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GeekUp Leeds 21-Nov-2007

GeekUp Leeds 21-Nov-2007

GeekUp Leeds 21-Nov-2007

A few of us from Plusnet ventured up to Leeds last Wednesday evening to attend GeekUp, a gathering of web 'geeks' and other technically minded people from the Yorkshire area. Why would we spend an evening geeking in Leeds? It allows us to find out what people are doing in the industry and to make some noise about the great things we are doing here at PlusNet.The meet started with Dom "The Hodge" Hodgeson delivering a 20:20 presentation on a Magic the Gathering podcast which he produces, covering its rapid success (over 10,000 listeners) and the problems associated with said success. He also announced NorthCAST, a podcast project intended to focus on the web industry outside of London. There followed a mostly tongue-in-cheek 20:20 presentation by Tom Smith on Django, a web application framework written in Python. I'm none the wiser as to whether Django is worth a look. For me, I'm philosophically opposed to working with a language that considers whitespace to be syntactically significant, so I'll probably give it a miss. Smiley After the presentations came the mingling and drinking, more by the Leeds-based folks than those of us having to drive back to Sheffield. I recognised some familiar faces from previous BarCamps and a few new ones. There's definitely a positive buzz about the state of the web industry "oop Nurth". There was an iPhone on show, but I didn't play with it in an attempt to save money. (Having subsequently used one I can now feel a burning sensation deep down in my wallet.) The technological high-point of the night for me, despite the silly name, was the Asus Eee PC, a complete laptop seemingly made mostly from old spare parts but at under £250, who cares? It is powered by (I'm told) a Celeron 900, has 512 megs of RAM, 4GB of solid-state HD, 800x400 internal TFT screen and WiFi running a Xandros-based Linux distribution. Although geeks may sneer at the spec, the device itself is functional and quite lovely; light (under a kilo), stylish (in a Sinclair C5 kind of way) and Asus have bundled a "front end for dummies" that could improve the device's appeal to newbies. One to watch over Christmas. A great evening; a great bunch of people and a great way to find out what's going on in the area. It's not just for boys either, it was good to see a few female faces there too. It's not at all grim up north, it's geeky up north. Photos on Flickr

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