Tech Meetup Aberdeen

22 October 2009

Last night (21st October) saw the inaugural TechMeetup in Aberdeen, which was a resounding success despite the weather. Around 30 people turned up to see what TechMeetup was all about, with a good mix of business folk and academics (but, unfortunately for Sam, no Blackberry developers).

Our benevolent sponsors this month were the Department of Computer Science at the University of Aberdeen, who provided both the facilities and the food & drink. The evening kicked off in the university’s Meston Hall with the usual beer, pizza and networking before moving through to the lecture hall for the talks.

First up was TechMeetup founder Sam Collins. Sam set the tone for the meetings by sharing the principles on which Tech Meetup was founded, encouraging informal over formal and fun over organisation.

Next up was Gavin MacLean of Open Planet Software who gave a great talk on OpenCL titled “Unleash your hidden supercomputer”. Gavin demonstrated that the hardware locked up in your graphics card could be harnessed to ease the burden on the CPU during complex, resource-consuming calculations. He ended with a demonstration that compared the speed of running with a single-thread of the CPU, dual-threads of the CPU and finally with the GPU.

Last but not least, James Littlejohn of MePath.com gave a really interesting talk on MePath, explaining how it uses the “wisdom of the crowd” to create a personalised lifestyle magazine based around any blog given to it. He also went into detail on the areas which allow MePath to stand out from the crowd itself, such as smart profiling to find similar bloggers and the Make feature that can help you find products based on your lifestyle.

All in all it was a great start to what is sure to become a mainstay of the Aberdeen tech scene.

A big thank you to Gavin and James for being the first to step up with talks, Dr Bruce Sharlau for organising the room, beer and pizza, Gordon Murrison and Marius Ciocanel for recording the event, Jim Emerson for helping to organise, John Eddie for getting the ball rolling in the first place and organising the organisers and finally to Sam for helping us get a TechMeetup in Aberdeen and getting us off to a great start.

Videos for Sam, Gavin and James’ talks are now available on Vimeo. Both Gavin and James blogged about their talks.