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  • How to pitch bullshit

    Most people who know me in person know that I like to talk. A lot. So, I started to do presentations. Some at University, some at School, and some for User Groups and even a bigger one at the JFS Stuttgart. Yet, I always felt that .. well, it was all to serious.

    So last friday, while having some drinks with the DevCamp-People, they convinced me to do a not-so-serious presentation. I instantly came up with the topic, hacked the slides in less than 4 hours ( Thanks to Florian! ), and presented them. Never thought that this would fly this much. Pitching Bullshit is running Well on Slideshare, but best of all, an indian blog reports about it. Like :-).

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  • Android DevCamp 2

    Great success last year ( mostly due to almost perfect organization and even better participants ), the second issue of the second largest Android Conference is going to roll just this weekend, called Android Devcamp 2. Unless you are already registered, chances are, you won't get it.

    Unfortunately, I was unable to assist in organizing and planning this year to resource constraints ( Read: too much work ) and a personal decision to throttle back my overall engagement in the whole GTUG Stuttgart. That sucks, but it's great to see these guys just topping their last years perfomance. Let's have some nice days in Stuttgart, and maybe a Blinkendroid record?

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  • Google Go Presentation

    I recently held a small presentation on Google Go for my fabulous GTUG Stuttgart. After all, I strongly believe in this language. I guess the slides speak for themselves, as does the supplied example-program ( a simple HTTP Benchmarker ).

    The source code is located at Github.

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  • impressive, prezi and other ways to kill PowerPoint

    I've to admit, I haven't used PowerPoint for 4 years, mostly because no one wanted me to present anything. Times have changed, I had to do 4 presentations in one week lately. Being forced to communicate through slides, I experienced a bit, and here's my conclusion.

    The first presentation was built using Keynote, which is part of iWork, Apple's Office counterpart. Creation was really simple, the look is just amazing ( especially the transitions ), but there is one problem: I don't have a mobile Mac at the moment, so I needed to use a friend's MacBook to do the presentation. This is definitely a bit of a pain, considering the fact that he's most likely not always around, and exporting to PowerPoint kills all the USPs. There is a workaround though, you can export presentations as .mov files, movies that halt on every transition and continue only after you press a key.

    Second presentation, Latex Beamer producing PDFs. The ugly part is the creation, certainly. Unless you are fluid in a text editor, command line and the reading of technical documentation, this might not be your premier choice. After you've gracefully managed to create some slides, the output looks great and the best point about it is that any netbook will do just fine for the presentation. I used my Ubuntu-equipped machine and it worked well using the default PDF-Viewer.

    Sven showed impressive to me today, a great way of tuning your PDF-only presentations by adding transitions, overview pages and other handy accessoires to finished PDF-Presentations. It's written in python, has some dependencies ( nothing that easy_install couldn't fix ) and works really well.

    The third presentation kicked off using Google Docs. The presentation ( about Google Go ) had no style, no transitions, was built in about 10 minutes and.. worked. Nothing more, nothing less. It clearly did it's job, yet there are, at least by now, a bunch of more pleasing ways to get the job done available.

    Because a lot of people are really excited about Prezi at the moment, I decided to give it a shot. The presentations created are really different from what presentations have been in the past, it looks.. amazing, is easy to use, features a free plan. It depends on flash, which is somewhat a drawback and is, at least for me not a choice at the moment. Why? Well, first of all, there is no way to create custom styles, you are basically limited to what Prezi offers. The next problem is the lack of a free offline editor ( Google Docs is able to do that ). And of course, what you create looks create, but either I missed the feature that says "copy region from one Prezi to another" or it's not there. Either way, without it, reuse seems impossible. Still, if you have only 3 minutes and need to deliver a stunning performance, you should go with Prezi. ( Edit: Benny just posted something about Prezi a few days ago, too )

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  • A day at the Android Developer Lab World Tour in Zürich

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    What would you do if you had the chance to meet some fellow android developers at Google's Europe HQ in Zürich for free? Yes, you register and go there. As did I, we. Unfortunately, someone at Google's messed the times up, which lead to us having to depart in Stuttgart at 6am rather than 10am, but nevertheless we made it on time.

    What's the impression of the Google HQ? It's quite hard to remain objective and unimpressed, so the report may well be seriously biased. Sights along the way in: Streetview car, Google Sign. No suits. Sights in the entrance area: Pool table ( playable ), fridge, Google Sign. Very colourful, nice. Once we waited about 10 minutes we were guided to the conference location, which was also located on the ground floor, right next to the cafeteria and the ( ! ) gym. The overall impression on the way there was that it's actually not a place that's perfectly suitable for working there, but it's a place where living might be fun as well :-)

    We had to wait some time until the event kicked off, but the time was spent more or less usefully setting up wifi, talking to other developers and the android stuff ( specifically Reto Meier who held the talk ) and drinking free coke. The event started, but was interrupted to give away free nexus ones. This came not really as a surprise as a) the boxes were located next to the entry, so it was not hard to spot and b) most of the participants I talked to followed the other lab sessions e.g. in Berlin and Paris. But forget about surprises, it's so amazing to get a phone for free ( actually, it's even more amazing if it's the second one ). And what can I say, it rocks, you need to play with one for a little while, forget the iPhone, honestly.

    After about half an hour later, the talk finally began, very interactive, very well-held. It basically included a what is android-primer, as well as some focus on technologies available and best practices. After a short while ( let's guess it was 30 minutes ), we switched over to having .. lunch. And damn, it was tasty like hell. Just like the whole day, all people were nice, friendly, it was a really great atmosphere even just to eat.. wow.

    The second part of the talk focused on some code examples, and afterwards, the fun part of the event began: the big bang question session. I had some prepared, as had almost all other people there. And it's just great to talk to someone who knows ( omitting the should here ), and gives you a clear answer. Reto Meier, again, did a great job on this.I also showed some people qwerted, and I guess some even liked it :-). There is one app I really want to recommend, it's called Music Queue and tries to change the way we listen to music and organize our on-the-fly playlist. Great app, cool developer!

    What can I see? We left too soon ( for my impression ), and I need to work there. Like, really. Unfortunately, picture taking is generally not allowed on the premises, yet we were able to take some at the conference room itself.

    Thanks to all the great people there, was a really cool day.. next year again, hm?

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