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WordCamp 2011: Sponsor: GetShopped.org

Thu, 2015-02-12 02:27

We’re less than a week away from WordCamp Gold Coast 2011 and we have yet another fabulous sponsor to announce! Please welcome aboard GetShopped.org, who make the wonderful WP e-Commerce  plugin!

WP e-Commerce was the first WordPress e-Commerce Plugin to embrace Custom Post Types, making it the perfect choice for WordPress developers and theme creators alike!

WP e-Commerce is just like WordPress. From a user perspective, adding and managing your product catalogue couldn’t be easier. Use WordPress? Use the WP e-Commerce Plugin. The GetShopped crew takes every possible precaution to make sure WP e-Commerce is as secure as it can be.

WP e-Commerce is a free WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin that lets customers buy your products, services and digital downloads online. We make setting up a shop easy, and with over 1.3 Million downloads, we have unparalleled experience.

WP e-Commerce has the best Payment Gateway API out of all e-Commerce Plugins.

You can follow GetShopped on Twitter. You should also follow WordCamp Gold Coast on Twitter.

If you want to join the awesome line-up of WordCamp Gold Coast sponsors, apply now!

WordCamp 2011: Speaker: Andy Henderson – SEO For WordPress Workshop

Thu, 2015-02-12 02:27

Andy Henderson

Andy Henderson has been involved with the web since the mid 1990s (yes, they even had search engines way back then), has run his own Web Consulting agency for the last 10 years, (specialising in Search Engine Optimisation for 8 years) and has been using WordPress for the last 6 years – so is very well qualified to present Sunday’s SEO for WordPress Workshop.

More recently Andy has co-founded a training organisation called In a Day – which focuses on Hands on Training Workshops – (with a BIG emphasis on Hands On), where students don’t just learn how to do stuff.. they actually do it – and at the end of the day have actually achieved something.

Their flagship workshop – Website In a Day – (which is ONLY possible because of WordPress), guides students through the process of Domain registration, Hosting setup, WordPress installation, Theme selection and customisation, and Content creation – so at the end of the day, they have a fully functioning website , that they have created themselves. Graduates also have the skills and experience to be able to continue improving and maintaining the sites themselves.

In a Day also offer WordPress Training/ Consulting, SEO, Marketing, and other courses aimed at dragging guiding small businesses into the world of the web.

The SEO for WordPress Workshop will include sections on SEO Friendly themes, and “must have” SEO Plugins (and how to configure them properly), but also includes tips, tricks and tactics for using standard WordPress functionality to maximise your online exposure.

The workshop topics include:

  •          SEO Fundamentals
  •          WordPress Out of the Box
  •          Basic Configuration
  •          SEO Friendly Themes
  •          SEO Plugins (of course)
  •          SEO Content Strategies

WordCamp 2011: Speaker: Dan Petrovic – Google, Angry Panda & WordPress

Thu, 2015-02-12 02:27

Dan Petrovic

Before you begin reading this in detail, take a moment and follow these steps:

  1. Open a new tab in your browser
  2. Go to Google
  3. Type in ‘SEO’
  4. Scroll down just a fraction and notice where DejanSEO is placed for ‘SEO

Based on that quick task you have verified results that Dan Petrovic is one of Australia’s most creative and leading SEO specialists. Dan is completely obsessed with search engine optimisation and all things that relate to Google’s wonderful algorithm, so much so that it only takes a trip to his office at Brisbane Technology Park to see the equations scribbled in whiteboard marker on the office walls! This is either the work of a genius…or a crazed madmen! I’d definitely say it’s a mix of 95% of the former and 5% of the latter.

Dans’ team at DEJAN SEO has consultants in Australia and Europe who all collaborate to deliver results for all kinds of businesses, from all over the world. Dan prefers an open and transparent approach to his work, choosing to involve clients at every step of their SEO campaign, which is why he is a known and trusted entity when it comes to SEO.

