Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

If you are seeing this you are in the wrong place!!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

We’ve been having problems with transferring the Reading Geek website from this one to the new one. The company who host the DNS records have screwed something up and are failing to resolve it grrrr.

So basically, if you’ve arrived here – you shouldn’t have – you should be at the shiny new Reading Geek site.

Best thing you can do to help is tweet @Fasthosts and prod them to sort out this problem that has been going on for weeks now.

Thanks – Next Geek Night is on Tuesday 15th June at Copa.

Ronan Klyne – Ruby for Computer Science

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

We have two great talks so far for this Tuesday’s Reading Geek Night, so I’m really pleased to be able to announce a third. Ronan Klyne is an experienced programmer, but is new to building applications using Ruby. He’ll be talking about his experience of getting to grips with the language and highlighting various points he found interesting.

Ronan says…

I’ll be sharing some of my thoughts on Ruby, focusing on the theoretical, philisophical, and cool features rather than anything practical or useful. I hope to provoke some discussion before I run out of lanugage features/pitfalls to point at.

As always we’re downstairs at Copa in Reading town centre. Doors open at 7.30pm. Always good to see new faces, so drag your colleagues and fellow geeks along for what promises to be a varied and interesting evening of talks and conversations.

Duncan Millard – Windows Phone Series 7

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The next talk to announce for Tuesday’s Reading Geek Night is from Duncan Millard. Duncan is a development lead for Microsoft, spending his days in Visual Studio (yay) and Excel (boo), and a full-time geek with far too many coding side-projects on the go. He is passionate about Windows Phone 7 Series and the great opportunities out there for the hobbyist and professional developer.

On Tuesday evening he’ll be sharing some insights around building apps for mobile. In his own words…

Windows Phone 7 Series is coming soon… I’ll be giving you a quick overview of the phone, the lowdown on making apps and games for free today using Silverlight and XNA, and best of all how you can turn those apps into cold hard cash!

Hope you can make it for what promises to be a really interesting evening. I’m still on the lookout for one or two 5 minute talks. Its a really supportive audience and we rely on the community to come up with talks to keep the event going… guess what I’m saying is don’t be shy in coming forward!

Reading Geek Night 6 – IE9 and the future of the Web

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

So far I have three great talks lined up for the next Reading Geek Night (we could do with another short talk – get in contact if you have an idea). I’ll be announcing the talks over the next couple of days. To kick off, Chris Alexander will be sharing his views on the future of the web. Chris is a student currently masquerading as a developer at TweetMeme. He likes robots, pizza, algorithms, HTTP, and causing trouble.

He says…

I’ll be taking a look at tomorrow’s web, with an introduction to what you can expect from Internet Explorer 9 and HTML 5. The world’s most-used web browser gets a major update, and a technological overhaul makes markup a whole lot cooler.

Look forward to seeing old & new faces downstairs at Copa on Tuesday. Doors open a 7.30pm

The Digital Economy Bill…

Friday, March 19th, 2010

OK… Reading Geek Night isn’t about politics, but I’m guessing most of us have a big stake in the future of the internet in the UK.

The Digital Economy Bill is passing through parliament now (Some of you would have caught David Millers talk at Reading Geek last year). There are two things (well there are lots, but two will do for now) you need to know about the bill…

1. It contains some pretty scary powers – including that your ISP will be obliged by law to cut you off, based on the view of a rights-holder that your connection has been used to download copyrighted material. No proof required.

2. Its likely to get rushed through in the last weeks before the election. The bill will not be properly scrutinised and debated by MPs.

If you care about this country having a proper ‘Digital Economy’ (and lets face it most of our jobs depend on it) -or  if you ever use public Wifi (who’s going to provide public Wifi when they could get accused of facilitating copyright theft) – or if you think the burden on ISP’s will force prices up – or if you think that its wrong for the government to prop up the failing business models of a few old dinosaurs at the expense of new digital business models then please spend 10 minutes today writing to your MP.

Its very quick and easy to do – heres a link – you’ll be done in no time.

Its important you use your own words… but as an example heres the one I wrote to Rob Wilson.

Dear Robert Wilson,

I am asking you to oppose the Digital Economy Bill passing through
parliament without sufficient scrutiny.

