John Sheridan – Lincoln, Lee and ICT: Lessons from the Civil War

Slides for John’s talk

The Civil War saw a large range of technology deployed in anger for the first time: the telegraph, the railway, the machine gun, rifled weapons, observation balloons, Minie balls, repeating rifles, submarines and photography. Yet, 150 years later, managing technology still causes us problems. This presentation will use examples from the Civil War to provide lessons that we can use today.

Video sadness

I have reviewed the video captured at the event, and I have some bad news.

While we have video of all the talks in Studio 1 – the audio is not great, and I’m still working on slicing up the talks ready for upload (if anyone knows about editing AVCHD files, let me know). I hope to have these online next week.

The worse news is that for about half the talks in the Teal room, we may not have audio. We have beautifully shot video – but not audio. I’ve had suggestions from a few people that this might open up some opportunities for Hercules Returns style overdubbing – but I’m not so sure. There may be some audio recorded on a 2nd camera – I’ll know for sure soon.

Mae culpa – I take the blame. The arrangement of equipment that we used in the Teal room was only assembled for the first time that morning, and I missed a step where the correct audio track was sent to the recorder. Or more accurately, it was working first thing in the morning – but later reset and the configuration was screwed up. I didn’t notice and fix it until just before John Sheridan’s talk.

Sorry! In the meantime, two talks are on youtube now – a post for the first one coming up now.

Post Barcamp High!

Photo credit: share_s on flickr

Barcamp is done for another year – but there are still some things to do before we go back into hibernation for another year.


A big thank you to everyone who came along and was part of the day. As I said at the opening of the day, this is an event that has “some assembly required” and relies on the people present to build their own conference on the day. We had a great mix of talks – and a very switched on audience throughout the day. Great work.

The next thank you to the volunteers that helped put the event together, and helped on the day. Craig, Clare, Sharon, Sam, Pascal who did a lot in the lead up and on the day – and Ruth, Lozz, Trib, Tim, David and many others that helped out in the lead up to the event. Each of these people contribute to this event because they understand the specialness of the unconference format – and understand why its a great part of the Canberra calendar.

Sponsors – we could not feed the masses without you 🙂 Thanks to the Department of Finance who have been supporters for the last few years. Delib who lots of help managing the finances for the event (not to mention Craig’s contribution). Acid Labs who provided the much needed coffee in the morning – @Trib has been a long term part of the Barcamp Community – and though he couldn’t be there in person – we appreciated the coffee. Agileware are a new sponsor this year – thank you very much, we hope to see you again next year. Also a special thank you to Rob Fitzgerald and the University of Canberra Inspire Centre for making their venue available to us – it is an excellent space for an unconference.

Photos from the day

There are some photos appearing on flickr – and more on the way. You are welcome to add your own to the group – don’t forget to set them to Creative Commons License (CC-BY) so that people can reuse them.

Blog posts

If you blog about your experience of the day – or the talk that you gave – post a link to it in the comments below. We will post a page here that lists all the talks with links to relevant media.


We have the video that was recorded in the two rooms and will process it over the next week or two. I’ll add the talks here as they become available.

Stay in touch

Make sure you stay in touch with Barcamp. Sign up for the mailing list on the homepage here. We send about 4 emails a year between January and April when the event is ‘awake’.

You can also follow on twitter at @barcampcanberra or email us at

Help with Barcamp Canberra 2014

If you would like to help with Barcamp Canberra next year, use the form below to send us some details. You need to be able to take on a specific task like ordering food or managing ticketing – it probably requires a few hours a week for about a month, plus helping out on the day.

We are also keen to hear from sponsors! The overall budget for the event is very low. Somewhere around $2,500 depending on how fancy lunch is. If your organisation is able to contribute a few hundred dollars – we can make it go a long way and you can be helping with one of the regions most interesting gatherings.

