Dallas, Texas, a happening city, a place where you can't possibly be bored during the night. As long as you've got the will to party and the means to get out of the house you should be just fine. Unfortunately AnandTech was 30 minutes outside of Dallas in Mesquite, hanging out with around 1000 of the most dedicated, Quake 3 fanatics alive some of which included your favorite webmasters whom we have wonderfully incriminating pictures of for you all to see ;)
For those of you that don't know, Quakecon is an annual event that essentially pits the Quake players that think they have what it takes to rule all when it comes to, you guessed it, Quake. The "convention" itself is one big tournament, you are allowed to bring your own system to practice on, but for the actual tournament all participants use a preconfigured system that is designed to eliminate any hardware advantages one user may have over another. By doing that, you prevent anyone with better Quaking skills from being beaten by an inferior player simply because they were playing on a horrendously slow computer. The tournament (from what we were able to gather) proceeded with a couple of free for all elimination rounds, the winners of which proceeded on to the one-on-one tournament brackets that eventually pit the two best players out of the bunch against each other. While all this is going on, the rest of the massive LAN party is pretty much sitting around practicing and messing around by playing multiplayer games of Quake 3 Test and we even noticed some users switching over to Quake 2, Half-Life, SiN, Unreal, and Need for Speed High Stakes, so it wasn't entirely Quake from the perspective of the users that didn't make it all the way in the tourney.
Mike and I decided to attend Quakecon not because we simply rock at Quake (which we absolutely don't, although we love the game), but because it gave us a chance to see the hardware we'd been reviewing and testing in lab, in action. Quakecon was a completely different experience from the Comdex and E3 conventions we're used to at AnandTech, and I can honestly say that it was a very refreshing one. Not only did we get to meet a lot of AnandTech fans in person (all of which were very cool guys to hang out with) but we got to take a look at the systems you all are building and tweaking for your games, among the most popular items seen were overclocked Celerons, TNT2s, the ABIT BH6, unique cooling contraptions (no Kryotech systems though), and the high end users had fun showing off their Tyan Thunder 100 setups which were quite impressive for a gaming system. We even got a chance to take a peek at some more unique systems, such as a particularly small NLX based system, and even a user that willingly brought a G3 to play on (it seems like Mac users are as dedicated as PC users).
Although we'd love to be able to fly each and every one of AnandTech's readers down to Mesquite to experience Quakecon first hand, we can't, so we're giving you the next best thing, pictures. So without further ado let's get to the pictures of AnandTech at Quakecon '99...