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Technology

GeekOut Bristol Meet – September 8th: TECHY TEACHINGS

18+ Event

Oh robot, just because you’re made of nuts and bolts, doesn’t mean we don’t love you. Just because our computers and our smart phones are made up of chips, doesn’t mean we don’t want them in our lives. Just because TV is attached to our walls, doesn’t mean they’re not a part of our lives.

Whether or not you’re a big tech fan, we’re back for another great GeekOut Bristol Meet. So come along, share your passion for technology (and all of your geeky interests) and show us what it means to be the ultimate tech-head!

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FOODIE PRE-MEET: 12:00-13:45 (Wagamama’s Cabot Circus)
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That’s right, we at GeekOut South-West believe in having a good nomming session before we start the night off of fun, games, drinks and great company!

We’ll be meeting at middat at Wagamama’s in Cabot Circus after another winning outting for that venue; so if you’re around on Friday before the starting point, you know where to find us! We’ll be meeting up inside at midday, but if you’re coming along, we’ll be meeting outside of the venue for up to 15 minutes in advance.

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MAIN EVENT: 14:00-Midnight (Old Market Tavern)
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We’re getting technical, as we celebrate all that is tech. So whether you’ve debated about the best Operating System; if you’re a Raspberry Pi lover; if you love LEDs; if you love to play with electronics of all kinds, then this is the meet for you.

However, just because we’re getting techy doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate going low-tech! We still love a good board game, we still love to read books and comics, we still adore our cosplayers. So, whatever your fandom, come join us for a night of fun and games!

PLEASE NOTE:
Food & drink can NOT be brought in with you to the Old Market Tavern. If you are caught with food and drink not bought at the premises, you will be asked to leave until you’ve disposed of your food or drink.

There will be a food menu at Old Market Tavern in the evening! The food is very cheap and it’s absolutely delicious! Trust me, I’ve eaten there enough times… But regulars of the event are also fans of the food! The food is homely and freshly made as well, so it’s simply scrummy! Food is usually available from 5pm.

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BOARD GAMES (& a dash of video games)
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Board games swamped our meets.

As always, we’ll have a large selection of board games available, so please do check out what we have:

  • Bears vs Babies
  • Bucket of Doom
  • Cards Against Humanity (UK Edition + Expansions 1, 2 and 3)
  • Cash n Guns
  • Chess
  • Code of Nine
  • Fluxx
  • Goat Lords
  • Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit
  • Jungle Speed
  • Love Letter
  • Pokemon Monopoly
  • Rogues to Riches
  • Scrabble
  • Star Trek Settlers of Catan
  • Star Wars Guess Who
  • Three Wishes
  • Unusual Suspects
  • Zombie Munchkin
  • Zombies!

AND MANY MORE!

We won’t be bringing every game listed above with us: If there’s a specific game you want to see, please let me know in the comments below.

Also, bring along your devices – Quiplash, Quiplash 2 and Drawful 2 are played throughout the day. These are games where you connect with your smartphones or tablets (Or anything that can connect to a browser really). We also sometimes play other games, such as Worms and people with 3DSes can pick up StreetPasses and of course play games with other 3DS players.

Our new game for the month is Unusual Suspects; a game where you try to make heads or tails of what a witness says about some suspects. We’ll be doing a full review of this game next week.

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BOOK & COMIC SWAP
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One of our most unique features is our Book & Comic Swap, a collection of books and comics are strewn across our table in the conservatory available for people to take a book, or to leave a book for others. These are books that have been donated, or are from my old repository. Pick up or borrow a book and get reading!

PLEASE NOTE: Books you saw last month might not be present this month, unless you have a specific request for books. A new request system will be put in place, in case you want a book to be present to take home or just to browse whilst at the GeekOut Bristol Meetup.

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COSPLAYERS (Group Cosplay Picture: 6pm)
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If you’re a techy cosplayer and want to show your chance to enjoy your favourite tech-based character, or if you just want to come along in your favourite costume, then come along!

