Category Archives: Ireland

Barcamp Dublin

Barcamp Dublin kicks off tomorrow morning with registrations at 9.15am, in The Digital Exchange on Crane street. My previous Barcamp visits (Cork & Waterford) were eye opening affairs. There is so much going on in Irish Tech circles that I would never have heard about, blogs I wouldn’t have discovered and people I would not have met if it were not for Barcamp, if you have any interest in the Technology sector Barcamp is a great way to explore it. So be there or be a shape with 4 equal length sides and 90 degree corners :D

If your looking for more info and how to sign up, check out the Barcamp Dublin Wiki and Blog

Paddy’s Day Parade

So saturday, Myself and Elly, along with some of her American work mates, went into Dublin to see the parade. I’ve lived in Ireland all my life and this is the first time that I’ve ever seen the Dublin Parade Live, as it were, so, after we all met up and found a suitable vantage point along the route, we settled in to wait for the parade, snapping a photo or two and chatting while we waited.

I took a few snaps of the masses as we all waited for our first sight of the parade.

Elly took a few shots in black & white. This one was just some random child in the crowd, but he seems to be enjoying himself:)

As the parade arrived Elly was closer to the rails and started to snap shots in both mono and colour.

Mono wouldn’t have been my choice for a parade but I don’t think either of the next two shots would have worked as well in colour :)


I’m not sure which one was scarier!

One thing, I noticed that surprised me, was the lack of any Irish Dancers. What’s up with that?

Well there were some interesting St. Patricks :)

These last 2 are my favourites I just love the colour and the energy. I am at times jealous of Elly’s ability to just pick up a camera and snap great shots, especially when she hogs the camera for an entire afternoon :p

Friday night, Cork for Barcamp

 

Lee at night

 

So we drove to Cork this afternoon, yup Lucan to Cork on a friday afternoon, the journey can be best described as sauntering, we got checked into our hotel and headed out to try and meet up with a few people although we hadn’t let anyone know we would be about.

So it was about 8pm when we left the hotel. We walked around Cork from MacCurtain st. to “The thirsty Scholar” but no luck meeting any other campers. Ah well, I got to wander around Cork for the first time in over 20 years that I wasn’t there on business and I have to say there was a fantastic “vibe” about the city, maybe it was all the students on the street or the smell of fresh pizza dough in the air but it reminded me of the electricity that was in the air in the Temple bar of the late eighties and early nineties, before it was “improved”

On the way back to the hotel I snapped the picture above with the compact camera. I’m stunned that it even picked up the light but not as stunned as how steady my hand was for a long exposure, especially considering I have had one or two :D

I can’t wait to get out around this fantastic city with the 5200, I saw some gorgeous pictures just waiting to be taken. ;)

Wednesday is gadget day (no. 1) Hewlett Packard ipaq 6515

All righty then, well welcome to the first of my weekly features, Wednesday is gadget day!

OK, so a while back I posted a list of gadgets and said that I would be following up with mini reviews of my own personel favourite gadgets, here’s the link to the post.

Anywho, that’s what I’m gonna be doing for the first few of these weekly posts. This week i’m kickin’ it all off with my HP ipaq 6515.

The 6515 is, actually I should say was (a new model has been released), marketed as a mobile communicator, now to be fair it does have a lot of mobile communications type features, but it is primarily a windows based PDA. So it does all the usual PDA type features…

Calendar, Address book, Tasklists, e-mail via sync with outlook or Exchange push, pocket word, pocket excel, adobe acrobat, Media Player (great for podcasts;) some games etc. So before we go any further it’s already a very handy device.

Lets go a little further, there is a camera and GPS receiver built in. The camera is a fairly run of the mill 1.2 mega pixel affair with similar quality to the majority of camera phones available so it’s only really usefull for the odd emergency snap.

Emergency Piccy

The GPS receiver on the other hand is fantastic, it’s just a shame that Hewlett Packard don’t include Ireland when they promise maps for all major western european countries :( Although to be fair until fairly recently even google couldn’t get good maps for Ireand out of OSI, so lets not be to hard on HP. Anyway, my route planning requirements have been looked after fairly well by “Via Michelin” which draws from the same data as google maps.

