Thursday, November 15, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Charity Hack Review

Writing on the train, formatting and publishing this post from #AngelHack

First Hack: BeMyApp with Tomasz Jureczko. We did it!

Next Hack: GoogleTV won with @nodisonaur and @fraserhardy_uk That was such a shock to win!

Another weekend: GameHack - giagantic TV studio venue. Then I realized to focus on JS entirely.

CharityHack - that was just by concidence! In 2011 I worked for Twisted Records, home of artists such as Shpongle and Hallucinogen. I knew I'm coming to London so I arranged with @pornelski to leave my suitcase. You are going to hackathon? Lovely, see you there :) So here we are, in a super hip mansion, in the heart of Richmond, one of the top premium London location...


  • I came first on stage to pitch idea.
  • Actually I was thinking about this some time now and honestly: I have no clear outlook.
  • They say it's a people not technology problem, what I know there is something on the case.
  • With no clear winner I titled the last slide "please help connect the dots".
  • I couldn't have received better feedback, this week on AngelHack I'll work on something else.


  • I really liked couple of projects and personalities.
  • I have immediately jumped into Twilio quiz game.
  • I'm a great fan of Twilio, I used their service do activate Google Voice by responding with DTFM codes: How to enable Goole Voice outside the US
  • Their API couldn't have been any simpler, the learning curve enables you to run "hello world" in no time.
  • Unfortunately there were no Three reception so debugging phone calls were not that easy :)


8:00pm 16 hours to go. I'm recording video, publishing to Youtube. This could be subject of another story, as two-step Google authentication don't like Youtube app on iOS 6.0.

9:00pm video uploaded, on my way to Twistival... I don't really like the word "party" - with people coming from US, Japan, Australia it's more like a intergalactic summit than just a "party".

10:30pm So I'm there... Disposable throw-away laptop, 32GB Go Pro with external battery. People were staring at my buffet, it must have been a funny view: everyone slighly more than tipsy and me trying to connect to WiFi. Dropping internet connection. So no live streaming on this occassion.

6:00am End of the event.

7:00am First DLR

8:30am Back in Richmond.

Final stretch

7:00pm Google Campus. Flashing WRT. Detailed tutorials, my mental juices drained, viva la powernap!

10:00pm Hackspace. Following the rule number zero I'm not on fire.

12:00pm Catching some sleep.

6:45am train to Cambridge, writing this post.

8:30am almost at home.

9:30am Breakfast, shower, ready for yet another productive week at work!


Now, one week later I'm also on the train... 
What happens next - depends on you :)

If you noticed a few boxes this is because I'm jumping off the cliff and moving to London:

You can call me Accessibility Consultant. Last 6 months I was working on screenreaders, high-contrast mode, keyboard navigation, focus management and basically making all the front-end stuff more accessible to the users.

1 second faster load → 7% rise of conversions! 
(I can clearly sell these skills, I can simply show you money)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Charity Hack

Thank you so much,

It was a fantastic weekend!

[shameless self promotion] 
Selling everything, everything must go (moving to London babe)
[/shameless self promotion] 

[update 1] Video:

[update 2] Press coverage:

- Jamie Parkins
- #charityhack


- failure of HDD, purchased SSD
- installed Hackint0sh
- not quite happy with lack of WiFi support
- resulted in Win8
- no tools, no nothing, fresh install


- careful planning (bus, train, tube, walk)
- minor delay, ended up being 41st (no RasPi on this occassion)
- rushing to get demo recorded (and then went straight to the party)
- return via Google Campus and Hackspace
- productive 45 mins on the train to Cambridge (just enough to write this post, formatting at home)

Charity Hack:

- the smartest people, the latest and greatest technologies
- I mean this is crowd to hang out with
- PayPal: backbone of the internet
- abundance of premium food and drinks
- seriosuly there was a cool supply of goodies

250k Angel Hack:

- next weekend
- same time as SilliconMilkroundabout
- Lord Sugar offers 250k (BBC The Apprentice)
- Springboard effective valuation is 250k (3 founders 5k each for 6% shares, see article)
- recover, plan, prepare: GET YOURSELF READY !!!


- Twisted Records - independent label with vibrant history
- classic, theatrical venue (Troxy)
- people coming from Japan, Australia, US to see it LIVE
- some of them stranded because of the hurracine and flights cancellation
- fantastic staff, all the contractors (bar, cloakroom, security)  doing their job dilligently


- received fantastic feedback
- let it go completely, was in the flow, was having fun
- got it recorded, headmount camera as Google Glass for poor
- need to practice pronouncation and dealing with awkward questions
- will do this for the living as community manager at Basho (makers of Riak)

(mobile screenshot of a tweet containing...)


- I knew the winners in sense I knew who is going to win :)
- having seen their progress on Saturday I was opting do some work and join them
- apparently there were no more work to do
@pornelski and @noamso were ready to go on Sunday morning
- all they were doing on Sunday were rephrasing call-to-actions and prepping for the demo!

Random thoughts:

- there is a notion of "reinventing email" - see presentation
- technical problems apply to everyone, live with it
- mind your target audience, hack for lulz OK, talk with VC is not
- London, Richmond, mansion (Whittaker House), PayPal, Twisted... (good to be in a good company)
- like the concept of sepating hardware and intellectual property (cheap disposable devices, just like RasPi)


- 45 likes and 2 comments in 27 minutes (twitter)
- DLR  (twitter)
- seriously cool car in Shoreditch (instagram)
- RFID door to IRC channels (internet of things, Google Campus, Hackspace)
- Basho at night:

About me:

- reinventing myself: