Category Archives: torcamp

Toronto tech scene in the papers

In case you missed it, there was a nice article by the Post’s David George-Cosh yesterday on the Toronto tech scene including DemoCamap and MobileMonday. It’s a good reminder that, on the whole, these events have been a very good thing the last few years for stimulating ideas, connections and new ventures in the local scene (and across many other local scenes too).

If you had a chance to attend, you might have noticed the most recent events (like democamp17, MobileMonday, various StartupCamps) have been almost unfailingly chock-full of solid demos. It can be easy to complain about Web 2.0 fatigue or the how the startup environment could be better. But if recent events are any indication, the future of tech in Canada look pretty bright to me.

Link: Pitching to the heavy hitters

LearnHub Launches, looks great

LearnHub shot

Congrats to John, Malgosia and their highly tallented team at Savvica on the launch of their newest product LearnHub. This is the project that brought them back from the valley to build their startup in Toronto. What they’ve just launched is version 1.0. It already looks great. But know to expect even more polish and general awesomeness in iterations to come.

LearnHub is a social learning platform, where members can create lessons, guides and all sorts of learning tools around user-generated communities like photography, cooking, software development (some serious Ruby experts resident at Savvica) and other subjects. Check it out!

DemoCamp14. DemoCamp is all grown up.


Congrats to all for one of the best DemoCamps yet. Last night at the board of trade the better part of 300 people turned out. At the board of trade with food and beverage service in the heart of downtown. As Jay said, DemoCamp has grown up.

Myself and a few others were live swarming the presentations to the TorCamp chat swarm.

Transcript after the jump, and associated commentary captured live from the chatswarm /history

