Mass GTUG Chrome Hackathon

Yesterday was the first Massachusetts Google Technology User Group (Mass GTUG) hackathon I've participated in, their Chrome Hackathon. It was a great experience with a pair of talks in the morning; one on building chrome apps (given by @jankleinert) and the other on hacking Chromium OS. The main even was the afternoon (from 1-5pm) devoted to developing interesting apps and extensions for Chrome. There were a total of 10 demos from the afternoon's work ranging from a Chrome extension for managing a todo.txt task list to a tool for collaboratively editing LaTeX documents.

My project for the afternoon was a social wallboard. I had it in enough shape to do a short presentation by 5pm, but I didn't manage to get all the features that I wanted in (4hrs really isn't very long.) I have a good start however and intend to keep working on the project. Hopefully I'll have something usable in a few weeks after I've had a chance to solidify the OAuth authentication flow with the social services; I implemented the base code for Remember the Milk and Flickr during the Hackathon but I plan on adding a fair number of additional services over time (Twitter, Google Calendar, Delicious, etc...)

My primary takeaways from the day of hacking are that if you want to have a good demonstration after one afternoon you really have to cut back on the scope of your project (i.e. don't involve too many third party services; especially ones with OAuth) and it would have really helped to have a team of people to distribute the load across and brainstorm with. Overall though, it was totally worth it and I'm looking forward to the next chance I have to participate in a Hackathon.

Photographing New Hampshire (Pilgrim Pines)

Horseshoes Pinecones The Shore of Swanzey Lake The First Flowers

Over the weekend I attended a church retreat at Pilgrim Pines, a retreat center on Lake Swanzey in New Hampshire. While there I took a lot of pictures, mostly of the retreat activities, but I did take some time to enjoy the beauty of the lake and surrounding woods through my camera lenses. Above are four of the best photos I took; I've also posted a few more in my portfolio and on flickr.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Concert

I was at the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Beethoven's Last Night concert in Boston last night (in the fourth row of the orchestra pit) and it was awesome, they are quite the experience live, definitely worth seeing if you have the opportunity. They're so much more fun to watch and listen to than anyone else I've seen; their music is just so big (the benefit of having a string section and 20ish performers).

Just so you get the idea what it was like a found a few videos from other concerts in the tour on YouTube: