MilwaukeeDevHouse5 – Hack the Bucket!

Hack the Bucket? Hack the BarCamp!

It’s been a long time since we’ve held a MilwaukeeDevHouse, and while Milwaukee Hacker House has been doing somewhat regular events, DevHouse hasn’t, but we’re changing that!

BarCampers, Web414ers, and anyone else that does a meetup or event at Bucketworks, we invite you to MilwaukeeDevHouse5, happening on Friday, December 3rd, 2010, from 5pm to Midnight.

Here’s what I’d like to see happen: We do some brief intros, explain what we hope to accomplish, then we generate some ideas, and then we make those ideas come true. (There will also be food & drink of course! It needs at least some party atmosphere!)

We may not finish everything we start that night, but it should serve as a starting point. Also… the sky is the limit.

The sky is the limit. Really. We mean it, Any idea should be shared. Do you think there should be an iPad on the wall in every room? Should BarCamp have electronic SmartBadges that alert you to things? Should the grid wall be a giant touch screen? Want permanent videoconferencing and video streaming stations everywhere? RFID tags on everything? A grid of 20 monitors on a wall displaying artwork, photos, and data? Robots that serve us drinks? Anything. Don’t let any limits to your imagination keep you from sharing.

Once we have all these (possibly crazy) ideas, we’ll set about trying to make them happen. The “iPad on the wall in every room” idea might turn into “computer near the wall in every room” until, you know, we get the funding to make all of these dreams come true… but really, we’re hoping to spark some ideas, and adjust them to fit into what is possible with the resources we do have, or can secure.

I’ve got a few old computers, displays, and other hardware at the office I’ll probably bring along in the hopes that we can hack them into something interesting.

Will you join us?

(The graphic is based on an original photo by Tracy Apps, published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Thanks!)

Audio Channel Uncategorized

Web414 October 2010 (Audio)

Web414 Here is the audio from Web414 for October 2010 (aka BarCamp ReCap!) We discussed how the event went, reviewed a little bit of the media, and talked about how we can make BarCampMilwaukee better in the future.

You can also download an MP3 file if you’d like. (And for our freedom loving friends, enjoy an Ogg file.)

Also, if you want to get all of the audio automagically downloaded podcasting style, subscribe to the feed.


BarCamp ReCap at Web414

At the October 2010 Web414 Meeting we did a little BarCamp ReCap, discussing how BarCampMilwaukee5 went, and how we can make it better next time.

Here are some of my notes:

  • T-shirts: Start the process sooner… make it a design competition, get more people involved in the design process.
  • Sponsor logos should be printed and placed on the wall during the event. (Do a better job of thanking sponsors as well.)
  • Bucketworks really needs a PA system for announcements. /cc: Darrick Hartman
  • Get the coffee flowing earlier.
  • Try to have donuts, muffins, bagels… morning food for when people arrive.
  • Start BarCamp earlier.
  • End BarCamp later.
  • Hold sessions before lunch. (The intros went really fast this time, unlike other years… timed intros is the way to go!)
  • Registration/Check-in: review the process. Printed papers? Print them earlier? Electronic check-in? Self check-in?
  • Vote with fire /cc: Matt Gauger
  • Pre-printed sessions sheets.
  • Pre-printed name tags (with tags you designated on the web site.)
  • 45 minutes seemed a good length for sessions. It allows for moving between room and a little bit of spillover.
  • Lightning Talks were good… I wish more people would have participated. (Maybe we need to add alcohol like other cities do?)
  • Have tables in the open area that match session room numbers for spillover conversations. (Birds of a Feather spaces/meetings?)
  • Good recording gear in each room (audio/video) /cc: Matt Gauger and Chris Larkee
  • Technology built into each space/room to make certain things easier.
  • Move to Open Atrium for organizing. /cc: James Carlson
  • Look at other cities, Chicago, Nashville, etc.. how do they do it? How do we do it?
  • Videoconferencing station to interact with people who are not there.
  • Kitchen needs and best practices. /cc: Jen Larkee
  • Examine fuse box to determine load/wiring. /cc: Chris Larkee and Jen Larkee
  • Each session room should have a sheet of paper posted with the name of the session. This will help people who wander in late and don’t know what session is taking place.

Also, MilwaukeeDevHouse5 will be used to focus on thinking up new ways to do things better, and then making those ideas come true. Join us at Bucketworks on Friday, December 3rd, 2010, from 5pm to Midnight, and bring your ideas!

Audio Channel Uncategorized

Web414 September 2010 (Audio)

Web414 Here is the audio from the first hour of Web414 for September 2010 (aka The Mystery Show!) Our guest was Michael Massie, creator of the iPhone app Smart Alarm and the guy behind StdyHll and a few other things of interest. We also have most (but not all) of the group intros and at the end I ramble on about evil.

You can also download an MP3 file if you’d like. (And for our freedom loving friends, enjoy an Ogg file.)

Also, if you want to get all of the audio automagically downloaded podcasting style, subscribe to the feed.


Web414 Persona for Firefox

Personas are the easiest way to theme Firefox. Got Firefox? Visit and it’ll get you started.

And for you Web414 fans, you can install the Web414 Persona.

If you wanna go “Persona Crazy” you can install Personas Plus for easy access to over 60,000 personas.

Web414 Persona

Here’s what the Web414 Persona looks like in the Firefox 4 beta. (Don’t worry, it also works in Firefox 3.6.x as well.)


Here’s a close-up showing the logo treatment as it appears in the header. (It looks better in Firefox 4 than Firefox 3.)

Building this personal took almost no time… the only delay was waiting for approval, which took about a day. (While I was waiting I investigated hosting the persona on my own server, but there’s a lot of Javascript hackery to make that happen that I didn’t feel like getting into.)

I may build more personas if I get time, or maybe I’ll dig into Enhanced Personas. :)