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squirmelia

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squirmelia

Soton BarCamp

I awoke at 6am, and after some delays, jumped aboard the train for Southampton, and stared out of the window at the icy, yet magical world outside. I wrote some of my NaNoWriMo novel and listened to songs about Southampton:
Back in Southampton by Gutta Percha & The Balladeers. "It's great to be back in Southampton, seeing old faces again."
The Woolston Ferry by Gutta Percha & The Balladeers. "The Woolston ferry doesn't travel very fast"
Southampton Clock Tower by Grant. "Southampton Clock Tower oversaw our lives / pulled us closer as we walked / we stayed up all night to talk / were we only sleep deprived?"

I eventually got to Southampton just after 10am and the weather was not quite as tropical as I had hoped, but it was at least 1 degree warmer than Oxford and no snow/frost covered pavements were to be seen. There were even palm trees.

I arrived at Soton BarCamp unable to see, as my glasses had misted up, but eventually found my name on a bit of card and tied it to my wrist with a piece of brown string. Then had some coffee and went to a talk in the "sofas" section of the Shooting Star (a pub I once knew as Legends, and then Kolebka).

The first talk I went to was on Home Camp by MikeTheBee. I always go to talks like this and think, "I should do more! I could connect up my Arduino to.. something! I could monitor things! I could save the world!" Although I am on the Home Camp mailing list, I have never got around to listening to any of Mike's podcasts, so should at least do that. I also went to Laura Cowen's talk on her Arduino Christmas project, which was on a similar sort of topic - monitoring energy use by making Christmas tree lights flash.

The best bit about Soton BarCamp for me was the people. It was great to catch up with old friends I hadn't seen in years and find out what they are up to these days, and also to meet new people.

I went to a lot of lightning talks, which I enjoyed, because it meant I got to hear about all kinds of things in a short time.. Town twinning, augmented reality, Southampton buses, chip and pin using spatial awareness, semantic web, perverse ubergeek news from a student household, and other interesting subjects, which I will have to look on Lanyrd to help me remember.

elseware and cminion did a great job of organising. Although when I first heard about the BarCamp being held in two pubs (The Shooting Star and The Hobbit), I was a bit dubious of how well it would work, but I think that actually helped to create the great atmosphere of the BarCamp.

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Captures it well.

(Anonymous)
I was great to meet you and this post captures a lot of the same spirit of the day that I discovered by arriving by train. You have added the historic Soton relived in the song and folk music that is all new to me. Thank you for the post and I hope you get that oomph to get involved more.

Cheers, @MikeTheBee

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