Jumping into LEAP

I had originally thought I would not bother with a LEAP controller. However new technology has to be investigated. That is what I do after all πŸ™‚
I ordered the LEAP from Amazon, it arrived very quickly. So whilst I might not have been an early adopter, and was not on the developer programme it is not hard to get hold of one now. It is Β£69.99 but that is relatively cheap for a fancy peripheral.
Giving LEAP a go
It is interesting the self proclamation on the box. “The remarkably accurate, incredibly natural way to interact with your computer”. My first impressions are that it is quite accurate. However, as with all gesture based devices as there is no tactile feedback you have to sort of feel you way through space to get used to where you are supposed to be.
Leap
However the initial setup demonstration works very well giving you a good sense for how it is going to work.
It comes with a few free apps via Airspace and access to another ecosystem to buy some more.
The first one I clicked on was Google Earth, but it was a less than satisfying experience as it is not that obvious how to control it so you end up putting the world into a Superman style spin before plunging into the ocean.
I was more impressed with the nice target catching game DropChord (which has DoubleFine’s logo on it). This has you trying to intersect a circle with a chord and hit the right targets to some blasting music and glowing visuals. It did make my arms ache after a long game of it though!
What was more exciting for me was to download the Unity3d SDK for LEAP. It was a simple matter or dropping the plugin into a unity project and then importing a few helper scripts.
The main one Leap Unity Bridge can be attached to a game object. You then configure it with a few prefabs that will act as fingers and palms, press run (and if you have the camera point the right way) you see you objects appear as your fingers do.
Many of the apps on Airspace are particle pushing creative expression tools. So creating an object that is a particle generator for fingers immediately gives you the same effect.
Leap unity
It took about 10 minutes to get it all working (6 of those were downloading on my slow ADSL).
The problem I can see at the moment is that pointing is a very natural thing to do, that works great, though of course the pointing it relative to where the LEAP is placed. So you need to have a lot of visual feedback and large buttons (rather like Kinect) in order to make selections. Much of that is easier with touch or with a mouse.
Where it excels though is in visualisation and music generation where you get a sense of trying to master a performance and get to feel you have an entire space to play with, not limiting yourself to trying to select a button or window on a 2d screen which is a bit (no) hit and miss.
I spent a while tinkering with Chordion Conductor that lets you play a synth in various ways. The dials to adjust settings are in the top row and you point and twirl your finger on the dials to make adjustments. It is a fun and interesting experience to explore.
Just watch out where you are seen using the LEAP. You are either aggressively pointing at the screen, throwing gang signs or testing melons for ripeness in a Carry on Computing style.
I am looking forward to seeing if I can blend this with my Oculus Rift and Unity3d when it arrives though πŸ™‚

Drones everywhere

The crazy summer sun meant we had to take a family trip to Basingstoke shopping mall to get out of the heat. There we found that Modelzone was having a closing down sale. Another casualty of the recession. It is a pity as it is a treasure trove of interesting things.
We already have a couple of RC cars including the Beast from Cool Stuff Collective series 1 but I couldn’t help getting a few new RC and IR vehicles for the family to play with in the new garden.
The first was a Nikko RC dirt bike. It is a funny little device as it needs to get up to speed usually by facing the wrong direction. Two stabilising wings near the ground then mean it has trouble on the rough stuff. I did a little vine of it working.

However I also bought a very much reduced Tamco Ev.03 RC helicopter slung with a small video camera and microsd slot.
Ev.03 micro copter and camera
Ev.03 micro copter and camera
They did try and get me to buy the full remote TV version of a copter. RC with a live video feed to the handset but I thought I might as well get a Parrot AR drone if I was going to do that. No the micro copter would do just fine.
It is surprisingly difficult to get to fly in the first place, in part that was because I was trying outdoors in the sunlight. Its small form means it is prone to wind shear and being an IR control the 31C sunlight was causing it some confusion. It manifests itself by rising up on throttle out of shadow to about 10 feet then deciding the sunlight is asking it for more power. So a few times we nearly lost it to the next door neighbours German Shepherds.
However tonight, it was still and stormy, the sun had set and I managed the longest non-crashing, non loss of control flight yet.