moar flick photos here

[9/17/2007 5:50:22 PM] Thomas Purves is heading out
[9/17/2007 5:50:27 PM] Ziggy! says: is democamp being live casted?
[9/17/2007 5:50:37 PM] Thomas Purves says: I’ll try
[9/17/2007 5:50:48 PM] Ziggy! says: id like to log in
[9/17/2007 5:50:59 PM] Ziggy! says: skype channel is nice
[9/17/2007 5:54:41 PM] bunnyhero (wayne a. lee) says: off to democamp
[9/17/2007 5:54:43 PM] bunnyhero (wayne a. lee) says: seeyas
[9/17/2007 6:28:59 PM] sebastien.chorney says: maybe someone will liveblog it
[9/17/2007 6:29:05 PM] sebastien.chorney says: like alan did for FBcamp
[9/17/2007 6:29:25 PM] Thomas Purves is live from democam 14
[9/17/2007 6:30:36 PM] sebastien.chorney says: aw yeeah
[9/17/2007 6:31:14 PM] michele perras says: yay tom!
[9/17/2007 6:31:23 PM] sebastien.chorney says: what would I do without the swarmy peeps
[9/17/2007 6:32:15 PM] Alan Hietala says: slava will be at democamp, but I didn’t get a ticket in time hehe
[9/17/2007 6:33:39 PM] Rochelle says: alan please go- take my ticket
[9/17/2007 6:34:00 PM] Alan Hietala says: I can’t I have a bunch of stuff to finish up at work. 🙁
[9/17/2007 6:34:20 PM] Rochelle says: no worries just thought i would offer
[9/17/2007 6:34:26 PM] Alan Hietala says: tyvm
[9/17/2007 6:34:58 PM] Alan Hietala says: I’ll be at facebook camp 2 for sure though
[9/17/2007 6:57:48 PM] Thomas Purves says: and we’re back
[9/17/2007 6:58:19 PM] Thomas Purves says: huge crowd, there’s even food being served
[9/17/2007 6:58:25 PM] Thomas Purves says: democamp is all grown up
[9/17/2007 6:59:06 PM] Thomas Purves says: demo 1:
[9/17/2007 6:59:12 PM] Thomas Purves says: zoomii
[9/17/2007 6:59:39 PM] Thomas Purves says: bookstore/amazon visualizer
[9/17/2007 7:00:05 PM] Thomas Purves says: notes:
[9/17/2007 7:00:06 PM] Thomas Purves says: Loves books and browsing but doesn’t likethe browsing experience. So pan and zoom browsing of a bookstore organized in flat space in google maps. Virtual reality, Gibsonesque in 2space. Amazon affiliate site. Really cool. Jury still out on how useful. But really cool. 20k top ranked books store is one giant image 62B pixels, built in java and javascript, all hosted on amazon. Clientside is javascript, s3 is storage.
4.5-8.5% his costs 0.1%
Later subcategories and browsing in the books, other media. Other countries, lauching mid oct.
[9/17/2007 7:00:50 PM] Thomas Purves says: presentation 2: cytoscape
[9/17/2007 7:03:01 PM] Thomas Purves says:
Cytoscape. 1k downloads a moth, which a lot by biologists
Prof from UofT demoing app for analyzing networks. Computational biology, can also be used for viewing other networks, connections in social networks or org charts.
Visualizes relationships of proteins and genes. Lots of ways to filter and cluster automatically. Plugin architecture. Plugin that draws in journal articles to nodes. About 50 plugins. It’s neat. Esoteric but neat
[9/17/2007 7:03:10 PM] Thomas Purves says: now up: Aide rss
[9/17/2007 7:06:21 PM] Thomas Purves says: Who reads rss? Everybody in the room
Filters feeds for the most relevant posts. Works with your existing reader
New tools never seen before. Now working on a recommendation engine. It’s about time for aide rss. It’s a problem that needs to be solved – which is how do you sort your huge number of daily feeds for relevance. Esp over-busy feeds like techcrunch or Slashdot.
Also “solves” the “problem” of how do I find more feeds to read (this is not really solving the information overload problem)
What’s the business model? We’re not telling but they clearly have a lot of options. They have good tshirts.
[9/17/2007 7:08:35 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: succcess!
[9/17/2007 7:08:58 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: spotty wifi
[9/17/2007 7:09:28 PM] michele perras says: lol at the tshirts. great liveswarming tom!
[9/17/2007 7:09:39 PM] Ryan Coleman says: hullo
