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The Lancaster Social

The Lancaster Social will be held at the Chapel on the White Cross Business Estate in Lancaster on Thursday, 26th February. This is the first Lancaster Social of 2015 and we at Castle Shadowcat think there are some compelling reasons that you must attend.

  • It's free to attend, though there may be a small contribution required for a drink/biscuit
  • You can network with other people of Lancaster;
  • You can bring promotional material about your own events, causes, business or interests;
  • There is a section of free/cheap tools to help you in your connected life;
  • We have a Q&A session where we collectively pool our knowledge to help each other (there is no absolute requirement);
  • Free promotion via our website, free to register and we will help you to do that on the night;

The Lancaster Social is intended as a cross-sector event. We don't just want businesses to connect, we aim to encourage the wider community to interact, therefore anyone is welcome.

Make sure that you Register for a ticket on EventBrite ( so that we can accurately judge the number of attendees in advance and prepare appropriately.

The Shadowcat team will see you there.


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The Animated Errietta

It has only been a couple of weeks, though behind the scenes there has been an extended period of construction, since we saw the last Caricature from our beloved Jack knight of Knight Time Creations, so let's have another.

Castle Shadowcat has the pleasure of presenting the latest caricature to our growing list of images, our talented intern Errietta:

Errietta cartoon

Jack has once again done an amazing job of capturing Erri's likeness and of adding the whimsical elements that identify her love of gaming - I'm sure you can guess of which series of games this is a homage. Of particular note is the tiny fairy that accompanies our intern in her daily tasks. A mixture betwixt Sprite and Pooka one wonders what name we should call it, and how would it sound, like a electronic kitten or a huffing bass tiger. Why don't you help us to decide?

Please feel free to add your comments as they are always gratefully received.


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The Animated Tom

Next in line in the increasingly inaccurately named[1] series of images that have been created for Shadowcat Systems by the wonderfully talented Jack Knight of Knight Time Creations is our own dear Tom.

Tom is an unusual, but not for our merry band, individual with a strong love of technology and engineering. He seems to spend his days thinking of the technology of the future while dwelling fondly on the machinery of the past. In this regard he is not unusual to Shadowcat and this is perhaps evident in his stong preferences for his cartoon self.

Jack has once again done an amazing job of capturing Tom's likeness and of adding the whimsical elements that identify his particular demeanour. Please feel free to add your comments as they are always gratefully received.


[1] I say inaccuratly named as they are caricatures, cartoons, avatars or images, they don't in fact move so have no animation. Perhaps they were named that way as they seem so full of life and there is a glimmer of a hope that one day they may be animated, if we can ever find the time.

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Mark Keating joins the FLOSS UK

Shadowcat's Managing Director, Mark Keating, was recently voted onto the council for FLOSSUK. Mark has been involved with FLOSS for some time and has even presented at FLOSSUK conferences including Spring 2014 and the upcoming Spring 2015 events.

Shadowcat Systems Limited are corporate members of FLOSSUK, Ian Norton has served on the council for three years and Matt S. trout has also been a regular attendee and speaker at FLOSSUK (and the former UKUUG) events for a number of years.

This year Shadowcat Systems and FLOSSUK will be organising a conference, the Dynamic Language conference, together. Mark has also been involved in discussing using new media techniques for FLOSS. It was for these two reasons that Mark felt it wisest to agree when he was co-opted to a place on the council so that he could further help at a recognised position.


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Shadowcat Team go to [FOSDEM][fos]

FOSDEM is only a couple of weeks away,[1] and for the first time in their history the Shadowcat team will be making an appearance.[2]

There have been a variety of reasons over the years why we have failed to attend this premier event, but the major one is that we get blindsided by it each time. It gets to January and we are usually in Florida for the occasionally annual Perl Oasis and the return from that sees us missing FOSDEM from the calendar. This is especially true when there is a FLOSSUK event soon after.

This year sees us more closely linked to FLOSSUK but with a gap in the schedule as there is no Perl Oasis. It therefore seemed opportune to take the chance to attend FOSDEM for the first time and to take a group from the Lancaster offices with us. So a small contingent from the Lancaster staff will be at the event including Matt S. Trout, Mark Keating, Ian Norton, Tom Bloor and Errietta Kostala.

We will be hanging around a number of the developer rooms and groups, so look for us on the Perl stand, in the Perl Devroom where Matt will be giving a talk, with the developers from OpenNMS and likely propping up a part of a bar.


[0] Even for a dad joke that's poor.

[1] For those of you not familiar with the event it is one of the largest Open Source events on the planet, each year over five thousand open source practitioners and advocates gather in Brussels for a long weekend of discussion and latest projects announcements.

[2] I almost did the cliché with 'for the first time in forever'.

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