EduGeek Conference - A Quick Summary
by, 4th June 2011 at 09:23 AM (2539 Views)
Another year has been and gone for the EduGeek Conference. Set every year near Preston in the Summer Half-Term, education professionals from around the country came to mingle, share ideas and listen to the talks put on by suppliers and fellow professionals. Here is a quick recap:
(Please note these are personal opinions of the talks!)
Data Protection: Dos_Box's brother, known on here as Drummer Boy, gave a good talk about the data protection act regarding the myths and the musts of this commonly mis-interpreted law. The talk covered important points such as what constitutes personal data and how tasks may be delegated but responsibility cannot. As someone who works in a data management role, this was probably the most important talk for me in the whole line up!
OneComputing Green Talk: This talk started as a discussion about power and how to save money but soon descended into more cloud propaganda. I'm not sure if it was a talk or a sales pitch about a product, but there were some eye-openers with a handy formula for working out power consumption. This talk gave good reason for turning off your kit at home and at work if it isn't in use, useful in this day and age of budget cuts and recessions.
AEG Power: This is the first talk I didn't like. Plenty of preparation was put into it but the slides went through too fast and I'm not sure where energy grid designs fit into school environments. More information about designing power systems within a classroom and less about how datacentres and big office blocks should use it would have been better. It also overlapped in places with the previous talk after branching down the green route.
Smoothwall: As someone who takes an interest in computer security, Tom provided a talk that was not only informative but also provided some fun afterwards. Expecting a Smoothwall sales pitch, I was surprised to end up with notes about tricks and tools that can be used to test the security of your own systems at work and home. My handset now has Overlook Fing installed and NMAP traffic was flying across our small guest-wifi network like candy in a pre-school. If you want to see how your ports can be scanned down and your passwords sniffed from network traffic, this is a good talk to watch.
LUNS Geekfest: The guys from LUNS had already caught my attention with a shiny new Chromebook on their stand and they gave a very informative talk to appeal to geeks of all backgrounds. The first part was about their telecommunications branch and how they act like a service provider to their University, powering telecoms systems for events in the middle of nowhere. Next was IPv6 with technical discussion about how it works, why you should try it now and what to be aware of (did you know IPv6 computers don't use NAT but are visible to the outside world with their raw IPv6 address?). Lastly, we had an OpenSource talk though it did feel like I'd heard some of the points in the last talk before. Overall quite a good talk by LUNS.
Adobe: Adobe was one of the big talks that people were waiting for. Much like Microsoft coming to talk about the future last year, Adobe was the next big company to stand at the lectern in front of the EduGeek crowd. They demonstrated tricks such as content aware fill, turning a photo of something into a movable puppet and mapping 2D images on to a 3D space. Unfortunately the presentation was marred by technical errors that kept cropping up though the speakers did a good job of working round them. Adobe themselves admitted not many people use the advanced features in their software and after seeing them in action, I can see why it justifies such a high price.
Dell KACE: The last of the presentations was the most relevant to schools IT and especially technical staff. Dell KACE ran a product pitch for their management systems to roll out patches and updates to computers overnight. I am never too keen on talks that are pure sales pitches, though as someone who works in data and not server management, it still caught my attention.
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