Posts Tagged ‘Omniversity of Manchester’

Intermediate WordPress

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

WordPress for Beginners

Title: Intermediate WordPress
Location: MadLab
Description: A hands-on intermediate course to polish your WordPress website.
Start Date: 02-02-2013
End Date: 03-02-2013
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 16:30
Booking: Sign up here








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 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 and 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.

Total beginners should go on our WordPress for Beginners course.

What you need to be familiar with

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.

Course syllabus

Day one

  1. Introduction To WordPress: What is WordPress? A little history
  2. Recap of the WordPress basics: Posts, pages and all that jazz
  3. Settings in depth: More ways to configure your site
  4. Advanced posts and pages: Featured images, the kitchen sink, paging and more
  5. Exercise: Getting to grips with the WordPress Editor
  6. The Image Editor: Make your own thumbnails
  7. Themes, Widgets and Menus in depth: Learning the building blocks
  8. CSS introduction: An overview and some useful tools
  9. Pulling it all together: Improving the look of your site
  10. Exercise: Customising your theme with CSS

Day two

  1. Security: Hosting, plugins and good habits
  2. Caching: Make your site fly!
  3. Exercise: Security and caching plugins
  4. SEO – an overview: The strange art of Search Engine Optimisation
  5. Anti-spam techniques: Akismet and beyond
  6. Jetpack in depth: Juicy goodness form WordPress.com
  7. Exercise: Getting to know Jetpack
  8. E-commerce – an overview: An intro to selling your stuff
  9. 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

Learning outcomes

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’sfree hosting courtesy of MadLab to test and refine your site. Lunch and refreshments are provided.

VVVV / Projection / Kinect

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

vvvv

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: 10-11-2012
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 17:30
End Date: 11-11-2012
Booking: Sign up here

 

Who is the course for?

  • Artists
  • Designers
  • Creative technologists
  • Interactive architectects
  • Live visualists

Around 10 years ago Processing was released (2001), accelerating the convergence of design and art with emerging technology. Since this time VVVVopenFrameworks, 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)
  • Hosting websites
  • Making my mobile phone ring when the postman arrives if I’m at the cafe downstairs (1 hour development)
  • Almost anything

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).

Any experience with coding or visual based development environments will come in super useful (Flash/ActionScript, Javascript, C/++, C#, Visual Basic, Objective-C, Python, Arduino, Max/MSP, etc) but is not necessary.

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 from http://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
  • A GPU within the top 200 of this list (or better/equivalent) http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benchmark-List.844.0.html (e.g. Geforce 8600 or better, ATI Radeon HD 5450 or better). If your GPU isn’t up here, then please get in touch on elliot@kimchiandchips.com, and I’ll let you know if your graphics chipset is really good enough to get cracking.
  • WIFI or wired ethernet
  • A VGA or DVI port (or adapters to get to one of these, ideally VGA)
  • A mouse with at least 2 buttons (left and right mouse buttons)

Intel Apple Macs are fine, but you must use Bootcamp. You CAN NOT use virtualisation e.g. Parallels, VMWare, VirtualBox.

Equipment you might want to bring

  • Projector
  • Webcam
  • USB gamepad
  • MIDI controller
  • Second monitor (as long as its small and light)
  • Kinect

We can’t promise we’ll have time to go through working with all or any of the things that you bring. But we’ll do our best!

Suggested preparatory work

Download and install the latest version of VVVV from http://vvvv.org/downloads

Run ‘crack.exe’ included in the VVVV download, and install all the bits that it asks for (e.g. .NET, DirectX runtime, etc)

Brief notes on installing are available at http://vvvv.org/documentation/installation

Course Syllabus

Day One

  • Examples
  • Getting VVVV running on your machine
  • Simple animation patch
  • Introduction by example to:
    1. The VVVV interface
    2. Spreads (hidden weapon of VVVV)
    3. DirectX objects
    4. VVVV data types
    5. Shaders
    6. Transforms
    7. Textures
    8. User Input
    9. Logic
    10. Audio analysis

Day Two

  • Using video projectors with VVVV
  • Projection mapping essentials
  • Kinect interaction
  • Open workshop time

Learning Outcomes

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

Course Delivery

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.

