Sunday, February 28, 2010

Recent Activities

Very busy schedule recently: a Periodic Course Review of our MSc course, marking moderation of students' assignments and exam, the module Subject Exam Committee meeting, a meeting at the Yorkshire Concept Springboard, an evening at the Rivers Movement Exhibition in Barnsley, a workshop about commercialisation and business in Leeds, and a book launch event (also in Barnsley). In addition my main activity is in preparing a major bid for funding of a R&D project, to be submitted in the next few weeks. Is quite a challenge to organise this, to coordinate all the proposal preparation activities with the project partners. But the project - if funded - would be quite interesting: in case we win I will provide updates on it.

The weather in Leeds: some recent snowfall, but the temperature is above freezing, so no snow remains on the ground. Some snowfall could be here on Sunday, but only the top of the hills will get some white dusting.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

At Venturefest 2010

On Tuesday afternoon I drove to the York Racecourse, to set up our stand for the "Virtual Runner" project at the Venturefest 2010. We had received funding from the Yorkshire Proof-of-Commercial-Concept Fund from 2009-2010 and had now been invited to show our progress at this event, together with other funded projects. The A0 poster which the organisers had prepared for us looked quite good. Met with Rod there, not much to setup. Later I drove to Staples to get 150 handout colour prints which we would give away to visitors of our stand.

On Wednesday early in the morning I picked up Abe and drove to York again. Unfortunately the "Networking Breakfast" was only for the delegates, not for the participants, so we went to the cafeteria and had some breakfast there. Abe had worked throughout the night to do some last fine tuning of the software, and I too had not much sleep: I did a few tweeks of the project website. Added a database so that we could collect email addresses for a potential mailing list.

There was slight frost outside that morning, around zero degree Celcius, but the roads had been clear. However, many people took longer than usual, as there was some traffic on a few of the country roads around York.

We ran the software the whole day - not a single crash. We showed it to many people, got valuable positive feedback. There were many who really wanted to use this system and its envisioned future implementation.

Later in the evening Rod and I were invited to the Awards Dinner, where a few prices were given to projects and entrepreneuring companies. Nice conversations, and interesting people. A very busy but positive day!

During the day there were some snow flurries falling down, but only about 2 cm. The roads were clear again, but traffic drove slower than usual, being cautious just in case.

Abe, Rod, and Tony at the Virtual Runner stand

York Venturefest Awards Dinner

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Rod and Abe at the Virtual Runner stand, Venturefest York

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Prof Rod King testing the Virtual Runner

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Virtual Runner stand at the Venturefest in York

At the York racecourse.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Opening of Exposition in Barnsley

On Friday the "River Dearne Project", one project of the "Rivers Movement", opened an exhibition in Barnsley at the Emergence Pod 1. The expo shows paintings by artists and photos by photographers. In addition, a whole month of activities is been organised at this venue:

One of the expo pieces is an installation of Huddersfield University artist Lee Gascoyne: "Stillness". See his blog for details. I collaborated in this installation by writing software for visual tracking: a USB camera is pointed at the entrance to the installation room; when people move through the entrance, the software notices the change in the captured images and controls the replay of a video recording which Lee made of his creation of an art outside artwork. These changes in those camera capture stream influences the video replay (WinAmp) and makes the video "jumpy", going back and forward seemingly random. Only when the audience comes to a rest, that is when nobody enters or leaves the room, the video is played properly. The software which I developed is the same that is powering our Headingley Caedmon Webcam.

In addition, I also exhibit there four of my photographs - see below.

Narmada River in Gujarat, India

Lake near Hadrian's Wall

Malham Cove, Source of the River Aire

Sound of Barra, South Uist, Outer Hebrides

On Tuesday, 23.February, Brian Lewis and other painters will paint for 24 hours paintings, related to their age (he will paint 73 pictures in 24 hours). I have agreed to participate in this as well: I will compose a music piece which is 46 bars long. Still need some inspiration for this (ad)venture... I might actually also be there in the evening, bring my newly built MAESTRO-2 PC (have a look at the story of building that PC) and improvise a bit with all those fabulous Garritan Personal Orchestra instruments.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Visit of Peter in Leeds

On Tuesday Peter Baumgartner from Danube University Krems (DUK) paid us a visit here at Leeds Met. On Wednesday evening I took him out for dinner to (one of the) oldest Pubs in the UK: the Bingley Arms in Bardsey (supposedly from 953 AD). On the way it began to snow once again while we were driving slowly up north, through Harewood. The parking area was very slippery: I could not drive up to the pub but parked the car down below. Under the thin snow layer (2cm) there was ice forming... very dangerous for walking! Fortunately there was nothing like this on the roads - the temperature was just around 0 C, and the gritters had sprayed salt. We had a nice dinner in the pub, which has a good selection of food and ales.