For anyone in costume, we’ll start to host a specific time for a group photo opportunity; So if you are with us by 6pm, you’ll be able to show your costume off with everyone via a group cosplay snap!

*CHANGING FACILITIES* If you want to change into a costume when here, please note there are no changing facilities. There are just standard toilet cubicles – Which are fine to change in, but you might want to consider this first.

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SOCIALISING
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We’re one of the geekiest events in the South-West. We get people together to play board games and video games, share a pint and discuss what they enjoy in geekdom. Books, comics, music – Anything that you’re passionate about, you’ll be sure to meet fellow geeks who are into the same thing as you!

We do not discriminate – But if you ever find you have a problem with anything at the event, just let the host (Timlah) know and he’ll sort it out!

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COMPETITION: Times TBC (To Be Confirmed)
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Everyone loves a good competition and this month will be no different.

This month, we’re going to be talking about tech in an educational way. In other words, the competition needs to be techy to some capacity – So the competition is going to be a question sheet (or two) which will be handed out. Attendees will get just one hour to complete the whole sheet, starting at 8pm, then finishing at 9pm. All entries after the 9pm limit will not be counted. Answers will then be checked over and we’ll share the results with everyone!

Consider yourself a techy? This might be the one for you! This sheet covers everything from electronics and circuits, programming, gadget news and much more!

Oh yeah, I guess you’d like to know about this months prizes? That’s a reasonable request! Here they are:

1st Prize: Physical Prize To Be Confirmed, £25 cash, 3 Steam games from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.
2nd Prize: Physical Prize To Be Confirmed, £15 cash, 2 Steam games from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.
3rd Prize: Physical Prize To Be Confirmed, £10 cash, 1 Steam game from our list and a GeekOut Poster of your choice.

Note: Occasionally, there may be even more on the day!

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There is so much to do and see at this months GeekOut Bristol Meet, so please do come along, bring a friend or a member of your family and come for a geeky night out.

As part of our commitment to being a great night out, we do not discriminate based upon age, gender, race, religion or sexuality. If at any point you feel you need to speak to someone about another’s actions, please grab the host (Timlah) and we’ll sort it out!


An Introduction to MVC

As a programmer, you can take on one or more architectural patterns and one that you may have heard of is the Model View Controller (MVC) pattern. If you are planning on building a functional web application that is easy to test and expand, then you might want to consider using this pattern. I have worked with several PHP frameworks and virtually all of them promote the use of MVC, but you can apply the following information to anything that is based on this architecture.

To help you understand what each component is for, we will be pretending that we are going to build a simple library application where we will be cataloging books.

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Hardware Review: Steam Controller

The Steam Controller has been out for quite some time now and it’s gained it’s fair share of supporters and critics alike. From those who are hardcore into their gamepads, to those who are just looking for something new, this controller is a bit different from other ones on the market – But how well does this translate into gaming? Well, I recently got my hands on one and have had a good amount of time playing a variety of games on it. Read on for our full review of Valve’s controller of choice for Steam.

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Zombie Babies Kickstarter Preview

Just when you thought the world was done with Zombie’s another one rises from the grave. Well, in this case, the game rises from Kickstarter and we are very lucky to have a preview copy of it. So it’s time to check your pockets for useful items, ensure that your nappy is securely fastened and put on a brave face, it’s time for us to take on Zombie Babies.

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Family Plot – Card game review

It was back in October last year that I first supported Family Plot, and I was anticipating its arrival. I have had my final copy for a few months now and thought it was about time that I finally reviewed it.

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Trello: A Users Guide

Trello is a powerful tool for managing a project, allowing you to form teams that take ownership of their projects or tasks in a more visual way. Whilst many people think of Trello as a business tool, it has many uses for home users as well. If you’ve been dabbling with the idea of creating a Trello Board for you and your friends or family, or if you’re just curious as to how to use Trello better, this is a full tutorial on all of the main functions Trello has.


Those of you who are well versed in this website will know that I like to do cosplay, where I really enjoy making my own costumes, or at least bits and pieces towards them. I recently started to show Kim from Later Levels the perks of listing out everything that’s needed to make a costume successful; but one of the talking points was motivation. As such, I set out to set up a cosplay Board for the two of us, to help with our cosplays as we march towards Kitacon Quest.

