Tag Archives: salford

5 years ago, The best Hello world message

While on the mend, I finally wrote my first blog to the world via dictation to my family. I remember saying the words with tears in my eyes. Of course it had to be Hello World, as there was nothing more fitting. The joke about hospital food was my injection of humour, although I have to say the hospital kitchen/restaurant really looked after me while I was there. I was given quite plain food but they kept checking about my allergies all the time. Actually far more than the doctors (as you will see in the next week)

It was great being able to talk again although I still have the trach scar, which will never go away now. I couldn’t explain how much the cards and comments meant to me and my family. I was kind of overwhelmed to know I had touched so many peoples lives and they in turned felt it was worth reaching back.

I was looking forward to moving out of ICU because this about the time when I started really getting better really fast. It was like my body was just repairing its self at a rate the hospital had never seen before. Amazing when you consider the life expectancy of people who have bleed on the brain

If subarachnoid hemorrhage from aneurysm, about 50% die within the first few days in hospital. If intracranial bleed, with/without stroke, the death rate within year one approaches 60%. Figures have remained constant for years.

I am one of the very few lucky ones and believe me don’t I know it, and there is no way I will forget it


 

[Message below was dictated by Ian this evening, no internet connection in hospital]

Ian says:

‘Hello world!¬† Thank you very much for taking the time to find out how I am doing.¬† I am doing okay.¬† I am still in hospital, but making a positive recovery.¬† Thank you to everybody who has written to me and my family and thanks for writing such amazing things.

The trach tube is out and I can speak again.¬† The feeding tube is also out.¬† I had solid food for the first time yesterday–it was horrible!¬† Of course it was hospital food.

Thank you for all the messages to my family.¬† I’m on the way to recovery.’

[Ian is due to be moved out of ICU and on to the ward as soon as a bed becomes available.]


Ian is continuing to do well and they are hoping to move him out of ICU and on to the ward soon (possibly this weekend).  He was a bit tired today and slept more, but he did spend most of yesterday out of bed and sitting up.

Ian’s flatmate Tim brought his laptop in for him, but there is not a wireless connection to use so Ian will not be online yet.

Unfortunately Ian missed some visitors today because he was sleeping.  For anyone else who is visiting, please be aware you might not get to see him if he is tired, but we do appreciate you coming to visit!

They hope to put some sort of valve into the trach tube that will make it possible for Ian to speak, but I am not sure when they’ll do this.


At the moment Ian is still in the ICU.¬† They had thought they were going to move him to the H.D. unit, but there wasn’t a bed available, so for now the plan is for him to stay in ICU until he is ready to move to the ward.

Ian is ready to have visitors now, but in ICU this is limited to two people at a time.  If you want to come visit, please leave a message in the guestbook letting us know what day and time you plan to come (and please leave a contact number in case we need to reach you).  Visiting hours are from 1pm-9pm daily.  They are quite strict about what can be brought into the ICU due to infection control.

Ian still cannot talk due to the trach tube so it can be difficult to communicate with him.  He is finding it frustrating, but appreciates visitors coming as he is getting bored.

5 years ago, while I learned to speak again

Ward at Alpha Hospital

Its the June 2nd and its about the time I could barely talk (due to a trach) but my memory was less hazy and I can remember much more. My sister tried to create a communication board, so I could communicate without saying the word. It was pretty frustrating and too be fair i did tell her. I did feel bad about it, as she really trying to help. I remember writing, this is stupid and there has to be a better way… Luckily I didn’t need to wait long before I could talk again.

Ross and Carly came and saw me a few times and certainly helped with the healing process, by making me laugh and cough a lot. I think I remember Adrian seeing me at one point too, he gave me the printed information on Google IO 2010 and the much talked about Google TV.

This about the time when I started going a little stir crazy, as it was ICU, you were not allowed to plug anything into the wall.¬† My saving grace was my old kindle full with ebooks which I meant to read at some point. I also had enough of the woman next to me with her kicking action to get attention. I must have read about 10 or so books while I was in ICU, unfortunately lights out was 8pm and I didn’t have the paperwhite kindle at the time.

My parents did offer to bring my laptop but I originally said no (believe it or not!). They did bring my pacemaker which I had a hard time re-learning in the first hour but gave rise to a number of mixes later.

Not being able to get out of bed was a real pain, even when I could actually stand. The nurses wouldn’t let me go to the toilet alone and it wasn’t till I pretty much pleaded with a male night nurse to please let me use the normal toilet so I could have some privacy. I finally was happy again. Privacy is something while going to the loo is something I certainly like and the doctors did wonder if my body was operating correctly.

