Monday, August 28, 2006

BarcampStanford Sunday

A good night sleep and I am refreshed for another day of barcamp.

Democracy sets the time agenda as we wrestle out the topics and structure for the day. This starts to create frustration but just as you think its going know where, a way forward magically appears.

Two mashup presentions / demo and topics from split up occur.

Co-workers, de-centralised and local phyical. We chose, de-decentralised. See our wiki and writely notes .

5 min presentation from all the groups.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Barcamp Stanford Saturday

The grid took a while to get going, the role of democracy slowing down progress??

Each barcamp is and should be unique. We are just about there. Go

User Interface design session, notes here (need to get )

Identity, session here

BarCamp Stanford up and running with BBQ Stanford is up and running. A great BBQ thanks to microsoft for supplying the food. A great location and the chat of ideas is flowing. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Friday, August 25, 2006

California Consistancy - weather

It is approaching three months since I have felt rain on my head. This is by far the longest period I can recall with out seeing a shower. All that is of to change as I return to Scotland next week. Atlantic weather fronts are already sweeping across the UK, driving temperatures down and producing bright echos for the radar to pick up.

This is my first full summer in Mountain View, and what is struck me the most about the weather is its consistency, blue sky every day, not the whole day, fog is almost daily in the bay but down the bay it is gone real early on most days. The temperatures have been consistent too, mid twenties, OK, one week of real heat, 42.22c a MV record, that was way too hot. And another benefit of the climate is that the nights are in general cool, making it easy to sleep. All in all I have experienced why people are drawn to the California lifestyle.

For me I like my weather a bit more changeable and the number one reason for living here is still the people that makes silicon valley the home of Interent innovation.

Monday, August 21, 2006

To Black Mountain & Back

The hike ahead
The hike ahead,
originally uploaded by ecotorch.
Yesterday I walked to the summit of Black Mountain. The 2800ft summit that I believe is the Mountain in Mountain View. The starting task was to get myself to Rancho San Antonio via bus. The bus was late, I had hoped to get hiking while the cool foggy morning conditions were still around. As the photo shows, the first blue sky had appeared, something back in Scotland you would wish for.

I had packed three containers with water, just over three litres. I had set a time limited of 4 hours maximum to research the summit as I know that is as far as I done in the past. I have walked at Rancho before, but this walk was taking me to new territory and the map provided was my guide. There was many paths to follow to get to the Black Mountain trail and I chosen the one that required a fair hike, up and down to the first meadow, a few hundred feet of extra altitude to get the legs working on. The Chaminse trail starts by taking you to the right of the Black Mountain summit. It's a medium climb but in the sun, hot work. I stopped for lunch at 11.30, having been walking for one and half hours and break fast was at 7.30am. A tree provided good shade, but the ground was hard, dusty and sharp. Sharp, with dead leaves, branches and angled grit.

Lunch provide a few minutes to look up at the hill to see glimpses of the trail as it zig-zagged across a knoll of trees. I could tell the climbing was going to get stepper, reminded me of the drop in to the Grand Canyon trails. And sure enough after plateauing through an old meadow the zig zagging soon started. The steepness wasn't as bad as I had expect but the frequency of turns more than made up. The welcome shade of the trees for most of this part of the walk meant the focus was on walking not on views but I was keen to see how far up I had come. The path stopped twisting and broadened. The top must be near? Turned out I still had the equivalent of a walk up the full length of the fungle head of me, and it was hot and I was getting tired. Just under three hours has passed. Unlike, most of my walking in Scotland where I hardly see anyone, there was a regular enough passing of fellow walkers, not too many to feel crowded, but enough to be welcoming. Half way up the second last steep climbed, but they were all feeling like the last, a couple of walkers where sitting down surfing the web. No escaping I was in silicon valley, or more precisely on top of silicon valley. One large saddle climb down and the final push to the summit. A leg burner. The radar masts were reached and no view to be had. I had wanted to see the Pacific Ocean but in a few more metres a circle of rocks marked the summit and views in all direction. 3 hrs 30mins to reach the summit. Time to take on board some water and food before a photo fest.

The start of the walk was now a long way away. Rested I started the downward journey. I always find walking down hill more painful, I find it easier to half jog-run than walk, after an hour I had descended half the altitude. I wish the last of my water was half empty too but a quarter had to do. I walked for another 4 miles before finishing it. The final push, walking was just a concentration game. Keep the concentration, the walking would continue, tiredness was ever present. The bottom paths were much more populated and timed passed and before too long I was at the water fountain at the start of the trail. The walk was not over, another mile plus was still ahead to get to the bus stop. Never has the seat at a bus stop felt so comfortable. Within minutes, the bus came, making up for its lateness at the start of the day. The map was taken out to add up the miles, a minimum of 22 in seven and half hours.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Barcamp is back, Stanford

Barcamp Stanford is on, Friday 25 August to Sunday 27.

See wiki for sign up etc.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Shakespeare in Hollywood

Shakespeare in Hollywood
Shakespeare in Hollywood,
originally uploaded by ecotorch.
My friend Jon invited me to watch a new play that he is in called, Shakespeare in Hollywood, a farce.

In short, I have not laughted so much in ages. A high calibre performance all round, would be a hit on the Edinburgh fringe I would suggest.

Well done to all the cast and people behind the scenes, thank you for great entertainment.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Silver City Blues Relay Team

Silver City Blues Relay Team
Silver City Blues Relay Team,
originally uploaded by
The Belardi pool is where all the action is on relay day. Silver City Blues team is at full speed.

William Wallace of the swimming world

Keith and Andrew march up in determined mood for the start of their 200m Freestyle relay, with Iona and Gillian I. making up the team. A great time is recorded.

Friday, August 04, 2006

10 years of entrepreneurship Aug 1996 to Aug 2006

10 years ago I left the offices of KPMG in Aberdeen to start pursuing my vision for changing the world full time.

Looking back I can see three phases of development,

1. 1996-1999 focus on money, the worlds commodity and financial markets. How could so few people impact so many people?

2. Internet 1999-2002. This Internet needs to be focused on empowering the individual. How does a none techie lead the information world?

3. Life, health, ethics and the environment 2002 to current. This period started with a life changing experience but it taught me that openness, honesty and the truth will win out in the long run. This has been the hardest period in my life to-date, but I have learnt so much about myself and life at large that the future is going to be an even better place for me.

I am going to come back in expand on these notes, in the weeks ahead

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wiki wednesday with TiddlyWiki

An interesting presentation from Tiddlywiki and Social Text. As always the questions and the follow on conversations were of the highest calibre.

Thank you to all who attended.

(ps, yes that is me in the photo, cheers Enoch.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Silver City Blues at Eagle Park

Eagle Park
Eagle Park,
originally uploaded by ecotorch.
Two other shiny silver city blues caps joined mine for training at Eagle Part with Mountain View Masters Swim Club. G & G from silver city blues, the first arrivals from Aberdeen arrive in the bay.