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Barncamp 2013 – the post-match report

Yesterday, the Bristol Wireless members of the production crew returned to Bristol from this year’s Barncamp event (the fifth that has been organised. Ed.) after clearing out all the kit. Barncamp is a joint event organised by HacktionLab, Bristol Wireless and FLOSS Manuals, and has been described by our friend Charlie as follows:

…hanging out with some of the coolest people in the UK to talk about information security, tech politics, eco-friendly computing and all that. There is vegan food and sunshine and beautiful countryside. And a barn full of laptops. How could life get any better?

The view up the valley from Barncamp
The view up the valley from Barncamp

This year’s Barncamp – the first since 2011 (we had a year off in 2012. Ed.) – attracted a total of some 80 Barncampers, the highest number ever; and the feedback received so far has been positive.

The Bristol Wireless mobile event LTSP suite (picture below) went along with us and was well used, both informally, as well as for the hands-on Linux command line for beginners workshop given by your ‘umble scribe.

The Bristol Wireless LTSP suite at Barncamp 2013. Photo by Ludwig van Standard Lamp
The Bristol Wireless LTSP suite at Barncamp 2013. Photo by Ludwig van Standard Lamp.

Other Bristol Wireless members also gave of their expertise: BenG did his hugely popular wild food walk, identifying edible and medicinal plants. If the only guise in which you’ve seen BenG is that of server administrator, this is quite a revelation. One thing Ben won’t do is starve if dropped in the countryside with no resources.

In addition to BenG on wild food, Acesabe gave a workshop on hacking Android devices. Acesabe’s rationale was that many of us now have these items, so let’s find out a bit more about maximising their potential, limiting the security pitfalls that come with them and learn more about just what useful things these mini computers can be made to do.

As regards infrastructure, this year’s event was a great improvement on last time. We even had 2 separate wifi APs for a change – one covering the barn itself and the other providing wifi connectivity in the ‘top’ field where we’d sited a marquee as a second workshop space and which also contained the campfire.

Barncamp 2013 saw what was perhaps the widest range of workshop sessions yet seen, ranging from using WordPress and Vim to topics that eschewed IT completely, such as forest skills and building DIY solar panels.

As the event now passes from the present into the realm of memory, those of us that worked hard to put it on seem to be suffering from a common ailment called ‘barncramp’. 🙂

Last but not least, we’d like to thank our lovely hosts at Highbury Farm for their hospitality and help and look forward to seeing them again soon (we hope Al had a splendid 50th birthday. Ed.). Anyone who attended Barncamp and wishes to thank our hosts can email them on highburyfarm (at)

2 Responses to Barncamp 2013 – the post-match report

  1. Marsbard June 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    It’s actually highfarm (at) I believe

  2. Marsbard June 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    bah! my mistake apparently the original address was correct