Posts Tagged ‘barcamplondon’

Why I go to barcamps

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Last week, I went to BarCamp London. As always, it was a great weekend.

If you’ve not been to something like this before, the idea is that it’s a conference where each attendee contributes a session. There’s no real theme – just talk about something interesting.

You end up with an agenda made up of the interests, hobbies and skills of the random collection of people who managed to get a ticket. It makes for a more varied and eclectic agenda then you get from a traditionally organised conference.


Pushing, pulling, or leaving the door open

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

This weekend is barcamplondon, so another chance for me to ramble incoherently about a technical topic of my choice. 🙂

My presentation started as a bit of a cop-out. I was ill last week and weekend when I was planning to prepare a new presentation, so I decided to give the same talk I did at Over The Air last month and hope that I didn’t get any of the same attendees.

But then I started tweaking it to suit the different audience. Over The Air is an event for mobile developers, so my presentation was pretty much aimed at mobile devs, which wasn’t quite right for a general event like barcamplondon.

Then I started updating it to reflect the feedback I got, both on the day at Over The Air, and through comments and tweets since.

My talk at OTA was a technical “Introduction to MQTT” session.

My presentation for barcamplondon became a broader look at mobile apps that rely on data from the Internet, and the challenges and choices facing mobile app developers who write them.

And I think it’s better for it. I hope it didn’t come across as pimping MQTT. I still talked about MQTT, but this time it was to use it as an example of one of a broader set of choices:

The aim of the talk was to discuss the pros and cons of each approach.


Creating multi-layered screenshots (a BarCamp London hack)

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

I’m on a slow (gah, engineering works!) train back from an awesome BarCampLondon. I’ve got a ton of notes from so many fascinating talks and sessions, but not quite sure how to share them… they would make for the world’s longest blog post!

But as I have a little time to kill, I thought I’d quickly share a little hack that I pulled together overnight. An old idea, but a fun one – and it’s amazing what beer and interesting people will do for your creativity. 🙂

The hack is a little Windows utility to capture more useful screenshots.

By way of background, when you press the “Print Screen” button, it copies an image of your desktop to the clipboard. Very useful. But it has limitations.

What if a window you want to see in the screenshot image is obscured by another window? Or minimised entirely? That information is lost.

Not with my hack! 🙂

My tool captures “interactive” multi-layered screenshots – a picture of each window is captured separately on it’s own layer. This creates a screenshot that (even after you’ve taken the screenshot) will let you move windows around, hide/restore windows, and change the z-order of windows.

It creates a sort of simulation-like snapshot of what your desktop was like at the time.