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[1 Mar 2014 | No Comment | ]
Citizen Cyberscience

Saturday 22 Feb 2014 was the final day of the three day Citizen Cyberscience Summit. The family and I were there, to discuss the use of Autonomous Airborne Drones as part of a 5 strong panel discussion.

What particularly surprised me, is that when I asked the audience “how many of you would be prepared to fly in a pilotless aircraft?” more than half of the people in the room put their hands up! I’ve talked about drones a number of times, and people in the software developer community will know …

technology »

[29 Oct 2013 | No Comment | ]
We’re building a 3D printer – Step 2

Back to RepRap Step 1
After a short delay the Thames Valley RepRap User Group (TVRRUG) managed to get to critical mass and a whole bunch of us went along to Reading Hackspace on 14 Oct 2013 to collect our 3D printer kits. We’re each building a RepRap Prusa from scratch! From the most elementary set of components! Right down to the last nut and the last resistor.

And there’s no handbook! Not like buying a Lego kit! No handbook, except for what we can find on the web! And because we …

people, technology »

[21 Oct 2013 | No Comment | ]
Flying ARdrones around Inventorthon

Two things happened at the Invertorthon on 19-20 Oct 2013! Well actually, a lot happened, but there are two things that I found particularly poignant. Firstly, I learnt a bit about using node.js to help ARdrones fly autonomously, and secondly I experienced a time warp!
I love going to hackathons, and I also have a thing about education.
In a previous life I was an ICT teacher. Having done my PGCE I taught classes from Year 7 through to A level, and I gave up after one year. It’s a long story, …

technology »

[2 Jul 2013 | No Comment | ]
How can I build my own 3D printer? Step 1

The question in my mind over the past few months has actually been “should I buy a 3D printer kit, or should I buy a ready made machine?” And, having recently been introduced to Alex Gibson from Thames Valley Rep Rap User Group (TVRRUG) I have now convinced myself that I am going to build one. After all, I like to know how things work and TVRRUG have presented me with the perfect opportunity.
They are based in Reading (UK) and periodically run RepRap build sessions courtesy of the Reading HackSpace. Signing …

technology »

[15 Aug 2010 | No Comment | ]

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What does the law say about electronic documents?

In the UK, the issue of digital records is dealt with primarily by two pieces of (now quite old) legislation:

The Civil Evidence Act 1995
The Electronic Communications Act 2000

The first talks (in particular) about digital copies of paper documents and how they might be authentic and robust depending on your IT system. And, the second recognises that digital documents …

technology »

[13 Jul 2010 | 6 Comments | ]

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How not to promote a product

Imagine going into a guitar shop, with a distinct chance of actually buying a guitar, and not being allowed to try one out.
Imagine a new restaurant coming to your neighbourhood, and staging an open day, but not offering visitors any tasty samples.
Imagine signing up for golf lessons only to learn that you never get to hold a golf club, but …

technology »

[8 Jul 2010 | No Comment | ]

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London Wiki Wednesday

A twofold, big “thank you” to @osmosoft who hosted @londonwikiwed on 7 Jul 2010 at their offices by St James Park. Firstly, the team at London Wiki Wednesday is always grateful for help and support with the regular meetings.  And secondly, it made me realise that the world is not flat.
Oh? You knew that already?
Well yes, most of us do! But until that upstart Galileo …

technology »

[14 Jun 2010 | No Comment | ]

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A weekend mix of the trivial and the profound

Google’s offices in central London played host to HackCamp over the weekend of 12/13 June 2010 and I was there! To hack! And for those of you who don’t know, in software developer circles the verb “to hack” means “to write code” or “to program” or generally “to develop software” and it has no connection with what the press …

technology »

[25 May 2010 | No Comment | ]

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Self publishing your own book?

My book The Paperless Expert was printed on 19 May and went on sale on 21 May 2010. This is the first book I have ever written. It took two and half weeks to write the 184 pages and it has taken a further two and half months to get in published.
And to do that I needed 6 people:

Author
Illustrator
Typesetter
Publisher
Printer
Distributor

And being keen to learn about the …

technology »

[5 Apr 2010 | No Comment | ]

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You don’t have to be an expert to learn Ruby

It started a couple of weeks ago with a few tweets about “where can we get a room in a pub (for free)?” and it quickly evolved into a social mix of Ruby experts and complete novices who were keen to learn. We had our first meet up on Wednesday 31 March 2010 and hope to meet again before too long.
James …