Whisky Web - On Organising A Conference

It’s been a little over a month since the inaugural Whisky Web conference was held in Scotland’s beautiful capital city of Edinburgh. By all accounts, our first endeavour into organising a conference was a roaring success. I’ve procrastinated enough, so I think it’s time to write up a review of the event from an organisers perspective, and present a SWOT-analysis of sorts.

Whisky Web 2012

Scotland has a thriving and diverse tech community, reflected in such events and organisations as Tech Meetup; various Linux User Groups; the annual Highland Fling web conference; Culture Hack Scotland; The Turing Festival and the Edinburgh International Science Festival to name but a few. I have been fortunate enough to attend previous Highland Flings, and I know others in the web industry who have had fun and positive experiences at other tech events hosted in Scotland.

SSMTP Local MTA Using Google Apps Account

While there are plenty of MTAs out there, I find it quite handy to have SSMTP installed locally; it’s quick to install and configure and lacks some of the overhead of a more enterprise MTA such as Sendmail, Postfix, Exim etc. The following assumes you have a “Google Apps for Domains” user account, e.g. ssmtp_user@domain.com, through which you will relay all email. Additionally, the steps below work on Ubuntu 10.10, similar steps should work on other distributions.

Parisian Honeymoon

As much as for us, as for others, I wanted to document our honeymoon to Paris.

Our Wedding

May 28th 2011. A day I’ll never forget; the day Jo and I got married. It’s always difficult finding the time to write new posts, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at the very least make sure I wrote something about, cliché as it may be, the happiest day of my life. We’d originally planned the wedding for 10th October 2010: of course that date was nothing to do with the fact that 10-10-10 is easy to remember; not was it in any way related to the fact that 101010 in binary represents 42 in decimal – “the answer to life, the universe, and everything”! That date wasn’t to be, due in no small part to a severe lack of funds and planning. Fast forward to May 28th 2011 and having spent a not-exorbitant sum of money on eBay enjoyed a perfectly planned and executed wedding day in Edinburgh. The weather was even good to us - it only rained when we were inside! A massive thanks to Jo’s bridesmaids, Jess and Mip for supporting and helping her; my best man Sally for her support and help; my dad for doing a wonderful job of the photography and of course my beautiful wife Jo for doing me the greatest honour of marrying me!