Bear in mind this is a simple Β£30 micro helicopter with a tiny camera on board. The quality I think is pretty amazing.
I don’t think all the apache gunships that fly over Basingstoke will be bothered but I amd now thinking I need a bigger and better RC helicopter/drone arrangement. one that works in sunlight. Also once with a nice API that I can get code doing interesting things or flying it in time with the kinect.
Next I need to work on exciting camera angles like those in the game replays πŸ™‚

Rocksmith 2014 Session mode

I am a big fan of Rocksmith, it has been a breath of fresh air in ways to learn and enjoy guitar now they are ramping up for the next edition of it. Luckily all the downloaded songs are still transferable. (Well less luck and more a necessity!)
I often use it as an example in my talks like the one I am giving this Wednesday at BCS Shropshire.
An interesting new feature has been added though, and so my talk has to evolve to keep up. That of session mode with a reactive and generative music backing band. You play and they keep up. This is really interesting and I can’t wait to see how it pans out with my guitar tinkering. The E3 conference saw Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains take to the stage. Just listen how, (once he has managed to go through a few customisation options using voice) the band kicks in and responds to his playing.

πŸ™‚

Not just handbrake turns – GTA V

The original Grand Theft Auto was a great game. A top down scroller with cars that had very pleasing handbrake slides as you zoomed around the city in a sort of glorified PacMan variant. That sells it a bit short but as the creators called it that once I think I can :).
There is a complete history here on Games Radar.
gta 1 via games radar
I loved the top down scrolling car action not least because I had written a few demos along that sort line.Not least the cars game that was part of the developer kit with the old firms “BIG” proof of concept for in game micro transactions back in 2004 (yes they should have stuck with it but what can you do !)
So when the 3d versions of GTA started to produce more variety, but definitely keep that level of fancy driving it was fantastic.
I always have marvelled at the size of the free roaming worlds in many of the games. They just get bigger and bigger. They are not random either they are designed, intricately designed! The entire metaverse now though becomes a backdrop for narrative, not just sliding around. The good thing is though, you can ignore the story and just have some fun razzing around in cars listening to music.
If you are not a gamer and you have not watched this new video of Grand Theft Auto V the fifth installment and the latest and greatest I urge you to give it a look. Just to get a feel for the scale of these games. I am sure GTA V will not disappoint, they have just got better and better, more and more varied. They are a fantastic achievement in games and technology too.

Wow for Wimbledon, a champion and some 3d printing !

I was going to write another reminiscing post about Wimbledon and the fantastic teamwork and effort that goes into delivering the tech there but I though I would be repeating myself.
However this year I can’t not mention Wimbledon for several reasons. The first is of course Andy Murray winning the whole Championship. The serendipity of it being 77 years since a brit won, combined with it being 7/7 that’s a lot of lucky numbers in a line πŸ™‚
The predlets had got very into the tennis this year, but had forgot, or never been there to remember the 10 years I got to sit in the bunker there with the old company. They wanted to hear what it was like and some of the stories. One of them said “Dad, do you miss it?”. My honest reply was yes of course I miss the event and team of people that delivered it all. What I didn’t miss was the constant battles before the Championships that everyone who works there suffers. Wimbledon is a few weeks of intense work, generally in the corporate side of things it is not regarded as billable. There are some full time sports events guys and marketing people, but most of the UK team were willing volunteers and experts trying to carve time out of the normal work to do something high profile, risky and exciting. That meant anyone who was in control of your time felt they lost you for a few weeks. It also meant there were other people who may have felt jealousy or envy at the teamwork and comradeship the event still creates. Once the event is on people are pretty much locked in and doing something time dependent and high profile so have to be left alone. Once the event is done there can be some retribution, though at the same time people that have done the event are in high demand to be wheeled out in front of customers as a trophy expert. So the pattern is pretty much “you are not doing this… oh you are doing it…. well you shouldn’t…. can you please help us on this project with the expertise you have gained it will make the customer happy. Repeat.
The resilience of the guys and girls still managing to get there and do the job despite everything is as impressive as the effort itself. I hope the aftermath, with a british winner, is slightly softened though I suspect the any jealousy of the fact you were there when “it” happened may cause a noses to be put out of joint. πŸ™‚
However, the thing this year that I was impressed about was that someone, somewhere had managed to get 3d printing into Wimbledon (something I didn’t manage in my time there though I did try πŸ™‚ )
There are taking the data analytics and some social media feedback and 3d printing data souvenirs based on that “demand”.