Other events you might be interested in

If you like Barcamp Canberra – there are some other idea sharing events which might interest you:

  • Govhack / Govcamp is a hack day followed by an unconference with a focus on government innovation and open data. If you are interested in data mashups, rapid prototyping, data visualisation or producing websites or apps, you should check it out. If you are interested in an unconference about Government – come to Govcamp.
  • TEDxCanberra happens in September/October and is heading into its 4th year. Tickets disappear very quickly – but if you have been a fan of TED talks online, its great to see a similar event taking place in Canberra with local speakers giving the talk of their lives. Sign up for the mailing list to have the best chance of scoring a ticket.

If you know of other events in the Canberra region that share this focus on knowledge sharing, please post in the comments below.

That’s all for now

We’ll add some of the products from this year’s Barcamp over the next few weeks – but for now, thanks very much and we hope to see you at Barcamp Canberra 2014.

Video Link to South Coast Startup Camp

Barcamp Canberra in past years has had normally had a bit of a “start up” component – to add to this for 2013 we will have a video link with the Entrepreneurs SeaChange StartUp Camp Merimbula during one of the barcamp sessions.

We’ll add this to the program on Saturday morning – if you have any Start Up related topics you are interested in, post them in the comments here so they can be discussed in the session.

Into IT Startup camp banner

Barcamp Canberra – this Saturday!

Just a few days now before a great day of ideas and information sharing at Barcamp Canberra 2013.

If you can’t make it, let us know!

Barcamp Canberra is sold out, and there are people on the waiting list hoping to get in.

If you can’t make it for some reason, please let us know and we will give your spot to someone else. You can cancel your ticket here or send an email to


Don’t forget, we are at a new venue this year at the University of Canberra Inspire Centre.

View Larger Map

Building 25, University of Canberra/Pantowora St, Bruce ACT 2617


  • Registrations start at 9:30 with the first session starting at 10:00.
  • There are five 20 minute sessions in the morning, with lunch and cupcakes at 12:35.
  • The last session finishes at about 4pm, followed by lightening talks and the end of day gathering.
  • Ruth and Gavin will do a “Barcamp for newbies” session at the start of the day – this is a great way to begin your day if you are new to Barcamp and not sure where to start.


We are providing a lunch of pizza and (hopefully) sushi. There will be a little bit of soft drink to share, and lots of water. We will also have fresh fruit available.

If you have special dietary needs, we humbly suggest you bring your own lunch.


Acidlabs (one of our great supporters) has lined up espresso coffee which should provide at least one coffee for everyone (maybe 2). Feel free to bring your own mug or cup.


The venue has chilled filtered water, and we will have watering points at a few points in the venue. Feel free to bring your own water bottle.

Post-event drinks

After the event, we will head to the nearby Zierholz bar for some further great discussions

Recording talks

We hope to equip two rooms with audio and video recorders to capture the ideas from the day. At this stage, we don’t intend to livestream any talks. One room will be recording free for people who prefer to go that way.


The hashtag for this year is bccbr2013. Feel free to use this for photos to flickr or youtube videos too.

What to bring

  • Water bottle
  • Mug/keepcup
  • Nametag
  • Cupcakes
  • Notepad
  • Ideas
  • An enquiring mind 🙂


You can email the Barcamp Canberra team at or tweet us at @barcampcanberra

Namebadges and other things to bring

This year will will continue the tradition of asking people to bring along their own name tags. As you can see from the photo below, there is room for a bit of creativity in this.

Alastair's Nametag

You might also like to bring a water bottle to keep hydrated
(its ok, we’ll provide the water 😉 ).

What to bring

  • Water bottle
  • Mug/keepcup
  • Nametag
  • Cupcakes
  • Notepad
  • Ideas
  • An enquiring mind

Sold out! Waiting list in effect.

I’m happy to report that all places for BarCamp Canberra 2013 have been claimed for this year! Hooray! That is 150 people keen to come to BarCamp!

If you’ve missed out on a spot – there is still a chance that you can come along. Go to the Eventbrite page and enter your details. If someone returns a ticket, the next person on the waiting list receives an email and then has 24 hours to register a ticket before it’s offered to the next person in line.

And if you have a ticket, and can’t make it for some reason – do make sure that you hand it back via the Eventbrite website.

