For 2023 - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.
Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!
I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Speaking at St. Catherine's College, Oxford University
This is St Catherine's college at Oxford University - built just on the outskirts of the City, and venue for the 12th Oxford University IT Support Staff Conference last Thursday, where I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be invited to speak.
There are hundreds of IT staff at the University, and this annual day takes a lot of organising; my congratulations to those organisers for pulling off a big event seamlessly. Here's the main lunch hall, with around 250 delegates. Many old friends of ours there - even on this small picture I can look and see quite a number of people I've got to know well as they book or attend our niche courses.
Facilities for my talk? Excellent - I was prepared for any evenuallity as I've learnt is necessary in this business ... everything I needed on my local laptop in case there was an issue with internet connectivinty, but of course OUCS have the excellent OWL / OWL Visitor system and had a wireless and wired account set up and available for me in less than a minute.
My audience gathers ...
With a choice of four separate "tracks" for each part of the conference, and at the end of a long day, I was delighted to have well over 50 sign up for my somewhat oddball "technology behind a geek hotel" talk. My choice of subject, but based on a seed sown in jest by one of the OUCS staff. I was aware of a lot of protentially high-tech specialist talks and wanted a contrast for people.
How did it go. Well - it was fine (but not, IMHO, excellent). I had been asked not to make it too commercial and I probably took that request too much to heart - dumming down good points that should have been raised. And the audience size is an order of magnitude bigger than I'm used to.
But then perhaps I'm being too harsh and self-critical. I had sat in on an earlier talk in the same room to get a feel for the atmosphere of the place, the logistics from an audience viewpoint and, frankly, had found a talk on "saving the planet" (which turned out to be all to do with using archiving systems that could be kept on line, but unpowered, for years) dry to the extend of stiffening the audience and nearly sending me to sleep ... I had sat through that and I can re-assure you, 100%, that my audience didn't have a chance to drift. Questions throughout. Points being made, members of the audience interacting ... laughter occasionally, and more excellent questions at the end.
Yes - perhaps I should uprate one notch from just describing it as "fine". It was cool. Still room for improvement, mind you; each such event is a learning experience and requests come in from varous quarters these days. The very morning that I went up to Oxford I got a request to speak in Ely at the start of November, sharing a platform with some nationally known and respected figures. Perhaps you'll see more of me on "the speaker" circuit in the future.
But I want to end today with a big THANK YOU to my friends at OUCS for the opportunity. I look forward to seeing you next time there's a training requirement we can help you with. (written 2007-06-24, updated 2007-06-25)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesG901 - Well House Consultants - Talks and lectures 
Technical Open House - (2004-09-25) 
Should we call it 'Geekmas'? - (2004-10-25) 
Technical Weekend / Geekmas - (2004-11-23) 
Geekmas - a brief review - (2004-11-29) 
Extreme training - (2005-03-16) 
Just in time - the talk is writ - (2005-05-13) 
The LAMP Cookbook - Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP / Perl - (2006-11-13) 
Mushroom Curry and Perl Courses - (2007-03-07) 
National Speaker - now to get the talk ready - (2007-11-02) 
Wiltshire - speaker / after dinner talker offer - (2007-11-05) 
Interactive training, and advancing techniques further - (2007-12-05) 
How long is a speech? - (2011-03-29) 
Research and development with the help of your tutor or guide - (2011-07-09) 
Geekmas 2012 - celebrating open source languages such as Perl, PHP and Python - (2012-08-11) 
Talk and walk to promote train service - Melksham Carnival - (2014-07-11)
Some other Articles
An oddball day. Strange experiences!Ensuring that our tutor answers YOUR questionsFolksFest Bristol - German beer, Bratwurst and musicHeavy duty hole punchSpeaking at St. Catherine's College, Oxford UniversityIf I say 'I am fine', what do I mean?Fancy going to Glastonbury?End of File on a Java BufferedReaderThe kind spirit of MelkshamWhat proportion of our web traffic is robots?
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at
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