The highly popular ScotRuby conference is rapidly approaching on the 12th and 13th of May – a two day residential gathering of the Ruby community at the Crieff Hydro hotel in Perthshire with an exciting schedule of talks.
We’re giving away an all-expenses paid trip to ScotRuby 2013 to one lucky person and a friend.
Do you have the “most interesting use of BigV”?
Are you running a PBX/VPN service, perhaps you’ve written an exciting plugin for your CMS, or perhaps something else? It doesn’t need to be related to Ruby or be a website but it does have to be hosted on BigV.
If you’re not on BigV yet, whether you’re a new or an existing customer, getting online is simple – there’s still time to enter.
One winner will get:
- Travel & food expenses
- 2 Conference Tickets
- 2 single occupancy hotel rooms Crieff Hydro from the day before the conference, until the day after (11th-14th)
And of course, we’ll blog about the winners
To enter, simply email competitions at bytemark.co.uk before 15:00 BST Friday 03/05/2013 with details of the thing you’re entering.
Unfortunately sponsored customers and Bytemark staff are ineligible for this competition – sorry guys, we love you already!
Winners will be notified by email & announced on this blog at the start of the week beginning 6th of May. There is no cash alternative. The judge’s decision is final. We might decide to award two individual winners if the first person doesn’t have a friend they want to bring.
The Crieff Hydro hotel where the conference will be held:
One thing I certainly wasn’t expecting from Pycon UK was music. Not only is PyconUK the only conference I know to that had its own conference song (with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan), the theme continued to having personalised mugs made for every delegate:
Pycon UK mugs
Even the lightning talks were introduced by a hip-hopping compere and rounded off by a duo playing their tubas! It was a surreal, but very entertaining!
Pycon UK was particularly special this year as a bunch of ICT and computing teachers had come along for an “Education Jam”- this turned out to be more eye opening (and hopefully useful!) than I could have imagined. Teaching ICT to students is a hot topic, and as someone who’s suffered under such systems, I’ve had a strong interest in it for a long long time. For the Jam, we separated into groups and with guidance from one of the teachers there, we helped put together a “scheme of work” – essentially a series of lesson plans for a specific class. One of the things we had to bear in mind were the “differentiation” – how we could push and challenge the gifted students whilst simultaneously supporting the other end of the bell curve – this is a lot more tricky than it may seem at first glance.
The group I worked in, focused on teaching basic HTML+CSS – hand coding a static website to a year 9 group of about 30 students. It was a lot more challenging than I expected, but with the teachers, what made it really rewarding was that you could tell that they were finding this pricelessly rewarding. I’m very glad to have been able to help!
The Education Jam at Pycon UK
During lunch, I met someone using Bigv.io to build a Luzme is an eBook price comparison website. Essentially, you can use it to see the price and availabity of Ebooks across the different eBook vendors and whether you can get it on your device – it can even let you know if the price drops. For me, actually being able to sit down and talk with someone who was so well acquainted with our platform was reminder of the creative things that can be built, once you give someone the resources!
I’m very grateful to John Pinner and all the organisers and helpers who helped make this year’s event so memorable – hopefully next year will be even better!
One of the most enjoyable things about sponsoring events for Bytemark is that I get to go and meet some of the most enthusiastic and inspiring minds – and see how our support really can mean the difference for some events.
Today at Barcamp Blackpool, it was quite special. Whilst it was windy, wet and wild on the promenade, inside impromptu conversations were happening all around, 3D printers were busy building and sessions were being done on any manner of topics – from Devops to a taster workshop in Fencing!
I had some new camera gear and so I made this little video of the event – mainly to see how my new camera would work with Kdenlive, but also, hopefully, to give a little insight into the event itself.
Lally and Les, the organising team behind the event, did a great job bringing it all together and hopefully, this won’t be the last we’ve heard from them!
Open Source & Community Outreach Manager
Here’s the paper I wrote for last week’s FLOSS UK Spring 2012 conference. I don’t really do slides, just scrolling through text and pointing at diagrams. But hopefully this is more useful afterwards – the paper spills all the details on how we’ve been implementing BigV, our excellent new hosting system. Have a read, and I’d be happy to answer any questions in the comments.
I’ve also dug out the paper I did for the UKUUG 2004 Bournemouth conference on what we were doing with User-Mode Linux. There’s actually plenty there that’s still relevant to planning a virtualisation system – everything from TAP interfaces to economies of scale. Both papers are a combination of half-imagined technology & business, but we did OK the first time round, so I’m thinking we have a shot with BigV!
Also at the UKUUG conference, I was fascinated to learn of Iustin Pop’s work on Ganeti, a VM supervision system developed at Google. If you’re looking to deploy a cluster of VMs on your own hardware without the bureaucracy of Openstack or Eucalyptus, I’d suggest you look at that; I certainly will be. If you do just want hugely flexible VMs with up to 8 discs and 120GiB RAM on our well-managed infrastructure, BigV is clearly where it’s at
Here are the two papers:
If you’re a follower of the Bytemark blog you might have spotted that I’m moving the BigV diary posts over here, and some old posts might have shown up as new. Sorry!
