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Ian Ozsvald picture

This is Ian Ozsvald's blog, I'm an entrepreneurial geek, a Data Science/ML/NLP/AI consultant, founder of the Annotate.io social media mining API, author of O'Reilly's High Performance Python book, co-organiser of PyDataLondon, co-founder of the SocialTies App, author of the A.I.Cookbook, author of The Screencasting Handbook, a Pythonista, co-founder of ShowMeDo and FivePoundApps and also a Londoner. Here's a little more about me.

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11 April 2008 - 16:36£5 App a la Ribot (Qik live video blogging)

OMG. I remember Ribot sitting there with his Nokia doing some live video stuff at our last £5 App by Madgex co-founder Glenn but I didn’t really pay it much heed…until now when I’ve found the videos. One the one hand – very cool, on the other – my privacy gene is doing somersaults.

Glenn Jones on building Madgex pt 1‘ (26 mins), ‘Glen Jones pt 2‘ (5 mins with long comment train) – Glenn opens the evening with the main talk on how he and 4 others grew Madgex from their humble beginnings to now where they’re one of Brighton’s larger tech employers.

Simon Willison talks Walrss‘ (16 minutes) – Simon did a 2nd talk after Glenn, in association with ClearLeft, on Walrss – a natty little Python app for reading website content via RSS streams on an iPhone.

The Future of £5 Apps‘ (22 minutes) – after Simon both John and I led a short session asking our 41-strong crowd what we should focus on for future events in the summer. We’ve had a ‘year of success stories’ which have been great, now we want to run workshops aimed at getting everyone to take their bootstrapped startup or project and move it a step forwards.

Sitting here now watching the talks (and seeing me speak) is just plain odd, but kinda cool at the same time. The long comment train here is interesting too – the event was being broadcast by Mr Ribot on his Nokia phone (neat zoom too!), via wi-fi, to Qik, then back out live (or delayed like now) to the world.

Thanks Ribot!

John and I will have more news on the future of our £5 App over the coming weeks – we have a wiki in production so we can discuss the long list of requests from the end of the night. We’ll probably do a coffee-chat soon so we can discuss which events to hold first and who helps to run them, we’ll probably also put up a google group for low-volume chat.

No Comments | Tags: Life, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

11 April 2008 - 16:04Teaching Python at ShowMeDo

Two months ago we started our ShowMeDo Club where paying subscribers get access to specially crafted Python tutorials. These series are generally much longer and more involved than most of the free videos on ShowMeDo, they tend to include exercises with worked solutions too.

We’ve had a very good response and everyone who has bought access has sent me great feedback. It is really rather rewarding to receive feedback from individuals who have benefited from my series. I’m also very happy to say that Kyran (my business partner) and John are about to start authoring Club videos too, again focusing on Python – from wxPython GUIs to CGI and the Google App Engine.

My most recent series have been for unit-testing a website using Twill and pyWin32 and COM programming for Python.

The Twill series is about teaching the same test framework that we use to reliably test ShowMeDo. The pyWin32 series is a collection of tips basically for using Excel as a cheap charting tool for Python with just a few lines, then builds up to writing a full COM server in Python.

These are all a part of our ‘python tutorial‘ section which now contains over 231 Python videos – how cool is that? I’ve also been making free screencasts on topics like installing easy_install, installing nose_tests and installing twill.

These are just short videos but they seem to really help out new users – if you’re used to a web-based installer, but the interweb is playing up, then you don’t know what the error message you see is all about. These 3 videos are there just to show how a successful install looks, with a check at the end to confirm everything is there.

I’m up to 96 videos now (see them here) which puts me at the head of the nbr-of-videos table, though Dai is quite close with 73 videos on topics like OpenOffice and Scribus. Very soon I’ll have over 100…I wonder how many minutes that is?

No Comments | Tags: ShowMeDo

1 April 2008 - 15:03Last £5 App in our ‘year of stories’

Next week’s £5 App event is on April 8th at 13 Brunswick Square – this event marks the end of a ‘year of stories’ and from here we move to a workshop-style set of sessions.

First we showed that you can build a business or project without funding during our 11 great talks over the last year (see talk listings at the base of the page), now we want to concentrate on building up the skills that you require so everyone can take their next steps forward.

As always the event is free, I provide the beer and wine, John will bake a cake.

For this event Glenn Jones of Madgex will talk about the early days of the company and its formation and then some of the folk at ClearLeft will talk after the break on their new project.

After this John and I will discuss what we want to achieve in the new sessions and we’ll solicit ideas from you for the topics we need to cover.

This event marks a watershed in our approach and the plans we make could have a very positive effect on your own projects over the coming year. We’d welcome your ideas and input – please Attend on Upcoming to let us know how much beer we need to buy (and UnAttend if you can’t make it so I have sensible numbers for catering!).

No Comments | Tags: sussexdigital, £5 App Meet