Barcamp Canberra is almost here …

Only a week or two until BarCamp Canberra for 2013 – and it looks like things are shaping up pretty well.

142 of 150 places have been claimed – and I think we will ‘sell out’ before the day (if you can say that about a free event 😉 ). If you find that you can’t make it – its pretty easy to return your ticket via the Eventbrite website, or you can email for help. Your returned ticket might mean that someone else can participate – so its worth keeping in mind. We also provide lunch (pizza and sushi) and returning your ticket means that we can better match the catering needs.

We hope you are thinking about something to show on the day – if you are, or if there is something that you would like to hear about or discuss, post in the comments below. It would be great to get a hint about what might happen on the day 🙂

This year we hope to do better at recording/streaming the talks – so if you can’t make it on the day, you may not miss out entirely. Streaming details will be published closer to the event.

Entries in the cupcake competition at Barcamp Canberra 2012
And a reminder – there will be a cup cake competition during the afternoon break! If you start practising your recipe now, it should be a strong contender come judging time :). Last year this provided a great range of afternoon treats and interesting conversations. I can’t wait to see what we get this time.

Register now for Barcamp Canberra 2013

BarCamp Canberra is back for the sixth year on Saturday 16 March. (Don’t know what a BarCamp is – read below)

We’ll be in a brand new shiny venue, the Inspire Centre at the University of Canberra and you can expect a great line-up of speakers, fantastic coffee and the return of Cupcake camp for afternoon tea.

As always BarCamp Canberra is an unconference, with all attendees welcome to give a presentation on their favourite topics.

Register now to attend at:

We’re still seeking sponsors – if you’re willing to support us with dollars or inkind please contact us at

What’s a barcamp?
If you have been before, you’ll know what we means. But for a lot of people – it can be a bit of a puzzle.

Is there a bar? What sort of cocktails will they have? Are there tents? A campfire?

There’s a good explanation – but what you need to know is that BarCamp is a free volunteer run, non-commercial gathering to share ideas, meet new people and learn new stuff.

Anyone can speak, run a demonstration, host a discussion or even perform a song! Expect sessions to cover all kinds of topics, and vary in style. There is normally lots of interaction between speakers and audiences – asking questions and offering ideas. It’s a great place to discuss tricky problems with a diverse group of smart people.

Barcamp Canberra is part of a larger series of events across the world that share the BarCamp name and common aspects. They emerged from the tech scene in California – but now extend into many non-tech topics and communities.

Barcamp Canberra in past years has included a number of great talks regarding government and technology – reflecting both the location and the background of the BarCamp movement. While we can’t predict what people will want to present on, based on past years, you could expect talks on topics like solar panels, website development, map creation, soil science, open data, design – and many others.

Don’t be put off by the seemingly vague plan for the day – come and see, it just works.

Look for further announcements on this site and on Twitter at @barcampcanberra

BarCamp Canberra 2013

Interested in sharing ideas? You’ll be excited to know that BarCamp Canberra is returning in 2013.

The team of unorganisers are just awakening from their hibernation, and will start putting plans together. It’s likely that BarCamp Canberra 2013 will take place in late Feb or early March 2013. The venue for the last two years has been at ANU, but it may change for 2013.

If you are new to BarCamp, and puzzled by what it could mean – just think of it as an event where people organise their own conference when the day begins and then share ideas and make connections. It’s a great opportunity to share something you have been working on, find people to collaborate with or demonstrate some skills. Check out the what to expect page for more information.

Last year there were sessions on puppetry, open government, startups, nerf guns, photo blogging, a hands on design workshop and loads of other stuff. Take a look at some of the photos from 2012. Its impossible to say what will happen at BarCamp Canberra in 2013 – you’ll have to come along and see.

At this stage it would be great to hear from people that are interested in volunteering to help with organisation, people / businesses / organisations that are interested in providing sponsorship. Suggestions for venues are also welcome. Other than that, it’s never too soon to start thinking about ideas you might share at Barcamp Canberra. Please post a comment below if you are interested in volunteering or sponsorship.