BarcampCHS 2015

Another Barcamp Charleston is over with. The seventh Barcamp Charleston was a lot of fun. Significantly smaller than previous barcamps, but still a good time. There were also fewer presentations pitched this year as a result, but there were some pretty good ones.


After the pitch sessions, I started the morning off hanging out with people in a BoF (Birds of a Feather) session. After that was my first presentation that I called Charleston Area Amateur Radio. Had a fairly decent sized group come to my talk where I talked a bit about the ham radio clubs in the area and the repeater networks around here that are available for use.

My session ended a bit early, and I was able to catch the Palmetto Scholars Academy kids working on their high altitude balloon launch demonstration. Their balloon didn’t go all that high, but they did a good job of explaining and demonstrating the process and requirements behind launching high altitude balloons.


After the group photo and lunch was a session on graphs and graph theory by Denise Gosnell, one of the data scientists at Pokitdoc. Neat stuff. Kudos to Pokitdoc for being BarcampCHS sponsors and sending a great group of people to give some great presentations.

My second presentation of the day was a simple Ask a Medical Physicist session. Much to my surprise, I actually had a few (3) people show up, so it was just a very informal Q&A session where I gave a brief description of some of the things medical physicists do and answered any questions they had. It turned out to be a pretty decent session from my perspective.

The last two sessions I went to were on JSON and Clojure. They were both good sessions and I learned enough to dig a little more into them.

The crowd at this year’s Barcamp Charleston was a lot smaller than previous years, but there were a lot of new faces there. Hopefully they’ll spread the word and bring friends next year.

This is the official #BarcampCHS 7 group photo #CHS #Coc #community #Tech

A photo posted by Joseph Nienstedt (@joel8x) on

BarcampCHS 2014

Another BarampCHS is in the bag. I haven’t seen any numbers yet, but attendance seemed lower this year, and there weren’t quite as many sessions. The ones that were presented were pretty good though.

Once again, I was wearing my Star Trek bathrobe 🙂

I pitched my amateur radio session again, and it got put on the schedule in the first time slot. Had a pretty decent turnout of people who didn’t have their licenses yet and were actually interested in getting one. I recycled my amateur radio talk from a couple of Barcamps ago and answered a bunch of questions. Tom/AJ4UQ stopped in towards the end and helped out a bit with the questions too. Then throughout the day, I had a few people stopping me to ask about how and where they could get licensed.

Joe/@joel8x got a picture of me giving my presentation

Joe did another great job wrangling Barcampers for the group photo just before lunch.

Having my talk in the first session of the morning meant I could spend the rest of the day attending sessions, and I was able to make it to some pretty good ones. Clay McCauley gave a nice talk on basic automotive maintenance. There was a short informative talk on the Shellshock vulnerability, and the last one I went to was a packed room talk on genetic programming by Ted Tanner.

Once again, another good BarcampCHS year where I learned a few new things.

BarcampCHS 2013

Another BarcampCHS has come and gone. Got off to a bit of a late start (again), but once things were rolling, things seemed to go pretty smoothly from what I saw. There were some tasty breakfast items, and some great coffee by Coastal Coffee Roasters.

I limited myself to doing just one session this year so that I could actually go see some other sessions. Had orignally planned to talk about SELinux, but I couldn’t get that together in time so I went back to the Hamcamp session, and spent an hour talking to a few people interested in amateur radio. Tom/AJ4UQ helped out with a short demonstration of his RTL-SDR receiver and answered a few questions.

The first session I went to was one on nodecopter and node.js by Tom Wilson (@twilson63) from Jack Russell Software. Very cool with demonstrations of the nodecopter flying around and doing some simple tricks. They look like a lot of fun to play with.

For the afternoon sessions, I went to one given by Chad Hobbes (@itsallvoodoo) who talked about Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone boards and the differences between them. Interesting and informative, and it made me want to get some and start playing with them. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of radio related things they could be put to use doing.

The last session I went to was on digital audio signal processing by Ted Tanner (@tctjr). His presentation was a little mathy, but pretty easily digestible. Learned a few things and got my interest back up in learning more about SciPy/NumPy.

At the after party, I ended up in a discussion with Nathan Zorn (@thepug) and Dan DeMaggio about how to construct some inexpensive buoys to determine wave heights and direction, primarily to use for predicting good surf conditions. It was fun tossing ideas back and forth between the three of us.

And yes, I wore my blue Star Trek robe to BarcampCHS again this year (photo by @HeatherSolos).


BarcampCHS 2013 registration

It’s that time of year again, when geeks of all kinds gather to share what they know at BarcampCHS!

This year is the fifth incarnation of BarcampCHS and with your support and attendance (and presentations!) it can be yet another wildly successful event!

Head on over to the BarcampCHS website to purchase your ticket, then start planning the presentation you’re going to share with everyone else there!

Barcamp session idea

There’s an idea for a BarcampCHS session brewing in my head. Something along the lines of open source software and amateur radio. There’s a fair bit of it out there, most of which is something I’m interested in learning more about (like GNURadio). What better way to make yourself learn about something than to try to give a presentation on it, right?

The idea isn’t very well formed yet and may or may not happen, but it’s there. I’ve got until November to figure it out. Plenty of time, right?