[9/17/2007 7:09:40 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: it’s hard to get excited about something like ePresence, when it’s been in development for 7 years
[9/17/2007 7:09:54 PM] Ryan Coleman says: but the speaker is soooo engaging mark!
[9/17/2007 7:10:16 PM] Ryan Coleman says: someone has left a OLPC laptop charging on the wall…
[9/17/2007 7:10:16 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: absolutely!
[9/17/2007 7:10:24 PM] Thomas Purves says: ePresence
been developed for the last 7 years. Captures and broadcasts presentations with video and other media. It is open source. Also does meetings. It looks pretty slick for open source. Demoing an on demand webcast of a UofT picture. Somewhere there’s one of me captured by ePresense for a lecture of mine at CSC454 last summer. Presentations are searchable, scan-throuable wich is key for lectures which could be long.
[9/17/2007 7:10:41 PM] Thomas Purves says: ePrense might be spun off as a real company soon. getting too big for a UofT project
[9/17/2007 7:10:44 PM] Thomas Purves says: that’s [would be] the real news
[9/17/2007 7:11:37 PM] passitalong says: Thanks for the live feed Tom!
[9/17/2007 7:12:04 PM] Ryan Coleman says: k – this TechCrunch40 twitter feed is still cracking me up
[9/17/2007 7:12:14 PM] Thomas Purves says: martin keeps asking which exact open source licence each presenter is using
[9/17/2007 7:12:18 PM] passitalong says: lol
[9/17/2007 7:13:20 PM] Thomas Purves says: ooh 30 min break for booze
[9/17/2007 7:13:26 PM] Thomas Purves says: i like this democamp
[9/17/2007 7:13:54 PM] Thomas Purves says: oh *after* this presention
[9/17/2007 7:13:56 PM] Thomas Purves says: bastards
[9/17/2007 7:14:13 PM] Thomas Purves says: these guys are presenting a “boring framework”
[9/17/2007 7:14:58 PM] Ryan Coleman says: hmm… w/Skype we could do Syncronized Swarm Heckling
[9/17/2007 7:15:15 PM] Rochelle says: @ryancoleman tisk tisk
[9/17/2007 7:15:23 PM] michele perras says: muahaha
[9/17/2007 7:15:42 PM] Ryan Coleman says: @michelle you here too? or just spectating?
[9/17/2007 7:15:44 PM] Mark Kuznicki just got a free beer!
[9/17/2007 7:15:58 PM] Mark Kuznicki pokes michele
[9/17/2007 7:16:08 PM] Thomas Purves says: oh my there’s code on the screen
[9/17/2007 7:16:15 PM] Thomas Purves says: mark! get me a beer
[9/17/2007 7:16:21 PM] michele perras says: hey ryan. alas, i’m at home prepping for class tomorrow. wishing i was there though.
[9/17/2007 7:16:24 PM] Ryan Coleman says: holy fuck – too many syllables for me
[9/17/2007 7:16:37 PM] michele perras pokes mark
[9/17/2007 7:16:51 PM] Ryan Coleman says: prepping for class? you teachers actually do that? 😉
[9/17/2007 7:17:09 PM] Rochelle says: the good ones do
[9/17/2007 7:17:52 PM] michele perras says: heh… yeah well… kinda leaving it to the wire though. 😛
[9/17/2007 7:17:58 PM] Thomas Purves says: i think michele is such a keener but of like, teachers
[9/17/2007 7:18:16 PM] Alan Hietala says: garrrh my app copiers hid the fact they had 20x less content than our app by using a tag cloud and trying to pass off # questions answered for number of guides… they just wont leave me alone… can someone seriously find their dev and break all his fingers?
[9/17/2007 7:18:34 PM] Ryan Coleman says: 🙂
[9/17/2007 7:18:34 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: my invited guest from Artscape is feeling all fish out of waterish right now
[9/17/2007 7:18:38 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: had to give her some reassurance!
[9/17/2007 7:18:52 PM] Thomas Purves says: I feel for her mark
[9/17/2007 7:18:54 PM] Alan Hietala says: /wave marks friend whos all fish out of water
[9/17/2007 7:18:59 PM] Ryan Coleman says: hehe – I’m feeling borderline fish out of water
[9/17/2007 7:19:15 PM] Alan Hietala says: this is full fledged app war happening here
[9/17/2007 7:19:17 PM] Thomas Purves says: what’s wrong, artscapers don’t like long demos of 8pt code?