We asked Dan a few questions in the lead up to his talk which he has kindly answered below:

You’ve been working with SEO ever since your university days, what was it that caught your interest about search engines and their ranking algorithms?

I was going to be a scientist you know, but my creative drive lead me to study multimedia instead. I soon realised that SEO satisfies both the scientist and artist in me. It was an obvious choice when I think about it.

Ranking so incredibly highly for the term ‘SEO’ is an amazing achievement in itself, however I would imagine that remaining in that position would be an ongoing task. How much planning and monitoring takes place in your office to maintain your ranking?

Our strategy has always been to stay focused, work hard and share all the awesome things that we discover. My team and I spend a fraction of our time each day to write something of value. This is not only good for karma, but it also generates free links.

The HTML5 standard now allows multiple heading tags <H1> tags because of the new HTML5 <article> tags. Have you conducted any experiments with this to see if Google ranks HTML5 markup in a different way because of these new tags?

No. There are much more exciting experiments in our queue at the moment. Contrary to belief of many webmasters H tags are not as potent as they are believed to be. Although they do help a fraction, I recommend that you do not obsess over it and maintain a good semantic structure of your headings to benefit both search engines and users. Here’s a good example:

-H1: Vehicles

–H2: Cars

—H3: Sedans

—H3: SUVs

–H2: Motorbikes

—H3: Dirtbikes

—H3: Roadbikes

—-H4: Harley Davidson

—H3: Sportsbikes

—-H4: Suzuki

—–H5: SFV650

——H6: SFV650 Engine Specifications

What has been your favourite SEO campaign for a client and why?

How do you pick a favorite child? But if I had to highlight one cool company we worked with it would have to be Atlassian. I think those guys have a healthy corporate culture and support their products well. It’s good to work for a brand that others love.

You can follow Dan on Twitter. You should also follow WordCamp Gold Coast on Twitter.

WordCamp 2011: Speaker: John Ford – How Automattic Works Across 20 Countries With 95 Employees

Thu, 2015-02-12 02:27

John Ford

We’re very lucky to have another international speaker on our fabulous lineup for WordCamp Gold Coast 2011! John Ford can’t get enough of Australia so he’s back again from North Carolina, USA (via Budapest). John works for Automattic on VaultPress which is an invaluable WordPress plugin that provides real-time backups and security scanning of your WordPress site.

Automattic are a distributed company with employees all around the world. Running a distributed company is a rather unusual concept for anyone who isn’t running a business that revolves around technology and the internet. Automattic explain the way they work briefly on their website:

Everyone works from their own home or office, and we’re spread out all over the world — California, Texas, New York, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Bulgaria, Australia, and more. We track about 70% of our projects on P2-themed WordPress.com blogs, 25% on private IRC channels, and the rest on Skype or AIM. Because of the geographic variance, we’re active pretty much 24/7. You’ll set your own hours — what’s important is what gets done, not when or where it got done.

John will be giving us an insiders look into ‘How Things Work At Automattic’ and he’s summed up his talk as follows:

There are a number of benefits and challenges in a distributed work environment. At Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, nearly 100 employees interact on a daily basis while living all around the world. The heart of the operation is fueled by constant communication and open source tools that help build awesome products. We’ll look at how the Automatticians work on a day-to-day basis, the tools they use, and ways to collaborate on projects when you’re not in the same location as your colleagues.

I know this is a session that I can’t wait to participate in as I’m a director in a WordPress based web design firm and I’ve always wondered how challenging it would be to manage a team of developers in remote locations.

You can follow John on Twitter. You should also follow WordCamp Gold Coast on Twitter.

WordCamp 2011: Speaker: Timothy Ferguson, Running an Online Bookclub with WordPress

Thu, 2015-02-12 02:27

Timothy Ferguson

The wonderful thing about WordPress is that there are an infinite number of ways that the software can be used on the internet. WordCamp Gold Coast 2011 already has a number of amazing uses of the software ranging from: capturing memories right through to running a business based around WordPress!

