Wednesday, October 23, 2013

OggCamp13 - Part 1

Well what can I say, last weekend I spent 2 days with the wonderful community which is OggCamp.

This was my third time at the event and again I was a member of the infamous crew ably controlled by the more infamous Les Pounder a member of my LUG and the one originally responsible for my involvement back in 2011.

The weekend started with arriving in Liverpool at 7pm Friday evening for the pre OggCamp party at Leaf a bar and cafe in Bold street and just around the corner from my hotel for the weekend. It was a great evening, friendships re visited with members of the community I only get to see in the flesh once or twice a year at events like this, and new friendship made. I retired back to the hotel about 10pm as the Crew call for the morning was 8.15 with a long weekend ahead.

Saturday dawned too early but we (I was sharing with my fellow Full Circle podcast and Blackpool LUG member Olly) got up and headed out for a quick breakfast in a local fast food joint, then a walk up to JMU's art and design centre on Brownlow Hill about 15 minutes walk. After the crew call the first order of business after getting our crew 'T' shirts was taking 250 goody bags up to the main corridor for handing out to attendees as they registered.

Then the doors opened and the usual Melli ensued. Within the space of an hour over 200 people entered the building all looking to find out what talks were scheduled and when they were on, which is not easy as only the main track of talks was pre scheduled all the other three talk tracks were open for attendees to schedule any talks they may want to give (this is why barcamps are often referred to as un-conference's). There was also a glitch in the talk scheduling monitors and apart from the projected screen in the main reception the other monitors did not work, so those not able to access the Internet on a mobile device had problems knowing what talks were offered or where they were. There seems to be a problem with this on an annual basis but we survived.
My highlights of the Saturday were:

The speed that 60+ pizza's were polished off by the attendees

Freeky Clown's (also a co-host on the Full Circle podcast ) talk about his robbing banks and why we should all be worried, for those who don't know him he is a penetration tester of both data and physical system security and gets paid to breach the security of buildings and data systems to identify weaknesses in these systems. Hi talk gave us all a scare about how secure (or not) our data is in the modern world.

The live recording of the TDTRS podcast which is always entertaining if not suitable for the young or those with a sensitive nature, the main topic for the recording was do we need more design specialist to get involved in the open source community. You can access a recording of the show from the TDTRS web site.

My Final highlight of the Saturday was the regular live recording of the organisers podcast. The event was started by the UUPC and Linux outlaws and they do a joint live show at the event each year, this year sadly Fab the co-host of Linux Outlaws was not able to be at the event so the Crew Chief Les Pounder and another Full Circle podcast co-host was press ganged into service. We were entertained by the judging of the swag bag decorating competition. Luckily the audience had good taste and the winners were two younger attenders at the event.

There was also an interactive discussion about the demise or not of Ubuntu, it was interesting that most of the audience run Linux of some sort and about 75% indicated they had run Ubuntu at some time. However when asked if they were current users only about 10-15% indicated yes with the rest almost overwhelmingly stating they now run Mint (as I currently do). I wanted to point out that without Ubuntu many of us would not be using Linux at all and that Mint's success is owed in large part to the work that Ubuntu has done, and continues to do, to make Linux a user friendly OS. However I did not get the chance to make that observation due to shortage of time.
After the live show the days events were over but the day itself was not, there was to be food and drink at a local venue for us to continue to party (for some into the small hours), I'll tell you about Sunday next time.