Aug 20

Dorkbot Bristol

Handle with Care, its an Amstrad

Handle with Care, it's an Amstrad

Last night we gathered at the Pervasive Media Studio for the second in the Dorkbot Show’n’Tell series. Sam Downie gave us an introduction to life casting and some of the technologies he’s been using in his internet radio and video casting shows. There was also a large swag bag from the last MacWorld that Sam was trying to get rid of generously giving away.

John Honniball then stepped up and showed some of his near inexhaustible range of old junk that too many of us recognised from our early brushes with technology. Whereas we used and abused these artefacts, John has accumulated, restored and demonstrates them. But not the Amstrad in the picture; thanks to Sir Alan Sugar’s engineering/business acumen, the plastic has degraded to the point that it has to be handled with latex gloves to prevent getting decomposed Amstrad all over your hands. Nasty.

We also had an introduction to SWiM from Tom Holder. Since a large portion of the audience were involved in web development, there was a ton of interest. Some great questions about authentication and the quality assurance for the apps store that they’re planning rounded out a great evening. Thanks to Sam & his Eye-Fi card for the photo and to Rachel for organising. More Dorkbot photos on Flickr soon I’m sure.

May 02

Open Coffee launch details


I mentioned earlier on Twitter that I was hoping to confirm some additional support for Open Coffee, well Starbucks are getting behind us and offering free coffee, free muffins and free WiFi to attendees of Open Coffee at 9am Tuesday, 6 May.

We’ll be downstairs at the Starbucks on Park Street (map).

Kick off will be from 9am but some folks will be there before and you’re obviously welcome to stay as long as you like. Rosie (the interim Store Manager) has offered free coffee until 11am.

Hopefully this will be a long term partnership for digital companies in Bristol. The next 3 Open Coffee meetings are already scheduled in for 20 May, 3 June and 17 June.

All the details are on the Upcoming group, I’ll be talking about them here and on Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else that folks will be checking out. I’m also hoping to get notes put in BEN event announcements, Creative Technology Network, Bristol Media, Business Link, etc. The purpose is to give those companies (or start-ups) that are building growth businesses in digital software, services or media have an additional physical network to augment their online networks and wider business support services.

See you there!

Mar 31

Shifting sands of conversation

Normally I’d be sat here writing up tonight’s event in the Watershed featuring the Pervasive Media Sandbox mid-term report / presentation thing.

But I’ve already done that on Twitter.

In fact there were at least 2 others twittering (@iamdanw & @sammachin) and I suspect a few others as well. The inimitable Scoble has noted that he’s pretty much on Twitter now and a quick perusal of his blog shows much reduced posting activity. Whereas he’s allegedly tracking 16,000 Twitter feeds (which is quite likely given previous form).

So what does that mean for this blog?

Well I’m not really in the business of reporting on events and stuff. I’m not a geek-hound rooting out the latest technologies and dissecting / discussing them.

I am a business developer with an engineering background and research credentials, working in some pretty interesting areas (at least I think they’re interesting). So I’m going to try and write a few thought pieces relating to what I’m doing. These roughly fall into 3 categories music, education, entrepreneurship; with business development and digital technologies as a common thread.

Lets see how things turn out.

Mar 11

MoMo London – goin’ underground

Last night’s MoMo London was hosted by TFL and the presentations were on how technology was being used to the benefit travellers (almost exclusively in London, and largely on the underground).

Dan Appelquist got in a quick plug for Over the Air with BBC Backstage and Imperial College – mobile hackathone over 4-5th April; aiming for 450 developers. I think it’s a bit hardcore dev for me but I’m sure folks from Bristol are going (from the twitter-stream it looks like Dan Hilton, Dan W and Sam Machin are going at least).

Anyway, back to the evening; there was a sustained procession of projects, presenters, technology, slides, data, some information, and more than a few technology hiccups. Being in a bunker under the museam rather put the kybosh on mobile/gps demo’s other than canned examples. Everything was QIK‘d but the resolution and sound isn’t that great in places. Hopefully slides, etc will be posted shortly.

In general the Nokia 6131 received lots of kudos for its NFC with lots of contactless payment ideas being trialled and prototyped. There was some good networking going on (caught up with Chris Gare and his just launched Trymehere product, and found out about Cloud Made and their mobile focussed mapping from Nick; though I managed to miss Josie) the slight overrun and my skinflint purchase of a cheap non-transferable train ticket back to Bristol meant I had to dash ‘early’.

Mar 11

Meeting the Mighty Jungulator

Heading back from Coventry last week on the train I bumped in to Matthew from iamthemightjungulator fresh from a gig at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital.

After we reminisced about the Jungulator development with Futurelab and caught up on latest news, he proudly showed off the latest toy he’s playing with – 3D Harmonium. The sound it produced was pretty awful but the visual was very cool, certainly helped pass the time between Birmingham & Bristol!