I had somehow missed this as I was following more of the tennis matches this year than the press for the first time in a long while. So thanks to Andy Burns, who has managed to fight the wimbledon fight for some many years he may get his own statue, for changing his facebook profile picture to a 3d printed trophy which made me sit up and take notice.
Well done who ever managed to persuade someone to do something with this. A kindred spirit who I hope has had and will continue to have as much fun, sweat and tears at Wimbledon as many of us have had.

Adventures with Photon and Unity3d

The unity3d hospital I have been working on has, up to now, been running on the Photon Cloud. (Photon server from Exit games is a socket server that allows client applications like those in Unity3d to talk to one another. They run a simple to use hosted version called Photon Cloud which is great for testing things out.
I decided though that some of the traffic we were pushing through might break the tiers for hosting on the cloud so thought I would run my own server. It was not the concurrent user as we have a few users, but they do a lot. Rather than a lot of users doing a little which is the general profile for gaming.
Unity dev
In part that is because on of the unity clients acts as the master for the application. It holds a lot of simulation data and changes to that have to be communicated (in various cached ways). If I had built it as server logic we may have cut down on traffic but would have to stick to a single way of working. As it is the application is also designed to fall back to disconnected mode and can be run as a non network demo (though that has its own challenges).
I did have a few difficulties to start off with but many of those were actually very simple to solve, and if you read some of the annotations in the docs they all make sense.
I sparked up a rackspace windows 2008r2 server first. Photon is windows based. I had dabbled with the Azure cloud hosting version for it but much of that required a windows development environment to deploy to and I am a Mac user with occasional windows use πŸ™‚ So it was much simpler to have a rackspace server and use the remote desktop to attach to it.
Downloading the files via the remote desktop was a problem to start off with due to all the various firewall restrictions, so there was a bit of clicking around windows admin.
I followed the 5 minute setup (kind of). Once downloaded you just end up with a set of bin directories for the Photon control and directories with the various server applications and configurations.
Remote Desktop ConnectionScreenSnapz001
All I needed was a lobby host and then simple game rooms to hold broker the data flow and RPC calls. I had not extra server logic. If something moves in unity3d on one client it needs to move on the other.
I didn’t have much luck having asked photon to start the Default application. I was not getting connected so I added a few extra firewall rules just to be on the safe side. I was starting to wonder if I could get to the hosted machine at all but I think there were some other network problems conspiring to confuse me too.
Then I read that if you are switching from Photon Cloud to your own server you should use the other application configuration, cunningly named Loadbalancing(MyCloud). I switched to that and ran the test client on the actual server and things seemed better. Still no luck connecting from unity3d though. Then I looked at the menu option that said Game Server IP config. It was set to a local address, so obviously the server was not going to be letting itself be known to the outside world. A simple click to autodetect public IP and I was able to connect from unity3d.
It all seemed good until after a few connects and disconnects it started to throw all sorts of errors.
I had to ask on the forum and on twitter, but just asking the question I started to think what I was actually doing and what I was running. I was glad of the response from Exit Games though as it meant that I was going along the right path.
Again it is obvious but… The mycloud application config that I was using had 1 master server and 2 game servers it did say it was not for production, but as this is not a massive scale game I thought I wouldn’t touch any configs. It looked like the master server was getting to a point of asking each game server who was the least busy (to direct traffic to) and getting an answer that they were both maxed out. I initially thought I needed to add more game servers, but it was actually the opposite. Removing one of the game servers from the config (effectively removing and load balancing logic) meant the same game server got the connections. The loadbalancer is really there for other machines to be brought into mix.
Having thought that was what was happening I cut the config files but still found after 30 mins running I got conflict. I did say that in the forum post too. However I had not fully rebooted the windows box only restarted the photon server. I think there is a lot of shared memory and low level resources in play. A few reboots and restarts and things seem to be behaving themselves.
The test will be today when the scenario is run with several groups of 5 users, but all running voice too.
Unity server buttons
I have put some server fallback code in though to allow us to switch back to the Photon Cloud if my server fails. For a while I was publishing two version one for cloud and one for my server. That was getting impractical as each upload on my non infinity broadband was taking 45 mins. So any changes had a 90+ minute roundtrip not including the fix.

