BarCamp Vancouver 2007 Wrapup

Barcamp VancouverThe 2007 BarCamp Vancouver is over and it was a lot of fun. This was my first BarCamp and wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Friday night was the ‘bar’ part of BarCamp which comes before the main event all day Saturday. Got to meet and talk to a ton of cool people, some of whom I’ve only known via their online presence so it nice to actually chat over a drink with everyone…although it was unbearably hot in there.

You can check out this episode Tod Maffin’s video show (direct video link) which he broadcast live from the bar….I make a brief appearance around the 8 minute point with my iPhone.

Tod live on the air

I stumbled home after the open bar closed up and got a good night sleep.

Saturday morning came pretty fast and I decided once I arrived that I’d try my hand at giving a presentation. The spirit of BarCamp is that everyone that attends should contribute to the event. I knew from the night before at the bar that there was a lot of interest in the iPhone and specifically how it can be used in Canada, not to mention the hacks that I had done to it – this is after all a pretty geeky crowd.

So I threw my name into the ring (actually onto a post-it note on the board).
You need to give your presentation a title and choose a room size (small, medium or large). I titled mine “Hacking the iPhone in Canada” and chose the small room. Then each potential presenter has 30 seconds to pitch their idea to the crowd and they determine where it should fall in the schedule and helps decide the room based on level of interest. When it was my turn to pitch the session, I just said my name, held up the iPhone and was barely able to say my session title, there was more than a few ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ from the crowd and then Kris said I was done and that I’d be in the large room. I figured it would be a topic of interest but was actually surprised at the level….well, maybe not surprised….I know how I was after seeing/using one the first time.

Now I had to put together a presentation (or least flesh out the idea beyond a title) in short order. I decided to just put together a Keynote presentation of the screenshots I had taken of the various apps and hacks and would just wing the speaking part.


Once again, Rebecca did a great job of liveblogging the event so check her site for the play by play of the other sessions. I spent most of the morning splitting my attention between preparing for my session, taking some pictures and soaking up the morning presentations.

Lee LeFever

I was glad to finally get to meet and chat with Lee Lefever on Friday night as I’ve been a big fan of the amazingly clever Common Craft videos he does with his wife Sachi. Lee gave a talk about the process they go through making the videos and some behind the scenes stuff. They should totally put out a dvd of all their shorts. His session is particularly interesting to me as I’m working on some similar video projects trying to help explain some of the complex insurance systems to others outside my team at work.


My session was on right after lunch and it was pretty well attended. I basically detailed the steps I went through to activate and use it along with the more recent hacking parts which definitely interested more than a couple of people. I expect at least a few new iPhones in the Vancouver area soon – let me know if you get one and need help or just want to geek out with our iPhones (this means you Robert and Tod!).

(Thanks for the pic, Duane!)

The session immediately following mine was PhotoCamp put on by Kris. I was actually worried that the schedule would have my talk happen at the same time as Kris’ as it was the session I most wanted to see.
I didn’t know that Duane was going to talk about his HDR photos and it was cool to see him go through the steps to end up with his great shots. Check out his HDR tutorial to see what I mean.


Next up was David Drucker’s talk on Effective Animation in User Interfaces which was very interesting. He compared different approaches Apple and Microsoft took in designing some of their on screen effects as well as a number of third party applications. Great discussion from the other attendees as well. I had dinner with David after BarCamp and we talked about different ways for him to post his presentation online (with lots of embedded video) so when it’s available, I’ll link it here (or you can/should subscribe to his site feed).

The last block of the day was all about Facebook. First Phillip Jeffrey gave a talk on customizing Facebook, privicy issues and related topics from the audience. Then Greg Andrews spoke about developing applications for Facebook and the upcoming Facebook Developer Garage which i might be attending if I’m settled enough from my upcoming move.

After BarCamp ended, David and I had dinner and then I met up with John (who had to work so missed BarCamp but was rockin his shirt from last year in support) and Rebecca to finally catch The Simpsons Movie which was a great way to wrap up a couple days of geeking out. Of course, we had to have a post-BarCamp/pre-movie beverage:

Post BarCamp/Pre-Simpsons Movie beverage

Thanks to all the organizers and sponsors that make great events like this happen.

BarCamp Sponsor Love

As usual I have a pile of photos of the event and you can view the Flickr stream of everyone’s photos with the barcampvancouver07 tag.


  1. Tod Maffin says:

    My favourite comment during your pitch was one guy who yelled out “Get him!!” when you held up your iPhone!

  2. John says:

    Hehe…yeah…it’s funny that was the same comment I heard someone say at DempCamp when we saw the first iPhone…could even be the same guy.

    Fortunately, both of our iPhones made it….and yours was even sitting there charging on the table unattended for hours! Scales ‘lost’ his in the couch and got it back too. Good crowd.

  3. Lee LeFever says:

    Hey John! It was great to meet you too! I’m sure I’ll see you again on one side of the border or another.

  4. John says:

    Someone asked during my presentation if I had a huge paper bill from AT&T with my call history. I hadn’t checked until today. Five days of usage (SMS, email, phone and internet) amounts to 54 printed pages of transactions – including MANY $0.00 charge items….crazy.

    I’m *pretty* sure my account doesn’t actually generate a printed bill but couldn’t find any details online for the Pick Your Plan that I’m on.

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