So I bought one… Acer Aspire A110L

150 pounds from Comet in White City, Manchester. The box was opened so I got a discount. Otherwise the machine is brand new. Its the basic model with Linux, 8gig Solid state drive and only 512meg of Ram. I'm expecting once I do the 4gig upgrade on my Dell to pass on the memory to this machine, then maybe stick in a small bluetooth dongle. I'm also checking out how to get ubuntu or xubuntu on it. But generally I'm planning to use this device for im, rss reading, ebooks and general web use.

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Emma’s guide to great BarCamping

Emma's Guide to Great BarCamping

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: guide barcamp)

I picked this up via a twitter from Nicole Simon and had a quick read while getting ready to go out for a lunch meeting. Emma's at tons of BarCamp including the tiny ones. I'm actually surprised she's not put one on yet.

A couple of comments however. I love step one and that step four cancels it out if needed. Its very frustrating to hear people say, I've got nothing to talk about when your suggesting they fill the board with talks. Sometimes I feel like saying, what the bloody hell are you doing here if your not going to participate. The small group thing is a good idea, or try and go to sessions not run by your friends just because there your friend. Don't get me wrong its nice to support friends but sometimes, they need to get jump in the deepend.

Getting up early (step 3) is painful specially after a conference party the previous day. But Emmas right, from the orgainser's point of view there's nothing worst than people new turning up late who don't know what to do. Us rehular barcampers should also make a effort, to remind orgainsers of certain things they forget.

Step 5 about hijacking or leaving a session is so important and most organisers don't mention it which is a problem. In BarCampBerlin3 I turned up to a session about CSS frameworks and it turned out to be a big plug for a framework the guys was working on. Nothing wrong with that if it was advertised that way but it wasn't and although me and Nicole were the only english speakers and had asked for the session to be in english at the start. We still left because it was putting us (or rather me) to sleep.

Keeping in touch and having no plans is essential. But having fun is so forgotten. Sometimes I look around and think to myself, wow BarCamp is like geek paradise – where else would you want to be? I guess this is why the idea of Geekcamp or Geekholidays is coming back into focus within my mind.

And finally, yes please spend sometime and think about running your own BarCamp. Some people still ask me why I stopped running them in London. Well its because its something I believe other people should experience for themselves. When Ben Metcalfe asked me to be his partner in crime for BarCampLondon1 I wasn't sure what to expect (hell I don't think any of us were) but it worked out really well (some still say it was the best barcamp). But there's new areas and places to try BarCamps in. I'm already getting involved in a possible BarCampManchester2 which might be Backstage funded and a possible BarCampHuddersfield which came about through a discussion with Lisa from Futuresonic. There's also more concerete plans for BarCampNorthEast2 which to date has been the only overnight BarCamp in the north of england! Shame on the north of england… Someone should do something about that. Well if I get either Manchester2 or Huddersfield going, fear not – they will be overnighters….

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Print and the internet

I love what David Sifry and team have done in Offbeat guides.

Offbeat Guides create personalized, up-to-date travel guides that cover over 30,000 travel destinations, using a combination of search technology and curation by both amateur and professional travel experts. Our guides scour the web to find the best, most up-to-date information about your destination. You can personalize the information you want based on your travel dates, preferences, and destination. The guides come with local maps, festivals and events going on while you're there, exchange rates, key phrases in the city's language, weather forecasts and more.

It kind of reminds me of Idiomag but the business model is a little more straight forward and I like the fact you only really pay if you want the PDF or book. Unlike Idiomag however there's no APML being built in the background and you can't point to other services you may use. I mean it would be super handy if offbeat guides would look at my dopplr account and see when I'm next going somewhere new and might need a guide. It could also take hints and tips from friends and add those to the list. Can I also say once again, outside the iphone bubble there are many other types of phones which they could also support using textual/tagged PDF.

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