The future of food, flies, soup and printed pizza – Flush Issue 8

The new issue of Flush magazine has just gone live and this time I joined in the food theme of the magazine.
As usual thankyou to @tweetthefashion for putting together such an amazing looking publication. I also know this was a bit of a trauma with some of the tech and file corruption all playing their part. It is there now though πŸ™‚
Page 87 on is my little contribution.

Being a company called Feeding Edge I always thought I would give myself the opportunity to move to a food based business or set up a restaurant. However this was an article about new types of food, the challenges we have for feeding the planet and some of the science and art of food that is coming to light.
I often put little tag lines into sections and my favourite was “waiter there is a fly in my primordial soup” in the section about farming algae for food.
It is probably not for the squeamish, but it is the first time I have combined Candy Crush, Michelin Starred Noma, the UN, insects, “organic side streams”, Danny Baker and 3d printing into a single article πŸ™‚
Anyway see what you think.
The full magazine is here and you can download or read it in any number of forms. It joins the ever growing portfolio of subjects on my writing page
Each of these often end up as a talk too, so I guess I best get keynoting whilst you read the apple news stand version too:)

Goto; Amsterdam part 2 of 2 –Some Choi then Makers gather

Day 2 (part 1 is here) of Goto started very early in the morning for me. I woke up and thought, hmmm I should do my Choi Kwang Do stretches and patterns, not realizing it was only 5am. Still it made me feel pretty good after the slightly heavy night out previously. Conferences are weird time shifts too, the intensity of being in conference mode needs something to balance it and this did. Besides I was going to be talking about Choi in my presentation and I had not been to class since the Saturday. It was now Wednesday!
Room with a view and an iMac  :)
So I entered the morning keynote pretty refreshed and ready to hear some interesting things.
The twitter wall was up and running again, as were my tweets. The wifi was rock solid the whole conference too !
Twitter wall #gotoams that was a well timed shot :)
First up was Martin Fowler, author of many books I have owned and read on patterns, UML etc. He had picked a couple of his talks that he has in his kit bag. For pure software engineers these were probably very useful. Schema’s still being there when there is no Schema made sense as at some point anything needs a structure put on it.
The tracks for the day were, It’s all about the people, stupid, Agile Closing the Loop, Hard Things Made Easy, Mobile, Case Studies, Legacy Systems and our Emerging interfaces track.
I stuck with the It’s all about the people, so that I could hear Linda Rising (@risinglinda) talk again. She talked about the power of the agile mindset. This was nothing about the Agile development approach, but really about human motivations and how they get messed up depending how they are addressed. Linda cited an experiment that gave an easy test to a group of students. After the test the group was divided into to by a subtle difference. This was not revealed until the rest of the story had been told. Instead Linda introduced Fixed and Agile thinking groups. Fixed being of an attitude that any task, intelligence, talent etc cannot be improved, you stick with what you have got and make the most of it, versus an agile mindset that is not fixed but is intrigued and motivated by the challenge and the effort aiming to improve.
In the story the fixed group were asked if they wanted to take a new easy test or a new hard test. They all chose easy again. The effort/agile group chose harder tests, thriving on the challenge.
There were several elements to the research that had been done that Linda recited, but it showed that the fixed mindset tends to measure itself against others being worse, assuming it can’t improve it maximises others flaws. The agile mindset looked for challenges, understood that failure was a learning experience and enjoyed the entire process comparing only to themselves and wanting to coach others to join them.
Now it turns out the only difference in the groups in the experiment was that the fixed group were handed their results and told that they were very clever. The agile group was handed the results and told they must have worked very hard. There are lots of examples of this but also that the fixed thinking tends to be destructive. The “rank and yank” approach of Enron and other corporates that seek to measure and find “the best” cut the others out etc. which leads to a set of people only wanting to not be in the bottom of the pool. This was compared to organisations like Southwest Airlines who seek to grow people, help them get better at whatever they do.
This is all out there in research, that is obviously ignored as it is a bit scary. However, linking back to my morning Choi exercises, in CKD there is no competition.We all want to learn, we want to grow and improve ourselves and help others. Nothing is ever wrong, it is a way to learn to do it better. Instructors are helped to understand how ti give positive re-enforcement and to praise effort. I don’t often hear “you are brilliant” used about people in the art, instead “that was a great effort”. Find you limit and push a little past it, then a little more. Just strive to get better not be the best. it is so simple and effective and it works.
(It has got me pondering an evolution of my blended learning piece of the pitch that features CKD and dive more into the similarity with how to do any good team growth and nurturing based on the CKD experience.)
The next presenter was Simon Brown on Sustainable competence – the people vs process and technology. This was more of a consulting experience presentation, but about the same subject. How and where it works to let people take an agile approach. It also was important to point out that Agile as a buzzword did not mean quick nor sort it out without the complications of design, build and test. In fact the examples were all of how teams that trust one another and are self organised take time. It is something that needs to be trusted to get on with itself. I had flashbacks to previous teams and how we tried to do that (without the Agile word). Always a corporate control freak would try and crush it at the wrong time.
A spot of lunch and then it was me. 50 minutes of cool stuff collective, games tech, 3d printing etc. It is my same slide deck, in a slightly different order but it is here and if you were there it might make sense πŸ™‚ I felt the crowd were engaged and enjoying it. There were some interesting shows of hands, or not to some of my questions to see who did what where. 80% of people knew about 3d printing but the viral nature of reprap was a surprise to many.
I was really glad that all of us presenting had some freaky and interesting things to say but in particular next up after I had shown some custard pies being thrown (usually quite hard to follow) Daniel Hirschman @danielhirschman had more than enough to follow that madness. He has several angles to his work. As an artist and physical designer he has a different perspective to developers. However he also wants the world to learn to code, to be a maker to hack. This is a very cool combination. He is a fan of the Arduino and of processing, and builds real things with it.
This was fantastic, all built with arduino and some other hacks to make a corner shop a musical instrument for a beer advert by his company Hirsch and Mann ltd. Check out the other work, like the Turin interactives at the science museum.

However he also showed lots of the work too of his educational company Technology Will Save Us that makes kits with arduino and alike to let kids or any makers play with an idea and build some interesting things. His final mad example was Bright Eyes. Which he got a kickstarter going for and raised some funds

