Welcome a New Director of Farset Labs and Some Parting Thoughts from an Old One

Presidential letter on Resolute desk
A passed note from Incumbent to Incoming.

With my imminent departure for Nicaragua looming, I have the immense honour of welcoming Conor Robinson as our new incoming director, having been voted-in by the community. Conor, congratulations and welcome to the fray. I did a little air-punch when I saw that Conor had registered for election. Now Farset is getting an upgrade: replacing its most aged part with a new, faster, more functional one.

I have for years referred to myself as a “wannabe geek” to avoid anyone thinking that I actually know how to do anything technical. And, well, Conor’s one of those guys who does. But directing an experimental organisation like ours needs much more than tech credentials, and I think Conor brings the full set of tools to the table. He’s calm, friendly, organised (or at least he looks like he is because he’s always carrying a notebook!), and damn smart.

As Conor steps-up, I am stepping, well, kinda sideways. Quite a way actually. 8,341.14km in fact. I hope you will forgive my self-indulgence at taking this opportunity not only say hello to our new director, but also to offer some thoughts from a parting one. You know, like the private note the old president traditionally leaves for the new one… except it’s public. And not in the White House. And probably not as useful.
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Get Kids Coding, Designing and Building This Summer 2014 with Our Special Four-Week CoderDojo Course

 

Summer can be either be downtime or uptime for kids, families and businesspeople alike. For our members who volunteer to run CoderDojo at Farset Labs it could have been a good time to chill out. But noooooo, they’ve only gone and made more work for themselves.

This July and August, bring your kids to Farset Labs to learn their choice of the following, in four weeks:

  1. Build and program a LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robot. The robot was part of the kit kindly donated to Farset by the Nerve Centre for just this kind of hands-on learning. Well, it’s not just about the learning, right? It’s the errr…. Robots! UPDATE: LEGO sessions were booked-out in a couple of hours! Sorry. Hannah is taking names for more LEGO sessions in September, just email dojo@farsetlabs.org.uk
  2. Design a working computer game with GameMaker.
  3. Design and build a website.

Normal CoderDojo will resume in September. See the calendar for details.

Aaaand, while we have your attention, it’s worth reminding everyone that Farset has no public funding and is run by volunteers. No, wait, not quite volunteers: in fact all of us pay to be members in the first place. So if you or your contacts are interested in sponsoring great causes like our CoderDojo events, or getting behind Farset in its mission to develop everyone’s creative and technical skills, get in touch. And you don’t have to be a deep-pocketed company, Farset’s lifeblood is our recurring monthly member payments, and we are always keen for small personal donations from visitors to the Labs. ‘Nuff said about filthy lucre, now let’s get back to the… errr… ROBOTS!

Register for the CoderDojo Summer Course here.

P.S: No nasty remarks about my design skills on the flyer. I stayed up to the wee hours putting that abomination together. It’s MY abomination and I’m proud of it.

New Community Structure – Non-Executive Managers – Call for volunteers

At last month’s Town Hall, our proposal for the creation of a Non-Executive Manager (NEM) role within Farset was ratified unanimously by the community, and as such has been added to the Operations Manual (that link may break in the next few weeks, please let us know if we don’t notice it!).

TL;DR

  • NEMs are mini-directors with responsibility of awareness in limited fields, eg Projects, Digital Infrastructure, Events, Facilities
  • Not legally liable to the company
  • Looking for volunteers; one role (Digital Infrastructure) already selected.
  • If interested, email admin@farsetlabs.org.uk and keep next Monday from 8pm free.

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LAN-Game Saturday

To relax and get to know the faces behind all the great and weird hackery that’s going on in the space and thanks to Glenn for being awesome and kicking this off, we’ll be having a full day of PC gaming on 19th April 12:00 to late – all welcome! Entry is free for Farset Members (including corporatesponsor employees) and £5 for non-Members.

We shall plumb the depths of multiplayer game greatness, while we’re open to playing anything suggested the prime recommendations for our first foray are RTS/FPS hybrids:

RenegadeX– http://renegade-x.com/ (remake of C&C: Renegade) FREE download

Just kidding
Just kidding we like consoles too!

Savage/Savage2
– http://www.s2games.com/savage/ FREE download

Natural Selection
– http://www.naturalselection2.com/

Get ready to team up and compete for map dominance all while having a blast and meeting new faces. Or have a break and kick back in the Farset Retro Gaming Lounge with some 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit (and 64bit?) console classics.

Continue reading LAN-Game Saturday

Hack for your community sponsored by Liberty IT

We are pleased to announce that Farset Labs will be hosting a hackathon on the weekend of the 7th and 8th of December*. The event, sponsored by Liberty IT, will be held in the newly renovated Event Space in Farset.

The hackathon brings together like-minded, creative thinkers with their most innovative ideas. You’ll be given the weekend to work on an idea you’d like to kick-start, taking advantage of a community’s knowledge sharing, as well as equipment and resources provided by Farset. And of course, there will be plenty of food and caffeine in supply to keep your energy levels up throughout the weekend!

To get a feel for how we run hackathons, have a look at some of our previous ones! Global Game Jam was extra special, but our usual Flacknites are a good demo of the ‘hands off’ approach we take.

This year the hackathon has the feel-good theme of “Making a Difference in the Community”, so chosen ideas should ultimately be for a good cause and benefit the local community in some way. That coupled with the chance to win a prize fund of up to £1000 for the most innovative ideas; there are no better reasons to sign up!

Please note: Neither Farset Labs nor event sponsors, Liberty IT, will make any claim on intellectual property generated at the event.

To sign up, either complete the form below or visit https://lit-hackathon.eventbrite.co.uk

* 12pm Saturday until 6pm Sunday