One usage of WordPress that I’d never considered before is using WordPress to manage and online bookclub! Timothy Ferguson is one of the maintainers of the Gold Coast Library WordPress site gcbooks.wordpress.com. The Gold Coast Library setup their online book club as their staff training platform for Web 2.0 and are using WordPress as part of their new Online Branch strategy in 2012! Timothy and his team have also trained people on how to set up blogs and post on a regular basis.

Timothy has been an IT trainer with various library systems for fifteen years. In his session he’ll share experiences about building communities of readers online. Timothy even uses WordPress for his own freelance writing, (19 non-vanity published books so far) at timothyferguson.wordpress.com.

Donna Benjamin: DrupalEight @ DrupalSouth

Tue, 2015-02-10 22:27
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 22:52

The number of critical issues holding up the release of Drupal 8 is now in the 50s. When will it be released? When it's ready. In the meantime there are some great opportunities around to start to get up to speed on what Drupal 8 is all about. Not least of which are 7 sessions at DrupalSouth in Melbourne next month.

Check them out:

First up, our keynote by Angela "webchick" Byron: Drupal 8: What you need to know

Since March 2011, the community has been hard at work on Drupal 8, which is currently undergoing active development. This revolutionary new release sports tons of improvements, and Angela Byron, Drupal core committer and long-time core developer, will lead you through the most important ones and how they'll impact your future site building endeavors.   Get answers to your frequently asked questions, learn about the changes coming down the pipe for clients, site builders, designers, and developers. You'll also find out more about the core development process, some tips and tricks on how the community works and how to contribute. Best of all, you'll take away some action steps on how you too can help make Drupal 8 the most awesome release of Drupal yet!    

Lee "larowlan" Rowlands: Contributing to Core without losing your mind

Contributing to Drupal core can be satisfying, educational, overwhelming, frustrating and many more emotions, all in the one issue.   In this session I'll share some things I've learned from contributing to Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 core.   Topics covered
  • Negotiating issue queues
  • Finding your niche
  • Git and patch workflows
  • Dealing with politics and personalities
  • Not sweating details
  • Development approaches
  • Learning through reviews
  • Building networks and friendships
  • Automating your processes with phing
  • Automated tests

 

Justin "beejeebus" Randell: Best practices for configuration management in Drupal 8

Drupal 8 ships with a new Configuration Management System (CMI) that vastly improves on Drupal 7. A Drupal site's configuration can be expressed as a set of yaml files, and stored and managed just like source code.   In this talk I'll explore the powerful new CMI features, and present best practice workflows for managing configuration across Drupal 8 projects.   Trying to figure out how Drupal 8's new CMI features will work with your development team? Come to this presentation and we'll try to work it out.    

Vladimir R and Josh Martin: Services in Drupal 8: using Drupal as data storage for mobile apps, web apps and websites

Web services is one of the official Drupal 8 incentives. Known as "headless Drupal", web services allow us to use Drupal as a data storage for applications and websites using various frameworks and technologies.    In this presentation we will cover
  1. Introduction to web services. We will cover origins and types of web services, crucial componets and basics to get us going. We will look into the difference between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 service setup and why it was crucial to get services into the core. 
  2. Examples of use. Modern web applications, mobile application and a lot of web sites are using web services for reusing exisitng application components or connecting existing applications together. For this presentation we've built mobile application, simple website and booking web app using Drupal 8 as well as various other libraries to demonstrate the practical use of web services.
  3. Drupal 8 services configuration. In this section we will cover how to get your hands dirty "under the hood" by configuring Drupal to work in examples from the previous section.

