Tutorials, Summer Conference 2009

There were five different tutorials. All except one lasted for the whole day.


Friday, 7th August 2009


The same venue as the conference itself -- the Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, B3 3HG, England.

Post-tutorial get-together

For people attending the tutorials (and anyone else who is around), on Friday evening there is an informal get-together at The Zagora Restaurant, Fletchers Walk (underneath the Conference venue) at 7.30pm.

T1. Getting into Drupal

Duration: full day intensive workshop (09:30 - 17:30)

Tutors: Peter Brownell and Robert Castelo, Code Positive Ltd.

Drupal is a widely-used and flexible content management systems (CMSs). It is free, cross-platform, and extensible, with a huge range of add-on modules. It is used for many large-scale and high-profile Web sites, but is suitable for simple sites too.

Prerequisites: bring your own laptop (Linux/UNIX/Mac/Windows). You will use Drupal and build your site on your own laptop. Your laptop should arrive with a working Apache, PHP & MySQL install.

The first hour of the day, 9:30 - 10:30 will be spent assisting with basic set-up issues, with the Drupal session beginning in earnest at 10:30.

About the tutors Peter Brownell and Robert Castelo are Drupal evangelists. For the past four years they have been running Drupal meetups in London, spreading the good news (and sharing the pain). Together they run Code Positive http://codepositive.com, a Drupal consultancy that provides custom development, architecture and training for Drupal based projects. Robert has been a Drupal devloper "since the early days", is a core Drupal contributor and a member of the security team. Peter is also a founder and CTO of School of Everything http://schoolofeverything.com, a Drupal based education startup.

T2. Arduino introductory workshop

Duration: full day intensive workshop (09:30 - 17:30)

Tutor: Andrew Eliasz

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. It can receive input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators.


  1. Bring your own laptop (Linux or Mac only). This is a Linux/Mac-only workshop -- no Windows.
  2. A limited number of Arduino kits will be provided for use. If you want to borrow one, you need to tell us when you register. You can bring your own if you wish. Or, you can order your own starter kit (£50) and collect and use it at the workshop.

About the tutor Andrew Eliasz is CTO of First Technology Transfer (a training and consulting company) and founder of the UK Robotics Education Foundation.

T3. Introduction to LaTeX

Duration: half-day workshop (09:30 - 13:00)

Tutors: Jonathan Fine, Joseph Wright, Alun Moon

LaTeX is a free, cross-platform typesetting system that produces book-quality output. It's the best system in the world for typesetting mathematics. This tutorial is given by members of the UK TeX Users Group.

Prerequisites: bring your own laptop (Linux/UNIX/Mac/Windows). It will save time if you have LaTeX already running, but that's not essential.

About the tutors Jonathan Fine is chairman of the UK TeX User Group, and developer of http://www.mathtran.org

Joseph Wright is webmaster for the UK TeX User Group UK TUG webmaster, and a member of the LaTeX3 project.

Alun Moon is Senior Lecturer in Computing, Northumbria University.

T4. Getting to Know the GIMP

Duration: full day intensive workshop (09:30 - 17:30)

Tutor: Neil Woolford

The GIMP is the "GNU Image Manipulation Program", a free graphics editor used to process digital photographs and other graphics. Uses include: resizing and cropping photos, altering colors, combining multiple images and removing unwanted image components, as well as creating graphics and logos.

The intended audience is interested non-specialists.

Prerequisites: bring your own laptop (Linux/UNIX/Mac/Windows), ideally with the GIMP 2.6 already installed. You are very welcome bring graphic input devices such as Wacom or other (Aiptek/Aldi/Medion) tablets.

About the tutor Neil Woolford is a professional photographer. He is a member of the Birmingham Linux User Group as well as the PyCon UK Society. Professionally he uses both PhotoShop and the GIMP, so he can compare them objectively.

T5. Getting started with Voice over IP (VoIP)

Duration: full day workshop (09:30 - 17:30)

Tutor: Quentin Wright

VoIP has profoundly affected telephone communications, almost eliminating the cost of international and long-distance calls. Free software like Asterisk lets you set up your own internal phone exchanges on ordinary PC hardware.

Prerequisites: It would be helpful to bring a laptop so as to browse to and ssh into the demonstration servers and also to set up a softphone, although this is not essential.

About the tutor Quentin Wright is Asterisk Consultant and Trainer for the Linux Emporium.

Tutorials (last edited 2012-02-02 10:29:59 by HolgerKraus)