Tag Archives: geek

Gen-Con Day 1 – Day 2, LARP short report

Short version.
Zombie Apocalypse LARP: Started human, ended human, participated in six of the game’s major explosions. Good times.

Steampunk LARP: Started the game as a Gentleman Boxer nicknamed “The Doctor” (for a boxer, I had disturbingly high medical knowledge), and the bodyguard/meat shield for The Patron. Over the course of the game, I was involved in assisting the timely disposal of a large bomb (somedays, you really can get rid of a bomb) and the untimely disposal of an escape vessel (somedays…wait, used that line).

Both LARPs were best described as First Person Actor games, and for a non-LARP player, I play a wonderfully devious characterisation with wicked lines to the straight people characters around me. All up, well awesome in game, and massive fun for close combat acting.

Day 3 sees me back on hallowed ground in the L4D tournament structure.

East Coast Roadshow: Bandwidth a’ burning (Social Media Ritual Bonfire)

Back in the day, Alex Social Butterfly Rampy posted a social media ritual.  As part of the East Coast Roadshow tour, I’ve stayed connected to the internet through my (flaky) 3 Prepaid Modem 12 gig package, which I’m cheerfully burning through at great pace.  So I thought I’d map what I do with my bandwidth

The Morning Pre-flight

  1. Load Firefox and hit the “Routine” tab that springs open my five most commonly used sites
    1. Gmail: I’ve routed four e-mail accounts to the gmail mailbox, so I can manage most of my personal e-mail in the cloud
    2. Google Reader:  260 subscribed feeds means there’s virtual always something in the inbox, and usually there’s 150 messages of a morning. I let the account slide for a few days in Brisbane and it resulted in a 400mb burn to get it down from 1000+ to zero.  I do like to have a Google Reader Zero policy.
    3. Twitter: Given I have Twhirl running, this is more to get a quick glance at the current messages on the way past as I’m scanning items from Google Reader
    4. Facebook: Message check to see if anyone’s left mail for me. It’s a lot like my pigeon hole at work on the internet.  Plus a quick check to see if people have replied to status messages etc.  Later in the day, I might stray into a Bejewelled game or twenty.
    5. Livejournal: LJ is my watercooler/tea room moment of checking in with my friends to see they’re alive, doing stuff or if they’ve found anything interesting to report back to the rest of us.
    6. Blog admin page: I’ve decided to put more effort into frequently updating SDDC this time around, possibly at the expense of other things, but as part of the reminder to actually blog daily, it’s sitting at the back of the queue.
  2. Work mail.
    1. On tour, the work mail is wrangled through Microsoft Outlook connecting back to the parent mail server through IMAP.  There are pro/con moments for this approach, with the largest con being the tendency of the IMAP server not to respond when I want to read a message, or the discovery that most of the messages I wanted to address weren’t available offline – whilst my broadband was down.
    2. Sending mail through the IMAP requires a local mailhost, and there’s problems with trying to jump onto a local free/paid wireless and get an outbound SMTP server to authenticate and deliver the mail.  Spammers have made life harder for the legitimate multiple network users.
  3. Bsckground tabs in Firefox
    1. For the most part, I’ll read the content of Google Reader within the reader itself, and just pop the odd article up to a new tab (and by odd, I mean that I had to change the permitted pop up count from 20 to 500 to avoid running out of open-in-new-tabs during a session)
    2. With LJ, I’ll often skim the list, and pop open posts into new tabs if they have images, cut tags or are posts I want to spent time reading.  I’ve been commenting less and less recently because I feel a bit like I’m railroading the conversation away from the poster to me, and I’d rather not post if i think I’m derailing.
  4. Twitter scan
    1. Starts with the @messages to see if there’s anything to reply. I really rarely get direct messages
    2. Scan the list to open links, twitpic photos and short urls.
  5. Close down the tabs, close the browser, and, depending on the day, recheck the basic routine to see if there’s been anything come through (reply e-mails, new content, new messages) that need response before I head off to do something else.