Table of Contents

Trello Front Page
Trello Board View
Trello Board Menu & Settings
Trello Lists
Trello Cards
Deleting a Trello Board, List & Card
Trello Terminology
Trello Markdown

 


Using Trello

Trello Front Page

Welcome to the front page of Trello. Yours won’t look like this – This is just a quick snippet of how it looks for me! You’ll see there are three big buttons, one of which is just an introductory Welcome Board and the other two are more specific. One is actually to do with what we do here at GeekOut South-West, called GeekOut Media as it encapsulates all of our projects.

The GeekOut Media section is a ‘Team’ view – Within teams, you are able to set it up so only members of that team can participate in your Boards, as well as add in teams specifically for your group. For instance, if you work on many projects at home, perhaps you’re a developer, or perhaps you want to do some work from home as a team, but you also want a team for your house, you can set them up by pressing the Create a new team button. There are many settings and as you can see, you can even give your team a logo. Moving on, we’re going to look at our Cosplay Progress Board.

*NOTE: If you click on the Boards button on the left hand corner of the taskbar at the top, you will be given a drop down list of all of the Boards you’ve been added into/made for yourself. Handy if you use many Boards for many different projects, as this appears even on the Board View.

Trello Board View

I wrote this article as a way to introduce people to Trello and since Kim was new to it at the time, I thought it’d be of interest to share with everyone. Welcome to our humble little Cosplay Progress Board! As I had only just set it up, literally two days before writing this article, there are only a few Cards and Lists from me. Trello is all about a really basic core terminology, of which I’ve created a really simple summary at the end of the article.

Within Boards, there are Lists and within Lists there are Cards. Within Cards, there are snippets of information, of which you fill out yourself. Information doesn’t necessarily have to be text; they can be images, checklists, markdown formatted descriptions, labels and even adding in due dates. We’ll cover all of these later, but first you need to know what’s going on. So this whole web-page is called a Board. Inside, you’ll see five Lists. Inside of the first List, you can visibly see three Cards. You can add a new List by clicking the Add a List… button to the right of the last created List.

Trello Board Menu & Settings

The other thing worth noting on a Trello Board is on the right hand side, where the menu is sat. At the top of the menu you can see the users who are on your Board, followed by a button to add more Members in. Although you can make a completely open and public Board, Trello Boards are typically private by default – You can change the settings of Boards when you first make them, or by clicking on the visibility indicator as you can see above.

Another point of the Menu on the right hand side is the Activities section, which is effectively like a log of all that has happened on the Board. Back to the top of the Menu, you have the Filter Cards button, where you can specifically seek out all Cards that have certain Labels that you set up (more on this later), or Cards that have been created by specific people, or Members who are at least set to be looking after a specific Card. There are a number of different ways you can set this up, so if your Board gets massive, this is a quick way to look through them.

Lastly, there are “Power-Ups” on Trello, which I used to be under the impression were a paid feature, but apparently are not! A Power-Up is similar to an add-on for Trello; an app, or a service, that you can connect to your Trello Board. A really good example of this is the Twitter Power-Up, in case you want to attach a Tweet to a Card. If you’ve got an app you use regularly, or want to add to your Board, activate the Power-Up and the ability to use their features are added into your Trello Cards.

Trello Lists

Lists are simply what we call these named areas within a Board – They are a place where Cards sit peacefully, waiting for people to interact with them. If you click and drag around the name area of a List, you can move them around to change the order in which they appear, like you see in the image above. As well as this, you can move Cards between them by simply click and dragging the Card around the place. This is especially useful if you have a List for “completed” Cards – As an example, you can create a fairly reliable issue/bug tracking ticketing system this way.