Hospital food is pretty bad but try having complan as your main supply of food, by this point I only had to survive a day or two on it before than it was via the drip in my nose. Food via a drip was weird and interesting especially when you are fully aware of whats actually happening.

The last thing I certainly do remember is the injections of¬† Anticoagulants better known as Warfarin. It was either have it in the arm or in the stomach. Don’t ask me why remember I hadn’t had hypontherapy yet, but I decided the stomach was best because I couldn’t move it and have it scratch and theres quite a bit of fatty tissue… It was painful but honestly it wasn’t as bad as in the arm. Having every day got me slightly use to it but any chance I could avoid it, I did. Unfortunately it would only work for a short while before they would hunt me down for another fix!

Mum and Dad kept writing blog posts on carringbridge thanks to Sarah and Sharon.


 

Ian had a very good day today!¬† He was able to stand for the nurses and was out of bed sitting in a chair for most of the day.¬† He was smiling a lot and laughing at jokes (which is helping to clear his chest).His breathing is continuing to improve and we hope the trach tube will be removed soon so he’ll be able to speak.

Hi everyone,Ian is progressing well.  He is breathing with very little help now.  They are thinking of transferring him out from ICU to a High Dependency Unit tomorrow.

Ian’s dad, sister and I have been back in Manchester with him since yesterday afternoon.The trach tube had to be resited and Ian is still having some ventilation through that just until his breathing improves.¬† They are reducing use of it and he is mostly breathing on his own.Ian’s sister has been reading him messages from the guestbook which are much appreciated.¬† However, at the moment we would still like visitors to be limited to family.¬† Ian is having ups and downs in his recovery, but on the whole is improving.¬† We want to make sure he rests and does not get frustrated with not being able to speak (this is temporary due to the trach tube).¬†¬† He is communicating with us by blinking, nodding and occasionally writing, and he does understand everything that is going on.

Ian’s ventilator was removed again this morning.¬† To avoid having the ventilator back in, he has had a tracheotomy to help him breathe.¬† This is just a temporary measure until his breathing is stabilised.¬† The drain has been removed from his head, so now it is just the feeding tube in his nose.He indicated he was in pain due to having the tracheotomy, so he has had some medication to help with that.I have travelled to Bristol this evening, but will drive back to Manchester with Ian’s dad on Saturday morning.¬† Ian’s sister will also be back up to see him on Saturday.More cards arrived for Ian today and they are all being stuck up to the wall near his bed.¬† Thanks to everyone for all the get well messages.

That’s much better TedXSalford

TedXSalford

Although I was pretty critical of TedXSalford last year, I did go back this year. To be honest I wasn’t planning to but friends convinced me and I decided well after the great work at TedXLiverpool and TedXManchester, I should give it another go.

This time I was nicely surprised by the line up and speakers. Gone were the massive names but in their place good names which few people had heard before (or at least I had not heard of them before). One of the big names Caprice didn’t show for what ever reason and to be fair I thought it was maybe better without her. Not because its her but because it didn’t need a big name.

One of the things I like about TedX’s is they bring people who you never heard of before. TedXSalford did a good job highlighting people I had not really heard before next to people who you heard about but not really seen before. Here’s some of my highlights

TedXSalford
Brooke Magnanti (Belle De Jour)

Myself and many others are aware of Brooke from the famous blog she wrote about her experiences as a call girl. I was fully aware of her but never seen her in real life. Although she was hounded by the press also, it was Girl with a one track mind (Zoe Margolis) who was more interesting to me as she was not a escort but a women who dared speak her mind. Good to hear her talk regardless, even thought its quite a while ago now.

TedXSalford
Jack Sim (Mr Toilet)

Jack Sim’s talk was all about the essential hygiene which the toilet brings to us all. I say us all but what I really mean is most of the developed world. Jack highlighted how important it was to have a toilet and his life mission to give everybody in the world access to a basic toilet. The killer part of the talk was highlighting how he took on the title Mr toilet and the opportunities he took to get the word out.¬† I can’t even begin to express how important his mission is. Jack rightly received a standing ovation from the audience for his fantastic work.

TedXSalford
Bruce Hood

Always great to hear a talk about why people believe and the crazy things we do believe. Nicely put together and really interesting talk about one of those things I’ve always wondered about.

TedXSalford

Juliet Mitchell

I won’t lie, I didn’t really know who she was but what she was saying really struck a cord with me as a feminist. Smart slow talk with plenty to think about. A nice directional change from the high energy of some of the other talks previously.