 

David Peterson: How Everything is Connected - Drupal 8 and Schema.org

The world is complex and is full of connections and relationships amongst "real things". The web is complex and full of links between text, video and images.   How do we bridge this divide between the real world and the online web? The Graph. The knowledge graph defines what is important to us and how it relates to the things we care about.   When you publish a Drupal site is built with rich Content Types and fields, relationships link things together in a way that provides unique value to your end users. Then this wonderful data is hidden away as soon you you save the page and HTML is generated. Schema.org integration within Drupal 8 uncovers these hidden "things" and relationships and describes them as rich data within your HTML.    So, that sounds great, right? But why would you want to do this? Schema.org was created by the largest search engines in the world Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. They are consuming this data to provide end users with a much richer and more relevant search experience. Google has stated that 15% of all websites it has indexed use schema.org. That adds up to ... A LOT :)    SEO is no longer a dark art. SEO is about encoding the rich relationships and entities from your website and sharing them to the wider world.   Come to this session and hear about this wonderful new and interconnected world -- the Knowledge Graph.  

Magda Kostrzewa: How to create a custom theme in Drupal 8

In this session we will look at some of the new features that are in Drupal 8 theming as well as demonstrate how to create and configure a Drupal 8 sub-theme from Classy, the new core theme in Drupal 8.

This session is for current Drupal themers who want a glimpse into how to get started creating your own sub-theme in Drupal 8 as well as those new to Drupal who want an introduction to Drupal 8 theming.

 

Jibran Ijaz: Create your own bespoke Views Style Plugins for Drupal 8

Views in Drupal Core was the first initiative to reach feature completion in Drupal 8. Like all other core systems Views has embraced PSR , Plugin Systems, Annotations and ConfigEntities.   This session is about how Drupal 8 makes it easy and painless to create a ViewsStyle Plugin.   We'll learn:
  • How to add a custom theme to a plugin.
  • How to add a display option to a plugin.
  • How to use configuration options to customise the HTML output.
  • We'll also take a look into some contributed views style plugin modules.

 

Grab a ticket now!

Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) Announce: LUV Beginners February Meeting: MythTV party

Tue, 2015-02-10 21:30
Start: Feb 21 2015 12:30 End: Feb 21 2015 16:30 Start: Feb 21 2015 12:30 End: Feb 21 2015 16:30 Location: 

South Yarra (RSVP for address)

PLEASE NOTE CHANGED VENUE. The March meeting will return to the usual venue.

LUV committee member Deb Henry will be hosting a follow-up to her August 2014 talk on MythTV at her home in South Yarra, where she will demonstrate her system and talk about remote frontends, remote control setup and some plugins for MythTV. Please RSVP on 0409 338 182 for the address, limited to no more than 20 attendees. Bring finger food and drink if convenient.

LUV would like to acknowledge Red Hat for their help in obtaining the Buzzard Lecture Theatre venue and VPAC for hosting.

Linux Users of Victoria Inc., is an incorporated association, registration number A0040056C.

February 21, 2015 - 12:30

read more

Tridge on UAVs: APM:Plane 3.2.2 released

Tue, 2015-02-10 09:20
The Ardupilot development team has released version 3.2.2 of APM:Plane. This is a bugfix release for some important bugs found by users of the 3.2.1 release.



The changes in this release are:

  • fixed a bug that could cause short term loss of RC control with some receiver systems and configurations
  • allowed for shorter sync pulse widths for PPM-SUM receivers on APM1 and APM2
  • fixed HIL mode altitude
The most important bug fix is the one for short term loss of RC control. This is a very long standing bug which didn't have a noticeable impact for most people, but could cause loss of RC control for around 1 or 2 seconds for some people in certain circumstances.



The bug was in the the AP_HAL RCInput API. Each HAL backend has a flag that says whether there is a new RC input frame available. That flag was cleared by the read() method (typically hal.rcin->read()). Callers

would check for new input by checking the boolean hal.rcin->new_input() function.



The problem was that read() was called from multiple places. Normally this is fine as reads from other than the main radio input loop happen before the other reads, but if the timing of the new radio frame

exactly matched the loop frequency then a read from another place could clear the new_input flag and we would not see the new RC input frame. If that happened enough times we would go into a short term RC

failsafe and ignore RC inputs, even in manual mode.



