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Hi Spode Fans!
So much has changed over the last few years and although I've been good at supplying pictures of my cats - I've been awful at keeping people informed of my professional activities. So consider this update an education and an opportunity for us to hopefully work together again soon.
Day to day I now run justFDI Limited with Dan Monsieurle. We are a small team of five at the moment and most of our work is for the events industry with ThinkWall and ThinkBikes being our primary products. We have offices in Stratford, London - so please do pop by for a coffee.
ThinkBikes you might recognise as the company I started in 2007 with Dave Lowe. Dave left in 2009 and I continued to develop the company to some great success.
Quite recently I sold ThinkBikes to justFDI, giving Dan an equal interest in our activities. This allows us to...
This is part two of my series on Ultra Short Throw (UST) projectors. If you haven't read this first, I would recommend it for some back story and explanations.
Big thanks to the chaps at Axicom for letting me borrow this unit. I've had it for a while now (busy busy) and they've been very patient.
This is a very different unit to the Ricoh and It's worth noting that I am looking at this purely from the point of view of using it at events – I briefly looking at the interactive / wireless aspects of this device and it is pretty impressive, but useless for my use case. It is available as a plain S500 without this functionality.
The first thing you'll notice is that this projector is a lot bigger and quite clearly designed for more permanent installations such as interactive white boards. It weighs in at a shade...
So as most of you know, I run ThinkWall – a Twitter wall system used at events. Typically, we outsource AV as our clients want the best that they can get – but we also cater for a number of smaller events where we need to be able to get a decent sized screen setup cheaply and quickly without taking up too much space at the event. Researching this I came across the little known concept of Ultra Short Throw Projectors.
What is Ultra Short Throw (UST)?
You have probably seen projectors described as having a long / short / medium throw and this is to do with how far away from the wall the projector needs to be in order to be a particular size. In typical cases, you'll need to be at least 6 feet away from your projection surface in order to get even a semi decent size.
Well it wouldn't be Christmas without me sitting down and recording a song. This year, however, I got it out of the way in the summer and I've had to keep hold of it all year. This has been quite tricky as the song is rather catchy and entirely original.
The lovely Richard Williams wrote and played the guitar work to this song, and I sung and recorded this at home. I also have to thank Nate Lanxon for providing a picture of his cat in the snow
The theme of this year's song is "Kittens in the Snow". I've used the wonderful RouteNote service to push this to iTunes, Spotify, Amazon etc. It takes some time, so for the moment it's only on iTunes, but I will update accordingly.
I'm going to donate 60% of all proceeds to charity - all of which will be cat related. So please buy it...
Nowadays I tend to spend more time in front of the camera that in an editing suite, but Cyberlink sent me down a copy of their latest PowerDirector 10 editing package for me to take a look. I never have enough Think Bikes videos up, and I have a constant stream of messages demanding more – so I thought I'd use this as an opportunity to create one.
So I grabbed my trusty GoPro and over the course of 2 days of shows, we did some filming. So before I get into how I did it – here is the video itself.
The machine I used for editing is my Asus N53SV laptop – which packs a fair punch with a 2.2GHz i7 CPU. Mine has been upgraded with 16GB of RAM and a 240GB OCZ SSD. I get a full Adobe Master Suite license from the University I lecture at, so...
I found my way over at the Digital Summer event a couple of days ago where Kingston were showing off their latest wares. I had a Wi-Drive thrust into my hands to have a play. My curiousity got the best of me and I wasted a good working day playing around / hacking with it. (Invoice is in the post Maggie...)
Fairly pretty to look at, it's light and about the same size as a phone. I can't help but feel they would have been better off making it fatter and shorter, but its curved edges means it fits into pockets nicely.
So, plug it in by USB and it's a 32GB flash drive with middling performance. Unplug it and switch it on and it becomes a wireless hotspot for accessing your content. You can then connect to this using up to three devices. It's designed with phones/tablets in...
Day 2 - Ubuntu on Android, Twonky and FreeFlow
Another silly early start today - and the ThinkWall on the UKTI stand is working perfectly as expected. As well as showing the tweets and photos being submitted, it has a ticker at the bottom showing the schedule of seminars - and these pop up full-screen as a ten minute warning too. Nifty.
So right next door to where we are exhibiting, Twonky is showing off their stuff. Rather topical for me as I was researching into UPnP/DLNA for a video I was doing for TechInStyle (the first ones came out today BTW - apparently I'm fat and annoying according to one comment!).
Twonky is basically a really good implementation of UPnP across all platforms. They have a server you can run on Windows/Linux and this also communicates with their website, giving you a cloud service for seeing what content you have, and where...
Day 1 - Pre-show Thoughts
One of my biggest regrets as a technology journalist was not going out to MWC (Mobile World Congress). I figured at some point, I'd get the opportunity and this year was it.
ThinkWall has been growing from strength to strength, and thanks to the UKTI I'm going to be running ThinkWalls on their booth (you can see the bespoke design above), as well as at the UKTJPR party on Wednesday, showing relevant twitter streams to those events.
The whole ThinkWall system is configured to run through the cloud - so that in combination with LogMeIn, allows me to look after a whole host of walls from my Xoom tablet. So I won't be breaking my back lugging around a laptop!
It does feel strange having an exhibitors pass instead of press - but I am still intending on doing some coverage of anything unique I see (I...
So I had this amazing (!) idea of doing a Christmas Album this year, but thanks to excessive drinking, Skyrim and a cold this never really happened. I managed to record two Christmas classics (which were essentially Karaoke) and a reading of "The Owl and the Pussy Cat" in a stupid voice.
Possibly the best thing I managed to do (and that says a lot) is do a cover version of "Rocket Man" by Elton John, but using alternative lyrics to become "Snow Man". It's chilled out and done on acoustic guitar. My lovely house mate James Looney did the guitar work.
The lyrics, for those want to be spared of my ever diminishing vocal skills, are as follows:
Got packed from snow last night, pretty tight
A bunch of kids, maybe twelve or ten
And I came to life, thanks to them
A carrot for a nose and a bowler hat
A scarf not...
Being single since May, I've been trying to get myself looking nice and trim as I parade myself back on the market (form an orderly queue please ladies!). Over the past 3 years I've slowly put a few pounds on (not excessive amounts - but enough that I notice) and I've realised part of that reason for that is that I now drive. I used to ride my bike for so many tiny journeys that I no longer do. Trials riding is good exercise but doesn't give as much of a cardio work out as you'd expect.
I've been lecturing part-time at Ravensbourne College and being on the O2 - you have to use their O2's car park facilities. At £10 a day, I've started parking a 10 minute cycle away and flinging a bike in the back of the car. I managed to build myself a fixie out of spare...