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Showing posts from October, 2012


This was a strange gig. To start off with it was at the playhouse which is a seated venue with quite a steep gradient and we were sat right at the front. This meant that we could hear the drums and the guitar amplifiers directly, rather than through the PA, which was mostly behind us. I’m still not sure how we could hear the vocals so well, maybe it was the monitors, and we could hardly hear the keyboards, which is not a bad thing. Karnataka are a great band, with a dreadful guitarist. Honestly, I really don’t know why they bother with him. Sometimes he plays badly, other times he’s not quite playing the right stuff. The rest of the band, especially the drummer seem really tight. I felt a little sorry for Hayley as her voice took a little while to warm up and she’s obviously not 100% comfortable on stage yet. When she gets going she’s incredible. The other strange thing was that for most of the second half of the set the drummer’s high hat was falling apart. He spent

No More Big Bangs

In the 80s I used to watch Top of the Pops religiously. By the 90s it was rubbish and I gave up and it wasn’t too much longer before the BBC did (ok, so it was 2006). I remember seeing International Rescue by Fuzzbox on Top of the pops vividly and absolutely loving it. Although for me their absolute classic is the Self . Big Bang was one my most played albums in my early teen years and I still enjoy it today. I never saw the band live, although they played at the Waterfront in Norwich, I was too young to go. They played at the Whitby Goth Weekend not too long ago and I didn’t find out until afterwards. Now with the death of guitarist Jo Dunne I guess I’ll never get to see them. It’s a real shame because they really were fantastic and Jo Dunne will be missed.

SyncNorwich 4 Reviews

SyncNorwich 4 was the best attended SyncNorwich event so far with around 80 people. We heard from Daniel Wagner Hall , who was talking about testing at google and Simon "Agile Pirate" Cromarty who did an iteration planning workshop. Our hosts for this event were Epic Studios who provided us with a huge space! Building and Testing software at Google Scale Review by  Matthew Draycott I really enjoyed Daniel's talk at this week's SyncNorwich event - he took a difficult topic (Software Testing) and presented it in an engaging way; injecting humour throughout to hold the audiences interest for nearly two hours! I've never been a great one for testing anything but Daniels convincing arguments supported by lessons he's learnt at Google are enough to make anyone re-evaluate their opinions on the topic and see why it's a crucial element of the development / release process - if you missed this, you missed a stonker! Iteration Planning Review by Vickie

SyncNorwich 5: Local Startup Stories: The Money Centre & mBaSo

Date: Thursday 15th Novemver 2012 Time: 6pm Location: Blurtit (TBC) Sign-up: Mark Alexander Mark Alexander started a business from a bungalow in Old Catton which grew to rank 38 in The Times Profit Track 100 in 2008. That business was called The Money Centre, a commercial finance brokerage which generated over 90% of its leads via online marketing. Since retiring from that business in 2009 Mark started a blog about his buy to let property portfolio which has attracted 173,000 subscribers and is ranked by Amazon’s Alexa algorithm in the UK’s top 2,000 most popular websites. To put that into perspective, ranks ahead of the Norwich City Football Club and Aviva websites!!! Expect a fun packed 40 minutes as Mark shares his incredibly inspirational stories and a few “party games” he’s designed for business purposes. It’s not often that a Norwich based millionaire who’s made his money off the back of a tech start up a

The East Anglia MongoDB Users Group

The East Anglia MongoDB Users Group  is a place for developers to learn more about the non-relational, open source, document-oriented database MongoDB. MongoDB is the leading NoSQL database and many of the key committers often travel to the UK. So if you are facing challenges with MySQL or Postgres or Oracle and want to explore a more flexible, scalable alternative, please join us at one of the quarterly sessions.

A Weekend in Munich

Our eldest son Jude (9) expressed an interest in going on a plane around about the time our middle son was born and we agreed to take him. Our third son came along in the meantime and we had to keep putting it off as we moved house and I moved jobs, etc. Once we got settled in the new house we kept our promise and booked a weekend away. I’ve long ago used up my KLM miles so flying three of us out of Norwich was going to be too expensive. So we decided to fly from Stanstead with Easyjet and we decided to go to Munich as I spent some time there in the summer of 2006 and knew it reasonably well. I also know a good hotel there. I’ve heard lots of bad things about "London" airports and low cost flyers. However, Stanstead was great! No queues and friendly, helpful polite staff. Actually, there was one queue for passport control on the way back, but we were through in about 15 minutes. I couldn’t have asked for more. Easyjet was the same. Very polite staff and very helpful. There

WASP 30th Anniversary Tour Review

In 1989 Alice Cooper released Poison. I loved it. With a father who was into The Moody Blues, I had been brought up on overly dramatic and to a certain extent over produced music. So it was no wonder that I would like much the same stuff and want to push it further. Poison is the song that got me into heavy metal, but as I look back on it from 2012 it really doesn’t seem that heavy! Bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Europe and Guns and Roses all had songs and albums out at around the same time. The band I liked the most at the time was Def Leppard, but that’s another story! Second to Def Leppard were WASP, who a friend at school had introduced me to by accident when a WASP album was the B side of a cassette tape of something else (I don’t remember what now) they lent me. I think the album was The Last Command. I loved that too and set about collecting the rest of the albums as soon as I could. In those days it meant borrowing them from the library if my friends didn’t already have t

Norwich Networking Hub

From all the interest in SyncNorwich it is clear that there is a vast amount of technology based business going on in Norwich. But it’s not limited to technology. The Norfolk Network is bringing businesses from all sectors together as well. And so is Warings cafe. For the last few months I have been based out of St. Peter’s House on Cattlemarket Street and one of mine and my teams regular haunts is Warings Cafe two doors down. But it’s not just me and my colleagues who meet there! On a number occasions I have seen Lucy Marks from the Norfolk Network, Seb Butcher from Purple Tuesday and SyncNorwich, as well as many of the other contacts I have made through SyncNorwich all networking there. It is often full of people I don’t know clearly networking and meeting clients. I wouldn't have thought Warings Cafe, situated at the back of Castle Mall would have been ideally situated to attract Norwich business networkers, but clearly it is. Maybe it’s the quality of the tea, coffee

SyncNorwich at Aviva October 2012 Review

On Thursday 4th October we show cased SyncNorwich at Aviva . The intention was to stimulate interest in SyncNorwich from Aviva employees and get more of them along to meetups. Every month the Solution Design and Service Design teams at Aviva General Insurance have an all afternoon meeting. This is where they discuss matters pertinent to the department and often have external speakers. Today it was SyncNorwich’s turn. One of SyncNorwich’s most popular meetup formats is lightning talks . Lightning talks are multiple presentations limited to five minutes for each speaker. The lightning talks that SyncNorwich do are in the style of ignite talks where each speaker's slides change automatically every 15 seconds. After each round of talks there is an opportunity to ask questions to all of the speakers. SyncNorwich’s official photographer, James Neale from James Neale Photography was also on hand taking photographs. The meeting started off with an introduction to SyncNorwich from Ju