Until recently that satisfied my GPS needs but as I’m getting more in to my photo walks I’m gonna need something that gives me a tracklog which is where Megolith comes in. While it won’t do route planning I can use screen shots from google earth as my maps :) more on that once testing has been completed ;)

News just in thanks to Stalltheball.com it would appear that I should have a look at this new AA Navigator Software, it would appear from what’s been said here that it’s got some great maps for Ireland included.

Okay so I’ve covered the PDA, Camera and GPS. I haven’t mentioned the bluetooth capabilities, I use this for 2 things, firstly my “hands free” connection in the car and secondly I can share my Media Centre’s Internet connection with my PDA enabling me to use the mobile IE app to web surf from anywhere in the house or garden at home (even the smallest room, newspapers are so 20th century) yes, web browsing on a pda can be frustrating as it reformats the page you are looking at in order to make it fit on the 240×240 display, however with things like “news rivers” and “yomoblog” becoming more widespread It’s certainly becoming more useful and less frustrating almost daily. :)

The last feature of this unit to mention is the GSM phone with GPRS and EDGE connectivity. The GPRS is something I only use occasionally as I’m usually not to far away from a web connection of some sort that I can use to sync to or share. On the other hand if I was using more public transport then that’s a different story, I’m sure it would get more use to pass the time. :)

The mobile phone feature set is fairly basic it calls people, it receives inbound calls and it sends and recieves text messages, with one exception, the contacts list, it’s synced to your outlook address book so every contact you have is on your phone, if your using Exchange push then you have access to the entire domains contact list, what more could you want from a phone? Well reliability is the only concern I have on that front, now bear in mind I’m not a huge mobile phone user and if you are then I cannot recommend this unit as it has problems about once a month where it simply stops sending or receiving calls and a soft reset is the only way to resolve the problem. Big deal you might think but you’ll only know there’s a problem when you go to make a call, who knows how many calls you might have missed in the meantime.

As for the size/weight well it’s not one for the shirt pocket, jacket pocket yes. A better idea though is to get one of the many beltclip cases that are available, that’s where mine lives quite happily most of the time.

Now for some pictures :)

CaseOpenFrontCaseClosedBack

Ok the first Picture showsa you the front complete with mini keyboard, which works surprisingly well once you adjust to it. and the othe shows the rear of the unit in it’s case, nice of the case manufacturer to leave openings for the camera and speaker.

CaseClosedLeftSide

The left side of the unit showing (from left to right) it’s IR port, the Camera Shutter/memo recorder button and the volume slider.

CaseClosedRightSide

The right hand side showing (left to Right) mini-SD card slot and the normal SD card slot, Stuffed with 2Gb card. [homer] mmmmmmmmm Storage [/homer]

And for our final shot some nudity :D

Naked

Just to give you a size comparison but also to show what 12 months of daily use and abuse has done to it. Answer very little apart from the fingerprints :)

The Liffey is in the pink

OK, here’s the concept, for the launch of the Dublin Fringe festival, the organisers thought it would be a great idea to dye the Liffey pink as a publicity stunt. So I happened along with my trusty camera to snap this once in a lifetime oppurtunity.

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Thing is as a publicity stunt it sucked the people on the street were wondering what had happened to pollute the river like this! there was no advertising anywhere that I saw and well no Fringe festival to be honest??? all very confusing for the literally tens of people that were standing around watching the spectacle.

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You have to wonder why there was no one on O’Connell street bridge handing out flyers or even posters about to draw attention to the fringe festival, or am I finally just getting old and not able to “get it” anymore? Is this the new thing now then? is it? At least these guys looked like they were having some fun but again nothing to explain what was happening…

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I have to admit to being tempted to tell a few tourists that the Luas had derailed crossing the bridge at Heuston station and that the red river was the result of the contents of the passengers vascular systems having emptied into the river, but then I decided not to tempt fate. you never know.