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Saturday, August 16, 2008

BarCamp Leeds 2008
I'm currently at BarCamp Leeds {2008} and this year looks like it's going to be every bit as good as last year's one. I'll be updating this post throughout the day with info about the presentations I attend.
First up is a talk on '''Geocaching''' - an interesting modern take on a '''treasure hunt'''. I was surprised to hear about a lot of limitations over the commercial use of Geocaching - I had previously thought it was a completely open community affair along the lines of Open Street Map but it seems that there are many limitations over who is allowed to run Geocaching events due to it being run by a commercial venture.
Next up is the evercool Wolf (Paul Key) doing a talk on '''Ableton Live''' - a welcome change to the more geeky code-based talks. I'm really happy that this year a lot of different types of geek are represented, it's not just code, there is plenty of variety.
I've been really heartened this year by the amount of new people willing to do talks and Dean Vipond is another work colleague who's stepped up to do a talk on design vs. '''usability''' in the webspace - it's a bitter war that has been fought for many years but these days there is thankfully a lot more awareness over the issues even though no-one yet has a definitive answer. (I've also never heard '''Metroid Prime''', chocolate pudding and '''HM Revenues and Customs''' referred to in the same few sentences).
A great '''sushi''' lunch was followed by another superb talk by Tom Scott - he of removing fingerprints with pineapple and '''Talk Like a Pirate Day'''. I've had the pleasure of hearing Tom talk on a few occasions now and he never fails to amuse, entertain and inspire in equal doses.
The live link-up to BarCamp Omaha has just gone live - it's early in the morning on the other side of the Atlantic but I'm going to go and stick my head in there now and see what they've got planned for the day.
Have just had a very odd experience for a conference - discussing issues around design, usability, accessability and testing whilst playing with a '''ferret''' and a '''polecat''' (don't ask!).
I'm now listening to a discussion led by Ian Forrester on the Death of the '''iPod''' which is primarily based around a new device called a Pacemaker which turns everyone into a dj without having to cart a huge bunch of kit around. It does look very cool indeed as you can see on this video. It's still first generation and it's just less than 500 but I think the potential is there for it to go very big indeed with it's built-in cross-fade, 120Gb hard drive, effects, pitch change and many more features. I'd love to have a closer look and see how hackable it is.
One of the last sessions for today that I'm attending (before tonight's Wii-off competition) is How to Build an iPhone application in under 20 mins which I'm surprising my self by easily following despite not being a code-monkey myself.
Last, but by no means least, the fantastically named Katie Lips from Treasure my Text doing a great talk on the 12 13 mitsakes mistakes of new '''startups'''.
It's been a great day and thanks as usual to the inimitable Imran 'Silicon' Ali, Debs, Linda Broughton, Ross Brown, Dom 'The Hodge' and everyone else who helped to organise this year's event. Now I'm off for beer and the Wii-off.
There are more sessions tomorrow morning but unfortunately I'm not going to be able to make it - I hope it runs as well as today.

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