Like every other geek in the known universe who had any kind of badge to this year's Comic-Con, we were up early, at the computers by 7:58 am PDT, ready to poke the enter button and get into the 2013 Comic-Con pre-registration site. We'd honed our skills in the lottery earlier this year, trying to get badges for the 2012 Con, not having understood things well enough to know we should have given up valuable 2011 Con time standing in the line for the 2012 pre-registration.
Only 2 of us had won the 2012 lottery. One snagged badges for Thursday and Sunday, the other only got in Sunday. But that was sure more than anyone else. Unfortunately, that meant only 2 were eligible for 2013 pre-registration.
We had 3 computers (2 Macs and an iPad) trying to get in the site. The iPad won, and was 7609 in the waiting room line. Figuring we were set, we spent a tense 30 minutes watching the screen. First there was the message they were dealing with a technical problem. Then there was the fear we'd lost the link, because it was supposed to refresh every 120 seconds, and the intervals between changes was much longer.
Finally we were number 158. Then we were in.
In the time it took to buy a 4-day with preview night badge, they sold out that category. So we were only able were able to get a 4-day badge for the other person.
We kept another computer (waiting room number 24568) connected so we could follow things. 4-day badges had sold out by the 8:39 refresh. Saturday badges were sold out by the 8:55 refresh. By the 8;57 update the Friday badges were gone. By 9:10 only Sunday badges were available. Then we came to the front of the line and gave up our place so someone could buy a badge.
All this is a far cry from the first Comic-Con we attended, in the 1990's. We just drove down, parked under the convention center and bought a badge. It was all about comics then. Now it is so, so much more.