Saturday, August 01, 2009


Hello all....

Moving my blogging activity to and trying to be more regular about it and improve the overall quality :S wish me luck :D

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Google YouTube (and other) API's - maven2 artifacts

Been playing with the google java API's for youtube as a part of the Sheffield virtual classroom project. I was shocked to find there weren't any maven artifacts for the jars. Here's the commands to take the distributed jars and cram them into your local maven2 repo.

Download the zip package from googlecode at

then cd to the lib directory and run

mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=base -Dversion=1.0 -Dfile=gdata-base-1.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=blogger -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-blogger-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=blogger-meta -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-blogger-meta-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=books -Dversion=1.0 -Dfile=gdata-books-1.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=books-meta -Dversion=1.0 -Dfile=gdata-books-meta-1.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=calendar -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-calendar-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=calendar-meta -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-calendar-meta-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=client -Dversion=1.0 -Dfile=gdata-client-1.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=client-meta -Dversion=1.0 -Dfile=gdata-client-meta-1.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=codesearch -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-codesearch-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=codesearch-meta -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-codesearch-meta-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=contacts -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-contacts-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=contacts-meta -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-contacts-meta-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=core -Dversion=1.0 -Dfile=gdata-core-1.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=docs -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-docs-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=docs-meta -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-docs-meta-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=finance -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-finance-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=finance-meta -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-finance-meta-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=health -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-health-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=health-meta -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-health-meta-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=media -Dversion=1.0 -Dfile=gdata-media-1.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=photos -Dversion=1.0 -Dfile=gdata-photos-1.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=photos-meta -Dversion=1.0 -Dfile=gdata-photos-meta-1.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=spreadsheet -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-spreadsheet-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=spreadsheet-meta -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-spreadsheet-meta-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=youtube -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-youtube-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true
mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=gdata -DartifactId=youtube-meta -Dversion=2.0 -Dfile=gdata-youtube-meta-2.0.jar -Dpackaging=jar -DgeneratePom=true

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Twestival - Sheffield bad news :(

Dear all.....

The twestival sheffield organisers have met today and we've expressed a pretty unanimous concern that the event might not reach all our expectations. Due to many different reasons we've decided that rather put on a half-assed event and risk undoing the many months of hard work we've put into organising great community events in and around sheffield, we would be better to take a step back and look to next year.

So it's with huge sadness that we have to say goodbye to our efforts to make twestival sheffield happen this year. If anyone else has the burning desire to pick up the mantle then we can happily transfer whatever knowledge and contacts we have. At this stage, the event simply wasn't coming together as we had hoped.

Apologies for the huge dissapointment, but on the upside many of our friends and neighbors in the north are hosting their own twestival events and have made kind offers to welcome all. Please see the twestival site for details.

Please also bear in mind that there is a huge calendar of community tech/geek events coming up in sheffield over the next year. For details come along to the monthly sheffield geekup or follow @sheffieldgeeks on twitter.

With a little sadness, some relief, and enthusiasm for a year full of events,

Monday, January 26, 2009

Barcamp Sheffield BashMash-1 archer project meeting notes

My notes from the #mashbash meeting 1 with the sheffield archer project.

Cathederal Archer Project Ltd

Meeting between Archer Project and Barcamp Sheffield #bashmash organisers, 21st Jan 2009

Jag Gill
Ian Ibbotson
Chris Murray
Tim Renshaw
Tracey Viner

The Archer Project (CAP, or more formally the “Cathederal Archer Project Ltd”, see is a not for profit project based out of sheffield cathederal who offer food and a base for the homless in sheffield as we attempt to break the cycle of deprivation.

Barcamp sheffield is an annual event hosted by the sheffield geek community -headed up jag- looking to apply local talent and technical knowledge to short focussed projects that will benefit the city and it's people. These projects are being run under the #bashmash tag.

On Wed 21st jan CAP and #bashmash had an initial get-together to discuss what form a #bashmash project based around a new online CAP presence might take. The following are notes.

An initial concern was described that although the archer project is fundamentally supported by the cathederal, some people may be put off by the closeness of the CAP branding to the cathederal branding. The team brainstormed some initial requirements
Website design, inkeeping with the cathederal branding, yet noticably different
Some form of Viral Marketing to promote the site
SEO to get the CAP site up rankings
We discussed the options for embedded twitter feeds to add a dynamic quality, EG, # of meals served today, daily weather reports, interim statistics such as # of homless at last count.
Discussed the need for walled garden interactivity, so user contributed materials do not negatively impact on the “Brochure site” aspect.
Use of photo-blogging

Some of the primary requirements of the web-site we came up with
Support CAP in funding applications, essentially have a component which is a stylish and professional brochure site describing the work of CAP
Provide a place for the CAP team to show evidence of their work (Again supporting funding applications)
Provide information to help link up with other support agencies / support other agencies / demostrate how CAP can help.
Provide a place for the homless in sheffield to meet the world essentially putting a human face on the issues facing the city.
Provide a place to electronically publish the CAP news letter. Resources for the paper based news-letter are sparse, the site based news may not be bound by these constraints, although the need for content is primary.
Provide a place to announce and promote CAP campaigns. Specifically
Big Sleep Out
Harvest Festival
Christmas Appeal
Sheffield Sharks appeal
Provide a link to “Just Giving” / have space for e-commerce / e-giving applications

