GEC 2012 and Monthly Meeting

Just a quick round-up post to tell you what happened in our Monthly Meeting last week and to let you know about our activities for GEC 2012 next month.

Global Entrepreneurs Congress 2012 – 9-16th March

GEC2012 is aiming to be “a festival for business where people, passion and potential will be celebrated, inspired and accelerated.” One of the aims of DoES Liverpool is to inspire people and help them to create new and innovative businesses in Liverpool so we had to get involved. GEC 2012 is running a fringe calendar of events, essentially an open calendar that anyone can submit events to, so we’ve put together a great selection of events to run throughout the week.

We’re working with Knowledge Café 0151 to create a day of talks and discussion on entrepreneurship and alternative economics, with Digital Creativity in Disability and DefNet Media we’re holding an Open Source Entrepreneurship panel to answer your questions about collaboration between startups, we’re also helping to put together a great line-up for Ignite Liverpool 9. Along with these events we’re also running our regular Lean Liverpool event and Maker Night and opening them up to the attendees to GEC.

Click here for more information about all of these events.

Monthly Meeting

We held our second open meeting last Thursday, 23rd February. As agreed at the first meeting we will be alternating between lunchtime and evening so this was our first evening meeting. Attendance was pretty low but we still had some good discussions. We had an update on plans for the GEC 2012 as mentioned above, Adrian confirmed that Maker Days will be starting on the 10th March and we discussed a new RFID PAYG system amongst other things. For a full round-up of the meeting take a look at the minutes, note that the next meeting will be at 12:30 Thursday 22nd March, be there!

DoES Liverpool’s GEC 2012 events are supported by Merseyside ACME

Meeting Summary and Open Day Next Week

Our recent meeting went really well. We had a good mix of people turn up, including someone making his first visit to the space. I’m not going to go into depth about what we discussed as the minutes will cover that but we wanted to highlight a few things, first things first, you can find the minutes of the meeting here on the wiki.

Second thing to mention, hinted at there, is the wiki! We now have a wiki for DoES Liverpool, anyone* can edit pages on the wiki so it’s a great place to put information about DoES, about projects we’ve got going on, pledge drives, events, all sorts of things. For now here’s a few important pages to highlight:

* – because of problems with spam we’ve had to restrict edits to users within a specific group but just let us know your username and we’ll add you to the group

The wiki still needs some love and attention, the front page could do with some more information about what DoES is and a bit more organisation so if you want to help out with that, sign up for an account, let us know and get started!

Open Day

On February 16th we’re going to be holding an Open Day at DoES Liverpool, come along and make use of our hot desks for free! This would usually be a Jelly Liverpool day but as it’s not on next week we decided to open our doors instead. We can’t offer a free sandwich but you’ll get free tea and coffee and use of our internet and power. Bringing cake is entirely optional and it won’t count as a paid hot desk for our existing members. Come down and try us out!

Ada Lovelace Day Attendees

DoES Liverpool Unveils Laser Cutter at Maker Night

DoES Liverpool is looking forward to unveiling the new laser cutter they have recently received to enable members of the community to better understand the potential of rapid prototyping using digital fabrication. The laser cutter will be available for use by members of the community free of charge and will be unveiled at Monday’s Maker Night from 6:30pm in the Gostins Building, Hanover Street.

The laser cutter supplements the existing digital fabrication tools available in DoES Liverpool – a 3D printer and a CNC machine – and will vastly extend the prototyping capabilities available to the community.

Many members of the community have already been working with laser cutting, using the device that is available during Maker Nights in the Art and Design Academy of Liverpool John Moores University but the availability of one within DoES Liverpool’s workshop means that work can continue on projects beyond that monthly visit.

John McKerrell, one of the organisers of DoES Liverpool, had this to say:

“I’m very excited to see what interesting things will be built with the help of the new laser cutter. One of my own projects – the WhereDial, a device for showing locations of friends and family as they check into places using their mobile phone – has taken a long time to develop as I’ve had to wait a month to try each new iteration. I will now be able to iterate my designs much quicker and should be able to get the product to market very soon.”