TedXSalford

Robin Ince

Talking about high energy…. Well Robin had it in bags upon bags. He seemed to bounce around the stage talking about how remarkable¬† and complex the human brain is. Interestingly the points which made the human brain remarkable were…

  1. The fact we¬†recognise ourselves in the mirror (he made the point animals don’t recognise themselves, and think its another animal by the way they react)
  2. We stopping ourself from doing the wrong thing at the wrong time (we think bad thoughts but stop ourselves recognising it would be a bad idea)
  3. We leave our thoughts and dreams behind for generations beyond our time (legacy)

Robin’s speech spoke volumes to me having had my own experience understanding how powerful the brain can be. Great talk… Another standing ovation.

TedXSalford

Jamie Edwards

You got to hand it to Jamie and to be fair Jack Andraka was also good on the night. And its great to see young people inspiring other young people. Favorite quote from the event… “I tried to buy the parts for a Fusion reactor on ebay…

It really shows how transformational knowledge can be

TedXSalford

Sophia Wallace

Almost one of my favourite talks of TedXSalford was Sophia’s talk about the Clit. Yes the Clitoris, something she calls Cliteracy. Yes we’re talking about the female sex organ. Usually not spoken about and few people know much about. Sophia¬† rolled out a ton of facts including…

Vagina actually mean sword holder (how crazy is that?), the clit has its own blood supply hence why organisms can happen again and again and again in very quick succession. The misunderstanding (or is it a conspiracy) by many that it was just a like tiny female penis and this was a taught fact up till about 15 years ago.

I am totally on board, with sex education. I use to think I had bad sex education, but after talking to others. I would say Whitefield school didn’t do so bad. However I have to admit the amount of female focused pleasure was lacking? And the clit never came up as a big deal (no pun intended).

TedXSalford

Sophia’s talk about the advocacy originally was interesting, for example replacing song lyrics but she kept on which kind of dragged on a bit which spoiled it a bit. I mean it was important of course but the clit shaped glasses? Really?

Wrapping up, TedXSalford was much better but still has some ground to go to make it as good as TedXLiverpool, TedXManchester and TedXBradford. It was a very long day (9am – 8pm) and even with the breakout sessions it was a commitment. I will be interested to see where it goes next year, because it could be easy to go back to the tried and test formula of big names instead of taking the risk with local talent.

Talking of which, I retweeted Kevin’s tweet about the local speakers following a break out session. It seemed to be a quote, which I later found out to be untrue (nobody else in the session heard this quote).¬† I asked Kevin and Mishal for a details but only Mishal (director and originator of TedXSalford) got back to me with details. Kevin had equal chance to get back to me but didn’t. Its a shame somebody would make up lies like this and spread them, no idea what he gains from doing so? If he has a problem, write it down (like I did) and don’t pretend to quote somebody.

Well done TedxSalford and everybody who made it all come together this year.

TedxSalford biggest in the UK, don’t you know?

TEDxSalford

A few Sundays ago (10th November 2013), I had the somewhat pleasure of going to TedxSalford.

I say somewhat because although I enjoyed most of the talks, I felt strange about it. Specially after doing the first TedXManchester at the old BBC in Oxford Road. And then speaking at the second one in the cornerhouse.

The whole event is slick and a well polished affair. And thats my problem with it.

TedxSalford as someone said on stage, is bigger than most Ted Conferences! According to wikipedia the Lowry theatre holds 1730.¬† There were a lot of people maybe at a push 1400¬† as the lowry theatre wasn’t quite full but the ground floor and circle were packed solid. I got a seat in the private boxes which was lovely. Cheers iMartyn, Simon and Shane.

How did it get so big? I assume its the support from the University of Salford which helps make it possible. Thats not to take anything away from the staff and people involved in the whole operation. But I’m use to Tedx’s showcasing new and local talent rather than collectively getting people flown in from across the world. And with a line up including astronauts again its easy to see why its so popular.

TEDxSalford

Ok hands up I’m bias because having run the first TedxManchester1 with Herb Kim in the BBC Oxford Road, I do feel like we tried to do a number of things including highlight local talent and local concerns. TedxManchester2 was the same, but of course I would say that having the chance to tell my story on stage. I can’t imagine TedxSalford would let me anywhere near the stage. Yes they had a Manchester Utd player but to be fair he was pretty good for being nervous. You can’t help but feel they over stepped the local by having an international foodball player.