This process manages to chew up a minimum of 250 to 400mb a day minimum, and help me end up with a quota draining gig-a-week habit.  Since I’m on tour, I’m not even opening Steam to see what new games are up, or what needs patching, updating etc.  Even the Youtube and  iTunes use is significantly down to preserve the allocation.

An internet tradition: Telling the internet that something is on fire

It’s okay, I’ve sent an e-mail to the fire brigade.

($) Dr Stephen Dann says: just burnt a potato in the microwave
($) Dr Stephen Dann says: trying not to trigger the fire alarm and dispose of the potato’s corspe
($) Dr Stephen Dann says: door wide open, aircondition on cold,
Jen says: oh dear
($) Dr Stephen Dann says: crisis mostly averted
Jen says: you’re telling the internet, right? :P

Fire + potato = good (most of the time)
Fire + potato = good (most of the time)

I am now. FWIW, when you’re staying on the 15th floor of an apartment building, and you decide to sacrifice a potato to the microwave gods

a) open the pod bay doors Hal.

b) put the airconditioning down to the coldest setting it has available.

c) place exotically crisped potato in body of water

d) place still smouldering plate under extractor fan cranked to the max setting

e) hope like hell that alarm siren is coming from next door (it was)

f) plan something with rice for dinner.

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I for one welcome our new early majority overlords

A few weeks ago, I was speaking at BarCamp Canberra. I mentioned that the early adopter/innovator phase of the internet was on the way out, and the next way of early majority was inbound.

Ashton Kutcher might just be the pinnacle point of the early adopters who usher in the massive wave (34% of a market, compared to innovator 2.5 and early adopter 16%). With the arrival of the Million Twitter Follower Contest, CNN and A2K’s measuring contest (get a ruler and a room people), and the impending @Oprah possibilities (which strike me as the potential for unmitigated levels of direct awesome in this space), we’re over the obscurity hill and into new territory.

Part of this new territory is the TwitterListener who picks up an account to follow others without having any real desire to post anything themselves – if Twitter wants to produce a monetized area, they should look into an paid placement / advertising sponsored Twitter Reader Client (iPhone, PC, Mac) that just draws the streams of content with offering any capacity to reply or post beyond an autoretweet/share function. There’s a new generation of twitter users who want to follow, to listen and to observe without participation. Time to accommodate their needs alongside our own early adopter broadcast models.

Of course, the amusing thing in this entire proceeding was that I distinctly recall a cohort of geek early adopters (A) bemoaning that nobody knew about Twitter. Right now, I’m amused to see a number of geek early adopters (B) bemoaning that too many people know about Twitter (Note: A and B have overlap in C, but A != C and B != C)

The only thing worse than being tweeted about is not being tweeted about at all
The only thing worse than being tweeted about is not being tweeted about at all

The other consideration with Ashton Kutcher, Oprah and famous rich people showing up on Twitter is that people who have cash, and enjoyment of Twitter are around when the technology sector angel investors start to dry up. This could be a really useful thing for a company like Twitter to have some deep pocket users if the well starts to run dry.

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BarCampCanberra2: The Quickening

@pamelafox presenting
Image by Dr Stephen Dann via Flickr

A glorious day of technology, people, ideas and political thoughts .

Barcamp's data collectionBarCampCanberra (#bcc2) also combined my love of liveblog journalism with the twitterstream plus streaming photos to Flickr (barcampcanberra2).  I was a quasi-sponsor this year, having set aside a budget to cover misc.cost.other and rolled out some on-the-day equipment (including putting my video camera into some serious testing with the 16gig memory card getting a good work out), and providing that sort of random cover fire for the commanding officers of BarCamp Canberra.

I presented on my rather odd sideline habit of “Documenting the Future” as I spend my time writing textbooks that need to be relevant and functional in the future, and thus far, they’re doing okay on that front.

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