Archive for August, 2011

Coder DoJo coming to Limerick – looking for mentors

August 26, 2011

image from www.consultmark.ie Coder Dojo is a not-for-profit programme founded by James Whelton and Bill Liao in Cork, and now being brought to Limerick by Mark Cahill. It's basically a computer coding club for kids, but in their own words –

Coder Dojo was started to provide several things. Firstly an environment where interested youths can meet similar minded peers, learn new skills, participate in various activities and learn about all the areas of IT. In addition to this, Coder Dojo provides a syllabus of various areas of programming (iPhone dev, Web dev, etc.) to be completed and rewarded with various levels of ability. The syllabus is accompanied by relevant documentation so kids can learn outside of the sessions and reference it. Coder Dojo also provides competitions and events that recognises talent and allow youths to meet and see developers in action and learn more about careers in IT. Finally Coder Dojo provides the structure in which students can setup their own Dojo’s in school easily

I think it's a brilliant initiative and am delighted to see Mark bringing it to Limerick. Despite my complete lack of developer skills I hope I can help them out in some way. And you can too – they're looking for developers, designers, media people, photographers and entrepreneurs. Just contact Mark.

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Arduino Fest at miLKlabs Limerick – register now

August 24, 2011

When: Saturday 27th August, from 10am to 5pm

Where: miLKLabs, Franciscan friary, Lower Henry Street, Limerick

Hosted by: Members of miLKLabsCost: €10 (for non-members)Limited to 20 participants (Pre-booking mandatory)

What is Arduino? Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. (www.arduino.cc ) Ardunio makes it easy to learn how to read sensors, control electronic devices, and communicate between various hardware and your computer. 

Requirements:

– Laptop (Mac OS X, Windows or Linux) with a USB port

– Software installed (Optional):

– Arduino IDE (http://Arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

– Processing (http://processing.org/download/

Good to bring (optional):

– Some experience with a programming language. If you know what if statements and loops are, you’ll be in great shape.

– Some basic knowledge of electric circuits

– Wire cutters / strippers

Aimed at students, artists, and designers or anyone who wants to learn the basics of Arduino, simple electronics and building interactive projects.  The workshop covers the basis of Physical Computing using Arduino and Processing.  Participants will be able to control media (graphics, video & sound) in Processing using a variety of Sensors (distance sensor, light sensor, temperature sensor, potentiometer, etc..).  This initial session will be followed by groups or individual follow-up sessions to help participants complete a personal project or expand their knowledge in specific areas.

Session 1 (10am-12)

We will begin with a brief introduction to some basic electrical principles (no math, just how things get hooked up and how lights and switches do their thing). We’ll talk about the role of a microcontroller (such as an Arduino board) in an electronic circuit. Once everyone has the Arduino development software up and running we’ll start controlling LEDs or tiny motors by writing some simple code.

Lunch (12 -1pm)

Session 2 (1pm-3pm)

We’ll get information from sensors, and see how to make some sense from that information by filtering it. We’ll send that data to a program running on your laptop, and then use that program to control some devices connected to the Arduino.

Session 3 (3pm-5pm)

Once everyone has mastered what we’ve covered, we will look at examples of projects that use the Arduino.  Participants will then be offered the opportunity to create a small project on their own or with a group.  Finally we will spend a little time talking about slightly more advanced concepts to give you a starting point for your next steps.

Register for the miLK Labs Arduino Fest

Gosh I do… love Goshido

August 3, 2011

Disclosure: I've known Goshido founder Ger Hartnett for a few years now, mostly through meeting him at Limerick OpenCoffee Club (#LOCC, a free networking event for entrepreneurs).

Ger went on the Paddys Valley tour of Silicon Valley when his startup was still known as CoClarity and I remember brainstorming more suitable names for his fledgling company on the Limerick to Dublin train journey sometime after that. I don't know if Ger still has the book on which he jotted down my clangers but I do know it felt like the shortest train trip I've ever enjoyed.

Winning Innovation awards and University spin-out awards along the way Goshido has had a pretty meteoric rise and now counts hundreds of teams worldwide, including global multinationals, among its customers. An unfortuante indication of this success has been Ger's disappearance from #LOCC but it was great to catch up with him recently when he delivered a terrific presentation as part of the Endeavour Programme.

So what is Goshido? Cloud-based project management software is the simple answer but one that doesn't do it justice. Like lots of unique services its one that you really can't grasp its power until you start using it. With a team.

Which is what I started doing when we launched MissionV a few months ago. As much as Gmail conversation view has changed my attitude to email it still doesn't cut the mustard for keeping track of who is doing what. In fact it's a nightmare. The beauty of Goshido is the elegance with which it solves the problem of multi-way dialogues forking multiple action items. And assigning ownership.

There is so much of typical project management software that is just bloatware. And often makes the task more difficult instead of easier. But Goshido strips out all the unnecessary stuff and gives you the tools to keep track of who's doing what, and when. And when it comes down to it that's all we need.

Put simply we couldn't manage our not-for-profit startup without Goshido, so I'm hugely grateful to Ger for giving free accounts to all the team at MissionV.

[By the way, it's not actually pronounced 'Gosh I do'…. more like 'Go shee doh' in fact]