Please don’t get me wrong, its nice both TedxManchester and TedxSalford have each found there niche and they don’t overlap. I just think I prefer TedxManchester personally. There is something about genuine and authenticity which seems to be missing. I felt like we went from here’s a massive speaker to here’s another big speaker to yes you guessed it another massive speaker. Thinking Digital has big speakers but Herb balances them with themes to make proceedings a lot less choppy. I’d also look at what Imran does with TedxLeeds and TedxBradford. Well thought out lineup, with a narrative running from one to the other.

Saying all that… The whole event was very well produced except the sheer amount of people made getting lunch and the break out sessions a total nightmare. There were some fantastic speakers…the one which got me was once again Graham Hughes who talked about being the only man to travel to travel into every county by land only.

Other noticeable talks came from Lucy Siegle who talked about the fashion and the incredible waste it generates (one for my sister). Google Glass technical lead Thad Sturner for a great break out session i was able to squeeze into. Poet Lemn Sissay for some great slam poetry on stage. George Smooh for making my brain overload a little. Hetain Patel for his amazing art work and art direction.

Something I mentioned a lot in previous blog posts. Recorded from TedxSanjoseca, Steve¬†Mazan’s look at life and death. Not to be missed…

So as a whole TedxSalford is well worth going to if you want the TED experience (I assume it might be like that, although I’ve never actually been). Just don’t expect anything local like the other regional tedx’s. That can be a good and bad thing depending on what you want or expect. This is a case of bigger isn’t always better…

EPIC Werewolf time!!!

My parents were deeply worried that I was doing too much again. Specially after what happened to me with mybrushwithdeath almost two and half years ago. I can tell you and them that my blood pressure is normal…

So what have I been up to…? Because my blog has also suffered due to the hectic schedule.

On Tuesday 30th Connected Social and 31st EpicWerewolf…!

EPIC Werewolf

Epicwerewolf

The concept of Epic Werewolf was to run werewolf in two rooms.

One room would be kitted out with cameras and a normal game of werewolf would be going on. In the second room would be an audience watching live and some physiologists, behaviour scientists, experts watching along live and giving a running commentary on top of the live video. The people in the first room (the players) wouldn’t be able to hear the second room (the audience) but the second room would see and hear almost everything. All those little comments, subconscious ticks and obvious body actions would be exposed to an audience in a way which has only been seen in TV poker.

Great concept I thought and the Manchester science festival were interested too. However not interested enough to put any serious money behind it for a number of reasons. Because of this the idea had to scale down quickly. The interesting part is the game was originally going to be quite small to allow everyone a chance to have a go but we had to change that due to the amount of people who signed up and wanted to be players not the audience.

Epicwerewolf

We switched venues quite a bit and thought about a place with internet connectivity so we could broadcast it live to the internet. In the end we settled on Islington Mill in Salford because of the great spaces they have and how creepy it would be to go to deep dark Salford on Halloween.

Anyway the challenge which was worrying me was how to setup the cameras and computers. I had imagined using something like Ingex but we didn’t have resources or cameras. I came up with a number of solutions including using Skype, Hangouts, Bambuser, etc… but in the end I settled on the much easier streaming multiple Videolan’s VLC on my quad core i7 laptop to the weaker dual core Dell xps machine I still have. Everything was fine except I couldn’t get any of my decent cameras (Sanyo Xacti’s) to show up correctly. Meaning I only had 3 webcams including the build in one. I swear I had 2 at home but couldn’t find them even when searching the whole flat.

Epicwerewolf

On the day I setup 3 VLC services streaming and Vee from Larkin About used her macbook’s built in camera with Bambuser. On my Dell, I took advantage of the overview mode in Ubuntu 12.04 to show all cameras views and one of them being a browser window with Bambuser running from the Mac. However the problem seemed to be the mac would drop the wifi signal every 20mins or so. This was a pain but to add even more pain to the setup, my Dell laptop would get upset with the Flash plugin and throttle the CPU to death.

We pushed ahead anyway and by 6:30pm we had our first players. By about 7pm we had quite a few but no bar… We delayed while we tried to find out what happened to the barman and it turned out the barman was booked for 7:30pm not 7pm. So we started a 25 person game in the bar room and the another one next to it 10mins later to catch people who were running late. It was noisy and hard to hear people talking but it kind of worked out ok.

Those games came to a end about 8:30pm where we revealed what was so Epic about the night. Everyone was given a raffle ticket at the start of the night and between Larkin about and myself we pulled 12 numbers out of a cup and announced them over the pa system to the 50+ strong crowd.