The fix was very simple - it is the new_input() function itself that should clear the flag, not read().



Many thanks to MarkM for helping us track down this bug by providing us with sufficient detail on how to reproduce it. In Marks case his OpenLRSng configuration happened to produce exactly the worst case timing needed to reproduce the issue. Once I copied his OpenLRS settings to my TX/RX I was able to reproduce the problem and it was easy to find and fix.



A number of users have reported occasional glitches in manual control where servos pause for short periods in past releases. It is likely that some of those issues were caused by this bug. The dev team would like to apologize for taking so long to track down this bug!



The other main change was also related to RC input. Some receivers use a PPM-SUM sync pulse width shorter than what the APM1/APM2 code was setup to handle. The OpenLRSng default sync pulse width is 3000 microseconds, but the APM1/APM2 code was written for a minimum sync pulse width of 4000 microseconds. For this release I have changed the APM1/APM2 driver to accept a sync pulse width down to 2700 microseconds. This release also fixes HIL mode altitude. I am hoping this will be the last release where you need to have a separate firmware for HIL mode and normal flight mode. In the future we will have a HIL_MODE parameter, and if that is set at boot then the board will run in HIL mode. That will make it easier to run HIL on all boards (eg. Pixhawk, NavIO, Erle etc) without having to recompile and reload firmware. Happy flying!

Ian Wienand: Netgear CG3100D-2 investigation

Mon, 2015-02-09 04:52

The Netgear CG3100D-2 is the default cable-modem you get for Telstra Cable, at least at one time. Having retired it after changing service providers, I wanted to see if it was somewhat able to be re-purposed.

In short it's hackability is low.

First thing was to check out the Netgear Open Source page to see if the source had anything interesting. There is some source, but honestly when you dig into the platform code and see things like kernel/linux/arch/mips/bcm963xx/setup.c:

/*************************************************************************** * C++ New and delete operator functions ***************************************************************************/ /* void *operator new(unsigned int sz) */ void *_Znwj(unsigned int sz) { return( kmalloc(sz, GFP_KERNEL) ); } /* void *operator new[](unsigned int sz)*/ void *_Znaj(unsigned int sz) { return( kmalloc(sz, GFP_KERNEL) ); } ...

there's a bit of a red-flag that this is not the cleanest code in the world (I guess it interfaces with some sort of cross-platform SDK written in some sort of C++).

So next we can open it up, where it turns out there are two separate UARTs as shown in the following image.

One of these is for the bootloader and eCOS environment, and the other seems to be connected to the Linux side.

A copy of the boot-logs for the bootloader and eCOS and Linux don't show anything particuarly interesting. The Linux boot does identify itself as Linux version 2.6.30-V2.06.05u while the available source lists its version as 2.6.30-1.0.5.83.mp2 so it's questionable if the source matches whatever firmware has made it onto the modem.

We do see that this identifies as a BCM338332 which seems to be one of the many sub-models of the BCM3383 SoC cable-modem solution. There is an OpenWrt wiki page that indicates support is limited.

Both Linux and eCos boot to a login prompt where all the usual default combinations of login/passwords fail. So my next thought was to try and get to the firmware via the bootloader, which has a simple interface