[9/17/2007 7:19:19 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: ryan coleman is a vizthink superstar!
[9/17/2007 7:19:24 PM] michele perras says: lol
[9/17/2007 7:19:26 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: lol
[9/17/2007 7:19:28 PM] Thomas Purves is heading for beer
[9/17/2007 7:19:34 PM] Ryan Coleman says: (blush)
[9/17/2007 7:19:50 PM] Ryan Coleman is wondering why Tom’s wearing a suit @ DemoCamp
[9/17/2007 7:19:55 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: can 8pt code ever be sexy?
[9/17/2007 7:20:04 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: tom always wears a suit
[9/17/2007 7:20:10 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: he’s the only well dressed guy in the community
[9/17/2007 7:20:21 PM] michele perras says: hubba hubba
[9/17/2007 7:20:39 PM] Ryan Coleman says: jevon & burpee in the house
[9/17/2007 7:20:47 PM] Ryan Coleman says: @ Kieran
[9/17/2007 7:22:14 PM] Ryan Coleman is playing w an iphone
[9/17/2007 7:22:20 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: i’m stuck between 2 iphones
[9/17/2007 7:22:23 PM] Alan Hietala says: seriously these guys release when they think im at home doing things like cooking or eating or sleeping, haha but they’re wrong… I truely hate best of the city…
[9/17/2007 7:22:26 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: i’m in heaven!!
[9/17/2007 7:22:30 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: (inlove)
[9/17/2007 7:36:24 PM] Thomas Purves says: ah slava and bunny are here
[9/17/2007 7:36:37 PM] Thomas Purves says: poor bunny can hardly walk after ultimate yesterday
[9/17/2007 7:42:21 PM] Thomas Purves says: and we’re back
[9/17/2007 7:42:37 PM] Thomas Purves says: ignite presentations
[9/17/2007 7:42:57 PM] Thomas Purves says: zero footprint
[9/17/2007 7:44:33 PM] Thomas Purves says: showing screen shots
[9/17/2007 7:45:50 PM] Thomas Purves says: …
[9/17/2007 7:46:26 PM] Thomas Purves says: ignite presentations are working a bit awkwardly
[9/17/2007 7:46:46 PM] Thomas Purves says: presenters cant see easily where they are in the presenter
[9/17/2007 7:48:47 PM] Alan Hietala is filled with hateful vigor
[9/17/2007 7:49:11 PM] Thomas Purves says: at reboot ignite presentations worked better. each slide had a big number on the corner counting down 15…14…13…12 etc.
[9/17/2007 7:51:37 PM] Thomas Purves says: doot doot doo technical dificulties.
[9/17/2007 7:51:54 PM] Thomas Purves says: jay will now be advancing slides manually
[9/17/2007 7:52:17 PM] Thomas Purves says: greg is up now to talk about Beautiful Code
[9/17/2007 7:52:25 PM] Thomas Purves says: which is a great title
[9/17/2007 7:53:07 PM] Thomas Purves says: wow. all the royalties go to amnesty intl
[9/17/2007 7:53:46 PM] Thomas Purves says: the problem. students don’t get to see enough examples of software architecture
[9/17/2007 7:54:23 PM] Thomas Purves says: so examples of beatiful code from leading coders
[9/17/2007 7:54:52 PM] Thomas Purves says: many of whom said at first i’ve never seen any but i’d love to read a book about it
[9/17/2007 7:57:07 PM] Thomas Purves says: greg is giving a great and passionate talk about code in 5 short minutes
[9/17/2007 7:57:35 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: Alan – what’s wrong buddy?
[9/17/2007 7:58:11 PM] Thomas Purves says: ooh olpc is up next
[9/17/2007 7:58:19 PM] Thomas Purves says: there’s *two* here today
[9/17/2007 7:58:21 PM] Alan Hietala says: im in a facebook app war with some assholes from brightspark that copied our app verbatim. they’re using ruby im using C#, needless to say im playing a lot of death metal and kicking their ass.
[9/17/2007 7:58:41 PM] Thomas Purves says: so bah to the old saw “one laptop per conference”
[9/17/2007 7:58:48 PM] Thomas Purves says: they’ve doubled!
[9/17/2007 7:59:35 PM] Thomas Purves says:
[9/17/2007 8:01:33 PM] Thomas Purves says: the olpc is pretty cool
[9/17/2007 8:02:18 PM] Thomas Purves says: everything on the laptop is designed to be shared
