Having had a whale of a time at the Aberdeen Culture Hack (aka #ach13)  last weekend it was my intention to  write a full blog post, but Kevin Mitchell beat me to it. So, I’ll pick out a few highlights instead.

The highlights

  • The coolest tools weren’t Martin’s Arduinos, or the data-liberating powerhouse that is ACC-9144Scraperwiki, but Steve’s Stattys: amazing next-gen postits that adhere to virtually any surface and can be slid around a bare wall with one finger. These make grouping or clustering of ideas a cinch. Try unpeeling and resticking traditional postits a couple of times and you’ll both get what I mean, and a paper-strewn floor. Stattys will stick there for weeks, and then come off with no residue or gum left behind. As one of the participants observed, “What kind of dark magic is this?”
  • Following the initial brainstorm, we agreed on a single project outcome and all worked, as part of sub-teams to achieve that. We had excellent content generation and curation, great UI development and Paul and me beavering away trying to make ScrapACC-9142erwiki do what we wanted it. Scraperwiki is a great tool, but if you’re trying to get data out of a site that uses old MS Visual Studio-generated code with impenetrable javascipt post-back pagination, even the might of the mechanize library in Scraperiki doesn’t make it easy.
    If you fancy having a crack at fixing the Scraper to paginate through the various sub-pages, please have a go and let me know if you solved it.
    Working in a pair with another coder rally helps move the code development on as you’re always critiquing code and spotting errors – and makes for a more sociable experience.
  • At the conclusion of the two days we had (with at least 2 minutes to spare) a working alpha demo that we the proceded to live test in the street with our audience for the Show and Tell. As I tweeted during the walk, we may well have been the first hackathon group to have our plans partly-scuppered by being locked out of a graveyard!
  • Andrew Learmonth and @aberdeen2017 provided a great working space (which should be considered for future hack days, being so easily accessible from buses and trains) and excellent localACC-9137 catering. Enormous thanks go to IFB and CEO Graeme Gordon for their generous sponsorship of the event which made it viable.

 

 

Summing it up

Ach13 was a great way to spend a weekend. The output from the weekend lends itself to further development, and there is a real appetite to take the project forward, refining the UI and adding further content types and through better meta-data use alloACC-9126w better filtering at the consumer end. There’s also the potential to create a means of capturing, tagging and uploading content, to ensure that the metadata is rich enough to support the content type selection on the end device.

It was also very enjoyable and productive to involve other creatives, rather than just coders. I would love to repeat the exercise in a similar format.

We also now have a nACC-9125umber of new Raspberry Pi owners in Aberdeen, so arranging Aberdeen’s first Raspberry Jam must be on the cards. I’d also be up for (co)arranging a Python coder dojo at some point. Leave me a comment below if you’d be interested in either in Aberdeen.

 

So what is my ownACC-9112 goal for the next Aberdeen Culture Hack?  Well, I am going to push my computer-generated poetry more forcibly! The world needs more of it!

Aberdeen Culture Hack – Ach, it was good fun!
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3 thoughts on “Aberdeen Culture Hack – Ach, it was good fun!

  • 29 July 2013 at 3:35 PM
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    Hurrah!! This kind of things are really good for Aberdeen, a place where there are a great deal of business initiative. Hopefully, our city one day will be the British Silicon Valley.

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  • 23 August 2013 at 7:36 PM
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    This sounds excellent, I’m sorry I missed it! I am the Computing At School Aberdeen hub coordinator and am attempting to set up some Raspberry Pi induction for teachers in the local area before we distribute some of the Raspberry Pi devices that Google donated. Would be very keen to help with future Raspberry Jam events too!

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  • 4 February 2014 at 11:46 PM
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    I live in the nearby town of Inverurie and I am only 11 years old but I am really into technology and that kind of stuff as I have a raspberry pi and I am hoping to make some stuff with that. I am really quite annoyed that there is no raspberry jams or any technology events for younger people like me, as I see the raspberry jams down in Cambridge and Manchester, and they look amazing, so I hope someone organises something like that soon

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