Trello Cards

This is the real meat of the article; Trello Cards are where your content goes and this is where you’ll spend most of your time on the website. You’ll often be looking to add content, so once you hit the Add a Card… button at the bottom of a List, you will be prompted to name your brand new Card immediately. Click Add or hit the enter button on your keyboard and you’ll create the Card. We’ll now follow the process of setting up a Card, adding content to it and then finally looking at what else you can do with the Card afterwards.

Welcome to this brand new Card View of the Card we’ve just set up. At the moment, there’s basically nothing on here. First things first, a Description is useful to add, so let’s actually explain what the purpose of the Card is. For the above, I simply typed in “LED Shoes, add update pictures in the comments.” I can add Markdown to make the description prettier, but I’ve not done that for now. If you’d like to know more about Markdown, I’d recommend jumping to the end of this article.

Next, I might decide that this is a Card only for me to use. I can add myself in – As Kim will be a Team viewer of the Board, she will be able to view it as well, but adding myself on the Card will tell me if there have been any updates. Typically this is better for bigger teams, but this also adds a layer of filtering as we’ve mentioned previously in this article. Please note: If you want a cover image for your Card, just simply attach an image and it’ll automatically become the cover image. You can remove this as the cover image if you’d prefer it to not be the cover image, but still attach the image to the Card.

I can add in various different ‘things’: I can add an attachment from my computer, or from a URL of my choice. I can also add a Due Date, I.E when the actions on the Card should be completed by. As well as this, we can create Checklists, Labels and more. Instead of showing everything, I’d like to draw your attention to the Labels section – You can rename these Labels, add more Labels, delete Labels and much more. Again, this helps with filtering; but it can also be useful if you’re creating a sort of “stop-start” system as well.

Lastly, perhaps you’d like to leave a comment on a Card; you might be asking other members of your team a question, or perhaps you just want to tell yourself what’s going on with the Card. Commenting is a powerful way to know what stage you’re up to and that you’ve not abandoned the Card, especially if you are doing something large with it. Think of this as a way to add status updates! You can add pictures to your comments, which are really useful as a visual aid for how far you’ve come on the actions on the Card.

Deleting A Trello Card, List or Board

Your Trello Board, List or Card has run it’s purpose and is now useless to you? Perhaps you instead created it by mistake and you don’t want it any more. You can remove Cards, Lists and Board, however it’s not always intuitive on how to do this. Starting off with a Card, you can delete this by clicking on the Card, clicking the Share and More… button at the bottom right hand corner of the Card and then clicking Delete at the very bottom of the dialogue box. If you’re not sure if you would like to come back to the Card some day, you can instead archive it, by hovering over the Card when you’re in the Board view, clicking the pencil icon at the top right and then clicking Archive.

Lists can be archived by clicking on the … button at the top right hand corner of the List itself and then clicking Archive This List. It’ll prompt you, warning that you’ll be archiving all of the Cards that are on the List as well. This is important, as if you don’t want to be able to get these Cards ever again, then you might want to delete those Cards separately instead. Consider where your content ends up!

Lastly then, the Trello Board itself can be deleted, but you first have to close it by going to the Board Menu on the right hand side. This is important, as once you’ve closed the Board, you will be able to reopen it, but you also needless to say never need to actually go back to the Board ever again. You can also click the Permanently Delete Board… button and away it goes, never to be seen again!


Trello Lexicon

Here are some useful hints to help you with understanding Trello’s terminology.

Boards :- Boards are the general pages where information sits. Board Settings allow you to change things, such as the background image and much more. For those wondering, the background image for our Board here was a stock image found through Trello to represent cosplay. You can subscribe to a Board for a high-level view of what’s happened on your Board via email.
Board View :- When you click into a Board, this is where you see all of the Lists, the Cards inside of the Lists and the settings.
Lists :- Lists are simply just a place where you put Cards. You can subscribe specifically to a List and be updated via email whenever something new happens to the List since you last looked.
Cards :- Cards are where information is held. Add pictures, descriptions, attachments and much more this way. Yes, you can even attach emails and yes, much like Cards and Lists, you can subscribe to them to find out when something happens on a specific Card.
Card View :- This is when you click on a Card and you can see all of the content within it.
Members :- People who have been added into the Board. These are people who can typically edit the Board. If it’s a private Board, only the Members of the Board can view it.
Team :- A bunch of Members who have been added into a group together; You can add people into a Team and if someone creates a Board for the Team, you will automatically be able to jump into it.
Archive :- Remove a Board, List or Card from view, however keep them available to be brought back.
Delete :- Permanently remove a Board, List or Card from Trello.


