Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’

nerdnite wellington 5: of hardware, spaceware, brainware and wordware

UPDATE: videos available here, prezis from the talks available here.

18th April at Bodega, Wellington!

More geekery will be delivered to your eagerly-awaiting grey (and white) matter on this most auspicious of Mondays.

nerdnite #5 will cover topics such as antennae, narratives, open hardware and scrabble!

In no particular order, then (since I’m still deciding), may we present the Order of Things to Come!


Antennas, Everywhere.
Jon Brewer

There are more antennas in New Zealand than there are sheep. Many, many more.

From millimeters long to kilometers across, these little guys touch every part of our lives: communications, electricity, entertainment, food safety, medicine, retail shopping, transportation, and more.

In this talk we’ll walk through the lot of them, with a dive in to how they work, where they’re hiding, and what we’d do without them.

Jon Brewer has spent the last seven years of his life obsessing about antennas.


Consciousness and Reality, Story, and Bad SF movies
Jonathan Todd

An exploration of the nature of consciousness and reality, explicated via the nature of the stories we tell ourselves, facilitated by the common nerd-language of bad science fiction movies. Also contains comic books and cosmic gibberish.

Jonathan (Billy) Todd is a writer, musician and filmmaker. No one knows if there is really a person beneath all the hair.


Beyond Arduino
David Zanetti

“Beyond Arduino” will be about going a layer lower and learning from the Arduino designs to implement custom embedded electronics, from the perspective of challenges and lessons attempting to a complete self-contained Stratum-1 NTP server board.

David Zanetti has been in and around IT for the past 16 years professionally, and a geek well before that. Most of the time it’s with Open Source systems, and currently as a contractor with a multinational running Open Source systems for a variety of large New Zealand customers.


On becoming a Scrabble® nerd
Steven Brown

What does it take to go from being a mere Scrabble player to meriting the designation Scrabble nerd? This talk will touch on a few of the possibilities, including anagrams, algorithms, intellectual property, and more anagrams.

Steven has been involved in club Scrabble for around 18 years, and has been playing in tournaments for almost as long. He has represented New Zealand in the Trans-Tasman Challenge five times (so far), but hasn’t qualified for a World Champs (yet). His day job is not important, but note that his full name anagrams to BRAW GOVERNMENTESE. (It also anagrams to SNOWMEN ABET VERGER or BROWSER AVENGEMENT, but those are not nearly as relevant.)


Remember, new venue is Bodega. With oodles of room, so bring everyone you know! And yes, it’s still a free event. Because knowledge wants to be shared 🙂

nerdnite wellington 4: of sheep, art, sci-fi and music (or, all the good things)

UPDATE: videos available here

28 February at (new venue!) Bodega in Wellington

We’re back for another evening of geekery!

Nerdnite Wellington #4 – Of sheep, art, sci-fi, and music (or, all the good things)

When: Monday 28 February 2011, from 6pm ’til we’re thrown out

Where: New awesome venue! Bodega at 101 Ghuznee St.wendy

Sign up: Facebook page or @ us on Twitter if you can make it.

As if you needed any further incentive to refuse all other invitations to be doing something on Feb 28th, we’re extremely proud and happy to be announcing our speaker line-up for the night. And wow, but it’s a stunning one.

In a very particular order, then, may we introduce our speakers:

The hardest job in the world and how it got easier

Wendy Allison

Whether we like to admit it or not, New Zealand’s culture was founded on the back of the sheep. These days, even though they still outnumber us ten to one, you’d be hard pressed to find more than one in ten Kiwis that has actually touched a sheep, despite what the Aussies might tell you. Yet there are still people out there who make their living manhandling woolly critters to divest them of their supposedly obsolete fibre. And the burning question in everyone’s mind is “WHY?” In an attempt to answer that question, Wendy Allison will take you through historical and modern developments in sheep shearing technology and explain what manual labourers have to do with high-tech geekery.

Wendy could be described in a lot of ways and has done a lot of things due to a tendency towards being a hedonistic experience junkie. She has been known to shear the occasional sheep.

The secret life of graff

Jan Thomas

Graffiti is highly present in our modern cities and lives, design, fashion etc, but there are many aspects of graffiti that the average citizen doesn’t know about – which is what Jan shed some light on. His talk will cover subjects such as the type of people that do graffiti, what their lives are like, how the graff community works, the legal side of things and the de facto omerta (code of honour) that exists among graff peoples.

Jan’s day job involves being a Project Manager/Business Analyst for web companies, while his night job involves, well, all sortsa interesting things. Also, he’s German: a fact about which he’s got used to being consistently teased.

The Tea Hypothesis

Geoff Palmer

Geoff will consider the hypothesis that “If programmers are devices for converting coffee into code, then writers are devices for converting tea into text”. Using his latest book as an example – Too Many Zeros, published by Penguin, January 31 – he will present detailed data on the process and include a number of escritorial insights for the algorithmically inclined.

Geoff Palmer is a freelance computer consultant and Qantas Media Award winning technology writer based in Wellington. You’ll find him in the pages of NZ PC World, blogging as Tux Love on their website, and in Wikipedia masquerading as a former Prime Minister of New Zealand.

A Succession of Repetitive Beats: The history and culture of electronic music

Will Marshall

Electronic music has been around since the early 1900s, and has become in a variety of forms the dominant type of music produced today. Will will (heh) discuss some of the technology important to the development of modern electronic music, the basics of rave/festival culture, the relationship between DJs and Producers, and the history and musicology of modern electronic music.

Will is a psybreaks and tech-funk DJ, a producer, a festival organiser and stealth raver. He’s a member of and has been known to write software for money.


Remember, all, we have a BRAND NEW venue! With space not only for your friends, families, enemies, favourite ETs and other animals, but for your kitchen sink, too! (Although that last is not an absolute requirement, of course).

And, because there is such a thing as goodness in the world, the event’s still free. Come drink with us!

Or, in the words of the unofficial nerdnite tagline, “It’s like the Discovery Channel…with beer!”

Have questions? Get in touch with us on Twitter or fill out the Contact form and our nerd monkeys will pound on a keyboard and get back to you.