We are wrapping up day one of BarCamp Atlanta 2 with some Texas hold’em and Jameson. Josh Watts won the first game and is hoping for a second win. So far it has been another exciting event with lots of good presentations. I will give quick recap or the presentations that I attended.
The night started off with a presentation from Lance Weatherby about Atlanta StartupWeekend 2. This years StartupWeekend will be a little different in that there will be multiple projects started and no actual companies organized. It will be up to the group members of the project to determine if they would like to move forward in any way. Lance had a quick talk which then opened up the floor for Calvin and Paul to tell us more about Skribit which was the company formed at last years StartupWeekend. Paul and Calvin gave us a little insight that they will be moving to the freemium business model which should be completed by December. Another piece of good information is that Sanjay is working on the patent filing for the provisional patent.
Next up was Brad Anderson which spoke about why people should use Erlang. His main points were that if you wanted your program to be massively concurrent, seamlessly distributed, and fault tolerant then you should use Erlang. One very shocking point was that the London mobile network runs Erlang and has 9 9′s uptime. This means that they have 32 milliseconds of downtime a year. To me this means that they don’t really have downtime. One of the reasons for this is that you could hot swap code. To me this was an amazing concept. You can swap in new code and all current processes will finish using the old code and all new threads will use the new code.
One thing about many of the people that are in the Atlanta community is that many of them love Ruby on Rails. So the next presentation was Screen Scraping with Ruby by Jeremy Raines. You can check out his slides on slideshare. The presentation consisted of using Xpath and RubyRegex to screen scrape any data that you need off of a website. The base concept is to request a page and turn the html tags into a xml document that can be iterated through. Each iteration uses Xpath and Regex to pull out the required data.
The last two presentations that I witnessed were related to food. With Ivey we took a total detour to discuss coffee. I learned that to truly get the full taste from coffee that you should use it within 10 minutes of grinding. The next thing that I learned was that the water used for fresh coffee needs to be at least 200 degrees. I am not a big coffee drinker but at least I am more educated than before I started.
The last presentation that I watched was Randalls: Fun with Food and Nitrogen. This pulled a large crowd because everyone wanted to see what he was going to do. Dressed in a lab code and using $600 liquid nitrogen container Randall moved forward in creating frozen marshmallows, frozen Cheetos, and instant ice cream for everyone to eat. This was a huge hit and a great ending to the presentations for the night.
Currently all attendees are either drinking and playing poker or drinking and playing guitar hero. All in all, day one was a huge success and a great deal of fun.
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