The first OggCamp in Wolverhampton. Photo credit - @biglesp on Twitter

Hello everyone, it’s been a really long time since I updated the blog so I hope you’re all well. As some of you may know it’s the 10th anniversary of OggCamp this year, 2019. How can it be 10 years since we all gathered in that hotel function room in Wolverhampton for the first one?! A sobering thought indeed. We’re holding an event in Manchester this October 19th & 20th to celebrate and you don’t want to miss it.

A photo of the presenters lined up on stage at the first OggCamp in Wolverhampton
The first OggCamp in Wolverhampton. Photo credit – @biglesp on Twitter

For the uninitiated OggCamp is the largest community organised FOSS and Free Culture event in the UK. It includes not just techy stuff but art, music and more. I’m proud to have been one of the main organisers since the beginning. In past years we’ve had many hundreds of people come and join in. In 2012 I even managed to get the one and only Stephen Fry to do a talk for us via video, remember that? Still not sure how I managed that but maybe I’m more persuasive than I thought.

OggCamp is free to attend, it always has been and in my opinion it always should be. Many people give donations in return for their tickets but it’s not a requirement. Anyone can come along and we pride ourselves on that. Regardless of financial means, age, religion, race, disability, sexuality or any other distinction. We’re a broad church and all are welcome. The event does cost money to run though, and that’s what I’d like to talk to you about today.

Show us the money! Photo credit: www.SeniorLiving.Org CC BY-SA

I’m currently on the hunt for sponsors to support OggCamp19 and while we don’t need a fortune we’re still 3000-4000 pounds short of where we need to be. That’s just being transparent and frank with you as I always am. We’re still 6 months away from the big day so there’s no panic yet, this is not an emergency post by any means. I just want to raise awareness.

So if you know of a company or organisation who may be interested in supporting this unique event and gaining great promotion in return, not to mention our eternal gratitude, please download the sponsor pack PDF and send it to them. It might be where you work or it might be somewhere else entirely, it’s up to you. Please help us spread the word!


It may also be worth pointing out that sponsorships are tax deductible and we’re VAT registered through Public Software CIC. So for companies and organisations it may not even cost anything in real terms.

A massive thank you for taking the time to read this and help out. I’ll back back soon with more details about OggCamp. The ticket launch, accommodation info and more. We hope to see many of you there in October 🙂

Until then, take care of yourselves,


Tagged with: , ,

The inspiration for the title, great film.

Film poster for Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead

The inspiration for the title, great film.

Hello everyone, it’s been a while since my last post but not the traditional 12 month gap at least. There’s so much to update you on but this is where I normally apologise for how long it’s taken me to write something. Well guess what? I’m not going to apologise for that any more, not because I am uncaring or aloof. Just because I have been ill and often I don’t have the time or energy to post. It’s just a fact of life and I don’t know why I felt the need to say sorry all the time. I think part of the problem for me is that a serious blog post normally means 2000+ words and that’s a big undertaking, or at least it seems it. So perhaps I will try some shorter posts as time goes on. You will have noticed my Twitter output has gone into overdrive in recent weeks possibly, this is because I feel a bit more energetic and treatment has been going well. There’s lots of life stuff to relate and I might not even get through it all in one go, let’s see. (Note to self: Good business strategy this Dan, keep them coming back for more muwahahaha)…

When last we spoke I was getting ready to help with Liverpool MakeFest at the end of June with a big team of awesome people. We did that and the event was brilliant, as it always is. It was a lot of work and I was dog tired by the end but it’s so worth it. I feel so happy every time I see a kid discover that they can make things themselves and it isn’t some exclusive club, or perhaps just that they aren’t as weird or different as they thought they were. Besides, what’s wrong with weird anyway?! It’s a lot better than being boring I can tell you that. Everything went off well and I should really write a long overdue “wrap up/thank you” post on the official MakeFest blog to thank everyone who contributed properly. I may get to that after this but we’ll see. So since MakeFest life has been pretty damn busy I gotta say. Where to begin? Probably at the beginning, seems as good a place as any. (more…)

Hello everyone, it’s been a very long time. I hope you are all good. In my last post (over 6 months ago now!) I said I’d be writing more often and talking about things other than my ongoing health situation. Well that hasn’t happened has it? Apologies for that. I did want to write today though to tell you about some exciting things I’ve done, or hopefully will be doing in future. I’m hesitant to make any promises about the amount of activity there’ll be. Let’s just see how it goes hey.

A big thanks to everyone who continues to ask about my health. There isn’t a lot to report but I am doing OK. Illness is still limiting what I can do a lot on a daily basis but I always keep a positive attitude. I’m also trying to explore some new avenues with a private doctor. I recently started taking antibiotics again and there are some other potential treatments to come but I think that’s enough on that for now. If there’s anything significant to report I will let you know I promise 🙂 (more…)

A side on photo of the HP Microserver Gen8 with the case open

HP Microserver Gen8 – case open

Hello everyone,

I know what you’re thinking “two new posts in less than a month, can this really be possible?”, well I’m as surprised as you but if you’re reading this then I guess it happened. Let’s see where it leads us. In the last couple of years I’ve hardly written anything, and when I have it’s only been updates about my ongoing health situation. So today I’d like to begin changing that trend and talking about more geeky stuff again. Between my bouts of illness I have been doing the odd techy thing when I can. I’ll give you a quick outline of what I’ve been up to and projects I’m interested in, then hopefully post more about each one individually in the future. (more…)

Hurry Up And Wait

A picture of a clock face

Hurry Up And Wait

Hello everyone, it’s been a long time hasn’t it? I said at the end of my last post that I’d try not to leave it 9 months again and I haven’t. True to my word it’s actually been 10 months! I wanted to reassure you that I’m still around and fighting on. A few people have contacted me directly in recent months to ask how I’m doing, I appreciate all the concern and support. Hopefully this public update will be more effective than repeating the same story privately to various people. Since it’s been so long we’ll have to consider this less of a standard update and more of a “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade” or perhaps a Service Pack (if you’re a Windows type – boo hiss!).  I said in my last post that I was in a holding pattern and I wasn’t getting anywhere solving my phantom illness. Things are much the same but I’m doing OK. Some days are very tough and I know instantly when I wake up in the morning and feel my whole body ache. Other days are a little better and I’m able to do some things, maybe even get out of the house, usually once or twice a week. I am currently cancer free (yippee!) but still exhausted all the time, I have constant cold or flu symptoms and my immune system is clearly out of whack. I’ll get into more details as we go on but there’s also a couple of life events I should update you on and even some geeky stuff, so let’s get to it… (more…)

Sherlock Holmes Never Left A Mystery Unsolved

​Greetings everyone and welcome to this very very overdue update. My last post was back at the end of February when I had not long returned home from The Christie hospital in Manchester. Following a massive operation I felt sore and pretty ill but I was also really optimistic that my protracted health problems might finally be coming to an end. Sadly things haven’t quite worked out like that and I know I’ve been very quiet online since. Many people have been asking via Twitter, Facebook, email and other means just what’s happening. I hope I can clear that up today. Also, it’s 26 hours to the end of 2016 as I sit down to write this and it seems a good time to reflect on a year most people are quite happy to leave behind. (more…)