[9/17/2007 8:02:31 PM] Thomas Purves says: where students can teach each other
[9/17/2007 8:02:59 PM] michele perras says: oooh! v cool. like sugata mitra’s hole-in-the-wall project?
[9/17/2007 8:03:01 PM] Thomas Purves says: $186/US laptop
[9/17/2007 8:03:06 PM] Thomas Purves says: 3M over the next year
[9/17/2007 8:03:08 PM] Thomas Purves says: ya
[9/17/2007 8:03:44 PM] Thomas Purves says: there’s science instruments. a $1 plug in video microscope, a probe for testing water quality
[9/17/2007 8:04:00 PM] michele perras says: awesome.
[9/17/2007 8:04:07 PM] Thomas Purves says: designed for evironments of rain and heat and dirt etc. that would destroy a regular laptop
[9/17/2007 8:04:56 PM] Mark Kuznicki says: i want to learn more about the science instruments part – first time i’ve heard of that
[9/17/2007 8:07:01 PM] Thomas Purves says: facebook campers on now
[9/17/2007 8:07:24 PM] Thomas Purves says: 700+ registrants by the time the day was out
[9/17/2007 8:08:03 PM] Thomas Purves says: oh i’m on the screen as a blogger
[9/17/2007 8:08:11 PM] Thomas Purves says: and the usual suspects
[9/17/2007 8:08:59 PM] Thomas Purves says: 2 more camps coming up in montreal and vancouver
[9/17/2007 8:09:08 PM] Thomas Purves says: and toronto october
[9/17/2007 8:09:46 PM] Thomas Purves says: last present coming up
[9/17/2007 8:10:55 PM] Thomas Purves says: toronto startup weekend de-brief
[9/17/2007 8:12:02 PM] Thomas Purves says: oh, in other news. new post “And the crowd says Yaaar. How Hollywood is losing the War on New Media”
[9/17/2007 8:12:04 PM] Thomas Purves says:
[9/17/2007 8:15:15 PM] Ryan Coleman thinks we need Ignite Karaoke
[9/17/2007 8:16:29 PM] Ryan Coleman says: Jev & Kieran are engaging in a little iMasturbation with their iPhones
[9/17/2007 8:16:40 PM] Thomas Purves says: powerpoint kareoke rocks. I saw this once too as a combo thing. presenters submit 15 slides, the organizers replace 1/3 of them with random images and the presenters just have to roll with it…
[9/17/2007 8:17:01 PM] Ryan Coleman says: nice
[9/17/2007 8:17:04 PM] Thomas Purves says: leila speaking now. This is an important milestone for the community
[9/17/2007 8:17:12 PM] Ryan Coleman says: yay leila
[9/17/2007 8:17:21 PM] Thomas Purves says: she is giving a big thank you to jay and dave for an incredible job
[9/17/2007 8:17:37 PM] Ryan Coleman would stand up but his laptop is truly that
[9/17/2007 8:18:01 PM] Thomas Purves says: the torcamp audience just gave dave and jay a big standing ovation
[9/17/2007 8:18:03 PM] Thomas Purves says: …
[9/17/2007 8:18:13 PM] michele perras says: 🙂
[9/17/2007 8:18:16 PM] Thomas Purves says: the rest of the crowd (1st timers) are like whaaa?
[9/17/2007 8:18:18 PM] Ryan Coleman says: the rest just sat there :/
[9/17/2007 8:18:21 PM] Thomas Purves says: those guys?
[9/17/2007 8:19:53 PM] Alan Hietala says: haha nice
[9/17/2007 8:20:45 PM] Thomas Purves says: that’s all from democamp
[9/17/2007 8:21:08 PM] Thomas Purves says: ttyl!
[9/17/2007 8:21:57 PM] michele perras says: thanks tom! w00t!
[9/17/2007 8:30:45 PM] Alan Hietala says: thanks!

Events and week end links

# My frieend Sabaa has launched his one minute film festival with an impressive array of entries. (Congrats Sabaa!). Check out the movies and vote on your favourites here. As Sabaa says, “this is not YouTube”.

# Democamp is coming back on Monday. Somehow we’ve sold out the Board of Trade. Amazing. I’ll see you there.

# And speaking of going to be sold out, FacebookCamp is coming back for a second installment on October 9th. This one is more business and marketing focused. Thanks to Roy, Colin and Andrew again for organizing.

# And gorgeous as she is talented Michele Perras along with her mates at Studio N (map) will holding a studio open house and sale Sunday, September 16, 2007 12:00pm – 4:00pm. I’m watching for dead media cufflinks… yay for vintage typewriters torn to bits and refashioned as wearable…