Astronomy: Jupiter Rising | 7th February

Following our popular astronomy introductions, Farset are happy to host further Belfast-based astronomy for the new-comer. If you have a telescope or binoculars, please do bring them along as this time of year is a great chance to look for objects in the sky. Wear warm clothes, as some of the evening will be spent outside, and hot drinks will be provided.

Reserve your space via Eventbrite

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) and Jupiter will be very high in the sky on 7th February. We can’t promise the comet will be more than a fuzzy dot from Belfast but Jupiter is always spectacular, especially when it’s so high in the sky. Lots of other objects to see too.

This event is free for Farset members, £3 donation for non-members.

Google’s Rupert Whitehead bringing Google Developer Groups to Farset Weds 21st @ 17:30

RupertWhitehead312We’re pleased to announce that next Wednesday 21st Jan, we’re hosting Rupert Whitehead, Developer Relations Regional lead at Google, responsible for the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, for an evening of discussion and collaboration around Google’s ecosystem of products.

Rupert runs the Google Developer Groups, Launchpads, Startup Launch and Google Developer Experts programs in the region. His main focus is to help developers and startups become more successful with Google’s APIs. Prior to Google Rupert worked at Nokia and Symbian. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

With such an amazing speaker coming through the area to engage and grow the Google Developer Network in the province, and thanks to a serendipitous introduction by Grib at our Weavers Court neighbours, Purple Guerrilla, we’re pulling an old trick out of the closet… The concept is simple. Pitch Per Square Foot.

We have approx 30 square meters of blackboard. About 322 sqft in old money. We guestimate that about 250 of that is usable by the average human.

Each attendee has a little over a square foot to describe themselves, make an impact, and leave enough contact details to be got in touch with.

gilchrist2That’s the gimmick. The real draw is the community. As we’ve grown, Farset Labs has developed an amazing community of technologists and business leaders (often in the same body). We want to provide the ultimate relaxed ‘networking’ environment where no one person can bogart the floor with their confidence, or the quiet one gets ignored.Everyone has a square foot*. Going over the lines will be punished by having your square wiped out and given to someone else. Inter-square war will be treated similarly, unless its really funny, in which case, we’ll allow it.

We used this process very successfully over a year and a half ago and I’m glad we can use it again.

After everyone has started to get to know each other, Rupert will be talking about his work at Google, covering a huge range of topics from the evolution of Web APIs and building UX ecosystems through to Wearables and new form factors.

Finally, there’ll be an opportunity for all attendees to discuss their ideas and maybe come up with some brilliant solutions!

Key Info

  • Date: Wed 21st January 2015
  • Time: 17:00 for a 17:30 kick off, until 18:30
  • Price: None
  • Notes
    • Free Parking is Available
    • Space is limited, you must be registered to attend

Invest NI Corporate Logo Isolated (JPG)And if a world class developer evangelist, a giant blackboard of pitches, the opportunity to play around in our new project room, or stick around after for a class in Video Production aren’t enough for you, Invest Northern Ireland are kindly supporting us by paying for drinks and pizza for the evening. Thanks!

Video Production with Willis McBriar | 21st January

The wonderful Willis McBriar will be in residence on Wednesday 21st of January for a an evening workshop on video production.

This workshop will be of use to anyone who wants to use video in learning or marketing. In the last few years the way we produce and view video have changed radically. And yet the basic elements of what makes a good video have not changed. Willis and friends will discuss these changes and basics while demonstrating the range of low cost shoot/edit options available to everyone.  Willis has a wealth of knowledge and practical techniques, having worked for the BBC for many years as a broadcast engineer, and with an MSc in e-learning – he now coaches, mentors, teaches (and makes) cheap but tasty video production.

It’s a great opportunity to answer some of your technical production questions, as well as test out new and interesting video ideas.  This workshop is free for Farset members, or £3 (evening rate) for non-members.

Please register via Eventbrite

Getting kids excited about Computer Science in Northern Ireland

The following is a combined position paper and call-to-action for a project that many of us have been working on behind the scenes for a long time now, especially Andrew Mulholland who’s taken over the operation of the Raspberry Jam programme.

Andrew and I collaborated on this document to put forward our plans for a school outreach programme built on the experience we’ve gained from running the Jam programme in Belfast for the past two years, including a collaboration between Farset Labs, Digital Circle and W5 that brought teachers together from across the province to share best practice for ICT education, as well as receiving our ‘wisdom’ from running CoderDojo and Jam-like programmes. This programme was assessed DCAL and was very well received but due to personnel changes in some relevant organisations, has not been directly carried on as a full pilot programme.