Preparing designs for the laser cutter is surprisingly simple. Any vector drawing package can be used such as the free and Open Source Inkscape or commercial packages such as Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. Once prepared designs are simply sent to the laser cutter which can very quickly engrave and cut the designs from plywood or perspex. Objects can then be constructed, any problems revised and a new version cut out very quickly. Help is available from the DoES Liverpool community for those who need it and lots of designs are freely available on the internet too.

In fact it’s possible to cut more exotic materials too, Maker Night regular Beth Edmondson works with leather and fabrics to create interesting clothing designs and decorations. Local artist Susan Brown has also been experimenting by using the laser to etch her own designs onto perspex blocks which she then uses to make prints.

John adds, “People have developed lots of different designs that can be cut out and built, many of which are freely available on the Internet. From small sculptures of animals, through clocks, containers and camera mounts, all the way up to 3D printers. Though many of these involve other parts – nuts, bolts, motors or other electronics – their strength and structure is based on a very simple 2 dimensional design cut out on a laser cutter like ours.”.

Maker Night is a free to attend event organised by DoES Liverpool with support from Open Labs at Liverpool John Moores University providing a space for people to learn, experiment and work on projects related to physical computing, digital fabrication, Arduino and electronics. They’re informal, friendly events and everyone is welcome, of any ability level. The next event takes place in DoES Liverpool’s space on the 4th floor of the Gostins Building, Hanover Street.

Laser Cut Piggy Bank

See our flickr photostream for more laser cut goodies.

Help improve DoES Liverpool with our survey and open meeting

UPDATE: The start time for the meeting has now been confirmed for 12:30, 26th January 2012

DoES Liverpool has been in its new home for almost exactly 6 months now. We’ve had an amazing time so far; some great events like the return of BarCamp Liverpool, meeting lots of interesting freelancers and co-workers, and helping people learn all sorts of things – including using a laser-cutter, sewing, and better ways to run their business. We want the next 6 months to be even better though and so we’re asking for help from everyone that has had some involvement in DoES. Yes, that means you!

We’re going to have a meeting later this month, most likely at lunchtime on the 26th (January 2012). We would call it a “Resident’s Meeting” but we don’t want people to think it’s only for people who have a permanent desk here. In fact we want as many people as possible to turn up who would like to be involved in the future of DoES Liverpool. We’ve previously had “Organisers Meetings” that involved only the people who were initially involved with setting DoES Liverpool but we now want to open this out to allow more people to be involved.

In preparation for this meeting we’ve put a survey on Google Docs, please fill in the survey so that we can get an idea for how you think we’re doing now and what you’d like to see happening in the future. We’ll report the results of that on here and at the meeting.

Keep an eye on this blog, sign up to the Google Group or follow us on twitter for final confirmation but barring any major changes, we’ll see you on the 26th!

Season’s Greetings from DoES Liverpool

We thought we should have a little festive gathering for everyone who has been a part of DoES Liverpool over the past 5 months.

This Friday (16th) from 4pm we’ll be having some mulled wine, mince pies and frivolity in DoES Liverpool. We’d love if you could join us, come along and celebrate with everyone!

On Friday evening there is also the Twitter pub crawl. After our mini Christmas party we’ll probably grab some dinner before heading off to the pub, anyone who wants to come along is welcome. Click here for more info on the pub crawl.

Best Wishes,

All at DoES Liverpool

The Birth of the DoES Space

When we first moved into the Gostin Building there was a fair bit of work that needed to be done to the space to make it presentable. Nothing too major, mainly collecting furniture and equipment from a few different sources (some from an office that a few of us had shared before founding DoES, and some that was kindly loaned to us by local tech startup Scraperwiki), plus giving the whole space a lick of paint. It had last been used for some sort of strange art project and there were an assortment of outlines of people and objects drawn on the walls.