(We speculated that Andy Piper would have been one of the backers, and yes he is :))
These came out later at the party. They were very popular.
We then changed tack to several lightning 10 minute talks. We had kinect for shop windows being demoed, Dan (@mintsource) showed a clever web sockets sort of local network distributed pub quiz with real prizes. I missed out by 1 point on a prize grrr. Dan also showed Leap motion working.
I did a quick piece on Unity3d and hospitals it was great to be able to talk a bit about code and how it worked. For my own brain it was good but also to not just be the crazy virtual world guy πŸ™‚
It was a maker fest really πŸ™‚ It all seemed to fly by and lots of people wanted to talk afterwards to it seemed to hit the nail on the head.
I had not mentioned this conference had lots of breaks, good 30 minute ones. Not a quick 10 minutes to dash to the next talk, but ones to stop, chat, reflect etc. It’s pacing was really good. They have been doing it a while though.
The final keynote was different in that we all stood up. The chairs had gone. The speaker was Mike Lee @bmf He was talking about the App universe after the big bang. It was a war story presentation, and he admitted to being a bit jet lagged after the alternative WWDC conference he had run. He is ” Mayor of Appsterdam” and brought a typical ebullient American delivery but blende with a love of the art and culture in Amsterdam. His main thing was “don’t make games” basically he was saying it is not going to make you rich and it is too hard. He is making games, he is suffering for his art. He managed to get his plug in at the end, but as it is an educational game, or at least one that tries to blend learning and fun it is worth a look. It was entertaining and depressing in equal measure, but finished with the line “lets go drink beer”.
We all stayed at the venue for a while as it was meet the speakers time, and as a speaker I was there to be met πŸ™‚
Then it drifted back to what must have become a very expensive bar bill at the hotel.
As mentioned the Brighteyes came out, but the also went head ot head with a Google Glass rig (and won)
Google glass meets kickstarter #brighteyes #gotoams
It was also very cool that the father of OTI and VisualAgeSmalltalk and Java Dave Thomas also took to them πŸ™‚
Behind the lens flare that's Dave Thomas (visual age) wearing led #brighteyes 100+ LEDs playing patterns #gotoams
Anyway I had some awesome chats with people, made some great contacts, enjoyed what I heard and had a great trip.
So thankyou again Gotocon and trifork