The bill contains measures to disconnect people from the internet for
alleged and un-proven copyright infringement. In the last few months I
have used the internet for… running my business (which is 100%
online); filing my Tax return; paying PAYE & NI; publicising community
events;  writing to a member of the House of Lords, writing to you,
communicating with my childrens nursery / school…. and so on. My
point is that the internet has become a vital part of my life as a
citizen, business person and parent. To allow legislation to pass that
could remove peoples rights to access the internet, with no need to
actually prove they were guilty of anything is a massive retrograde

Given that many of us in your constituency are increasing conducting
our businesses online, I trust that you will do your best to ensure
that the bill receives proper consideration, is properly debated and
does not pass through ‘on the nod’ .

Yours sincerely,
Jim Anning

Thanks. </rant>

Here’s the poster…

Thursday, March 4th, 2010
Get yourself a lovely poster!!

Get yourself a lovely poster!!

It would be great if you could print out an A3 poster for Reading Geek Night 5 and pop it on your notice board at work. The more people who come along… the bigger the pool of people to do talks is… the bigger the diversity of talks the better the night gets. You get the picture!

There are two A3 PDF versions… the Colour one (for those of you with plenty of red toner)…. and the Black & White one.

Dan Moon – I.T. vs 2.0

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

The last of the talks to announce for Readging Geek on Tuesday is from Dan Moon (@danwtmoon). Dan is the founder of Strawberry Way and was going to present at the Geek Night in January which got somewhat snowed off!

Dan will be focussing on trends in web based application adoption and questioning the future role of traditional IT departments.

Dans says…

The wealth of 2.0 applications for business poses a real question of the role and value of traditional IT. This will be a short, provocative discussion on who needs IT when you have 2.0?

So thats it for the lineup. Hope you can join us on the 9th.

Laura Blackmore – The new world of work

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

The third talk for Tuesdays Reading Geek Night is from Laura Blackmore. Laura is part of a team at Microsoft who share research and findings on how the workforce is changing to accommodate for changing generations. She says…

We’ll talk about findings from the Whitepaper research on “The New World of Work”, who are Millennials, companies that have embraced changes to accommodate for new workforces coming through, statistics for social media and quotes from Millennials, and finally show Microsoft’s vision of the future in a video format.

One of the things I love about how Reading Geek Night is turning out is the range of talks people are coming up with… So far we have @alanb talking about NoSQL, @robashton about statistics (and toilets!), Laura presenting some research backed by a big corporate… and theres a fourth talk to announce later.

Hope to see you there on Tuesday (9th March). As usual its downstairs at Copa in Reading town centre, doors open at 7.30pm

Rob Ashton… Statistical analysis of Toilet Seat Etiquette

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Men have traditionally been castigated not putting the toilet seat back down after use by the women of the household.
With this talk I aim to cover the various options that both sexes have when operating the toilet seat, and through some statistical analysis work out a strategy that can make everybody happy.
I’m a software developer based in Reading, and I shouldn’t be allowed to talk in public.

When I ask people what kind of talks they want to see at Reading Geek Night, the answer is usually along the lines of ‘all sorts of stuff.. techy, non techy, keep it eclectic’. So hold the ‘eclectic’ thought in your head as you read on!

Rob Ashton is a software developer based in Reading, and reckons he shouldn’t be allowed to talk in public, but he’s making an exception for us to bring some statistical rigour to an age old problem…

Men have traditionally been castigated not putting the toilet seat back down after use by the women of the household.

With this talk I aim to cover the various options that both sexes have when operating the toilet seat, and through some statistical analysis work out a strategy that can make everybody happy.

Keep an eye out for a couple more announcement re talks over the next day or so. Plus I’m planning on getting another poster done to help you entice your work colleagues along.

Alan Bradburne – NoSQL

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

The next Reading Geek Night is on Tuesday 9th March and is already shaping up to be an interesting evening. The first talk to announce is from Alan Bradburne. Apart from being a #RdgGeek regular, Alan is a freelance web developer, author of ‘Rails Social Networking Sites’ from Apress and developer of (You can find him at @alanb, photoblog at

On the 9th he’ll be looking at alternatives to conventional databases. In his own words…

Relational databases and SQL have served us well the last 40 years or so, but recently a new breed of data stores have started to gain in popularity. These schema-less, SQL-less, non-relational databases are powering sites such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and soon, Twitter. What are they, what are they good for and how can you get started using them?

It’s going to be a great night – and I’m looking forward to seeing new and old faces from 7.30pm (ish) downstairs at Copa.