‘Twas a fine cool clear day and ideal for a:
barcamp Blackpool 2012
Rather than a whimsical seaside story, here’s a brief rundown of various bits that I noticed. Those wanting the thousands of words, please skip down to the pretty pictures Others have also posted their various other pictures/videos.
This year the barcamp had new organisers with Les and Lally and a new venue at the Norbreck Castle Hotel (Britannia Hotels). And it all worked very well and with great informative interesting fun all round. Les has given a brief mention in Linux Format LXF165, page 14. Lally has her organiser’s writeup also.
Simply, it all worked rather well and was a very good expanded follow-on from the great events from previous years. The new venue is much better accommodating for larger numbers of people. The hospitality was good. Someone even kindly did a quick runner around the corner to get supplies of coffee to keep the geeks geekie. About the only addition possible would be a barrel of real ale for the bar Also, geek up a bluetooth registration to go all paperless?
(Some of) The Sessions:
This a brief-ish summary of what I remember from the day…
- Global Warming/Heating – The Big One!
- Future of Broadcast + IPTV, Perceptive Media
- Concrete5 CMS – Easy to use, Made by Geeks
- Geek Fit / Hit People With Swords!
- Stitching Electronics Demo
- Instruments of Time Through The Science Museum (A Short Sample of Time!)
- Working With Arduino AVR
- @Shrimping It With £1.40 in 10 Minutes
- A Free (Libre) Software Network Infrastructure
- Code a Better Country
- Crowd Source My Dissertation
- HTML5 on the Raspberry Pi
- Really Really Useful Tools For The Windows IT Pro
- How Computing Drove The Music Industry
- Beer, Food, Entertainment
Global Warming/Heating – The Big One!
I kicked off one of the first sessions appropriately in “The Big One” with a brief summary of Global Warming, but importantly with a straw poll of what the audience thought from what they had seen and heard for themselves. I find it utterly amazing for the unbelievable level of FUD and confusion that has been spread by lobbyists, conspiracy websites, and sensationalist media reporting. No wonder most people are completely befuddled beyond caring. Unfortunately, the audience response confirmed that befuddlement, despite any/all evidence that it really is we ourselves that are significantly and ever more quickly industrially polluting our planet into a very different and most likely a very unfavorable climate.
A few links to try:
- The day the world went mad – As record sea ice melt scarcely makes the news…, is there a form of reactive denial at work?
- Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years …’global disaster’ is now unfolding in northern latitudes
- Greenhouse gases hit record high (That article is a good readable summary of: WMO Press Release 965, Greenhouse Gas Concentrations Reach New Record)
- The climate change deniers: influence out of all proportion to science Reiterated in possibly a first-of-its-kind credibility study:
- It is time for the judiciary to step in and avert climate catastrophe (My personal comment on that: Is this for real, or a cynical call for yet more procrastination that comes with highly profitable litigation expenses?…)
- 10 Indicators of a Human Fingerprint on Climate Change (All nothing new, we’ve known since the 1800’s: Joseph Fourier, John Tyndall.)
- The consequences: 20 Deadliest Effects of Global Warming
- European Environment Agency reports Climate change evident across Europe
- UN says carbon cuts too slow to curb dangerous warming … global attempts to curb emissions of CO2 are falling well short of what is needed to stem dangerous climate change. … target is still technically achievable. But the opportunity is likely to be lost without swift action by governments…
Unfortunately, all the environmental consequences look to steer us away from the thousands of years of benign climate and weather that have helpfully combined to allow the human race to flourish to where we are now… So why now spoil the party?
Future of Broadcast + IPTV, Perceptive Media
This was a live demonstration of an interesting twist being explored for broadcast radio and similar broadcast media. Rather than have (expensive, small audience) local radio and local TV, instead have the one broadcast that is then customized depending upon the receiver/audience locality… An analogy given is that of telling a campfire story. You have the one well known well spun story, but the telling is different depending upon the audience and the ambiance and the audience response. A good story teller is sensitive to that and changes the way the story is told to best fit the particular audience at that time.
