A new, and potentially one off Barcamp, hosted in a fantastic new venue? Where do I sign up?
Barcamp Mediacity, five years in the planning, was a fantastic experience. Organised by Ian Forrester (@cubicgarden on Twitter), this event oozed high quality. The venue, kindly provided by the BBC, was fantastic, offering space for groups to work, share ideas, and enjoy a few console games.
Blackpool LUG was there, ready and eager to take part in a full day of fantastic talks.
The attendees, and the talks themselves, lent heavily on software development, and general project methodologies. From starting up a business using lean / agile practices to Android and iPhone app development, the technical talks were excellent.
There were some, more interactive talks, a great session where you were encouraged to pick up an instrument, and create music, and an interesting talk about country music.
While there were some Linux powered laptops, it was a generally Mac heavy event. I did see Ubuntu’s unity interface dotted around the screens of a few laptops, but it seems that the Mac still dominates for this particular group.
A welcome addition to the event were the Manchester Girl Geeks in Residence, offering advice, and hosting talks, seeking to interest more women in a heavily male dominated tech industry.
#codelab was a hoax, but we didn’t tell anyone that it was a hoax, we built up the hype on twitter. Delivered a convincing session, then sat back and watched as the BBC swarmed around Alan, asking for interviews and more details.
And from this hoax, we have a new event, called Hack to the Future where we will be hosting workshops and sessions for 200 children.
Barcamp Mediacity was great, the venue and hospitality were fantastic, and the range of talks provided a real wealth of free information for attendees to tap in to. I hope that it is not a one off, as it provides a lot, but asks for very little .
I would recommend that people try a barcamp near to them. While they are not a true Linux event, you can always host a talk about Linux, and give away a few CDs to interested parties. Barcamps give you the chance to talk about any subject, so go on…find one now.
Retro gaming has seen a resurgence in recent years. What with Xbox Live, PSN and Wii, offering downloadable games at little cost.
But there are some, myself included, who still love to play old games consoles, and at R3PLAY their dreams came true.
There were hundreds of different ways to play retro games on the day.
Imported Japanese cabinets lined the hall as you entered, retro consoles lined in great rows, everything free to play, and there were even some obscure kit that never made it to the UK. Pinball machines harked back to days when flashing lights and loud music ruled the arcades.
I was truly amazed at how much choice there was. Megadrive, SNES, PC Engine, Amigas (My personal favourites), NES, Atari Lynx, Commodore machines everywhere (including my first computer, a Commodore 16).
I met up with Heed, and we scoured the event, looking for games from our youth. Instantly I found THE game of my youth, Star Wars. When I was about six years old, this game was my life, I was a rebel pilot, and Vader was going down!
Not only were there retro games, but there were some new games too. Halo Reach LAN parties, Street Fighter IV contests, Goldeneye for the Wii (I still prefer the N64 version LOL).
There was a massive stall by a company called Console Passion, there stall had loads of consles, games and odditities to excite the retro gamer, in fact I was sorely tempted to buy from them, until I saw the Retro GT stall, I had to buy a Street Fighter Dragon Punch T-Shirt, and a Doom, red key card wallet
The day was great, I’ll be there again this year, taking half of Blackpool LUG with me.
Take a look at the rest of my pictures here