Feb 28

Bath Geek Meet

Big thanks to Joe for posting on Upcoming.

The Raven in Bath was the venue, free wifi and good beer were the lubricants, and lively geek-focused discussion the order of the evening. Sam and James turned up to pitch in with all things mobile and infrastructure related (cheers for the lift home Sam).

Brian Kelly (UKOLN) was already there and we quickly got into discussions about the web in Universities and managing digital information.

Shortly after the first beer another geek group were attracted by the various mobile phones, pda’s and internet tablets that were merrily twittering, bluetooth jacking and generally taking up drinking space. Unfortunately I didn’t get names for everyone (the Raven is quite popular with non-geeks also which made circulating tricky).

Dan Hilton and a few others started compiling a directory of companies in the Bath and Bristol area that everyone knows (IMDB being the prime example), but few realise are local. Then they moved on to some of the less well known ones but that are pretty significant in valuation terms.

Tim Perrett explained how he was delivering communication management systems for major blue chip clients that are finally realising that they don’t have to send out 7 welcome letters every time you buy a new set-top box, and they can save a bundle on postage charges at the same time. I had a chat with Jon Stethridge (Unique Media) about his internet video business and the work he’s doing down in Falmouth with their media graduates. That brought us on to the issue of bandwidth into the far south west of the region and punting HD files between Falmouth, Bristol and London (which prompted Sam to remind me afterwards to never to underestimate the bandwidth of a Ford Transit full of backup tapes).

Tim Beadle and Tim Penn (didn’t catch a last name) arrived a little later and we soon got into stories from behind the Iron Curtain and the serialisation of stories through blogs and authors’ differing motivations for writing. Richard Harrison (Pluggable) was floating between conversations also, talking about web development and php amongst other things.

A cracking evening all round and still in full swing when we headed back to Bristol.

–UPDATE – added links to Tim Penn’s KnackeredHack & Brian’s blog, UK Web Focus