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LTSP goes to Manchester

On Wednesday 26th September the Bristol Wireless mobile LTSP suite went to the Beyond Engagement: Inclusion, Sport and Popular Culture conference organised by the Substance co-op at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. The aim of the conference was to explore ways of building on developments after the target audience has been found through the channels of sport, music and such like.

substanceAfter a three-hour drive I arrived at the conference venue. The tables were laid out and ready for the suite. We unpacked the laptops and were set up connected to a wireless connection in about 20 minutes, after which we were up and running. The delegates used the suite for mail and preparation for their workshops. At each break all the computers were occupied (there were 300 delegates, so there was heavy demand for use of the suite) and the delegates had no trouble getting to grips with Linux; in fact some of them preferred Linux to Windows and were actually running it at home, so we had a few converts in the hall already.

I was impressed by Manchester, a modern city with lots of traditional buildings. The transport system was positively futuristic: they have trams, cheap buses and what little traffic there was flowed smoothly. Bristol’s transport system looks non-existent by comparison.

As for the conference itself, I had the chance to attend some of the workshops, one of which, entitled ‘Supporters to Reporters’, featured young people who were given a taste of journalism and broadcasting, with the full range of kit required for the job. Who knows? I might just have witnessed the next John Motson in action…

The Substance crew took me to dinner in a fancy restaurant with other delegates and found me a comfortable hotel. I was also shown the lights of Manchester by some friends and residents Adel, Beth and Micky, who I thank for their efforts.