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Interns Return

Today is a fun day for Shadowcat Systems. It is also a good day for a local community-focussed project that we have been a part of for some time.

The first fun part is that we have two MSc students starting at the offices this morning for a three months project as part of their studies. They are here to complete a strong practical project that we have devised and this nicely segues into the second piece of the opening paragraph.

As part of our relationship with Michael Hallam of Lancaster ESTA and the Small Green Consultancy; along with our association with Jack Knight of Independent Lancaster/@lancasterhour (#lancasterhour) and KnightTime Creations; and the recent discussions involving Ian Simpson of Knight Training we have been engaged with supporting local businesses. Some of this is through general support of the schemes these people are a part of with advice and work, but a large and essential component is a project that is loosely called the Local Loop system that we are helping to devise and build.[1]

This is the project that we are attempting to bring to market with the help of our two MSc students. We already have a working prototype, and a manual system that has been testing equations and data collection processes. We are moving to the next stage where we automate the system and start a broader trial before rolling it out to other local communities. The two students will be helping us to realise a working system from the simple prototype and adding a host of features to make it relevant to the end user.

It is still early days so there isn’t much more for me to share here at this time. However pretty soon we hope that there will be lots to say, so keep watching this space.


[1] The first part of this is the trial system called The Food Loop Game.

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Flying off to FOSDEM

Once again the Shadowcat crew will be flying down to (it is down from Lancaster) Brussels for the yearly FOSDEM event. This is the 3rd year in succession that the SC team have attended.

What is FOSDEM?

FOSDEM, for those not in the know, is probably the largest Open Source Developers conference in the Western World, if not the whole world, and is attended by upwards of eight thousand attendees, presenters and stalls. It is one of the most important events for any open source language, project or initiative.

What Will You Be Doing?

As always the Shadowcat team will not be slacking while they are there. Mark will once again be on the Perl booth where he will be tempting people with badges, stickers, books, toys and the other groovy giveaways along with Wendy (who organises the booth for the Perl6 community each year).

Perl also has a DevRoom on the Sunday in K4.201 where there will be a number of great talks on the schedule:

You can view the full schedule for the event by going here.

If you are going to FOSDEM then give us a shout or try to meet up at the event, we will likely be on the Perl booth, in the Perl Dev. room or supporting a bar to help it stand upright in the many hallway tracks.


[!] Sometimes there are just no notes.

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Digital Lancashire

This year a new initiative between local technical companies and local government was created in the North West called Digital Lancashire. The aim was for an open forum to promote Lancashire's growing digital presence and to help support and promote it.

Needless to say Shadowcat are founder members of this initiative. The title doesn't convey much more than our willingness to be a member of the local technical community and to help raise awareness. Something which we are happy to do.

The initiative has just started to really get into its stride, even though it is only a few months old it has been longer in the making, and is starting to be prominent in networking and digital events. We hope that we will have more time to be at future events and to meet with fellow local technical organisations.

Together we can grow a stronger local digital economy.

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Chair of the Board

The FLOSSUK recently underwent its annual general meeting, at this event the board accepts and changes as determined by its charter. This year Gavin Atkinson stood for re-election, Ian Norton was recognised as resigned, and Kimball Johnson finished his second 3 year term as Chairman.

At the meeting that followed it two new members were co-opted to the board to stand for a year and then to hopefully sit when elected. These co-opted members are Barry O’Rourke and Rick Deller. It was also decided at that meeting to elect specific roles and responsibilites to members of the board so that they might take charge and push forward any necessary actions. At this meeting Shadowcat’s Mark Keating was elected as the new Chairperson (our usage, it is still referred to as Chairman in the Articles) to the organisation.


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Away again to Cluj

In an anniversary event of his first Workshop appearance 4 years ago Shadowcat's very own mst will be returning to Romania in November 2016. Matt has barely got home from the amazing YAPC Europe hosted by the Romanian Mongers before yo-yoing back for a second appearance this year.

Cluj Perl Mongers Meetup - Nov16
Tue 6 PM in UTC+02 · Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The mini-workshop Monger events are always carry well organised and hosted by the great folks of Evozon and this is likely to be a memorable event. If you are in Romania for the Workshop don't forget to say hello to Matt.

Check out their Facebook Page for the latest news (


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