BCM338332 TP0 346890 Reset Switch - Low GPIO-18 50ms MemSize: 128 M Chip ID: BCM3383G-B0 BootLoader Version: 2.4.0alpha14R6T Pre-release Gnu spiboot dual-flash reduced DDR drive linux Build Date: Mar 24 2012 Build Time: 14:04:50 SPI flash ID 0x012018, size 16MB, block size 64KB, write buffer 256, flags 0x0 Dual flash detected. Size is 32MB. parameter offset is 49944 Signature/PID: a0e8 Image 1 Program Header: Signature: a0e8 Control: 0005 Major Rev: 0003 Minor Rev: 0000 Build Time: 2013/4/18 04:01:11 Z File Length: 3098751 bytes Load Address: 80004000 Filename: CG3100D_2BPAUS_V2.06.02u_130418.bin HCS: 1e83 CRC: b95f4172 Found image 1 at offset 20000 Image 2 Program Header: Signature: a0e8 Control: 0005 Major Rev: 0003 Minor Rev: 0000 Build Time: 2013/10/17 02:33:29 Z File Length: 3098198 bytes Load Address: 80004000 Filename: CG3100D_2BPAUS_V2.06.05u_131017.bin HCS: 2277 CRC: a6c0fd23 Found image 2 at offset 800000 Image 3 Program Header: Signature: a0e8 Control: 0105 Major Rev: 0002 Minor Rev: 0017 Build Time: 2013/10/17 02:22:30 Z File Length: 8277924 bytes Load Address: 84010000 Filename: CG3100D_2BPAUS_K2630V2.06.05u_131017.bin HCS: 157e CRC: 57bb0175 Found image 3 at offset 1000000 Enter '1', '2', or 'p' within 2 seconds or take default... . . Board IP Address [0.0.0.0]: 192.168.2.10 Board IP Mask [255.255.255.0]: Board IP Gateway [0.0.0.0]: Board MAC Address [00:10:18:ff:ff:ff]: Internal/External phy? (e/i/a)[a] Switch detected: 53125 ProbePhy: Found PHY 0, MDIO on MAC 0, data on MAC 0 Using GMAC0, phy 0 Enet link up: 1G full Main Menu: ========== b) Boot from flash g) Download and run from RAM d) Download and save to flash e) Erase flash sector m) Set mode s) Store bootloader parameters to flash i) Re-init ethernet p) Print flash partition map r) Read memory w) Write memory j) Jump to arbitrary address X) Erase all of flash except the bootloader z) Reset Flash Partition information: Name Size Offset ===================================== bootloader 0x00010000 0x00000000 image1 0x007d0000 0x00020000 image2 0x007c0000 0x00800000 linux 0x00800000 0x01000000 linuxapps 0x00600000 0x01800000 permnv 0x00010000 0x00010000 dhtml 0x00200000 0x01e00000 dynnv 0x00040000 0x00fc0000 vennv 0x00010000 0x007f0000

The "read memory" seems to give you one byte at a time and I'm not certain it actually works. So I think the next step is solder some leads to dump out the firmware from the flash-chip directly, which is on the underside of the board. At that point, I imagine the passwords would be easily found in the image and you might then be able to leverage this into some sort of further hackability.

If you want a challenge and have a lot of time on your hands, this might be your platform — but practically I think the best place for this is the recycling bin.

Sridhar Dhanapalan: Twitter posts: 2015-02-02 to 2015-02-08

Mon, 2015-02-09 00:27

Michael Still: Tuggeranong Stone Wall

Sun, 2015-02-08 20:28
Its not every day that your walk is to a 140 year old stone wall that you've been driving past for years without even knowing its there. That however was today's walk, inspired by a walk post by John Evans. I really enjoyed this walk, and it was a good length too. It would have been nice to return by a different route though, although such a thing was not obvious to me while doing the walk.



     



Interactive map for this route.



Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150208-tugg_stone_wall photo canberra tuggeranong bushwalk

Related posts: Big Monks; Geocaching; Confessions of a middle aged orienteering marker; Point Hut Cross to Pine Island; A walk around Mount Stranger; Another lunch time walk



Comment

Michael Still: Point Hut Crossing to Pine Island

Sun, 2015-02-08 08:29
Andrew and I decided to walk from Point Hut Crossing (near our house) to Pine Island yesterday. Its a nice walk, about 4km and mostly flat with a track the whole way. We even found some geocaches along the way. I think this route would be a good one for cubs.



     



Interactive map for this route.



Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150207-point_hut_pine_island photo canberra tuggeranong bushwalk

Related posts: Big Monks; Geocaching; Confessions of a middle aged orienteering marker; A walk around Mount Stranger; Another lunch time walk; Forster trig



Comment

Chris Smart: Korora 21 available

Sat, 2015-02-07 22:30

It has taken a few weeks longer than we had hoped, but Korora 21 images are now available. I strongly recommend downloading with BitTorrent if you can.

The 21 beta was quite successful and we were able to make some minor changes to help improve the overall experience. Users who are currently on the beta need not re-install, updates are provided via the package manager. Users who are on 20 may consider upgrading, however this is not necessary as version 20 is supported for another 6 months or so.

Stewart Smith: MySQL-next = Drizzle 5 years ago?

Sat, 2015-02-07 11:26

With JSON functionality, alternate protocols (HTTP, memcache), a move towards saner defaults and crash safety, pluggable logging etc it really looks like MySQL is following what we did in Drizzle years ago, which is great!

Andrew McDonnell: hacksa2015

Fri, 2015-02-06 23:27

In the middle of last year I attended Unleashed/Govhack 2014, I blogged about it here.

Barely over a week ago by pure chance I stumbled across another hackathon, this time being hacksa. This was an Adelaide only event that was designed to tie in with Entrepreneurs Week here. It seemed like an excellent opportunity to practice for the next GovHack (and a chance to meet some new people) so I entered a team! Also, I discovered that one of the people running the event was a friend of mine from uni over from Sydney for the event, so it was a good chance to catch up.

Hacksa was also going to be a small event, being first time, held at short notice, in one city, and also more focused to a specific domain (music industry) compared to GovHack. So I figured that if I managed to put into practice some of what I think I learned at Unleashed in 2014 we might stand a chance of earning some conference tickets (one of the prizes is entry to a conference called NetWorkPlay) or maybe if lucky enough cash!

Having entered a team, I had to find some teammates. So I press-ganged Mr 13, and then convinced a friend from linux.conf.au who was in another team at Unleashed, and another friend of mine who knows a bit about business, to join in, and we set to work.

Spread Out in Time

Unlike GovHack, hacksa released the API (well, some of them) the Friday before the event. So we had the weekend to work on it. Actually we only had the weekend because the hacksa event proper was strangely held on a Wednesday, and we all had work or school.  But this was OK, we only had to show up in the evening to finalise things and do the video interview. This was another difference (and I think improvement), we didn’t have to shoot our own video.

Actually we really only had Sunday, because of life and stuff, so I put in a late one on the Saturday evening pulling together a VPS and web infrastructure for our entry, along with libraries (I decided to use twitter bootstrap to get moving in  hurry, along with Python web.py)  I’d had two ideas, one for a visualusation/infographic and the other a web app, and learning from Unleashed I intentionally stopped thinking too hard at that point and went with the web app, which was to be a mash up based initially on the V-channel chart APIs. Ultimately I think going for a web app will prove to be a good idea, we’ll see in due course.

On the Sunday we congregated at a local library and polished off the prototype. Mr 13 put together a snazzy landing page for us using weebly, and a request page using launch rock. Its pretty handy being able to divvy out tasks and keep in involved and motivated!

Pizza!

The hackathon event was held at a place called St Pauls Creative Center in the CBD.  It was actually a pretty nice venue for this event. We got there about 6pm which gave us a couple more hours to refine Sundays efforts and then do the video interview. Of course we got pizza which was good too because Mr 13 was pretty hungry by then :-)

Overall it felt good to actually pull something together that was essentially a working ‘minimal viable product’ (in the parlance), and we also had a good ‘story’ to tell, thanks to my friends.

I’ll probably blog more about the app itself and the API feeds a bit later.

Even if we don’t win anything, I think I’ll finish it off and we’ll go live as an experiment to see if anyone actually uses it and maybe make enough to pay for the VPS hosting for a few cups of coffee from google ads!

 

Andrew McDonnell: Linux.conf.au 2015 : working backwards from the end… and things that go bang!