Goto; Amsterdam part 1 of 2 – Software engineering is changing

I was really happy to be asked to both attend and speak at this years Goto; conference in Amsterdam. I just got back and whilst I had been tweeting (probably a little too much) from the conference I thought I would try and distill a few things that I noticed and felt about the whole thing. Firstly thanks to Dan (@mintsource) for inviting me along, we were on the emerging interface track and so it was the mad end of software engineering, but as with all emerging stuff as we know, it’s the future.
The venue was the old corn exchange right in the heart of Amsterdam, a very impressive structure and has been modernised inside in some interesting ways that do actually fit.
Great venue for #gotoams
Our track was in the glass cube inside the brick frame πŸ™‚ A cool space (though a little warm πŸ™‚ )
Tomorrow's venue after lunch talking blended reality, learning, games and tv #gotoams
I knew what our track was going to be like but I have not been to a pure software engineering conference for a long time. Times have changed.
The first keynote was from the wonderful Linda Rising. @risinglinda talking about Incentives: why or why not?”. She is a very inspirational figure as she explains the path she has taken in tech and now even more so in dealing with people not process and into the realms of neuroscience. Not as a researcher but as a student. She also explains she may seem an odd person to see at a tech conference for various demographic reasons. This talk was the start of something I was surprised to see addressed quite so much. The importance of actual people, doing actual work and their motivations to do that. Linda pointed out the amount of real research that indicates certain well held corporate beliefs in what motivates people are pretty much wrong. Taylorism seems to have got hold and taken hold everywhere. Several other books were mentioned including The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work
Also the Pygmalion of Management HBR research showing that people clearly make a first impression and when they are managers they manage to that impression of someone. Which is of course detrimental all around.
Obviously with slightly rebellious and provocative attitude to the ridiculous practices in corporate life that I have often challenged she was speaking to the converted. We had a good chat after the presentation at one of the breaks and I was very much looking forward to her next talk the following day. As I have been busy reading (yes actually reading) Thinking, Fast and Slow and the author was mentioned in the talk it fitted really well as a kick off for a conference for me.
We then split off into tracks. The Rise of Educational Startups, HTML5 Rocks Javascript, Big Data NOSQL search, software craftmanship and bring your own language.
As usual you can’t go to everything. I stuck with the rise of education startups and with HTML5 and Javascript. The former because I do a lot of that sort of thing, the latter because I wanted to see what the high end world of software engineering was saying about the potentially anarchic new web tech.
The first pitch by Matteo Manferdini was a bit of a busman’s holiday as he was pointing out the flaws in educational games that try and have education as an end reward for some play. It did dovetail nicely with the keynote as really this is about rewards or incentives and why anyone would want to do something, including playing a game. He ended up showing the videos that were played at IGBL 2013 too with the never ending bin and the musical stair case. It was also a place for him to tell Jane Mcgonigal (@avantgame) story and also mention Raph Koster and theory of fun. This all made sense, and I was glad to see it being presented as it meant I wasn’t going to be doing my talk to a load of people who had never heard some madness πŸ™‚