In the web example demonstrated, the lift/elevator voice is a speech synthesizer running in the host web browser. The programmed responses are modified by the detected location of the web browser so as to include familiar references such as the current weather outside, nearest shopping centre, landmarks, and so on, to give a ‘local feel’ to the exchange. (The cynical may be rightly suspicious of Marketing subverting that for product placement…)
Try it out on Breaking Out and give feedback. See further details on:
Concrete5 CMS – Easy to use, Made by Geeks
This was a rapid-fire live demo of concrete5 CMS.
The main aspects of note are the very tidy html/css/php coding and WYSIWYG in-context editing to edit website content directly on the page that you are viewing. There is also a form of versioning so that changed content is only visible to the person doing the editing until the modified page is released.
Geek Fit / Hit People With Swords!
Stitching Electronics Demo
There were various examples shown of flashing LEDs stitched into clothing and fabrics.
There is very flexible conductive thread available to stitch the volts together. All is supposedly washable. And all good fun, but rather clunky for the size of the control boards/units and batteries.
Instruments of Time Through The Science Museum (A Short Sample of Time!)
Here I gave a tour through time and time pieces as shown in the Science Museum through to where we are now in time. All that ofcourse is but a mere briefest moment fleetingly past in the vast time of our universe. Causality and a few effects and synchronization and consequences were rushed over until I ran out of time.
After all that, the best that can be said of time is:
- Time is that measured by clocks;
- Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.
We now have clocks that are more precise than the heavens. However, what more can we say about time?
Working With Arduino AVR
Usual good and well established Arduino fun made all the more fun with the following talk:
@Shrimping It With £1.40 in 10 Minutes
This is quite a beautiful knock-out minimal cost response to the interest in the much more elaborate Raspberry Pi. Instead go Shrimping It! Not quite an ‘Arduino‘, but it has the same programming and is very capable at minimal cost.
A Free (Libre) Software Network Infrastructure
An interesting aim long long overdue in the world of FLOSS and GNU/Linux systems: To put together a FLOSS network suit/framework that integrates the present separate networking tools and packages to create a cohesive ‘one’ network system to give a ‘single point’ comprehensive network administration and a single sign-on for users.
Why should proprietary vendors be the only ones to
dumb down ease network administration and network user authentication/sign-on?…
Code a Better Country
Give that man a gold star for excellence beyond the call of duty! Fabulous enthusiasm flying in the face of bureaucracy to do some real teaching for IT to children.
- How to run a school hack day: live blog
- Inspiration for a school hack day: what, where, why and how
- Hack to the future now! Don’t hang around for Michael Gove’s computer science curriculum changes, our blogger says plenty can be done straight away…
Crowd Source My Dissertation
A room full of ideas in true FLOSS style to brainstorm options for a dissertation.
HTML5 on the Raspberry Pi
A blazingly fast implementation of a subset of HTML5 features was demoed on a Raspberry Pi, very much in real time! There is good performance to be had out of even modest hardware.
Really Really Useful Tools For The Windows IT Pro
Err… Anything more than Textpad, Wordpad, DOS prompt, Ultimate Boot, and err… Use a Linux LiveCD/USB for recovery?…
How Computing Drove The Music Industry
A very good and entertaining talk from someone very much involved in the music scene and immersed in the introduction of the emerging computer tech into the world of pop music. Amazing what was done with such ‘primitive’ hardware!
Beer, Food, Entertainment
OK… So the best bet was to go with the lager, but the food was good and the entertainment was LOUD!
We were also treated to a fun session by the retro gaming couple and saw/heard the delight of loading up an old ZX Spectrum from the audio output from a modern day iPhone from a downloaded iTunes copy of an old program tape cassette! And it worked first time!!! Phew!
And a few pictures from the day:
Various other Pictures and Videos for Barcamp Blackpool 2012
- Barcamp Blackpool 2012 – ramblings from an organiser by lallyd
- flickr Barcamp Blackpool 2012
- Tim Dobson: A short video I made of Barcamp Blackpool 2012
- Arran Gallagher: Fencing at Barcamp Blackpool video
- Google Images view of Barcamp Blackpool 2012