Hi Folks, just thought I’d report back on my experiences at Barcamp Liverpool as promised and also what else has happend in the last week or so. On Wednesday Dec 3rd I attended the Liverpool LUG meeting at the Fact Building in town, we had a great talk about using the Wiimote with Linux from Andrew Williams. Sadly it seems we missed some people while we were upstairs doing the talk, this is a real shame and we’re working on solutions to prevent this in future. Perhaps a neon glowing tux would be nice but not the most environmentally friendly solution hehe 🙂
I did a quick install of Crunchbang Linux on Friday in between editing and other work, this was just to take a quick look and it’s very interesting. It’s a British distro so it obviously wins points from me for that but it’s based on Ubuntu and uses Openbox, so it’s a little different. Fab will be reviewing it on the podcast soon so I thought I should take a look for myself and I’d like to do a proper in depth review soon.
At the weekend it was on to Barcamp Liverpool at the Novas Centre. Well over 100 geeks and techy types coming together to share ideas, network, play Werewolf (a phenomena I don’t fully understand but it’s VERY popular) and generally have fun. I wasn’t sure what to expect as this was my first time at this kind of event but I would recommend it to anyone interested in technology and meeting like-minded folks. The event was sponsored in part by Microsoft and the crowd there was a little different to what I normally find at FLOSS events, this is a good thing and a bonus really. I like to think I’m an open minded guy and I respect that others have different outlooks (no pun intended) and philosophies about software and a whole host of other things. It was interesting to talk to people who are involved with Microsoft and other traditionally proprietary companies about their jobs and their opinions. It’s very easy for us as open source advocates to sit in our own little corner and tell each other how fantastic we are, feeling all superior but it doesn’t do us any good. We have to get out of our comfort zone and engage with others and crucially, do it in a civilized manner. We can listen to their ideas and they hopefully will listen to ours, so we all get something out of it. I think that’s the only way forward.
Anyway, enough lecturing, there were a lot of great talks at the event which I enjoyed immensely. I will have to get my arse in gear and write a talk of my own for the next one, that’s a plan. The party on Saturday night was sponsored by Microsoft with a lot of free drinks for attendees, so I’d like to say thanks to them for that. You never thought you’d read that on this site did you but it’s true, it doesn’t change my philosophy or opinions on their business practices but you can’t always judge an individual by the company they work for. A lot of the prizes for the various competitions and things were also provided by MS. While some may dispute whether a copy of Vista is really a prize, the recipients all seemed very happy and I’m happy for them.
My friend Adrian McEwen from Liverpool LUG won the startup competition also nicknamed Bitchin’ Pitches, the competition was nicknamed I mean not Adrian, unless he has something to tell us. His project is very cool and he’s created a device that intelligently monitors household power consumption among other things. Cool idea and well worth a look I think.
So, to sum up I had a lot of fun, met a lot of interesting folks and I’d recommend the experience to anyone. If there is an event like this near you go and check it out. Massive thanks to Katie Lips and everyone else who worked so hard to make this event happen, I think it’s fair to say it was successful. It was also good fun to hang out with JonTheNiceGuy and others. Hope to see you all at the next Barcamp.
I’ll report back again soon, till then, take care of yourselves
Please Note: The Barcamp picture above was taken from Flickr and originally posted by CubicGarden