DDD North 1 – Done and Dusted

12 Oct

Well, the first DDD North is over. It was a load of fun and Andy Westgarth and his team did a fantastic organisation job. I say “team”, but a large number of the people helping out were family. It was amazing the number of family members that had gotten stuck in to help, both adults and children alike. It made the the event feel different to others. Even the geek dinner on the night, paid for by DevExpress, was organised so that rather than being a in a local pizza place, ended up at the Staduim of Light, With a family carvery – I had to drive to Bristol that night, but there was no way I was going to miss it!


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Posted in Events


Steve Jobs – The world is poorer without you.

06 Oct

We’ve known Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, has been ill for some time, but I am still shocked at such an early departure so soon after stepping down from Apple. Maybe, just maybe, his time there was what kept him going.

I read a post on Richard Bransons blog, quoting an advert Steve made back in 1997.

“Heres to the crazy ones. The misfits. The Rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in square holes. The ones who see things differently…. They are not fond of the status quo.

You can disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them…but you cant ignore them, Because they change things, They push the human race forward. While some may see crazy, others see genius. Because the people who are craxy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do”

This sort of sums things up for me. Without Steve, and Apple, we wouldn’t have the Mouse, the GUI, the essence of computing today. It doesn’t matter he didn’t come up with the original idea, he was the one that pushed it, drove it forward. And more recently, we wouldn’t have the smart phone, the concept of touch screens, the iPhone, which effectively started the revolution, and which has been emulated by so many. None of that without Steve to drive it forward.

And besides the technology, Steve has been a beacon to inventors, and early adopters, entrepeneurs and designers, the inspriation to college students and businesses alike. The idea of the family, both at home and at work. Apple has changed its home page to be nothing but a picture of Steve. That speaks volumes.

Couldn’t help having a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat when I heard this morning. My thoughts are extended to his family.  Finally you can rest now Steve. Thank you.


Speaking at DDD North on 8th October

04 Sep

Firstly, thanks you all of you that voted for my session, “Kinect The Dots”, for DDD north. I’m pleased to say that your votes mean I got the speaking slot and will be there on the 8th October talking about the wonderful things you can do with Microsoft Kinect and its SDK.

Hope to see you there!


Vote for DDD North sessions

31 Aug

The voting for DDD north is currently open and will remain so until Saturday.

I’ve got a couple of sessions submitted, including one on the Kinect SDK which a blogged about a earlier this year.

If you’d like to see that session, then you need to vote for it.. It wont happen without your votes!

Head on over to to vote.


Update: I’m now speaking at DDD north. Hope to see you there!


Watch TV while you shop

31 Aug

Those good folks at Sky have taken Sky GO to the next level. Along with Sainsburys, they have fitted iPad docks to the top of supermarket trolleys. Sky GO brings Sky sports to mobile devices anywhere, and I assume other channels may follow.

They’ve even thought about people getting run over by trolleys driven by engrossed dads as they watch the footie while ‘assisting the missus’ on a Saturday afternoon. They’ve fitted parking sensors to the front of the trolleys!

If you want to go and see it for real right now, you can, as its being trialled at the Cromwell Road branch in west London. Remember you’ll need your own iPad though.

Now, this is all well and good, and you might think that watching tv while shopping is rediculous, but it does show that these mobile devices are becoming more and more integrated into everyday lives.  I can imagine apps for shopping lists being used, and price comparison apps that look at the barcode of everything you put in your trolley and tell you if its cheaper elsewhere. Basically, its time to rethink mobile apps – again..



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Posted in Mobile, TV


A ride on board Discovery – The Proof!

05 Jun

A couple of months ago, I wrote about a cool marketing campaign from NASA, which basically allowed you to register some details and, in return they flew, in digital form, your face on board Discovery, during STS-133, her final flight into space. After she came home safely, I returned to NASAs website and downloaded my certificate to prove I’d been into space!

Heres that certificate.


Party in the Park

23 May

Just a couple of weeks to go now until Party in the Park.  Its been a real eye-opener, especially since the event is taking place in a field with absolutely no services. Its amazing how much we take electricity for granted!

Read more about the day over on Satsuma Entertainments website.



When I was a lad…

13 Mar
Sinclair ZX81

Sinclair ZX81

A couple of days ago, I noticed an article on the BBC news website, that talked about the birth of computing
in the UK. It featured a picture of a ZX81.

Seeing the picture brought back memories, because this was the first computer I actually purchased.

With its 1K (yes thats kilobytes) of ram, people did amazing things. It taught me to write code in an efficient manner, otherwise it wouldnt fit. It taught me to focus on providing a solution (which was usually a game!) rather than worrying on it being pretty. These are skills that programmers new to the industry have a hard time understanding as they write code thats way bigger and more convoluted than they need to be, with way more style than substance.

Heres a link to the original bbc article.


Upgrading to every version of Windows

04 Mar

Back in 2005, I did a video called “a long road” for the Visual Studio 2005 launch. It showed the startup and desktop of every version of Windows, all the way up to the preview of Windows Vista.

Now someone else has taken that a little further and put together a video showing the upgrade process for each version,


Kinect Air Guitar

04 Mar

With Microsoft giving developers what they want, meaning a fantastic hardware product and an SDK so they can use it in thier own apps, its not surprising at the rate of ideas being shown around the Internet.

I stumbled across this Air Guitar video, earlier this week:

Air Guitar prototype with Kinect from Chris O’Shea on Vimeo.

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Posted in Kinect