Cost

£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.

Tutor Biography

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.

Beginners’ Guide to Arduino and Physical Computing

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Arduino

Title: Beginners’ Guide to Arduino and Physical Computing
Location: MadLab
Description: This course tells you everything you need to know about working with the Arduino platform, from software development and simple circuit building, to prototyping new controllers and building robotics.
Date: 24-11-2012
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 17:30

Booking: Sign up here

 

 

 

 

Arduino devices open up the exciting new world of physical computing, making real-world applications available even for non-experts to explore. The possible uses of these micro-controllers are limitless – all you need to add is your imagination.

You’ll learn not only what you can achieve with Arduino boards, but also strategies for integrating them into larger projects, from installations to sensor networks.

And how could you use it? For functionality, for art… for making life more interesting.

Imagine a clock, with hands not telling the time, but where members of your family are by automatically sending back information about their movements. Imagine a bakery that can instantly send a tweet to its followers to tell them when their yummy baked goods are fresh out of the oven. Imagine a beautiful water-based display that spells out letters and numbers with bubbles.

Now imagine what you could do with it!

Real World Examples

Here are some of our favourite projects using the Arduino:

What you need to be familiar with

You’ll need to know how to use your computer, edit files, and save them.

Some programming background is useful, but not essential; if you’ve ever written Javascript, Pascal, C, C++, Java or Actionscript, you’ll find the Arduino programming language very familiar. If you’ve written Macros in Excel or any desktop software, you’ll find this will help you understand what’s happening.

Software and costs

'Beginners Arduino & Physical Computing' Omniversity course componentsThe fee of the course is £120. Included in this price is a hot buffet lunch, with vegetarian options (please notify us if you have other dietary requirements).

You will also receive an Arduino Uno, breadboard, holder, USB cable and parts bundle. Each parts bundle contains jumper wires, 2 pushbuttons, 2 potentiometers, resistors, 10 LEDs, and a photoresistor.

Additionally, you will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials, software, and programmes we write on a USB stick.

All software is freely available and copies will be distributed with the course materials on the day.

We will be using the Arduino IDE, version 0021,  which can be downloaded fromhttp://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software for all platforms.

We will also be using the Processing IDE, version 1.2.1, which can be downloaded from http://processing.org/download/ for all platforms.

Equipment you’ll need

You will need to bring a computer, ideally a laptop, with a recent version of  Linux, Windows or OSX installed. You will need a USB interface on this computer.

Suggested preparatory work

  • Install the Arduino IDE
  • Install the Processing IDE

Make sure both applications start and run properly on your computer – on some Linux distributions, you need to install extra software.

Familiarise yourself with the introduction to the Processing IDE (the Arduino IDE is based on it) at http://processing.org/learning/gettingstarted/

Learning Outcomes

  • How to connect and configure Arduino Uno devices to a computer, and download programmes to it
  • How to use a breadboard to prototype circuits, and interact with components through software
  • What different kinds of components exist and how to use photoresistor, potentiometers, and LEDs
  • How to communicate with an Arduino using USB and Processing
  • How to expand your Arduino and where to find devices and support

Further information

Course syllabus for Beginners’ Guide to Arduino and Physical Computing

Special thanks

WordPress hosting company 34SP.com are sponsoring lunch and refreshments to the attendees of Beginners’ Guide to Arduino and Physical Computing.

