We’re looking forward to THATCamp Texas, which is now just a few days away. Before everyone arrives, we wanted to give you some information about logistics. Please forgive the length, but we’ve got a lot to cover!

1) Where to Go, When to Get There

BootCamp sessions will run on Friday from 9 until 4:30, with breaks for sustenance and socializing. If you’ve registered for the first BootCamp session, please arrive at the Digital Media Center, Herring 129 (home base for Friday), by 8:45 a.m. Except for the sessions on Simple Augmented Reality, Regular Expressions, and Arduino Micro-Controllers, all BootCamp sessions are full—in fact, they will probably be a little crowded, but we wanted to accommodate as many people as we could. On Friday, we probably won’t be providing food until lunchtime. (Unless you’ve made other arrangements, we’ll be having banh mi sandwiches on Friday. Yum!). We plan to end around 4:30.

THATCamp Texas will kick off at 9 a.m. on Saturday with breakfast. We’ll congregate in the Kyle Morrow Room in Fondren Library, which is on the third floor of the building. Anyone who does not have a Rice ID will need to enter on the east (Central Quad/ Willy’s Statue) side of the building.

Not sure where Fondren Library and Herring Hall are? Check out the THATCamp Texas map, available as a PDF or Google Map.

2) Where to Park

You have several options for parking, including:

  • the Central Garage, the most expensive option ($1 for every 15 minutes, with a maximum of $11/day), but closest to THATCamp events
  • the West Lot ($1 for every 30 minutes, with a maximum of $11/day), about a five minute walk from THATCamp events
  • the Greenbriar Lot, which costs $1/day and is about 15 minutes away from THATCamp events

3) What to Do Before THATCamp Texas

To get the most out of THATCamp Texas, we strongly encourage you to:

a) post a brief session proposal to the THATCamp Texas blog, texas2011.thatcamp.org/ (you should have already been sent login info, but let us know if you have any trouble)

b) read and comment on session proposals contributed by your fellow THATCampers. Some exciting ideas are being shared on the THATCamp Texas blog, so we encourage you to dive in (if you haven’t already.)

c) follow thatcamptexas on Twitter. We hope that THATCampers trade ideas and build community via Twitter, and we encourage everyone to use #thatcampTX for THATCamp-related exchanges. If you’re new to Twitter, see chronicle.com/blogPost/blogPost-content/26065/ for a useful introduction.

4) What to Bring

a. A laptop, particularly if you plan to participate in a BootCamp session. (We will have a few laptops available for the BootCamp sessions.) If you’re not from Rice, you should be able to connect to the wireless network as a visitor; see docs.rice.edu/confluence/display/ITTUT/Connect+on-campus

Remember, if you have signed up for the TEI workshop, you should download and install the trial version of Oxygen from www.oxygenxml.com/download_oxygenxml_editor.html

Likewise, if you will be participating in the ggplot2 workshop, please install Rstudio (www.rstudio.org/), and then inside Rstudio run the following R code: install.packages(“ggplot2″).

b. A powerstrip/ extension cord if you’ll need to recharge your laptop battery

c. Business cards to pass out to your new friends

d. Brochures and other hand-outs related to your project(s)

e. Questions, ideas and energy

f. $20 or so, if you are able to chip in to help cover the costs of THATCamp Texas.  (And thanks again to our sponsor, Fondren Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship.)

5) What Will Happen During THATCamp Texas

What distinguishes THATCamp is that its participants set the agenda. During our first session on Saturday at 9:30 a.m., we will collectively determine the schedule based on the session proposals that people have contributed to the blog, as well as new ideas that come up during the discussion. For more on how this will work, see thatcamp.org/plan/during/scheduling/ We hope that people who have proposed sessions will agree to serve as facilitators for them, which means that they will be responsible for initiating the conversation, moderating the discussion, and keeping time.

THATCamp is meant to be collaborative, informal, productive, non-hierarchical, inter-professional, transdisciplinary, small, open, cheap and, most of all, fun (see thatcamp.org/about/ for a more complete explanation.) There won’t be any formal presentations; instead, we will engage in open conversation and hands-on play.

During lunch on Saturday, we’ll hold “DorkShorts,” where you will have the opportunity to give a two or three minute “elevator speech” about a project.

6) What Will Happen After the BootCamp and THATCamp Texas

After spending an intense day at the BootCamp and at THATCamp Texas, unwind with fellow THATCampers. On Friday, April 15, we plan to assemble outside of Valhalla, Rice’s graduate student bar around 4:30 (weather permitting). If you prefer coffee or soda to cheap (and I mean cheap) beer, grab a beverage at the Pavilion and join us. Look for me.

After we wrap up THATCamp Texas on Saturday around 6:15, we’ll head over to the Rice Village, which is about a 15-20 minute walk away (or you can park in the Village or in the Greenbriar lot). We haven’t made reservations anywhere, since we don’t know how many people to expect. However, we’ll probably end up at the Ginger Man, a local favorite. For those seeking food, check out:

· Pasha or Istanbul Grill: Turkish

· Patu’s: Thai

· D’Amico’s: Italian

· Yum Yum Cha: dim sum

· Shiva: Indian

· Ruggles: sandwiches, salads, soups, pastries

· the Chocolate Bar: ice cream, pastries and more

· Salento: coffee

A little pricier:

· Café Rabelais: French

· Benjy’s: New American

· Prego: Italian

See also Yelp and the Rice student restaurant guide.

7) Who to Contact

If you need to get in touch, feel free to contact:

· Digital Media Center (Friday): 713-348-3635

Also, keep your eyes on the THATCamp Texas web site.

Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. We look forward to seeing you in a few days!