The lucky 12 were lead to the 2nd room which was cold and slightly unnerving to play out a game of werewolf in front of the cameras. Our experts watched from the room and then came into the main room to talk through some of the things which were happening in the game. The problem we had was for the audience the cameras were not exciting enough in part because the of technical difficulties but also there just wasn’t enough to view. So instead we quickly had the experts give a quick overview of what they had seen and then a small Q&A about what not to do when playing werewolf. This was fascinating and made it clear there was more than just luck going on in a game of werewolf.

Massive thanks to Ben, Penny and Liz for being our experts for the night and giving us great insight into the silly things we all do without even noticing. Thanks also to Martin Rue, Mark Kirschstein and Larkin About for support through the night.

Epicwerewolf

After the Q&A we kicked off a series of werewolf games right through till the witching hour of midnight. We even had the barman involved in the last game.

It was a excellent night and I was amazed with the turn out of people. So many people and such a great vibe throughout. I only wished we could have got the epic part working smoothly. Well theres always next Halloween I guess?

Epicwerewolf

A bit of funding and who knows what we could great? Multiple rooms many cameras and many more types of sensors? Possibilities are endless! This is certainly not the end of #EpicWerewolf

EPIC Werewolf – Halloween

EPIC Werewolf

Its coming… this Halloween, EPIC Werewolf

As part of the Manchester Science Festival, myself and Larkin About are going to take a look at Social engineering and Mob rule in the social game of Werewolf. Unlike most games of werewolf, we will feature running commentary from psychologists and behaviour scientists that will culminate in a finale game resticted to one room and broadcasted live to an audience.

Of course because its Halloween, there will be lots of dressing up and to be honest Islington Mill is located in deep and dark Salford. Far from the bright lights of Media City and the Quays.

Exact details are still being worked out but its going to be a great event which you don’t want to miss!

Tickets are available for the players and the audience only.

BarCampMediaCity the after thoughts

BarCampMediaCityUK

Its Monday evening and BarCampMediaCity is still deep in my thoughts for many reasons.

It was a classic BarCamp with lots of incredible talks mixed in with a feeling of something new was happening.

As we opened the door on BarCampMediaCity, people started to making there way into the Quay house space and were impressed by what they were seeing. Everything was running smoothly with security plus registration and people were slowly spreading out through the 5th floor complex. By the time of the welcome talk we had just under 200 people in the room.

BarCampMediaCity Welcome talk

BarCampMediaCity Welcome talk

The make up of the 200 was a mix of new and old faces, but what was remarkable was the¬†percentage of woman.¬†Compared¬†to¬†other BarCamps I’ve been to, this one ranks up there with the likes of BarCampLondon in gender equality maybe. Quite fitting that we had the geeks of London (the people now running barcamplondon) producing this barcamp. BarCampManchester have always been slanted towards male but with the help of the Geeks girls in residence, BBC hosting it and lots of thought from the barcamp team, the results were incredible.

Registration

Not only that, the age range of BarCampers incredible! I had only seen such a diverse age range at BarCampLiverpool, now thats something BarCampMediaCity certainly beats even BarCampLondon on…

We had roughly 225 confirmed for the BarCamp after the original waves of about 300 public tickets over all. On the day we had just over 200 people come along over the course of the weekend.

During the welcome talk one of the team jumped in with a clarification on the overnight stay. This caused a disturbance, with people wondering exactly what the situation was. This came back to bite in a major way later in the night.

The event shifted along well during the day as the sessions kicked off.

I thought I’d put in my talk early in the schedule, in the end I decided to bring up the paper I’m about to start reading titled piracy is the future of television. I used trakt.tv as example of whats possible when you look at what the cutting edge/darknet/early adopters are doing. It was a nice session but I picked the wrong space for a good talk. I should have picked one of the spaces with a more intimate feel. Anyway a nice discussion kicked off with the¬†diverse crowd, which included content producers, artists, early adopters, etc.

There was a nice, chilled vibe throughout the event which was great. Everything seemed to be going to plan. The talks were all really interesting and so¬†diverse which was excellent. I went to talks on dynamic Bayesian networks for working out real smiles vs fake smiles (something I’m sure BBC R&D will be interested in), How to rob a bank, evil overlord’s guide to security, The culture of the dj, the true dubstep, a demo of future iplayer development, how to get a job at the BBC, hacking the kinect, What you don’t know about American TV shows,¬†would you take your clothes off in public, mixing cocktails, etc, etc…

Looking at the session wall

Another series of talks centred around inspiring the next generation into the tech sector. Computing in schools was a¬†theme for sure with at least 3 different talks around the subject. The most surprising was the code lab one, which was¬†presented¬†as an BBC initiative. In that talk I turned and looked at Simon and gave him the look of, “what on earth, do you know about this?” ¬†to which he replied with a blank look on his face saying… “I know nothing, do you?” By the end we had tweeted about it and it had been re-tweeted to death.

