About

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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30 June 2009 - 18:46New ShowMeDo series – OpenOffice Calc transition series for Excel users

I spent the weekend cracking through the creation of a new 12-part tutorial  series for ShowMeDo, the result is OpenOffice Calc 3.1 for Microsoft Excel users.  The overview is embedded below, links to all the episodes are further down.  This series was created whilst wearing my screencast production hat for ProCasts.

The goal is to take the hand of an Excel user and easily and quickly move them over to using Calc with the minimum of fuss.

Common topics like sharing .xls files, using .ods native files, printing, .csv files and PDF export are covered.  I also spend three episodes (just over 20 minutes) going through the creation of a sheet to model a mythical eBook’s sales covering formulas, formatting and charting.  Finally I finish with a look at some of Calc’s easter eggs including Star Wars (heck, I didn’t even know there were any games in OOo!).

Note that this series is a part of ShowMeDo’s Club so you need to be a paying member or contributing author to get access to all the episodes.  I’ve also updated the OpenOffice Learning Path which collates all of ShowMeDo’s OpenOffice videos.

  1. Series Overview in 3 minutes (OpenOffice 3.1 for Excel users) (Free)
  2. Installing OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows XP (Free)
  3. Working with .xls Sheets in Calc
  4. Saving as an ODF Spreadsheet (.ods) and PDF
  5. Where to get help
  6. Constructing a Sales-Forecast Sheet
  7. Formatting your Sheet
  8. Creating a Chart
  9. Printing your Sheet
  10. Import and Export CSV files
  11. Re-associating .xls files with Excel after OpenOffice installation
  12. Light relief – Star Wars Easter Egg and others

Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: ProCasts, Screencasting, ShowMeDo

23 June 2009 - 18:37RobotBrighton this Thursday – Tony Ellis and Invented Robots and Toys

I’m looking forward to this Thursday evening‘s RobotBrighton night @ The Skiff.  Tony Ellis (AKA ToyMaker), creator of 45 licensed toys and electronic games, will talk on his boot-strapped history (note the £5 App connection to my excitement?) with some details about his latest project.

Amongst other things he’s the creator of the rather cool voice-controlled Daleks:

Whilst the night will be videod and uploaded, some parts will be edited out due to commercial sensitivity so to get the full story you’ll have to attend in person.  Here’s the blurb:

“Tony Ellis (Toymaker) is a maker of Toys and founder of Conceptioneering. As well as being behind some of most popular toys on the market today including Cube World, Tony has been a roboticist for many, many years.

On 25th June he will be coming along to talk about some of the robots that he has built and about AIMEC:3, his current robot that many of you may have seen photos of posted on the website. Tony will talk about some of the features that the robot possesses and about some of the things he has learned in his many years of robotics.

Tony is completely self taught and has spent his life inventing cool toys like Cube World and building robots, including AIMEC:3 a humanoid robot and voice activated Daleks. His latest venture is a commercial robotics company building low cost, highly intelligent, accessible robotics. He is a fascinating guy and really worth coming to listen to. I highly recommend coming along to hear him talk and he may even let us play with a robot or two!”


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: BNM, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital

20 June 2009 - 15:18E-UAE Amiga Emulator on Ubuntu 9.04 with Sound and a Blank Floppy Image (.adf)

In all its glory, behold the 880k-wonderfulness of a blank Amiga (.adf) floppy disk image.  Why, you might ask, do I link to this image?  Simple.  Having used the e-uae Amiga emulator on Linux a few times, each time I’ve stumbled with save-games because euae doesn’t provide the ability to format a save-game disk when you don’t have a regular Amiga disk image.  Well, not stumbled – I’ve not saved, gotten fed-up and then moved on.

This time I decided to venture into the unknown…I used an old copy of Workbench 1.3, then copied the workbench .adf image and formatted it (right-click on the disk icon, Initialize).  If you need one for save-games, just download the above copy.

Apparently the default build of UAE uses OSS for sound, since I run using ALSA I wasn’t getting any sound.  The solution is explain here, I had to install aoss and then run:

aoss uae

so now I get full sound – yay!

