wasn't a bad drive though, we stayed over in between so it wasn't a full 15 hour ride.

The LAN: for those that don't know, a LAN is a Local Area Network, which means that a bunch of computers that are "local" (Read for LAN purposes: "in the same warehouse-style room") get hooked up to each other on a network. Must have been 1,000 people there all linked together (like 10 ms ping, up to 50 mbps downloads from other computers, thousands of gigabytes of files). We signed up for the Counter-Strike tournament, had 12 people, so 2 teams of 5 (with back-ups). [For information on our clan, Netizen, go to #clan-n on for IRC, or check out the web site. I won't try to explain the game of Counter-Strike if you don't know what it is already... so I'll just say it's a First Person Shooter game for the computer, and is heavily team oriented. Our "clan" (just another way of saying a team of friends who play competitively against other teams) is in CAL-m, and UGS-a. At the tournament, we came in 3rd (team 1) and 5th-8th bracket (team 2). The two teams actually played each other right before the semi-finals, team 1 beat us 13 to 11. AMAZING match (it sucks that they didn't record the matches, it would have been nice to go back and watch them), but right afterward (because of the delay for technical problems with mouse drivers) team 1 played a match on a map they hadn't practiced at all, and got eliminated.

That about covers the competitive side of the LAN... all the rest of the time was spent by most people downloading games/programs/music/porn/etc. off other people's computers or burning tons and tons of CDs with them. Others played in public servers against others in a variety of games just for fun (mostly what I did). Met some cool guys sitting around me... people from all over the US. I also got to meet a lot of people in the clan who I had only talked to online... Lots of fun guys (they got so drunk the last night though... it was funny watching the way they acted). Mostly, we did just the opposite of alcohol, Bawls Guarana, the ultimate caffeine drink. We were up until at least 7 am every morning, whereupon we would walk back to the hotel for breakfast, and then go to bed for a few hours (a system I love... I hate getting up in the morning). I drank something like 10 bottles of Bawls... enough caffeine to give me withdrawal headaches for a week after I got home. Great tasting carbonated drink... and beats the hell out of coffee! Can't beat it for only like $1.50 a bottle.

That pretty much sums up the LAN... free stuff, no sleep, Bawls, games, files, friends, competition. A lot of fun. I've only been to one other LAN before... in Virginia (my mom drove my brother and I to it) to meet 3 other Netizen guys for CP5. It was a really crappy LAN compared to MML2... less people, poor management and organization, no tournament computers (you played on the one you brought, while at MML2 they had 22 state-of-the-art BEASTS of computers to play on), literally in a warehouse (we're talkin cement floor and metal siding walls, MML2 was in Kentucky Fairgrounds), cold as HELL (it was right before Superbowl Sunday, MML2 had air conditioning =P), and not a stable connection (pings went up to 100 ms at some points). It was also held for fewer days, so it wasn't really worth the drive to get there. It was still fun, but NOTHING compared to MML2.

Oh, I almost forgot, pictures from the LAN are here.

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