Should kids learn programming in school?

It turns out, but we didn’t know at the time, it was a proposal rather than a¬†commissioned thing. It was a little¬†cheeky but you got to hand it to Alan O’Donohoe¬†who was behind it and brought some amazing cookies to BarCampMediaCity from the kitchen of the school he works at. Actually its maybe worth giving the school a little plug on Alan’s behalf, Our Lady’s Catholic High School in Preston

A packed out Code Lab session

Its actually worth noting most of the talks at BarCampMediaCity were amazing, its well worth going into some details about some of the better ones. Here’s my favorite ones…

How to Rob a Bank

How to rob a bank from Tim

I can’t explain how amazing this talk really was. Tim’s energy drives you through the different problems you would encounter if you were going to rob a bank. Want to know what the answer is? Well Tim points out that a large percentage of robberies are inside jobs, so getting a job at a bank is maybe a very good start.

A little known fact about US TV (or, Why you don’t exist)

What you don't know about American TV shows

Katie one of the girl geeks in residence, gave a great talk an area of Fandom which I had never really seen before. She put up the talk notes on our lanyrd page thankful, so you can read the notes there and check out this massive interlinked map.

Since American TV shows love doing crossover episodes, it becomes apparent that if St. Elsewhere and Homicide: Life on the Street both exist in the same TV universe, so do many other TV programs. Nerds on the internet have established a network of over 280 shows (and counting) which all coexist, implied by crossovers, cameos or references – and when we delve deeper, some interesting facts can be deduced…

Mixing Free Cocktails

How to mix tasty cocktails

Following one of the most famous BarCamp talks ever – How to mix the perfect Margarita at BarCampLondon3 by Andy Budd

Chris Garrett decided to bring cocktails to BarCamp. He even went as far as creating a special version of El Presidente and named it the Ian Forrester *blush*

If you want to make your own Ian Forrester, have a read of Chris’s blog post

This would be my go-to drink when I lived in Bristol and spent far too much time in Haus Bar. A heady brew of White Rum (double measure, preferably of Diplomatico’s very good blanco reserva), a measure of triple sec (or Cointreau depending on preference), a measure of Vermouth and a dash of grenadine. Stir (don’t shake) with ice, strain in a cocktail glass and sip, slowly…

I actually forgot to take any Vermouth with me to BarCamp, so ended up using Slow Gin in the El Presidente. I added in a dash of Mint Bitters too, and thus the ‚ÄúIan Forrester‚ÄĚ was invented, named after the Presidente of BarCamp.

Would you strip naked in public if I asked you?

Would you take your clothes off in public for an art project

This session was one of the funnest I’d ever been to… It was a Art project by a guy who wanted to see if woman would take there clothes off in public if he asked them. Yes you heard me right… When I heard about it, I thought it was a wind up but the guy seemed deadly serious. Listening to him talk about the project, I instantly thought about the end sequence of A complete history of my sexual failings.

Things started to unravel when a lot of people asked many questions about his art project. The main line of questions seemed centre around what kind type of person does he ask? For example does he ask Men? does he ask older woman? etc, etc… He said he only asks woman who he found physically attractive…! I think everyone laughed out loud at that moment. His justification was even more funny, comparing taking pictures of beautiful objects and landscapes with only asking attractive woman. “You only take pictures of things you find attractive or beautiful…”

I honestly hadn’t laughed so much recently!

What is happiness talk

Happiness session

Its another one of those interesting talks which you would only get by running an open event like Barcamp. Alistair kicked it off and a whole bunch of theories were thrown around about helping people understand happiness but no conclusion was hit.

There was plenty of food but not a wasteful amount, everything which was put out was eaten and lunch, dinner, etc all went down well.¬†Unforgeable¬†I had to drive to a¬†Chinese takeaway near Manchester to have dinner at 11pm because the curry had coconut in it and the veggie curry had chickpeas… I didn’t fancy eating even more carbs, specially if I was going to survive all night.