The next pitch was Nick Grantham of @fractuslearning asking “Are You Giving Teachers Blisters? – Finding the Right Fit for an EdTech Startup”. being an Aussie who lives in Ireland he had a suitably different presentation. Relating education to shoes. The wrong shoes at the wrong place give you blisters. So chucking in educational tech for the sake of it causes friction, and therefore fails. It was a very good one, some good war stories and consulting style references.
After lunch it was time for HTML5 etc.
Sergi Mansilla started off talking about “HTML5 is the future of mobile” It was really a direct pitch about the new Firefox OS. Not so much as a sales pitch but pointing out the politics of mobile. The walled garden native apps causing all sorts of problems for developers, the lack of open API’s to help use any device in anyway. Also the fact that HTML5 is often thought of as a single thing, just like a simple markup. It is instead a mix and match ecosystem of so many bits and pieces that its flexibility is also its drawback.
Next it was tech royalty time. Douglas Crockford the creator of JSON talked about some code he was working on “Managing Asynchronicity with RQ”. Now this was real code, talking about a set of helper functions to allow multiple asynchronous calls to go out to the world and be composed and returned as results without blocking. Definitions like, call these 3 weather API’s I don’t care which one comes back first, but if one does come back, use that and move on. It was a different model to event driven systems and despite being just code slides it made a nice counterpoint to the other presentations. Well worth checking out.
Finally in the tracks for that day and before the party. Brian Le Roux did a talk “Best of WTFJS”. This was based on him having gathered a collection of weird and wonderful JS bugs and features, work around and hacks. He did the entire thing in a terminal window just typing them πŸ™‚ They all made sense, but were all daft at the same time. It was a great live pitch. One of my favourite pitches too.
Wtfjs #gotoams a live terminal showing mad js
e.g. 3 > 2 > 1 returns false πŸ™‚
Anyway it was nice to end on some code but have started on people. Then it was back to people, beer, wine and food for the mid conference party.
However just before that we had another keynote. Eric Meijer gave a dynamic and crazy speech about “A Monadic Model for Big Data”, basically pointing out the huge flaws in the relational database model. It was partly a joke, but not really. It did conclude with the fact that if it works use it, but that there are better and simpler ways that doing a select statement. In particular when you are dealing with live data, it is just there, not a summation of a report of stored information. The web is a huge repository of live data, distributed and now. His example of an earthquake app pointed out that the application was going to find an earthquake as it happened. Not go and lookup the data of yesterdays reports in a relational table πŸ™‚ Anyway it was a buzzing and well done pitch from Mr c#.
#gotoams party flyers
Much fun was had by all (and some great chips afterwards too πŸ™‚ )
Part 2 to follow. (actually here it is :))

GOTO Amsterdam 2013 conference

Today I am heading off to the #gotoams conference in Amsterdam. I am really looking forward to this one. I have a whole day to attend tomorrow before giving my blended reality talk on wednesday and also a lighting talk on MMIS.
There is lots more info on the website, and if you are going come and say hi.

GOTO Amsterdam

GOTO Amsterdam


I am looking forward to the track “RISE OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY STARTUPS” too as that crosses over with what I talk about and work in and with the recent IGBL in Dublin
I have not been to Amsterdam since the 2011 Metameets, which I have some great memories of too being with so many like minded metaverse people at the time
It does mean I will miss a few Choi lessons this week, but as I am talking about Choi (in part) and will no doubt wake up early in the hotel I am sure I will get some practice in for my grading next week πŸ™‚