Mac and Me

Apple & Mac 1 Comment »

If you’re one of the many people who I’ve been gloating to recently, you’ll know that I recently acquired a new 17″ Apple Powerbook. It’s quite possibly the smartest bit of kit I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning. Jane has even described the silver notebook as ‘sexy’.

For a long time I felt like Macs were the enemy – at University they were responsible for much lost work and wasted hours due to crashes – but they really have moved on in leaps and bounds since Mac OS X was released back in 2001. In the last year or so, I’ve become more and more intrigued by Apple’s machines, both for their stunning designs, stable operating system, and their heavy use in both the music and web development communities.

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SkillSwapping

Computers, Life, Web Stuff 1 Comment »

Okay, so this post is a little late, but for those who didn’t know, Friday 2nd December saw the latest SkillSwap event hosted by none other than… me! The topic of the talk was An Introduction to XML and XSL for the Web, and took place in the BBC building on Queens Road in Brighton (the same Queens Road as Polar Central – see previous post).

It the first time I’ve given any kind of talk or presentation since Uni, so needless to say I was extremely nervous. However, with the encouragement of SkillSwap organiser Andy Budd and the ever enthusiastic web types that made up the ‘audience’, I soon began to actually enjoy myself. Being the worrisome type, I’d had all kinds of pre-event concerns – "Was the talk too niche?", "Was it too general?", "Would those in attendance know more about the subject than me?"… I needn’t have worried. Everyone there knew enough about XML to be interested, but not enough to defeat the point of the talk.

It was great encouragement when people started asking questions, and Paul commented that, during breaks and pauses, people were chatting amongst themselves about what they’d like to do with the technologies they had just been shown. Unfortunately, not quite everything went to plan, and I had to cut the presentation slightly short when a demonstration piece I’d prepared to show what can be achieved with XSLT just didn’t work. It was reliant on two things – a working web server that I had prepared on a USB key, and an Internet connection. We couldn’t get both on the same machine! Oh, well.

I thoroughly enjoyed giving the talk (I love being the centre of attention, really!), and was even more glad to hear that everyone there had enjoyed themselves, too. I can’t wait to see what the next SkillSwap brings!

The slides and a working version of the demonstration page should be available soon…

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