There was plenty to do for night time entertainment, including a massive gaming rig complete with xboxes and kinects. We had planned to set up the virtual maestro but with help from others, we still couldn’t get it to run correctly. Simon Lumb played a dj set in the cafe area, which set up the mood for the night. Unluckily I didn’t get a chance to play because I didn’t really have much chilled stuff and I had to make the trip out to the¬†Chinese. Andy Mace, who was instrumental in helping us setup the Intenet connection for Will of Nexus Globalnet to setup the Wifi¬† on top of. And frankly the wifi was flawless all weekend once it was setup and running late Friday night.

BarCampMediaCity werewolf game

About 2330 we did an announcement to tell people who planned to stay late that the last tram will be leaving soon after midnight. What we should have done was made it clear what the situation was, and that might have been ending the event for the day.

Officially we could have people stay over if they don’t fall a sleep but unofficially if people fell a sleep security would give them a little nudge and ask them to have a coffee, redbull or go get some air. They would also have¬†preferred people to stay together with active people, meaning people can keep an eye on each other, while they did close there eyes.¬†Unforgettably¬†this wasn’t communicated well and so a¬†terrible¬†rough night of trying to stay awake, finding hotels, sleeping on other peoples floors was had by about 30+ people.

I can say personally I am deeply sorry to everyone who had a¬†terrible¬†experience on the night, it was never meant to be that way and even I had brought my sleeping bag, indoor tent, change of clothes and towel to take advantage of the showers. I can’t put my finger on exactly what happened but its being taken very seriously and we are contacting everyone affected.

It did cast a shadow on a excellent event and I totally understand some of the questions people have been asking about the organisation of the barcamp. The Geeks of London are not to blame for this error of judgment, they delivered an excellent event, our job working as the hoster was to supply a canvas they could work on.

I always said the event will be a one time deal, I’m hoping next year Salford University become the hosters? But this is the end of my running barcamp experience. I had always wanted run one at the BBC and maybe 5 years of trying had warped¬†my perception of risks and potential problems to the detriment of friends and¬†participations. 5 years is a long time and like BBC Backstage maybe its that time…

Adrian and Mark

So looking back, at the event. I will always remember Sunday morning and seeing the tired, angry and disappointed looks on friends faces. But I also remember¬†Lalita D’Cruze’s face when she saw herself on a internal BBC flyer and when she took to the stage to replace the hired comedian and did a excellent job. Turning to Nicola and saying “Wow she’s really really good!” Seeing Katie Steckles present¬†the total inside baseball Fandom which goes into tracking references to other TV shows inside of TV shows, (didn’t write down the site!) Feeling very proud of the massive audience Matt from BBC R&D got to his talk on Saturday. Loosing one of my werewolf cards on Sunday morning only to later have Mick give me his entire werewolf set because he enjoyed barcampmediacity so much. Slightly¬†nervous¬†why we didn’t know about BBC Code lab, specially with all the work Ant Miller had done in this exact area?

I did enjoy the event even with the Sunday morning problems. It was a great event and serves as a great introduction for a lot of people into the BarCamp/Unconference field. If we got more people interested in BarCamps, then great stuff. Hopefully some of them will go to other Barcamps and tell there friends, maybe a couple will even consider setting up there own?

Without¬†the great sponsors¬†the event would never go ahead…

Bytemark BigV hosting platform,¬†Open Labs at Liverpool John Moores University,¬†Indigo clothing who supplied the Tshirts¬†which I didn’t get before they were all gone,¬†Techsmith who supply the excellent screen capture software¬†Camtasia Studio¬†and¬†TEK systems a recruiter of tech people globally

BarCampMediaCity

Great event which will go down for its excellent talks, fantastic location, great atmosphere along with the lack of clear signs about staying over.

This is why the BBC faces a massive change

This is going around the Social media circles right now

Jeremy Clarkson has blasted the BBC’s move to Salford ‚Äď branding the city a ‘small suburb’ and saying he would quit rather than relocate.

The Top Gear presenter used his Sunday newspaper column today to take a swipe at the corporation’s decision to move a string of departments to MediaCityUK.

He described Salford ‘a small suburb with a Starbucks and a canal with ducks on it’ and said that he would resign if the motoring programme was moved north.

Clarkson – who reportedly receives a ¬£2m-a-year salary from the BBC ‚Äď claimed the decision to move five departments to brand new buildings at Salford Quays was based on politics, saying ‘it was a box that has been ticked’.

Clarkson, you can take or leave him. I’m not exactly a petrol head, so I’m only¬†loosely aware of what he does on top gear… But some of his comments are just stupid and well¬†ignorant

Some people simply have no vision and frankly need to roll over and let someone in who does have the vision and maybe the guts to give it a shot. This big head stand in the way of the people who will ultimately save the BBC. In actual fact if you read the whole thing, even with publication bias and all that out the way, its maybe the swan song of a long over-due industry on its very last legs.

