sharkfest logo

I was invited to attend Sharkfest ’08, a conference for Wireshark users and developers, held March 31-April 2 at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. I had a great time, and am so grateful that Gerald invited me to attend. I attended as a Wireshark developer since I actively maintain the BACnet dissector. I went to the conference with several goals in mind:

  1. Figure out how to do BACnet segmentation
  2. Figure out how to get BACnet MS/TP into libpcap/winpcap.
  3. Add a couple of BACnet dissector enhancements to Wireshark.
  4. Learn about using Wireshark for problem network analysis.

I attended Laura Chappell’s training sessions, and learned a whole lot about Network analysis and the love-hate relationship between TCP/IP SYN, ACK, and Keepalives (#4 completed). I also wrote some Wireshark code during the classes which I promply submitted (#3 completed). Loris came into the activity center and sat down with my son Joshua and me, and so we discussed how to integrate BACnet MS/TP RS485 from serial port into libpcap/winpcap (#2 completed). On the last day and the last session of the conference, I attended a session by Richard Sharpe about file sharing protocols and learned about Wireshark conversations (#1 completed).

Vint Cerf and Gerald Combs

We were treated to an inspiration talk on Tuesday morning by Vint Cerf. After the talk, I went to Laura’s session, and Joshua talked to Vint. Vint signed Joshua’s Half-Life player guide, had photos taken with Vint and Gerald, and the Wireshark crew gave Joshua some swag.

Gerald treated the developers to dinner on Tuesday night at Trader Vic’s. I drove to dinner with Joshua and Jaap Keuter, and learned about PBX systems and Jaap’s passion for skydiving. At dinner I sat next to Ulf Lamping and learned about yet another division of Siemens and about Ulf’s love for motorcycle riding. Guy Harrris and Mike sat across from me. Joshua ate with Gerald’s wife and daughter, and John Bruno’s wife.

The Foothill College campus was beautiful and on Spring Break. The food was awesome and plentiful. The people were great! The Wireshark sessions were helpful. Maybe I will get to attend next year.