Archive for the ‘webstock’ Category
The annual web-geek olympics, Full Code Press, was held in Wellington this year.
Here are a few of my snaps from the 24 hours spent at the town hall:
Get your banners at the Webstock banners page
So some fellows are keen to set up a Meraki network here in Wellington. Great idea!
I had a very brief play with one of the units on the weekend and it indeed is childishly simple to set up.
The signal wasn’t really strong enough for my wild garden and hillside terrain, but in an area that’s a little more densely populated this is going to rock. My plan had been to see if I’d be able to access my Meraki unit at the beach. I was dreaming, as the units only have a range of 50 metres (not 250 metres, about the distance to the beach). No great loss, what kind of nerd goes to the beach to access a wireless network?
The idea behind the “TheFreeNet – Aotearoa” is to provide free wireless broadband via a mesh network. This is a group of generous folks who share some of their bandwidth through a series of Meraki minis.
What a cool night, one of my fav Webstock Minis for sure. I found Leigh’s presentation on Second Life fascinating. I hadn’t seen/used Second Life before so it was an education to learn about the interface, greifers, teleporting, camp fires, and all the other second life wackiness.
Leigh struck me as a very smart guy who thinks freshly and imaginatively about everything.
One example in his presentation was to not only see the huge potential that Second Life has, particularly in relation to the education sector, but his observations about one of the forward thinking educational institutions that already utilise Second Life demonstrated this.
I loved the hilarious analogy he made between early cinema and Second Life: a tobacco ad from circa 1897 which was filmed as though it was a stage production (pre the era of edits, cuts and all the usual film industry post-production goodness that we’re accustomed to); and a Second Life learning environment that resembled a lecture theatre. A case of new technology (film), but still using the paradigm of the old technology (stage). Second Life is at a similar stage. Anyhoo, he has much better write-up on his site.
It was great to meet Leigh and Sunshine; they’re both absolutely lovely people and dog lovers too. Charlie Bird took a particular liking to Sunshine!
The highlights of his talk included the demo of some of Firefox 3’s new features that included:
- support for Ogg Theora video (absolutely brilliant news for Linux users if it gains better support)
- the SVG support
- the re-iteration of the mission of the Mozilla Foundation. It’s about keeping the web open for everyone and stopping a monopoly from controlling it. Put another way, “taking back the web”. It’s for all of us, not just those with the money or means to control it.
The Grand Finale was the debate. Rowan made a great moderator, and the old classroom debating format was used. All the participants were superb, and there were plenty of “icanhascheezburger” references to keep me amused. However, Mike “1.0” Brown stole the show with a fantastic argument – “Web 2.0” is nothing more than a conspiracy by the letter “r” [although by definition conspiracy involves more than one party, so surely the number “2” is also involved? Or is it “0”, that until recently indivisible enigma….] Judging by the number of bloggers mentioning Mike’s performance (too many to link to), everyone loves a good conspiracy theory. Great fun, and the video will be available soon on the Webstock site.
After that, it was on to Sweet Mothers Kitchen for gumbo and hot sauce. That seems to be becoming a Webstock Mini tradition, and with such tasty gumbo and boom boom chicken long may it endure.
There are heaps of blog posts about it, Peter Griffin (of the NZ Herald, not the cartoon series) has a nice summary here.
A huge thanks to Richard Naylor and Jeremy Naylor for recording, hosting the recordings, the sound, providing the internet connection, and the all the other technical support.
Lastly, big ups to Tash for doing the bulk of the organisation on this one…
Yesterday marked the fifth birthday of bucketFountain. I find it pretty amazing, I have a shockingly bad memory but I can clearly remember the day I set the site up (a tiny desk; a Dell laptop with a series of keys that didn’t work; two very shifty aussie flatmates in a shite flat in London; a warm sunny day; it was late afternoon…). It doesn’t seem like yesterday, so I guess that’s what five years feels like.
Also, this time last year we were enjoying the weekend after Webstock 2006. That seems like much longer than 12 months ago!
w00t! The next Webstock mini has been announced (Tuesday 19 June) and it promises to be a cracker.
One of my idols and a key contributor to Mozilla’s rendering engine, Gecko, Robert O’Callahan, will give us a preview of Firefox 3. He’s a software hero who like so many important Kiwi’s is virtually unheard of in his own country.
Leigh Blackall is lined up to explain and demonstrate Second Life. There’s no Linux client as far as I know, so that’s my excuse for not having tried it out yet. I’m looking forward to seeing it for the first time….
There’s also going to be a debate in the final session (which follows the second round of networking) which will be highly entertaining.
Michael ‘Koz’ Koziarski will also present a half day workshop on Ruby on Rails for beginners. He’s one of the core developers of Ruby on Rails so you don’t get a much better opportunity to learn than that! It’s a steal at $300 bucks, and I think constitutes far better value than most training courses.
Last nights Webstock Mini went really well. I’ve read Rod Drury’s blog for a few months now and it was great to see him speak. He presented his latest baby, xero, and discussed the process used to develop the interaction design. It’s something that I’d like to do more of, but alas budgets don’t often allow time for much of this.
Peter Gutmann spoke next about the Copyright Amendment Bill. He demonstated pretty clearly that the bill was probably more for the protection of corporate IP than cultural or personal treasures. I know at least one attendee who will be making a submission based on his talk. If anyone reads this in time you can make a submission here or find more information at Stephen Marshall’s site. You’ll have to be quick though, as submissions close this Friday the 9th.
We finished up with a 10*2 session (ten speakers with two minutes each) which went really well, although the MC-ing was a little dodgy… =)
As usual, it was great to meet and catch up with people and leave feeling inspired about the industry.
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