To get it installed I went via the fabulous morgoth, I tried the suggested:

wget -O - http://morgoth.free.fr/files/morgoth-signkey.gpg.asc | sudo apt-key add -

but it didn’t work so I downloaded morgoth-signkey.gpg.asc and ran

sudo apt-key add morgoth-signkey.gpg.asc

Then I added the following to Synaptic:

deb http://morgoth.free.fr/ubuntu jaunty-backports main

and searched on ‘e-uae’, installed it and the installed version is ’0.8.29-WIP4-6ubuntu1.1~jaunty~9.04mlk as ‘uae-e’.  Now I can play old Amiga games at my leisure (I recommend Deuteros).  Top tip – for full screen use ‘F12 + s’ (where ‘s’ is the ‘s’ key, not Shift!).


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

5 Comments | Tags: Life

20 June 2009 - 14:54Running Skype on Ubuntu + QuickCam Pro 9000

I use Skype on my Win desktop and MacBook as a matter of course now, I rather like to use the video feed via the MacBook when co-working with my team on our screencasts.

Since the desktop box usually runs Ubuntu 9.04, I wanted to try my new QuickCam Pro 9000.  The short story is – it works.  I had to faff for 15 minutes figuring out the right config for Skype, the winning combo with my old Audigy 2 ZS sound-card was:

  • Sound In: QuickCam Pro 9000 (hw:Q9000,0)
  • Sound Out: Audigy 2 ZS [SB0350] (hw:Audigy2,0)
  • Ringing: Audigy 2 ZS [SB0350] (hw:Audigy2,0)

To test that the Quickcam was running first I used ‘lsusb’ to list the recognised USB devices:

ian@NewMESH:~$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 011: ID 046d:0990 Logitech, Inc. QuickCam Pro 9000

and then I ran cheese and had to choose 640×480 to 960×720 to test the video.

My version of the QuickCam 9000 has USB BCD 0×0008 which makes it one of the buggy versions (buggy only for Linux <sigh>), instructions of figuring out if you have one of the fingered models is here.  Thankfully I’ve not seen any bugs yet in an hour’s use of audio and video Skype calls.  The quick command to get the required ‘bcd’ info is:

ian@NewMESH:~$ lsusb -d 046d:0990 -v | grep bcd
  bcdUSB               2.00
  bcdDevice            0.08

I found some notes for Ubuntu Skype along with the Linux Changelog.

Update – on a subsequent boot Skype had forgotten my audio settings and couldn’t find the webcam.  I reset the audio settings (as per above notes), then ran cheese and verified that my webcam was on /dev/video0 (I had to change the resolution before cheese picked up an image though), then I reconfigured Skype and all was well.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

2 Comments | Tags: Ubuntu

12 June 2009 - 21:44£5 App – Andy Gill, Richard Dallaway, Ben Sauer

We had a fab £5 App last night – sorry to those who tuned in looking for the live broadcast.  We had some itty-bitty bandwidth issues and uStream wouldn’t play ball so I had to record off-line.  Vimeo serves the videos just fine now.  Thanks to Jon and The Skiff for hosting us.  See photos here.

We had:

  1. Andy Gill on the launch of ChatBadge.com – see Andy’s write-up
  2. Richard Dallaway on the launch of Taykt.com
  3. Ben Sauer on the super-memory techniques used in Anki

Five Pound App #17 – Andy Gill on ChatBadge from IanProCastsCoUk on Vimeo.

Five Pound App #17 – Richard Dallaway (taykt.com) and Ben Sauer (Anki) from Ian Ozsvald on Vimeo.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: BNM, ProCasts, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

11 June 2009 - 13:00£5 App tonight – live video stream from 8pm

All going well we’ll be broadcasting tonight’s £5 App event via this uStream page.  Any last minute changes will be posted here.

