This was the third BarcampNortheast event I have attended. Each has been slightly different but they have all been a weekend well spent. This year felt a little smaller than previous years but that may have partly been because we were in a bigger space.
I have been attending the python Edinburgh meetups for a while. They have always been interesting and the Northwest meetup this Thursday was the first since I moved back to the Northwest. The format, alternating talks and coding sessions, is different to Edinburgh, regular pub meetups with irregular talks, coding sessions and miniconferences. It was an interesting crowd and the other talks, on Apache Thrift and teaching programming to GCSE students (15-16 year olds), gave a really good variety of subjects to discuss later.
I went down to Newcastle today for the Maker Faire which is being run as part of the Newcastle Science Fest'10. I went down to participate last year and have been looking forward to this years event since. The Maker Faire isn't a full on technical meetup; there is a lot of emphasis on family fun style activities. Having said that though there is plenty of people working on some really interesting things. Below I've included a video highlighting some of what caught my eye. I'm heading down again next weekend for the BarCampNorthEast3 event. Again, I attended this event last year and had a fantastic time. As I'm writing this there are still 28 tickets available so if you're in or can get to Newcastle do check it out. In addition to the exhibitors in the video there are also several I would particularly like to highlight but couldn't include in the video principally due to my poor photography skills
The Webcycle is an interesting project which limits the speed of your internet connection based on how hard you're cycling. The faster you cycle the faster the internet connection. Also here.
The Curiosity Collective took the google maps directions a little too literally and ended up travelling to Newcastle from Ipswich via The Netherlands. They had a variety of projects this year around the concept of mapping.
Sugru was in attendance demoing their moldable silicone. Definitely the type of thing worth keeping with the Duct tape.
CamBam were showing what their software could do when coupled to a CNC milling machine.
Hexapodrobot had a number of their robots on their stand. The finish on them really looked very professional.
Brian Degger and Cathal Garvey were showcasing DIY Biology. The idea being to take idea of the garage based startup from the software world and transfering it to biology. Given that my principal interest is in biology/biochemistry/biomedicine I'm really not sure what to make of this. It definitely needs further consideration; I may well post about this again in the future.
Mike Cook was demonstrating several of his projects with the Arduino project. Definitely worth a look as are his tutorials.
Oomlout were demoing a number of their projects. It's a wonder they find time to run what is probably the best UK based shop for Arduino related goodness. Check them out.