Posted: October 1, 2006 in Uncategorized

I spent all day last Saturday at “Barcamp Ireland” in Cork.
Barcamp is (and I quote from their website): a technology-focused, ad-hoc gathering of passionate folks who want to share, interact and spread the love around what they spend their days and nights toiling away on.
It is an informal gathering of people from technical and business backgrounds, where information and experiences are exchanged. The event is geared towards sharing knowledge and learning from others and there is a policy of encouraging active participation in all discussions.

This was going to be my first visit to a barcamp and even though in meant getting up at 6 am (why Cork in godsname?!) I was looking forward to it. Several people that I have come in contact with during my recent venture into the world of blogging were going to be there. I was also hoping to come into contact with some people that were (or are) developing interesting applications to offer through Wimax EU’s network. The drive down to Cork was fairly un-eventfull mainly due to the fact that there were very few other idiots on the road at that early time…
The Webworks building was also easy to find but as usual it was a complete pain trying to find a parking spot that could accomodate the Defender. The lobby was already fairly busy and after registartion I was delighted to find coffee in a plentfull supply.
First talk of the day was by Simon McGarr speaking about DRI and it’s battle against the EU’s Data Retention legislation. This proved to be the “pleasant surprise of the day”, the DRI issue is something that affects everybody and besides the fact that would transform our society into a Big Brother state the introduction of the legislation has also been handled in a very cloak & dagger way by the Irish goverment. Interest in this issue was so great during BarCamp that it lead to several breakout sessions (i.e. follow up discussions). Thanks to Simon and I strongly advice everyone to support DRI in it’s efforts.

After this I wandered a bout a bit, had a few quick chats and then sat down to hear Brian Caulfield from Trinity Venture speak about venture capital. being in the middle of a fund rasing effort this was an issue that I am very familiar with but it’s always good to hear a VC chap speak openly about their approach, motives and opinion. Brian offered some good insights into the whole VC process and spoke quite openly about the pitfalls. It suspect that it came to a surprise to some that technology came at the bottom of the list for things that VC’s look for. But then again they’re stange fellows them VC’s 😉

Next up was my own talk on Wireless hotzones and the convergence of devices & services. I hadn’t prepared a PPT or other presentation so it was just a straightforward talk. Judging from the number of questions received this subject proved interesting enough to most. Following this I had a good chat with Brian Cleland regarding some possible co-operation with Intertrade.

Time for some sambos and drinks. Followed by a chat with Bernie Goldbach someone who I had been looking forward to meet. Bernie is an absolute guru in his field and we will combine the powers of our knowledge we might unwire Cashel in the near future…

The next talk I sat in on was Keith Bohanna’s and it was refreshing to meet a vegan with a sense of humour. Keith has a very diverse past and has a fresh outlook on technology and business. After this I wandered in on a talk about OPML by James Corbett. While I am sure that OPML is extremely interesting and innovative, programming makes my frontal lobe shut down No offense James!

The last talk was the “Pecha Kucha” session. Like most others I won’t spoil the fun by explaining what it is but it was an excellent end to a great day. Will’s performace was definetly one for the books!

Barcamp was an great suprise and an extremely enjoyable way to spend a rainy Saturday. I hope that there will be many more to follow and will certainly attempt to organise one locally.


kick it on


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