Ian Ozsvald picture

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.

High Performance Python book with O'Reilly

View Ian Ozsvald's profile on LinkedIn

ModelInsight Data Science Consultancy London Protecting your bits. Open Rights Group


25 September 2008 - 12:08New ProCast for local BrandWatch

Last week I completed a new ProCasts screencast for local Brand Reputation Management firm BrandWatch, the video is linked on the right of their frontpage (and on my examples page).

The screencast runs for 2 minutes and demos the main features of their app including Trends, Comparisons and how to drill-down into the source stories. The goal is to get more visitors to sign-up to a trial account.

BrandWatch Introduction from IanProCastsCoUk on Vimeo.

I used Barclays and HSBC as my examples, given all the news recently there was a lot of information to work from and BrandWatch neatly pulls out the pertinent articles.  I’ve also experimented with more backing music and a call-to-action at the video’s close.

If you need professional screencasting services, get in contact.

professional screencasting

No Comments | Tags: ProCasts, Screencasting

17 September 2008 - 14:02ProCasts Interview, New Testimonial

Jolt Magazine were kind enough to interview me about how ProCasts makes professional screencasts, the resulting article has just been published as Screencasting: An Expert Reveals the Dark Art.

“While researching one of these articles I did an interview with professional screencaster, Ian Ozsvald. It was so good that I just couldn’t bring myself to chop it up into sound-bites. So I’m damning the torpedoes and posting the interview in its entirety”

Update – Starr Horne has added another entry to his screencasting series on Jolt, I get quoted there too.

I’m also very pleased to say that Jon Markwell’s HowSociable webapp now has increased sign-ups and fewer support emails as a result of my 3 minute ‘Introduction to HowSociable’ screencast (on HowSociable’s front page):

“Adding a ProCasts screencast to our front page increased activated email conversions by 25% and reduced support requests by half”, Jonathan Markwell – Founder http://HowSociable.com

As a scientist it is so darn nice to have real figures to work by!  Hand-wavey arguments are all well and good but nothing beats a solid increase in conversions to let you know you’ve done the right job.

professional screencasting

No Comments | Tags: Life, ProCasts, Screencasting

14 September 2008 - 14:51PyCon UK 2008 Write-up

We’re heading towards the end of the afternoon from a great weekend’s worth of PyCon, Right now Ted Leung is giving the key-note on Dynamic Languages.  JavaScript’s acceptance and speed improvements is being high-lighted, Ted seems to have some worries about JavaScript’s continual growth.

Yesterday we had Mark Shuttleworth‘s key-note on how he wanted to see Python give better support to Transactional Memory and Cloud Computing.Both talks interesting and inspiring. It felt like Mark really buys into the Python community with lots of ‘our language’ references, he’s a great speaker to boot.  He dug at our GIL and said ‘please solve scaling above 1 core!’.

Raymond Hettinger gave some great talks including a look at Python 2.6 and 3.0, behind-the-scenes Python containers (cool src link) and A.I. with Python.  Did you know that a list’s growth pattern is 0, 4, 8, 16, 25, 35, 46, 58, 72, 88, … elements and for large lists you never waste more than 12.5% of memory?  Neato.

It looks like PyPy is coming up to a 1.0 release later this year.  James Gardner gave a good Birds of a Feather session on Pylons, this is relevant to me due to TurboGear’s use of Pylons – ShowMeDo is written in TurboGears.

Zeth tells me that last year there were about 150 attendees, I think we have over 200 this year, next year EuroPython meets PyConUK so we’ll have closer to 500.  I also met a bunch of regional Python usergroups including Python Ireland – there’s obvious growth in our userbase with a lot of smart people coding away.

At the end of last night’s dinner we had a talk on the Lunar Society, it was long (2 hours!) but told a great story.  The drinking, inevitably, went on late <ouch>.

I look forward to next year’s PyCon UK!  Pictures etc via the PyCon wiki which links to flickr.

As a side note it was great to talk to Pythonistas and hear that our ShowMeDo is fairly well known (given that we’ve never had a marketing budget, or time, or resources…) and well-respected.  I think I’ve recruited a few more authors along the way.

1 Comment | Tags: Life, Python, ShowMeDo

10 September 2008 - 13:26Next £5 App meet, Brighton, Thurs 18th Sept

Our next £5 App meet is coming up on Thursday 18th Sept (not Tues!), this time we have 20 minute presentations for:

  1. Chumby+Python hacking by John
  2. ‘Groundbreaking movie production’ with ASwarmOfAngels by Matt
  3. Arduino for physics display hacking by Seb
  4. Locomatrix GPS Gaming by Richard
  5. “How not to launch a web app” by Dan on the soon-to-really-be-launched Tails bug tracker

This event is a Demo Camp like last month‘s. Usual rules – sign-up on Upcoming so we know how much beer to buy (we buy it out of our own pockets…unless you want to sponsor?) and cake to bake, UNattend if you can’t make it.

If you’re local then you’ll know John (£5 App co-founder) and the Chumby, Arduinos and Locomatrix.  You might not know ASwarmOfAngels:

“A groundbreaking project to create a £1 million film and give it away to over 1 million people using the Internet and a global community of members”

There is more about Matt Hanson (founder of ASOA) in this interview.

We’re in our usual location of the refurbished Regency Town House in Hove (thanks Danny!), if you’re coming down by train then you’re a 10 minute bus ride away.

From London – get to Brighton station, walk 5 minutes South to Churchill Square, get a number 1 bus heading West (actually, most busses will probably do if they go West from Churchill Square), get off by Brunswick Square (ask the driver, it’ll take 5 mins on the bus).  It is a 20 minute walk from Brighton Station if you’ve got a map.

1 Comment | Tags: Python, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

4 September 2008 - 14:01Django in Under a Minute Screencast

I’ve spent the last two days creating this 57 second intro to the Django web-app framework, after three years of development they’ve released the shiny, new and supported v1 version.

The screencast covers how to get started, example sites, documentation and where to get it – everything a new user needs to get up and running writing new websites in under 2 hours. Music by Mr Django Reinhardt. I’ve used Google’s new Chrome browser for this video.

Django In Under A Minute from IanProCastsCoUk on Vimeo.

The screencast is available in Vimeo, ShowMeDo, YouTube, and my ProCasts Examples page.

professional screencasting

1 Comment | Tags: ProCasts, Screencasting

1 September 2008 - 19:36IE8 vs Firefox 3 Screencast

Last week I recorded a new screencast demonstrating Internet Explorer 8 (beta 1) vs Firefox 3.0.1.  The demo highlights some of the shortcomings of IE8 beta1 and generally works to show the viewer why Firefox is the better choice.

Annoyingly this week Microsoft released beta2 which fixes several of the short-comings and rather dates my screencast.  Darn.

It also takes a dig at IE6 users and reminds them that their browser is 7 years old and really needs to be updated.

The 8 minute video is linked over at ProCasts on the examples page.  I’ve also uploaded it to ShowMeDo, YouTube and Vimeo so we can compare the differences in visual quality.

YouTube is, as expected, rather yucky.  Vimeo’s copy is small but smooth with a decent framerate, ShowMeDo is larger but with a lower framerate (5fps) so the animations are a touch jerky, my example page has a large and smoother version.

Techniques include zooms, on-screen annotations and some fades and it ends with a clear call-to-action.  The main tools used is the lovely CamTasia 5.

I’m also pleased to have been linked in an article on ReadWriteWeb in the comments by Michael of SmashCut – cheers Michael.

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If you need a custom screencast, ProCasts will deliver what you need.

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