Fri, 2015-02-06 22:26

Some of the most awesome things about LCA are events that are not part of the official programme.  These include the affectionately named BOFs, and also various things happening before and after the conference proper.

On the Saturday just after the conference, I was lucky enough that I had sufficient time before my flight home to be able to tag along to a hobbyist rocket launch meet, and watch the friendly locals, as well as the well known to the open source community rocket enthusiasts Bdale Garbee and Keith Packard, send a variety of projectiles high up into the sky! I jumped at the chance to go because my son who is 13 did a launch of a small rocket through scouts, so I thought I’d better get some pictures and video for him :-)

The next shot gives an idea of the scale of an assembled rocket:

rocket scale by Andrew Mc on 500px

The rockets launch from the middle of a paddock.

distance away by Andrew Mc on 500px

The rocketry club is really into safety, for obvious reasons. They have to get licenses to be allowed to launch, and there is a ritual each time a rocket is launched – yelling out “Sky Is Clear”, “Range Is Clear” before a launch can proceed.

This video I shot is of a small rocket launching.

One of the other linux.conf.au’ers Augur posted some other vides to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcFwcKbYU3Q66PIUck_Haew

Watching things go bang is always fun, but these guys take it to a whole new level. If you listen carefully to the video a few minutes after the launch, notice the Android phone and the laptop actually speak the telemetry data…

This works roughly as follows: there is a computer built on Altus Metrum components in the rocket, this sends position and other data back to a receiver connected to an antenna that the flyer (is that the right word?) is holding and pointing in the general direction of the rocket… the data is then relayed via bluetooth to the phone or laptop and reported via speech synthesis. “Range one thousand two hundred seventy metres. Bearing thirty degrees south west elevation forty two degrees.”

I believe one of the rockets made it over eight kilometers high (I didn’t manage to record the exact amount!)

Eventually they run out of puff and start falling back. A parachute then deploys bringing it to ground, and a couple of km hike ensues.

I believe the following rocket is known as the Pink Freak. My daughter loved the shoes when I showed her the pics…

thepinkfreak by Andrew Mc on 500px

Alongside everything else, there was a quadcopter. When I first arrived, this was keeping a couple of the younger kids amused. But once the meet started moving, I realised it had a HD camera, and was used to monitor the rocket launches – and the pilot (this must be the right word!) had a VR headset, not an Occulus, but a new one I had not heard of, a SkyZone(?), to fly the thing way up and record the launch! It sounds like a mosquito in the videos.

I had a lot of other photos and video but many had people and I haven’t managed to make contact with the club to check if it is OK to post them, so for now I haven’t.

Michael Still: Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake

Fri, 2015-02-06 08:28
I have to do HR paperwork for work at the moment, so I was looking for a quiet place to progress such things. I ended up beside Lake Burley Griffin working away on my laptop, which was quite pleasant. While in the area, it seemed like a good idea to have a quick first attempt at finding Westlake, which is the ruins of an abandoned builders camp from when Canberra was being constructed. I found some evidence, but I think I need to go further west in a subsequent wander.



           



Interactive map for this route.



There was a planned walk to Davidson trig by the Facebook trig sweating group this evening, so I went along to that. Beforehand I was killing time in Yarralumla and bumped into the cub leader for my kids' troop. She's interested in trig walks suitable for cubs, so I am going to have to keep an eye out for some. Davidson was a nice on-track walk, probably suitable for cubs.



           



Interactive map for this route.



Davidson finished about an hour earlier than expected, so I dropped in to walk to Mike on the way home in an entirely unplanned manner. This walk would be perfect for cubs if it wasn't almost entirely bush bashing. This is probably the lowest elevation trig I've been to so far.



   



Interactive map for this route.



Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150205-westlake_davidson_and_mike photo canberra tuggeranong bushwalk trig_point

Related posts: Big Monks; A walk around Mount Stranger; Forster trig; Taylor Trig; Oakey trig; Urambi Trig



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