I gave details last week for the 3 speakers (possibly 4 now with Ben), we’re starting from 8pm @ The Skiff in the North Laines.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: BNM, £5 App Meet

8 June 2009 - 18:24New ProCasts screencast for Orchestrate

Over in ProCasts we’ve just delivered a sales screencast production to Andy Wright (CEO) at Orchestrate to demonstrate their workforce scheduling software.  Andy and I first spoke after he created his own screencast for Orchestrate’s launch, you can see some more details and our critique of his earlier screencast here.  Andy’s blogged a very supportive entry too.

Our solution shows you ‘a day in the life of Orchestrate’, it shows you how easy it is to schedule jobs and see that they’re completed.

Thanks to Richard for the logo and concept work and Ellen for script re-writing.  My team rocks.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: ProCasts, Screencasting

6 June 2009 - 15:47Starting work on a ‘How to Screencast’ eBook

Having learned an awful lot about screencasting in the last 4 years, I’m starting work in ProCasts on developing an eBook that teaches How to Screencast.  With over 3 years of tutorial screencasting in ShowMeDo and 2 years of commercial screencasting for marketing, tech-support and training that led to ProCasts, I feel rather well-qualified to write the book on the subject.

Right now the book is in the design stages, I’ve posted a survey in SurveyMonkey that asks 10 easy questions about your current screencasting knowledge and what you want to learn about.  If you want to learn more about screencasting – please fill in the survey.  It doesn’t require registration and if you put in your email address for the first question you’ll be in the draw for 2 free licenses (one for you, one for a friend).

If you don’t want to fill in the survey but you do want to be notified about the release, sign-up to our eBook notification list.

Topics that I’ll probably cover include:

  • Using screencasts for Sales, Training and Technical Support
  • Story-boarding to explain all your benefits and features
  • Writing a short, powerful script that really grabs the viewer’s attention
  • Techniques for converting your viewer into a user of your software
  • The best software packages to use when recording and editing a screencast
  • Editing competently so you have a short, polished video
  • Using annotations, fades and high-lights to focus the viewer’s attention on the key points
  • Improving your audio recording
  • Critiques of existing screencasts including ways of improving them
  • Check-lists for each step of the process so you can quickly complete each phase confidently

Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: Screencasting, ShowMeDo

5 June 2009 - 11:56£5 App next week – Darren Fell (Crunch), Andy Gill (ChatBadge), Richard Dallaway (Taykt)

Our next £5 App night is next Thursday 8pm at The Skiff.  For our 17th event we have three speakers each talking about their new start-ups.  As usual beer and cake are provided, beer is now kindly provided by Jon and The Skiff rather than out of my pocket, co-founder John will bake the cake.

Darren Fell will be talking about founding Pure and his new venture Crunch, which is a web service that offers: “Ridiculously Easy Accounting for Freelancers, Contractors and Consultants”

Andrew Gill will also be along to talk about ChatBadge: “… a new web-based chat service purpose-built to help convert website visitors into customers and support existing customers better”

Richard Dallaway will be talking about Taykt, a web site that let’s you use SMS short codes for…well, whatever you like, really. He’ll explain what it is, why it was built, and what they’ve discovered from building a product for themselves, rather than a client.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

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

4 June 2009 - 11:38OpenOffice Writer tutorials at ShowMeDo

I’ve just finished a new series for OpenOffice users entitled OpenOffice 3.1 Writer for Microsoft Word users.  This series is a part of ShowMeDo’s Club, in 45 minutes I cover 11 topics for the new Writer user aimed at easing their transition across from MS Office:

  1. Series Overview in 4 minutes (OpenOffice 3.1 for Word users)
  2. Installing OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows XP
  3. Working with Word (.doc) files
  4. Working with an OpenDocument Format (.odt) file
  5. Help! Manuals, Forums and Mail lists
  6. Basic Formatting (bold, italic etc)
  7. Exporting to PDF, HTML, MediaWiki
  8. Printing
  9. Word-completion
  10. Find and Replace, Undo
  11. Spell Checker

We have plans to cover more OOo topics, right now I’m looking for feedback.  It feels a bit odd to have one OpenOffice series in amongst all the Python series but we need to start this new tutorial thread somehow!  I created this series whilst wearing my ProCasts screencast production hat.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: Screencasting, ShowMeDo