First steps in Media City UK

Media City UK

Usually on Fridays I tend to work from home or rather from a lovely tea place (called North Tea Power) in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. Unless of course I’m required to be in for a good reason.

However my boss suggested I might want to try working from Media City this week? I thought about it and come last Friday morning after seeing my NHS nutritionist, I took a ride down to Media City.

Entering Media City was a little confusing mainly because I was riding and had to find a specific car park with spaces for BBC Staff. I found the right car park after a while and parked up in a car parking space. I’m really hoping they sort out proper motorcycle parking because I don’t really like the idea of parking my scooter in a massive car parking space. Car drivers have a tendancy to run over motorcycles and to be fair I don’t really want to use up such a big space. I don’t believe it will always be like that, thankfully.

Adhoc desks

After wonder out of the Car park and along to the BBC buildings (Dock, Bridge and something else) I headed to Dock where R&D North will be based. I was greeted by a friendly smile from BBC Workplace security guards. A lot of the security from Oxford Road are in the new Media City office, so its a familiar faces instead of whole new faces.

In the building, I can’t really express the feeling of new and shiny but at the same time the feeling of home. There’s a lot of strange but bold shaped furniture but I like the way its all pretty easy to move about and reconfigure. Most of them also include power points and Ethernet which means there very useful as places to plug in and get some work done.

Power and Ethernet everywhere

I was sat on one such table and had a couple of adhoc meetings with people on the desk. Nothing major just a couple of quick chats about upcoming projects… The furniture suits it perfectly. I know they won’t be everyones cup of tea but there pretty good for me.

At this time there is wifi but its locked down using 802.11x, which I have quite a bit of experience with when Ravensbourne College did the same 10 years ago. I didn’t really bother to see if I could get it working with Ubuntu directly but this guide makes it sound easy enough. There should be public-ish wifi at some point soon, but not yet. And of course R&D will have there own network along with there own wifi.

There’s some really nice touches like the welcome to your meeting room card, meeting room names based on BBC TV shows and the sometimes slightly odd wall paper

Its funny because Media City just like New Islington needs shops and services. Right now the Lowry outlet mall is the only place to get drinks or food but that will change. Talking about Food the restaurant isn’t bad, can’t quite see how it will be big enough for everyone once they move in but I guess there’s always the idea of having other food places in the other buildings. And of course there will be the usual food/drink outlets flocking into the area at some point.

I’ve added Media City UK to Wovox.com but so far its struggling with my picture uploads and the rotation. Hopefully I’ll get the shots on there pretty sharpish.

Our public gardens

The public zone is pretty nice and there’s plenty of seats for the summer months. Its nice having the tram so close but I do wonder how it will be day in day out. I’m already looking forward to riding it so I can finally regularly read my kindle and mix on pacemaker. But I don’t fancy some of the delays I’ve heard in the past. This is certainly why I’ll keep my scooter for those days when I need to get there quickly or the tram isn’t working so well.

The balcony

The Balcony areas look great and alot more useful than the ones at White City. I can’t wait to get some wifi out there and maybe a run of power and work out there all day during the summer months. Actually surprised there’s not already power of some kind out there?

Don’t get me wrong not everything is perfect, but I actually like the colour scheme and the general feel of the place. I’m still wondering how it will be when you have to run across to the canteen during the rainy months. Everyones skeptical about the hot water taps but I’ve seen and used them in Germany and Holland in hotels, and they are extremely effective and always hot when I need to use them. The lack of microwaves in the coffee area is a pain but they have there reasons.

Dock House signs

I’m sure things will change when it comes to Media City but I guess I won’t really find out till I’m settled in properly, which looks to be pretty soon. We missed the 1st wave because our floor wasn’t done for various reasons but we’re in the 2nd wave and we got our induction next week.

Exciting times… (you can see the whole set of photos on flickr in this set)

11th May: Malcolm Gladwell Live in Manchester

Malcolm Gladwell

The author of What The Dog Saw, Outliers, The Tipping Point and Blink.

Described by The Observer as ‚ÄėThe most influential thinker of the iPod generation‚Äô, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell returns to the UK with a new live show to mark the publication of his new book What The Dog Saw. This is a rare live opportunity to see Malcolm’s brilliantly entertaining amalgam of storytelling and intuitive thinking, which has captivated UK audiences both in the West End and on tour.

I’m chopping at the bit to get my ticket, this is one I certainly can not miss, neither should you.