July 2013 News Archive

Mon Jul 1 00:00:00 2013

This is the shadowcat news archive for July 2013.

Little Bobby Tables

Ian, and Claire, two of the Shadowcat Staff, will soon be adopting a dog from the animal rescue centre (Animal Care) in Lancaster. His name is Bobby and he is a 10-year-old chocolate labrador. Ian likes to call him 'little Bobby Tables' after the XKCD comic.

They asked if he could come to the office with them, when Ian is in and especially when they are both working, Claire is a part time Shadowcat Staffer. Of course the staff here were delighted. Castle Shadowcat is an equal opportunites employer and we have had a vacancy for cheif drooler ever since the CTO stopped looking at code in his lunch hour, so he was a natural fit.

Expect to see Bobby if you ever visit, however if you are allergic, have a phobia, to dogs warn us in advance so we can take appropriate steps (this is not rub you with his blanket or sit you in a room alone with him).


Little Bobby Tables
Little Bobby Tables

A Greater Turn

This week saw the announcement of the London Perl Workshop 2013, named Decadon (a rather slim amalgamation of London and Decade).

As always the Shadowcat team are to be fully involved in the running of this event and this year there will be a stronger than ever presence with:

  • Mark 'mdk' Keating - Chief Organiser
  • Matt S. 'mst' Trout - Presenting
  • Chrissy 'epitaph' Jackson - Registration and Route Organisation
  • Ian 'idn' Norton - Workshop Training and Events
  • Claire 'clj' Jackson - Administration and Registration
  • Tom 'TBSliver' Bloor - Organiser (also Mr Minion and Organiser's Pet)

We have progressed over the last six years from running the event with Mark in that role on his own with matt presenting to taking a whole team to the conference. The growing popularity and strength of the LPW has matched the growth of the UK team.

We are hoping that other Shadowcat Assembly, Jess 'Castaway' Robinson, Paul 'LeoNerd' Evans and Ash 'ash' Berlin will also be present at the event and give help and/or presentations.

See you on the journey and at the destination.

Access All Areas

Those who have been following our recent news articles will know that we have undertaken an office change in the last quarter of the year here at Castle Shadowcat.

We remain in the same building, the rather wonderful Grade II listed barracks building at White Cross in Lancaster, but have moved to a slightly more spacious room for our administrative centre with a pleasing layout.

As part of the move we are installing access control to the offices and because we employ a number of creative tinkerers we are building our own system and coding the access to the system using Perl. The hardware is a raspberry Pi which will allow us to control the system and to further expand it to a far greater degree than a number of pre-configured systems.

As such there is a certain amount of hacker-splurge on the soon-to-be-reordered office spaces. It is an interesting time and our commitment to the local maker Space people is further confirmed with this project and using the offices to allow people to meet and share creative time.

As this work progresses we will keep you all informed.


Box to hold all elements
Box to hold all control elements

Access control board and Raspberry Pi
Access control board and Raspberry Pi

Program environment - drivers and setup
Program environment - drivers and setup