Given that we’d be doing some work on it I took the opportunity to play around with some time-lapse photography. During the time we were moving in, and doing the decorating, I stuck an old Canon camera on a tripod in the corner. It was running the CHDK software with a script that took a photo every five minutes. A bit of playing around afterwards with ffmpeg, and Open Shot (for the titles) and we had this little video to show off the transition…

 

Birth of the first DoES Space from Adrian McEwen on Vimeo.

That doesn’t give you a sense of what the space is like now that it’s in use, so I thought I’d include this photo of the main space as it is now, but you should really come down for a visit in person 😉

A Panorama of the DoES Space

Of course, if you’d rather have some music to accompany the video, I can recommend watching it from here

Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day at DoESLiverpool

Ada Lovelace Day aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire. This international day of celebration helps people learn about the achievements of women in STEM, inspiring others and creating new role models for young and old alike.

Taken from About Ada Lovelace Day

To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, and to celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and entrepreneurship, we have decided to hold an Open Day for women at DoES Liverpool. On Friday the 7th October, all of the services of DoES Liverpool will be free for use by women. Use a hot desk for the day and have a welcoming place to work with power, wifi and tea & coffee available. If you’re a more crafty type use the facilities of our workshop to work on your projects, getting feedback and help from the other attendees.

DoES Liverpool is successfully bringing together people of various disciplines and allowing great collaboration and sharing of ideas. With this Open Day we hope to bring even more people into the space to enjoy the benefits of co-working.

This offer is open to all women, including existing friends of DoES Liverpool. The day will not count towards your hot desk quota and if you’ve never been before you will still be able to come at a later time and get a free day when you bring cake.

Men are, of course, welcome to come and work from DoES and find out more about what the women of Liverpool are achieving. This will count as a normal day for you so you will need to pay for a hot desk day or bring cake if it’s your first visit.

We’re really hoping that we’ll see some new faces in the space as a result of this so come along and see what we’re about. Ping us on twitter or sign up on lanyard if you think you’ll come, or just turn up on the day.

If you are at DoES for Ada Lovelace Day, you might also be interested in attending:

UK Northwest study group for Stanford University’s free distance learning AI courses

You might have seen that Stanford Uni will be offering 2 exciting courses Free and Online in Autumn 2011, in “A bold experiment in distributed education”.

 

 

The course content will be delivered by video, and there will be exercises and opportunities for discussion.  There’s no certificate as such (though you get a “statement of accomplishment” if you complete it.)

Remote learning is all very well, but we’d also like to have a local study group.  We’ll set up a monthly meeting at DoES Liverpool, and everyone who’s following along on either course in Northwest UK is welcome! [1]

Though many of us will be studying the AI class, you’re welcome whether you’re doing that or the ML one.

There will be wifi, a projector, coffee (and stronger drinks available by donation for after-study), and we will get hold of the (optional) course books.

If you’re interested in coming, then please:

  1. Register for either course above
  2. join the DoES Liverpool mailing list  and let us know which course(s) you’ve signed up for!

 

We will meet twice a month, on Tuesdays, Sep – Oct, 7-9pm. Please note there are some additions/changes since the original mailing!

  • NOTE CHANGE: the Oct 11th meeting has been moved to 4th + 18th
  • Tues Oct 4th
  • Tues Oct 18th
  • Tues Nov 8th    (1.5 weeks before mid-term exams)
  • Tues Nov 22nd
  • Tues Dec 13th  (a few days before the final exams for the advanced track)
I’ll advertise any changes on the DoES mailing list!

We’ve already met once, on Tues Sep 13th  to look at Linear Algebra, one of the prerequisites, and discuss our approaches.

 

We will do some/all/none of:

  • watch course videos
  • discuss things we’re finding hard
  • work together on exercises
  • use the time as an opportunity to read/study by self
  • present something to group
  • commiserate about how hard it is and how dumb we are

 

If you have any questions, then please shout on the DoES list, or ping @osfameron on twitter!