Some random thoughts which came up
What happened to the old SIF sheffield information forum. Is there any way to start to tie together #bashmash projects into a wider information network
Contact with the crisis marketing manager
We need early access to logs for key supporters
It would be great to have a Facebook app
Could we link up with Weatherwatch to have a dynamic alert
Could we get kids to build arduino based thermometers in #geekupsheff-kids to raise awareness?
How can we contribute to the wider sheffield community
Links to sheffield First Step Trust? Sheffield Advice Link? Other projects?
Links with
Links with homeless assessment service
Homeless Link Network
Links with Drug Action Teams
Links with Tunring Point
Links with Sheffield Theatres
An information resource for homelessness – articles?
We could mash up thinks like the #meals statistics using google forms, RSS and yahoo pipes to form a feed to the webapp.
Could we use some microformats for opening times etc to share data with other sheffield orgs? Semantic geeky project thoughts here.
GPS tracking units to see where people go/how often they get moved along?

The project has volunteers who could be recruited in to update stats / tweet information / write articles and postings.

We discussed technology choices, and unless requirements change, are happy that we could implement the following infrastructure
Wordpress as a primary hosting environment
Hosting provided for a minimum of n years provided by #bashmash
Google Analytics and statpress for stats
The #bashmash project will focus around usability and graphical design
There will be space for other contributed projects such as twitter feeds and facebook applications, this should provide opportinities for all who are interested to get involved, around the core design and implementation team.

Initial thoughts about the day
It would be nice to see mock-ups (HTML, Graphics) as early as possible in the day.
Tracy will act as on-site customer to give feedback on designs and usability
Should we use a design methodology / process on the day?
Handover and sign/off / go live

Closing thoughts
The #bashmash day needs to have a sustainability plan as an output
We need to give some thoughts to Critical Success Factors
Publishing Measurements is both good and bad as it supports funding, provided the stats look good and are maintained.

(My) Overall feelings, the primary customers (The CAP team) need to a site to support their funding applications, and their service users. These two groups have different, but equally important requirements. There is a desire to stay within the broad theme of the cathederal, yet be distinct.

Sort a venue
Get volunteers – Jag is handling this
Sort out the process

Extra information

Possible sections
Who We Are / What We Do
Donation (Link to just giving)
New/Newsletter – upload press cuttings, newsletter PDF's
CAP Health
CAP Catering
CAP Gardening
CAP Education
CAP Activities
Contact Us
Links to useful sites – HomlessLink, Crisis, Shelter, etc
CAP Staff/Board
Examples of clients / work in progress
Questions – show church support without it taking over

Themes for the site (We would like the design to reflect these feelings)
City Centre

Other – Mailshot, newsletters, social networking... Other? Got some sample pages
Will scan the sample pages and my notes pages / diagrams and attach asap.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Calendar of Geeky events in and around sheffield

Here's a calendar I'm maintaining with various geeky events. Please feel free to send stuff to me on any of the usual channels, or get in touch to get permission to add events yourself.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Linux / Garmin GPS60 / JOSM / Openstreetmap quick howto

Here's a quick very specific workflow for anyone wanting to get data out of a garmin GPS60 and into JOSM for editing, it's actually pretty trivial, but I had to dig around a bit. The commands will probably work for other USB garmin units...

1) Look at openstreetmap and find a spot on the map where you know there are missing features

Here's loxley valley, I know that there's a footpath going from the upper half of Myers Grove Lane, down past the Robin Hood Pub, over the river loxley and up the other side of the valley, and it's not on Sweet!

2) Turn on your GPS and go walking, taking waypoint notes along the way :)

The best bit ;)

3) Go home and boot up your fave distro and install gpsbabel (apt-get install gpsbabel for me)

4) Download your trace data (Where you walked, I had to do this as root for dev permissions)

root@bhor:~# gpsbabel -t -i garmin -f usb: -o gpx -F my_track.gpx

5) Download your waypoint data (Your, um, waypoints, I had to do this as root for dev permissions)

root@bhor:~# gpsbabel -i garmin -f usb: -o gpx -F my_waypoints.gpx

6) Load into JOSM and edit / save / upload

When you're done, you can see your trace and waypoint data.

7) Click "File" -> "Download from OSM" to pull down all the openstreetmap data for the area you've walked over

8) Add features corresponding to your trace and waypoints. In my case, a new footpath, a couple of new postboxes, a bridge, 2 schools and a community ctr (and a slight fix to the path of the river loxley so it actually flows under what I know to be a bridge. (I hope thats the right thing to do :S)). Upload your changes to

9) Enjoy your work on

- Will add the photo just as soon as the OSM render is complete :)

10) Don't forget to upload your postcode coordinates to!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Read this today and it resonated with me for some reason, worth a read.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt