YRS is a weeklong event (August 5-11) for young people under 18 to get together and make stuff out of public data. It involves coding, programming, designing and a load of fun. More details on the YRS website…
2013 will be our fourth year as a host centre for YRS at MadLab. We’re proud to have been associated with YRS since its inception, and really look forward to another amazing week in August. We’re also keen to support other venues locally – and to pass on our knowledge and experience.
Who is this event for?
This event is aimed at those planning to be involved in making YRS happen this year. You could be:
- A volunteer mentor wanting to help YRS participants
- A local business/agency/organisation wanting to support YRS through sponsorship, kit, people or food!
- An educator wanting to support young people taking part in YRS
Attending this event will be some of the mentors from the previous years, and the centre leads for the Manchester-based YRS venues. So this is an ideal opportunity to find out more from those that have done this before.
NB: This particular event is not aimed at young people or parents/carers. We will organise something around this later in the year.
Title: Intermediate WordPress Location: MadLab Description: Intermediate WordPress course at the Omniversity with WordPress co-founder Mike Little Start Date: 25 & 26-07-2013 (Thursday and Friday) Start Time: 10:00 End Time: 16:30 Booking: Grab your place
A hands-on intermediate course to polish your WordPress website
WordPress co-founder Mike Little will be leading our two-day course.
WordPress is the publishing platform of choice for more than 73 million websites and blogs – including some of the most high-profile sites in the world. It has a Content Management System (CMS) market share of 54%.
This intermediate course takes your WordPress site to the next level. You will learn how to thoroughly customise themes, find the right plugin for your needs, understand the different requirements for mobile platforms (smartphones/ tablets) and how to unleash the full power and potential of this CMS platform. Mike’s hands-on course will teach you WordPress best practice, SEO strategies, security tips and caching techniques. You’ll get started with e-commerce and find out about little-known and useful features of WordPress – and all from the man who helped create it in the first place.
Who will benefit from this class?
You may already have a WordPress site or two but you want yours to be better than the rest.
You may be contemplating spending several thousand pounds on hiring a developer/ designer for your new company website.
If you want to work on an existing WordPress site you are more than welcome, but we will provide a pre-installed site for up to a month for all attendees.
This course is aimed at those who’ve already got to grips with the WordPress CMS. You’ll don’t need any programming experience, but a little CSS knowledge is useful.
Introduction To WordPress: What is WordPress? A little history
Recap of the WordPress basics: Posts, pages and all that jazz
Settings in depth: More ways to configure your site
Advanced posts and pages: Featured images, the kitchen sink, paging and more
Exercise: Getting to grips with the WordPress Editor
The Image Editor: Make your own thumbnails
Themes, Widgets and Menus in depth: Learning the building blocks
CSS introduction: An overview and some useful tools
Pulling it all together: Improving the look of your site
Exercise: Customising your theme with CSS
Security: Hosting, plugins and good habits
Caching: Make your site fly!
Exercise: Security and caching plugins
SEO – an overview: The strange art of Search Engine Optimisation
Anti-spam techniques: Akismet and beyond
Jetpack in depth: Juicy goodness form WordPress.com
Exercise: Getting to know Jetpack
E-commerce – an overview: An intro to selling your stuff
More useful tools and plugins
Equipment you’ll need
Please bring a laptop computer with Windows, Linux or Mac OS installed. You will not need to install any software, but you should have a modern web browser. Our preference is for the latest version of Firefox or Google Chrome, but the latest Internet Explorer or Opera will be fine too
For part of the course you will need Firefox or Google Chrome
You may want to bring some sample images that you will be able to upload to your website as the course progresses
If you feel more comfortable using an external mouse, please bring one with you
After completing the class, you will have:
In-depth knowledge about WordPress configuration
A suite of plugins to enhance your site to your needs
The ability to configure WordPress to your preferences
The ability to use industry-standard developer tools
An understanding of site security and Search Engine Optimisation
Practical knowledge of advanced plugins
This is a very practical hands-on course where you will complete exercises, ask questions and engage in discussions to make the most of the time.
Costs and times
The course costs £200. You will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials, software, and programmes. You will also receive one month’s free hosting courtesy of MadLab to test and refine your site. Lunch and refreshments are provided.
About the course tutor
Mike Little is the co-founder of WordPress, and founder and CEO of zed1.com ltd, a WordPress specialist web development consultancy. He has developed many web sites for his clients (WordPress-based, of course) including a number of prominent UK government websites. His background is in software development and has more than 25 years’ under his belt, many at the most senior levels. He is a member of Mensa, a published author, technical editor, and a member of the Usability Professionals Association.
Title: Girl Geek Tea Party 31: Show and Tell Location: MadLab Description: Do you have a passion for technology? What gadget could you not live without? What wonder of science do you think the world should know about? Come to the next Manchester Girl Geek Tea Party and share your knowledge with girls (and guys) who want to know more. Date: 26-05-2013 Start Time: 14:00 End Time: 16:00 Booking:Sign up here
Do you have a passion for technology? What gadget could you not live without? What wonder of science do you think the world should know about? Come to the next Manchester Girl Geek Tea Party and share your knowledge with girls (and guys) who want to know more.
We’re having another of our famous Girl Geek Show and Tell tea parties, and you’re invited to come along, learn something new and teach us about the things you find fascinating. Science, engineering, technology, maths, or anything geeky – wherever your interest lies, you’re welcome to talk for 10-15 minutes (or less if you’d rather) on a subject of your choice.
If you don’t have anything to share then just come along for the talks, a cup of tea and some cake. Feel free to bring some homemade cakes if you want to share the love, too. There’ll be a relaxed atmosphere where you can share your thoughts and ideas with like minded ladies. If you’re new and just want to learn more, then come to listen and meet some great people.
This event is free, including tea and cakes/biscuits – although donations to our lovely hosts MadLab are very welcome.
What To Bring
A short talk/presentation (optional) plus laptop/slides if needed (remember it’s only 10-15 minutes!)
Your favourite mug
Your delicious baked goods, if you’re in a baking mood
Your friends, sisters, mums, cousins, daughters, colleagues, etc who might be interested in joining us!
On the day the first 15 minutes will be set aside for tea, biscuits & booking your time slot. There’ll be a list of slots available when you arrive and we’ll allocate them on a first come first serve basis. We look forward to seeing you there!
Manchester Girl Geeks is a not-for-profit group which organises networking events, talks and hands-on workshops for women and girls with an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). While our events are aimed at girls and women of all ages, we are happy to welcome boys and men, especially if they come along with a girl geek. Please note that children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. For more info check out our website www.manchestergirlgeeks.com or follow us @mcrgirlgeeks on Twitter.
Title: VVVV / Projection / Kinect Location: MadLab Description: VVVV is powerful toolkit of media technologies, boasting a glut of built in functionality, tools and examples. You can safely presume that you can get it to interface with almost anything you want, it can generate almost anything you want. Start Date: 08-06-2013 End Date: 09-06-2013 Start time: 10:00 End time: 17:30 Booking:sign up here
Who is the course for?
Around 10 years ago Processing was released (2001), accelerating the convergence of design and art with emerging technology. Since this time vvvv,openFrameworks, Processing, Cinder, Jitter, and the many other tools have been employed and crafted to satisfy this desire to rapidly create, prototype and deploy ideas in the fields of visual arts, architecture, informational design, visual music, interactive performance, physical computing and advertising media.
vvvv (first released 1998) is a unique tool initially created by MESO, Frankfurt to create ‘Digitial Interiors’. It is now publicly available and free to use for non commercial purposes.
It is powerful toolkit of media technologies, hosting a glut of built in functionality, tools and examples. Using a real-time interface you can create generative, aesthetic and functional systems without using code, but also without constraints. It can interface with almost anything you want, it can generate almost anything you want. There aren’t any other media toolkits that can perform so much ‘out of the box’, having you projecting Kinect tracked video onto buildings or controlling robot arms from Twitter in days rather than weeks. The true power of the tool lies within the elegance within which it makes its features available. In the opinion of this author, it can usurp all other platforms in terms of development speed, power and flexibility.
vvvv has been used for:
Long term installations (>3 years runtime)
Quick installations (<10mins to develop)
Vast installations (>50 projectors)
Deployed installations (>50 units)
TV shows (The X Factor)
Making my mobile phone ring when the postman arrives if I’m at the cafe downstairs (1 hour development)
Real World Examples
Kimchi and Chips’ installation at Design Korea, December 2010 used VVVV for:
Integrated database driven mapping system that communicates with MySQL to store mapping data / remotely controlled from custom iPad software
Threaded video playback of up to 80 videos at a time (written in custom C# plugins)
Threaded video recording of two videos at a time (written in custom C# plugins)
Management of videos
Management of projectors
Playback of motion graphics
OSC communication with iPad interfaces for people to record their own videos
What you need to be familiar with
You should be proficient with computers (know how to operate, set up, fix your mum’s).
The main thing you need is a desire to create a project using this tool. As with all forms of technical learning, having an idea of what you want to create makes your brain start working on how to realise your idea. When your brain is in this state, it is much easier to identify a purpose for everything that you learn, which makes the learning process work. Without the passion to use the tool, it becomes impossible to absorb the new technical paradigms involved.
What we won’t cover
The fundamental elegances of coding in vvvv (this is something that will slap/kiss you in the face lots of times through experience. Expect to sit down afterwards and enjoy these moments to yourself)
Programming dynamic plugins in C#
Programming shaders in HLSL
Advanced patch logic (but we’ll point you in the right direction)
Software and costs
All software is freely available for learning/non-commercial purposes, and copies will be distributed with the course materials on the day. We will be using the latest version of VVVV at the time of the workshops (currently 26, which can be downloaded fromhttp://www.vvvv.org/downloads)
Equipment you’ll need
You will need to bring a PC Computer (ideally a laptop) with:
Windows XP/Vista/7 installed
Latest Windows Service Packs / latest updates to DirectX 9/10/11
This is a two day course, run on Saturday and Sunday.
You will learn after Sunday:
A hands on ‘by the seat of your pants’ tour of vvvv’s features and how to get started with each bit. Create a mental map of the vvvv landscape through experience, so every bit of new learning can be hooked onto an explained element of the system
Be able to work with vvvv and a projector
Be able to map content from inside your computer onto real world objects using a projector
Understanding of vvvv fundamentals
Fifteen places are available on this course. You are encouraged to confer with other participants on the day for support and to develop your learning. There is no coursework or assessment on this programme. A teaching assistant will be on hand to assist with any difficulties the course participants may face.
£200 for the full two days. Included in this price is a hot buffet lunch, with vegetarian options (please notify us in advance if you are vegetarian or if you have other dietary requirements). Additionally, you will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials, software, and patches for the course on a USB stick.
Elliot Woods is half of Koreo-Brittanic interaction design studio Kimchi and Chips, with works featured in Wired, Engadget and the BBC. He is a protagonist of the international projection mapping scene, creating tools and techniques that have been employed in niche experimental art projects and multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. Elliot has taught professionals, students and school children the techniques and arts of projection mapping. At NODE 10 (vvvv’s own forum of the digital arts) he gave a full-time course on projection mapping for professional uses.
Title: CSS Basics Location: MadLab Date: 15-06-2013 Start Time: 10:00 End Time: 17:30 Booking: here
This course looks in detail at the basics of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the language used to add styling and layout to your web content. You will learn fundamental CSS theory such as the box model, the cascade and specificity, how to effectively style your paragraphs, lists, tables, forms, navigation menus and other content, and the basics of layouts using floats and positioning. This session also covers some CSS3 features like shadows, border radius and CSS3 selectors.
The course is aimed mainly at novice web designers and developers but it is also suitable for those with more experience who want to update their skills and learn modern best practices.
What you need to be familiar with
This course is intended for beginners to CSS so while prior knowledge would help, none is required. You should however have a reasonable knowledge of HTML and how to use the web.
After completing the class, you will have learned:
The fundamentals of how CSS works and what you can do with it
A solid array of techniques you can use to style and lay out content
Up-to-date web design best practices
Some cutting edge CSS3 features
Equipment you’ll need
Yourself. Refreshments will be provided.
A laptop of some kind. Mac, Windows or Linux is fine.
A decent text editor – this is all you need to build web pages. We recommend:
Note: You can use an expensive web creator tool like Dreamweaver, should you have one installed. But expect to use it to edit code, not drag and drop.
A graphics package – we will be talking a little bit about graphics for the web, as far as different formats, and resizing images are concerned. It would make sense for you to have a graphics package available. We recommend:
The course costs £100. You will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials, software, and programmes. You will also receive free hosting courtesy of MadLab to test and refine your site. Lunch and refreshments are provided.