 

[1]  If Liverpool isn’t convenient for you, then why not join Geekup and talk about forming a group closer to you in the NorthWest.  People have already been discussing the possibility of groups in Manchester and Leeds/Sheffield.

Alternatively, there are online study groups at  http://www.reddit.com/r/aiclass and http://www.reddit.com/r/mlclass

 

As DoES is a co-working space, you are welcome to arrive early (or even during day, to hot-desk) if that is more convenient.  (And remember, first time hotdesking is free if you bring cake!)

Last trains back to Chester / Manchester / Leeds are after 11pm, and Lime Street and Central stations are within 5-10 minutes walk.

DoES Liverpool provides first outpost as Google Developer Outreach looks beyond London

DoES Liverpool are pleased to announce our newest resident – Google.

When Google Developer Relations were looking to reach beyond their established base in London, the DoES space in central Liverpool ticked all the right boxes.  It gives them a base from which to strike out and make visits across the North West, as well as somewhere that people can call in for an “office hour” meeting – where they can find out more about how to use Google’s products and services to help their business.

“We’re looking to go where the developers are”, said Paul Kinlan, Developer Advocate at Google for Chrome and HTML5, “and this will give us the chance to start working more closely with developers and businesses in the North of England.”

Paul will be working from DoES Liverpool for a couple of days each week, and the rest of the time the desk will be available for his colleagues who specialise in other Google products to use for similar purposes.

They’re interested in hearing from any startups, businesses or developers who want to talk about the Google Developer platforms, but they aren’t going to just sit and wait for people to knock on their door.  They’re planning to hold events at the DoES space, and are keen to speak or get involved with other tech events both at DoES and also across the North.

DoES organiser Adrian McEwen said “Although rather different from our usual mix of startups and freelancers, there’s a great fit between Google and DoES Liverpool: we both want to find and help local startups.  It’s a great opportunity for all involved – DoES, Google and the North West.  We’re very excited for what it means for local developers.”

About DoES Liverpool CIC

DoES Liverpool CIC was created to further grow and support the community of people interested and involved in technology that has been building over the past few years in Liverpool and the surrounding areas. It aims to help small businesses and start-ups by creating a space within which they can work, network and build up a business.

DoES Liverpool CIC currently runs a space in Gostins Building on Hanover Street, Liverpool offering affordable co-working desks, workshop and hot desks. It also uses the space to host events such as Maker Night and the Liverpool GeekUp.

For more information about DoES Liverpool CIC visit their website on http://doesliverpool.com/ or email hello@doesliverpool.com

About Google Developer Relations

The Developer Relations organization at Google is focused on driving the success of Google’s developer products and the open web by creating a thriving ecosystem of 3rd party applications and businesses built on them.

We work with technologies such as Chrome, Android, App Engine, Google Maps API, HTML5, and also support our core Google Apps and Ads businesses. For a full list of the products we support, see code.google.com.

We are in Google’s Engineering organization, though we also work closely with Product Management, Marketing, PR, Business Development, and others.

You can get in contact with Paul via his Google Profile page http://plus.ly/paul.kinlan

Workshop Membership at DoES Liverpool

In addition to running the free Maker Night at the Art and Design Academy and at our own DoES Space, for anyone wanting to have more frequent access to somewhere they can come and tinker more often we offer a monthly Workshop Membership. This gives you access to benches to work on, our collection of tools such as soldering iron and multi-meters and you also get a storage crate so you don’t have to cart your projects around with you.

Outside of normal working hours we aim to keep the space open until 9pm Tuesday to Thursday, and on Saturdays – but check in advance so we can make sure someone is around.

Monthly Membership is £30 per month.

Members also get discounted hot desking at £6.50 per day.

If you have a permanent desk with DoES Liverpool you get Workshop access and storage included in your desk price.