OggCamp 12

OggCamp LogoHere at CantHack, we’ve always been fans of Barcamp type unconferences, and between us we have attended many Barcamps over the years, and have even organised one ourselves.

OggCamp is a Barcamp-like event that focuses on free and open culture that has just hosted its fourth annual event in Liverpool.

Some of us from CantHack had attended last year’s event in Farhham, where we delivered talks on reverse engineering and HGD, and this year two of us (Tris and Han) travelled the long journey to Liverpool to once again spend two days meeting, socialising with and learning from a wide cross-section of the geek community.

RFID

RFID Rhythm Generator

Han was on the crew for this year’s event, which meant early starts and lots of helping out, although that did mean that I got chance to wander around finding talks to go to.

There were so many interesting talks on the schedules that it was impossible to see all the talks that I wanted to.

I did get to watch about many different subjects including QR Codes, OggBox (an open hardware Ogg player) to Nanode (an Arduino clone with built in networking and RF communications, more on that in a bit).

I also really enjoyed some of the more light-hearted talks such as Alex Martindale‘s look at error messages over the years (inlcuding a huge screen showing the Sinclair Spectrum start screen – which brought back many happy memories!), and an interview with Stephen Fry which, although pre-recorded, was very engaging and more interesting than I would have initially thought it would be.

This year’s OggCamp was also the first to feature an Open Hardware Jam, where we witnessed many awesome hardware hacks like an RFID rhythm generator, DIY retro computers, 3D printing and textile hacking.

I also bought myself the awesome Nanode RF, which as mentioned before, is an embedded development platform similar to an Arduino but with integrated Ethernet and an RF transceiver for wireless connectivity to sensor nodes.

Nanode

Nanode

It is sold in kit form so I have all the fun ahead of soldering the components together to make the board. When finished, I plan to hack together some home automation/monitoring with this and a Raspberry Pi. Of course those hacks will also appear here in the near future.

I also took a few photos of the event, which are located on my Flickr page. It’s also worth searching Flickr for ‘oggcamp’ and ‘oggcamp12′ to find more.

Thanks so much to the organisers from Linux Outlaws and Ubuntu UK Podcast, and to Les Pounder for organising the crew! See you all again next year! CantHack will be back!

About Tris

Tris is a software engineer with a PhD in image analysis. He likes real beer, photography, electric guitar based music and Unix operating systems.
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