All Trello Markdown

The below is a quick cheat sheet for all Markdown in Trello. Useful, for if you want to format your data better.

Markdown for formatting Card descriptions, comments, checklist items

Bold: **Word** :- creates a Bold word.
Italic: *Word* :- creates an Italic word.
Strikethrough: ~~Word~~ :- creates a strikethrough on the word.
Inline Code: ‘These words are code formatted’ :- creates a formatted section, most commonly associated with coding.
Links: [Word](http://geekoutsw.com) :- creates a hyperlink on the word in the square brackets.
Mentions: @person will mention a Member of the board called person.

Markdown for formatting Card descriptions and comments only

Horizontal Rule: — :- creates a horizontal rule across the description/comment.
Code Block: ‘’’ Insert Words Here ‘’’  :- This creates a block of text which is formatted as it is between the three “ticks”. This includes new lines.
Indent: > Word :- will indent the words in a description/comment.
Bullet Points: – Word :- will create a bullet point in a description/comment.
Numbered List: 1. Word :- will create a numbered list in a description/comment. NOTE: You can ‘escape’ the numbered list, by placing a slash before the dot. For instance: 5\. will force it to be point 5.

Markdown for formatting Card descriptions only

Headers: #Header 1 :- for the largest header size. You can do ##Header 2 for a size down or ###Header 3 for the smallest header size on a Card description only.
Embedded Images: ![alt text](URL of image) :- Unfortunately, you must have the image hosted somewhere for this to work. Where it says [alt text], you can make this say whatever you want, in case the image doesn’t load. Only works in a Card description.


Wow, this article was a lot more in depth than it was originally going to be, but without the Business Class or Gold Member features being included, this is effectively all that you’d likely care about within Trello. What did you think of this comprehensive guide? Did we cover everything you’d like to see? Don’t forget, Trello has an Android and iPhone app, so you can do all of this on your phone/tablet as well. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on our Facebook, Twitter or Reddit pages.


Java: What A Non-Programmer Needs To Know

Oft-criticised, rarely complimented, Java is very much a love-hate programming language: People absolutely love to hate it. It’s the language I begun with, which wasn’t the easiest choice, but the sheer number of Java jobs out there is simply overwhelming. Is this a language worth knowing, or is it dead on arrival? Oh… did I mention that Java is the language used to program Minecraft and all of the plugins associated with it? I bet that got your attention. Much like Python from two weeks ago, this is a broad, non-technical understanding of what Java is and what you need to know.

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Object Oriented Programming: What A Non-Programmer Needs To Know

We recently did a non-programmers introduction to Python; if you’re interested in learning more about the programming language, I’d heavily recommend you go to check it out as it’s a very soft approach to learning about programming, without the actual need to learn code itself. In the comments of last weeks post however, one of our readers, , asked us if we could do a sort of introduction to OOP, which is a principle that is often used in programming. Considering my first home-taught language was Java, which really is one of the strictest OOP languages I can think of, it’s fair to say I’m relatively experienced in it. I’m no expert, but I’m back once again to give you a non-programmers insight to this programming principle. What is OOP all about and how is it different to other styles of code?

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Python: What A Non-Programmer Needs To Know

Python is an interpreted programming language – For those of you who don’t know what this means, this article is exactly for you. If you do know about Python, but just want to see if your knowledge is up to scratch, then again, this article might well be for you. If you’re a well-versed expert in Python who just wants to check to see if a website got their facts right… I guess this article is for you too – It’s a way to look at Python from a non-programmers perspective and to try to apply the knowledge to learning the basics needed, without it seeming like we’re just stringing words together to make things happen. Although isn’t that what programming is all about..?

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