What I came here to say though: Bytemark are sponsoring the FLOSS UK conference in Edinburgh next month, (20-22nd March), and I’m proud to be presenting a talk on the Design and Implementation of BigV, alongside lots of other interesting speakers. If you saw my talk in Bournemouth in 2004, this is the sequel you’ll no doubt have been waiting for. I’ll talk through some of BigV’s implementation, especially the bits that are easy to copy in your own setups. If you didn’t know, FLOSS UK is the new name for the UK UNIX User Group, and they always put on an interesting 2 days of cross-disciplinary technical talks. I’m hoping my talk will measure up.
There’s a new BigV release out now – documentation and some more news on the beta test should follow later tonight.
Bytemark is proud to sponsor the annual
Scottish Ruby Conference, which takes place at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh from the 7th to the 9th April – starting this Thursday!
The Scottish Ruby Conference 2011 is being run by the same team which oversaw the events in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The conference features a wide variety of notable and prominent speakers in the Ruby programming world.
This year’s sell out event differs from previous years, as on Thursday 7th April, a Tutorial Day will take place, where eminent developers Chad Fowler and Keavy McMinn will cover the fundamental building blocks of Ruby.
A free alternative to the Tutorial Day on Thursday 7th April 2011 is The Ruby Festival. The Festival will serve as an unconference event, providing a hacking space to encourage users to share their knowledge and experience in the Ruby programming language.
The Ruby Festival is open to those not attending Thursday’s Tutorial Day or the conference itself on Friday and Saturday. Festival and Tutorial Day attendees are invited to donate to the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland. Scottish Ruby Conference has raised over £15,000 for terminally ill children in previous years.
We’ve built our business on Ruby since 2002 so we really should have sponsored a Ruby conference sooner! Our new hosting platform is built on Ruby, and we’re glad that our favourite language is supported by a vibrant and clever community. We’re very excited to see what new ideas will come of these three days in Edinburgh.
We’re sponsoring the UKUUG Spring Conference in central Leeds this week. It’s the absolute best venue for working sysadmins to catch up on technical topics, and usually has a lot of great talks. Historically it’s been a bit of a long one (I’m sure they used to be five day marathons…), but there are always some absolutely fab talks which will open your eyes to some new technology or software. If you’re building a business on top of free software, as we are, it’s a highlight of the UK
Hopefully there are still some tickets left if you hadn’t considered it until now – look out for Tim or me if you wanted to say hello.
1) LUGRadio Live – it’s back from the dead (though wasn’t down for long). On 5pm on October 24th, the four gents from Wolverhampton will talk wittily about open source, hacker culture and further their own bizarre cult of personality. In the run up to the main event, they have organised a huge number talks from some very interesting British hackers – including Gervaise Markham of the Mozilla Project, Matthew Somerville from MySociety and Craig Rothwell, an insane genius who has designed and built his own handheld gaming unit. I’ll be attending all day
2) coderack – from one of our customers Lunar Logic Polska, a competition for Ruby developers to help further the Rack framework by writing some interesting and useful plugins. I don’t think there’s an ungeeky way to sell that so I won’t even try. Rack was a very sensible suggestion, two years ago, on how to plug web servers into Ruby programs in a very general way. It meant that people who wrote web servers, and people who wrote fancy web frameworks like Rails, could get along in a common language. In the world of Ruby programmers, where 20 minutes ago is ancient history, a technology that has been going after two years looks like it’s here to stay. So the competition is to try to further Rack’s usefulness by building plugins of the kind that you might already find in Apache – logging, authentication, redirection tricks, that kind of thing. Bytemark will definitely be benefitting from the results of this competition, so we’re donating a year of very fast, free dedicated hosting (a Phenom 9750 X4, 8GB RAM, 1TB storage) for the enterprising Ruby programmer who comes up with the best plugin.
Phil Driscoll from the West Yorkshire Linux User Group invited me to do a talk at their monthly meeting, and I agreed! I’m still scribbling out what I’ll speak about, but it should be a practical guide to virtualisation, focussing on KVM and explaining away the horrid networking details that confuse newcomers. I’m pretty sure it’s an open house if any Bytemark customers wanted to come along and listen.
We’re oot and aboot over the next few weeks:
The UKUUG conference is a merciless 3-day technical assault which you can endure with a couple of hundred other system administrators and programmers. And usually some nice drinks and dinner to soften the blows. It’s a very technical conference, but worth the time and money, at least if your job is to keep up to date with systems administration.
Internet World is an sprawling old monster of a trade show featuring a depressing number of shonky-looking SEO firms, but also lots of web hosts and specialist little providers jostling for attention. We hope to grab yours.
And the organisers couldn’t say this, but I will – CLOUD Expo Europe is going to be a better Linuxw*rld, formed from many of the embers of the last UK show. While relegating Linux to only an initial, it is organised by many of the same people, and has pulled the focus out to other UNIXes, cloud computing (oblig. sneer from me, for now) and developers, developers, developers. Some of our best customers are developers. Come on you lot, visit us and make our day.
I’m busy making the arrangements for all three, and hope our new web site will make an appearance just before (maybe during, maybe on the train down at this rate) the UKUUG conference. Any blog followers, customers or stalkers are welcome to meet me for a drink around any of these events, just drop me a line or comment below.
Also – new staff – we have a Yann! And next month, a David. I will welcome them both soon, but in the mean time please treat them nicely if you see them answering your emails.