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This is Ian Ozsvald's blog (@IanOzsvald), I'm an entrepreneurial geek, a Data Science/ML/NLP/AI consultant, author of O'Reilly's High Performance Python book, co-organiser of PyDataLondon, a Pythonista, co-founder of ShowMeDo and also a Londoner. Here's a little more about me.

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29 March 2007 - 20:41£5 App write-ups

[Edit – this follows on from the announce post here: Great Inaugral Night post]

Both Simon (Geek dinners) and Jane have write-ups from our first evening and Jane very kindly took photos for us. Here are John and myself:

John and Ian at £5 App Meet

and there are more here and here.

“Inspirational Entrepreneurial Geekiness”:

“Having been to the excellent first £5 app (i.e. writing an app in evenings and weekends) evening yesterday, I spent a couple of hours tonight on my effort.”

“£5 App Evening”:

“Lots of discussion was generated, and both speakers had plenty of questions to answer – they both did well and neither seemed particularly stumped by any of them.”

Thanks to Jane and Danny for the photos, and Jane and Simon for the neat write-ups 🙂

4 Comments | Tags: Life, £5 App Meet

28 March 2007 - 11:09£5 App – Great Inaugral night :-)

Great stuff! Our first £5 App night ran smoothly, we had 22 people listening to our two £5 App talks. We’ve been planning this for exactly a month now and it was great to see it run so well. It seems that the free beer was a hit and the building itself lent itself beautifully to the event 🙂

John spoke for 30 minutes on Chrss (html slides) and fielded questions on TurboGears. I spoke on ShowMeDo (html slides)- the latter half of my talk was a reflection on our experiences aimed at others who want to build their own £5 App.

Matthew kicked off an interesting thread – should you run lots of £5 Apps in parallel or just concentrate on the one? Kyran and I say Stick With The One That Works lest you split your time too many ways and you become ineffective. Matthew suggested building lots of apps and letting time work in your favour – one of them is bound to win out. Interesting thoughts…anyone care to comment?

Great to see John, Jane, Richard, Simon, Matt, Kev, Colin, Kyran, Manuela, Dan, Emmet and the usual suspects. Thanks to Danny and Ben at HoboInternet for the great venue. ShardCore brought along 4 pieces of neat geek art, you’ll see them in the photos (to come).

Danny and I got talking in the pub about running a workshop on this – more of an interactive session (and less presentational) where those-that-have-done-it can talk to those-that-want-to-do-it. More on this once we’ve had a think about it.

Pictures and presentations to follow. Two more events are planned, a fourth is tentative, we’re open to suggestions for speakers. Note – the slides for both presentations were made with the excellent and free S5.

[Update – John has photos and Danny has a whole stack in Flickr.]

[Update – Jane has a whole set of photos over at Flickr.]

12 Comments | Tags: Business Idea, Entrepreneur, Life, ShowMeDo, £5 App Meet

27 March 2007 - 16:3713 Brunswick Sq – The Front Door

Danny sent me this link for tonight’s £5 App meetup. 13 Brunswick Sq has no door number or obvious buzzer so, in the spirit of ‘a picture is worth 1000 words’:

Venue for £5 App Meet

No Comments | Tags: Life

22 March 2007 - 21:23£5 App at Brunswick Square

Our £5 App evening (Tuesday March 27th 8pm) gathers pace. John and I went for a visit to the very cool venue at 13 Brunswick Square (beige door, see Update at bottom of this entry):

Venue for £5 App Meet

The building is perfect – it has exactly the right atmosphere for a startup event. John and I shall provide the beer, we’ll talk for an hour or so on ShowMeDo and Chrss then we’ll decamp to the pub. ShardCore will provide half a dozen pieces of art and we’ll all have a fab evening 🙂

The next two events are coming along nicely – Raj and Alan will talk on Social Apps next then we have Andy White and perhaps Dan talking on Rails apps for the third. Do you know someone who’d like to present at a future event?

[Update we are listed on O’Reilly’s GMT events site – see the right side-bar for March 27th]
[Update 13 Brunswick Sq has no street number but the door is a very obvious beige colour. You need the bell marked ‘office’.]

1 Comment | Tags: Life

22 March 2007 - 20:57Hanging the Kittens

Shardcore’s greatest piece – the Electromechanical kittens (of pure and unstoppable evil) – now hangs on my wall. This piece is a follow-up to his earlier Mechanical kittens. I am a happy man.


Next week Shardcore exhibits a selection of his work at our first £5 App meet. Woot!

No Comments | Tags: Life

16 March 2007 - 18:26My first paid-for ShowMeDo series – woot!

Earlier in the week I launched Python Newbies on XP – my first paid-for series at ShowMeDo. The two-hours of material will get a new coder comfortably writing Python code using a choice of IDE. I’m rather happy to have distilled so much knowledge into 9 short videos and making the 3 exercises was rather fun too.

There’s a detailed announce over on the ShowMeDo blog: Python Newbies on XP – almost 2 hours of tutorial videos (paid-for series).

One of the interesting bits of feedback on our series is that users like the idea of exercises which test their knowledge and get them trying simple new bits of Python. I need to think on this – perhaps there is a new series of Python Challenges here?

Now to get on with planning the second series…

No Comments | Tags: ShowMeDo

16 March 2007 - 17:37£5 App Meet – March 27th Brighton

We have a date for the event, now listed in Upcoming for Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 13 Brunswick Square (thanks Danny!).

The first speakers will be John on his Chrss and myself on ShowMeDo. I plan to cover something like the following:

  • How we started
  • How, in a year, we grew to 1,000 visitors a day in just evenings with £0 spent on marketing
  • Why we are supporting Python and Open Source
  • How easy it is to start an income stream (not based on Advertising!) without ‘real investment’

No Comments | Tags: Life, £5 App Meet

15 March 2007 - 16:152nd Girl Geek Dinner

I attended my first Girl Geek Dinner on Monday (thank Manuela!), their 2nd-ever event down here. Niqui gave an interesting talk about accessibility using Flash.

I’ve never worried about Accessibility before but Niqui said that 1 in 8 people in the UK have some sort of accessibility requirement (poor sight, preference not to use mouse, RSI, hearing impairment etc) which is quite a sobering statistic. Not that I have the resources to worry about this with our ShowMeDo but, in an ideal world (with a bit more time to spare)…

I caught up with the usual crowd (Jane, Simon, Danny) and met a bunch of new people – Alan (who may be our 6th £5 App speaker), Matt Weston and Gemma of Midnight Communications.

Kudos to Niqui for the talk and roll on future events 🙂

1 Comment | Tags: Life

1 March 2007 - 19:12Geek Dinner, $5 Apps

Last night’s Geek Dinner went very well and numbers were obviously from the last one. Kudo’s to Simon for organising again.

John and I stood-up and asked about our $5 App Meetup proposal. We received a grand response and now we have 20 people interested (and I have quite a few ears to bend yet). I guess we’ll have 20-30 people along for the first meet.

More details will be announced over the coming weeks, we’ll aim for the first event to take place nearer the end of March.

1 Comment | Tags: Life, £5 App Meet