Short Story Writing Workshop

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Short Story

Title: Short Story Writing Workshop
Location: MadLab
Description: This course is about the short story.
Date: 06-11-2012
Start Time: 19:00
End Time: 21:00
Booking: Sign up here

 

 

 

 

 

 

This course is held on Tuesday evenings (11 Sept, 9th Oct, 6th Nov, 11th Dec, 8th Jan, 12th Feb)

Over the course of six workshops you’ll get a handle on the predominant narrative structures used by short story writers, and learn how to implement them in your own work. Completing set writing tasks between workshops – and receiving structured, peer-driven feedback – you’ll develop three short stories to completion. You’ll receive tailored advice on how to shape the story and how to improve characterisation, dialogue and narrative voice. Comma Press, one of the UK’s leading publishers of short fiction, is currently looking for new authors for its Reveal anthology and it’s hoped that this course will unearth and develop contenders for this showcase.

What you need to be familiar with

You don’t necessarily need any practical experience of writing stories, nor of supervised creative writing of any kind, but it’s important that you have an interest in – and enthusiasm for – the short story form. To get the most from the course you should be prepared do some background reading, undertake writing tasks between sessions, read the work of others on the course prior to each session, offer tactful – yet frank – feedback and receive constructive criticism on your own work. The course isn’t geared towards any particular sub-genre within the short story form – be it literary fiction, sci-fi or horror – though we’ll be looking at techniques applicable to all these genres.

This isn’t a course devised to help you write a novel, a novella, poetry, micro-fiction or biography – it’s all about the short story, which presents its own specific demands and opportunities to writers. Short stories typically weigh-in at somewhere between 1500 and 8000 words long – for the purpose of this course we will be looking at stories up to 5,000 words long.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Something to write with during sessions – pen and paper will do
  • Computer with internet access – to upload your work-in-progress to the online Dropbox or email the group
  • If you prefer to print out other people’s work to read prior to sessions (rather than reading from a screen), you’ll need to do so at your own expense

Recommended reading list

To prepare for the course, please read these short stories. All the stories are available online one way or another, so it is not required to purchase them.
Short Story Writing Workshop reading list

Further information

Short Story Writing Workshop course syllabus

Costs and times

£150 for six evening sessions over a six-month month period, held on Tuesday evenings (11 Sept, 9th Oct, 6th Nov, 11th Dec, 8th Jan, 12th Feb).

Tutor biography

Zoe Lambert is a Manchester-based short story writer. Her critically acclaimed collection, The War Tour, was published by Comma Press in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story. She has a PhD from Manchester Metropolitan University and has lectured in creative writing for a number of years.

Intermediate WordPress

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Intermediate WordPress

Title: Intermediate WordPress
Location: MadLab
Description: A hands-on intermediate course to polish your WordPress website
Start Date: 20-10-2012
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 16:30
End Date: 21-10-2012
Booking: Sign up here

 

 

 

 

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 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 and 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.

Total beginners should go on our WordPress for Beginners course.

What you need to be familiar with

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.

Course syllabus

Day one

  1. Introduction To WordPress: What is WordPress? A little history
  2. Recap of the WordPress basics: Posts, pages and all that jazz
  3. Settings in depth: More ways to configure your site
  4. Advanced posts and pages: Featured images, the kitchen sink, paging and more
  5. Exercise: Getting to grips with the WordPress Editor
  6. The Image Editor: Make your own thumbnails
  7. Themes, Widgets and Menus in depth: Learning the building blocks
  8. CSS introduction: An overview and some useful tools
  9. Pulling it all together: Improving the look of your site
  10. Exercise: Customising your theme with CSS

Day two

  1. Security: Hosting, plugins and good habits
  2. Caching: Make your site fly!
  3. Exercise: Security and caching plugins
  4. SEO – an overview: The strange art of Search Engine Optimisation
  5. Anti-spam techniques: Akismet and beyond
  6. Jetpack in depth: Juicy goodness form WordPress.com
  7. Exercise: Getting to know Jetpack
  8. E-commerce – an overview: An intro to selling your stuff
  9. 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

Learning outcomes

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’sfree hosting courtesy of MadLab to test and refine your site. Lunch and refreshments are provided.