We hope to change that, and thanks in part to Andrew’s recent successes at the TalkTalk Digital Hero awards, as well as working over the summer with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we’ve secured match funding up to £4,000 to support the proposed programme.

But we need your help to drum up the rest of our estimated £8,000 programme costs, and hopefully this document will help. Have a read at our thoughts, and Andrew and I are more than happy to answer any questions, concerns or ideas about the proposed programme.


We’re happy to announce that The CultureTech Festival have pledged £1,000 towards this programme, as well as inviting us to participate in three events in the North West.


Global Game Jam 2015 | 23rd-25th January


Global Game Jam at Farset is back once more for 2015, in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen.  The Game Jam will run from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th January, and is a chance to meet some great people and develop a fun game with a theme. The theme will be announced on the Friday night; there will be plenty of people there to team up with to create something interesting and, most importantly, to have fun!

Last Years Jam went very well, with all teams submitting something at the end of the weekend

How do I enter?
Register on the Global Game Jam site to participate, and reserve your seat on our Eventbrite listing for the game jam.  The event is free, and meals are catered!  The theme will be announced at 5pm on Friday 23rd January (to accommodate Hawaii) so we recommend all participants to be in Farset before that time, or send word if you will be arriving later on. We look forward to seeing you all for this, as it should be a great weekend!

What do I need?
There is no required skill level or barrier for entry; we welcome programmers, artists, musicians and anyone else who might be interested in being involved! Bring yourself and your equipment – the organisers recommend that participants wait until the beginning of the event to form teams.  We have found that this worked well in the past and gives interesting results.

More information will be provided in the run-up, but please feel free to contact or ask us questions via Facebook or Twitter with the #GGJ15 tag.

Brought to you to in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen, and with support from Iglu Media.

Brought to you in partnership with NI Screen
Iglu Media
Iglu Media

What is Global Game Jam?
Global Game Jam is essentially a hackathon, focused on games of all sorts, from full-scale console productions to mobile, web-based and embedded games, as well as non-digital productions like board and card games. Some will be frivolous, others developed for solid causes, such as social impact in the case of the Games For Change movement.  There are already a number of large sponsors involved in this year’s global event, including Facebook, Unity and Github.

The first Global Game Jam ran in 2009, and this year there are already over 480 individual Jam sites registered around the world. We will be live streaming video from sites all over during the 48hr event. There will also be an opportunity to see and play other teams’ games at the end of the event. The details of the venue are also available on our Global Game Jam listing.

Press Release


Pot-luck Seasonal Dinner Experiment (Christmas Dinner)

Farset’s grand ad hoc pot-luck seasonal dinner hack was announced on the Discourse recently.
If you would like to partake of fellow Farset members and friends edible generosity, bring something tasty to share with others at Farset Labs.

The Date
The date for this is Wednesday 17th December at 7pm.

Welcome.  Never leave.
Technically Christmas.

The Plan
Salutations of the season, no matter your persuasion or affiliation! Dinner is open to all who frequent Farset and have supported us through the dark times and the light.
Bring your preferred shareable food-stuff in a prepared state, to Farset Labs at 7pm. There will be disposable plates, cups and cutlery available for sharing. We will also have two microwaves on hand to re-heat anything hot that you bring with you – please bring it in a non-metal container if possible.
Please feel free to bring drinks – there will be the usual array of soft-drinks available.
Add your voice in the Discourse, or go to the Facebook event.

There will also be some accompaniments of the musical variety, and suitably bright decorations… um… decorating the place.

The Cost
There is no cost other than your company and some form of shareable (cold/hot, liquid/solid).

First Irish Region Pinball League Meet

Pinball_Dot_Matrix_Display_-_Demolition_ManThis Sunday sees Farset Labs host the first Irish Region Pinball League Meet (UK Pinball League – Season 9).

The first of four meetings of the Irish Region Pinball League will commence in Belfast on Sunday 30th November in the Event Space at Farset Labs. A choice of 4-5 tables will be available to play, including The Addams Family (Bally), Creature from the Black Lagoon (Bally), Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein (Sega) and Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (DataEast), during free practice from 12:00 – 14:00, with competition time running from 14:00 – 18:00.

UK Pinball League Competition Rules and Guidelines

As its a regional meet of the UK Pinball League, an entry fee of £2 must be charged for adults – children play for free. For those attending, the entry fee will be paid at the door. This will contribute to a central prize fund. However, it’s more about getting pinball back on the map, so no matter your skill level, or even if you have never played before and fancy a look at some real pinball machines, come along and see what it’s all about.

Players can register their interest by emailing or signing up to the Eventbrite event.