Back from Hackday London and I’m so tired….

So tired I can't write a compete entry… Here's some classic pictures instead.

BBC Iplayer in Facebook

Aral playing with the Nabaztag

Euan with the Diet Coke rockets

Matthew talking about what just happened in the West Hall

Umbrellas up while the West Hall lets the rain in pour in. Hacker spirit

The scene as the West hall starts to slide open

Myself and Matt on stage

So at long last a update to Hackday.

Hackday was great. Very different from BarCampLondon which was a good thing. Highlights of the day included lightning hitting Alexandra Palace twice and the building going into protective mode by opening all the skylights and letting the rain come in.

Wireless was a problem on the first day but got solved after dinner on Saturday. Actually through out the night it was flawless. I personally don't think it was just load because Sunday morning everyone was hacking away trying to get stuff done before the deadline of 2pm. I think Wireless generally is a problem and we try to minimise that problem by creating pools of non conflicting wireless instead of flooding the room with wireless. Obviously something worked so this is good to remember for future events. Talking to the BT engineers was also interesting because they talked alot about 802.11a being the thing to solve all these problems. It will change channels automaticlly to stop conflicts. So yes anyone with the newer intel chipsets would have got a better experience if we had turned some of the wireless points to A only. We didn';t know the percentage of new vs old laptops so we went with the safe 802.11b/g

A negative comment comes in the form of food. There was food and snacks but generally we could really have done with a selection from Ocrdo or something. I generally got sick of eating dry as hell pizza after a while. When I got home on Sunday I ordered a nice curry because it was so dry all weekend. It was good there was a endless supply of coffee and tea but I really really wanted something different that a chocolate bar through-out the night.

The work of the developers was great, lots of hacks and plenty of variety. I won't list the winners because that will be on the backstage site one day soon. but yes good stuff from the 480 developers.

The event went pretty smoothly through-out Sunday and we were wrong about how long it would take to go through the hacks. I did think it was a shame that the time was then wasted playing flickrball on stage while the crowd watched for another 5mins. We should have ended earlier and gave more time for people to walk around not subject them to a un-inspiring game. Hey we could have desplayed the results of the hackday game which was created. Another thing we should have done is used the main screen more for infomration. A dedicated machine with yahoo widgets, 3 windows one for twitters to the hackday bot, one blank for quick messages and another refreshing the backnetwork. We should never have had Matthew's odd collection of music on through out the hacking period. Honestly people kept asking for it to be turned down or turned off. What would I have replaced it with? I don't know maybe nothing. I know it sounded dead but most hackers wanted that.

As always this whole thing sounds a little negative and its not meant to be. It was a great event but we need to learn for next time for sure. This further proves London and Europe is a great place for development and geek events like this. Even Yahoo didn't expect such a grand event

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and