by Tim on July 28, 2011
As well as lots of interesting people and talks, the hacker space itself was an awesome place to be in and a great facility that Nottingham should be proud of. I felt very priviledged to be able to look around and share this cool space with so many interesting and inspiring people.
The talks I went to were:
Are we asking to much? @mheap‘s look into bad recruiting experiences which echo my own. The ratio of good candidates to bad candidates is massive and finding the right people is really tough. An emphasis on investing in people and “aptitude to learn” vs. “got all the skills today” seemed to be a consensus.
Less (for CSS) by @46bit was an overview of Less and the various ways it can be used to streamline CSS maintenance. Apparently, once you start using it, returning to projects without it is painful.
Turning Data into People by @101ofawolf was a look into the quest of name research and piecing together anecdotes of scoundrels from historical sources of information other than the conventional census and birth, marriages and deaths register.
Public Speaking Tips from @proactivepaul with the helpful suggestion of turning umms and errs into dramatic pauses and other protips.
Build Your Own Museum by @katemonkey was a look at the publishing tools available and showcased some great reasons why you should share your passion. There was also a collective mourning for the loss of Geocities which for many of was an cyber-childhood neighborhood.
Round Robin Databases by @jbjon (the man who got me hooked on trololo) asked whether “we really need all that log data?” and showcased a great way to store time-series data using predictable fixed-size buffers and some popular tools for doing this.
Inventing Money with @RichardSmedley was a look into the origins of currency and a look at complementary currency schemes for exchanging wealth and value. Richard introduced the Ripple Project an idea of peer-to-peer based money lending system based on trust, where your credit rating is the sum of how much your friends would be willing to lend you based on their judgement of your ability to repay. A great idea that resonates with how most of us mentally assess lending our mates a tenner – in the interest of research I tested this econmic theory out on @caius and @martinrue who both must believe I’m good for a jar of pickles.
Other realisations Richard passed on were that role of speculative capital in markets is to supply liquidity. And that the amount of speculative capital available on the planet now far outweighs all primary and secondary value production – IMHO this is directly responsible all the speculative bubbles we have been witnessing recently.
Build Your Own Museum part II looked at the actual The Textile Manufactures of India online museum built by @GarethDoodles to showcase the fabric sample collection curated by John Forbes Watson in 1866. The goals of the project were to provide access to the collection and bring it and its meta data to life. This Joomla-based site totally nailed that. Great job!
3D Printers – not really a talk per se – but the Hacker Space was where I met my first 3D printer – a clever device capable of printing most of the components required to build a replica of itself. Awesome!
BarCampers Guide to Bitcoin by @wisemonkeyash delved into the cryptographically complex world of BitCoin and explored the tools, technology and ecosystem that is emerging around this new form of alternative currency. See the slides here.
The economic theme-de-jour of the current excessive supply of money was revisited with the friendly and helpful advice given: invest for the future in gold, tins of beans and shotguns.
Much to @ruby_gem’s fascination, this talk provided fresh fuel to earlier discussions about the digital currency, its characteristics, limitations and applications for money laundering.
Tattoos 101 by @msemtd gave an all you needed to know talk about tattoos, how they work, a look at the tools and the trade and the qualities of the tattoo artist. In particular the people skills required by a *good* tattoo artist who might advise you against a tramp-stamp on your face. And we tattoo’d an orange!!
Lock Picking: The Key Fundamentals by @ShannonTony was a high baud presentation into the workings and attack vectors of door locks. Really interesting and alarming to understand how trivial it is to bypass locks.
As you can see from this epic list, BarCamp Nottingham was great. On top of these sessions, there were countless fun, chats and catch-ups with new and old friends. Thank you @ruby_gem for organising and running the day – I look forward to BarCamp Blackpool!
TagWalk’s round-up of #bcnott