A Visit to #HackTheMidlands Hackathon 2019

HackTheMidlands 4.0 took place Sat 26th Oct – Sun 27th Oct 2019 with around 250 participants taking part from across the UK. The event has grown year on year, the 2017 event for example had around 150 participants – A Visit to #HackTheMidlands Hackathon 2017 (online). The following Tweets should give you some idea of what the 2019 Hackathon was like. Who knows, perhaps the 2020 event v5.0 may have 300+ participants given the popularity of same.

HackTheMidlands.com (online)
HackTheMidlands Twitter (online)
HackTheMidlands Discord (online)
HackTheMidlands Facebook (online)


Visit to BP HIVE Aberdeen 17th Oct 2014

Today I took a group of two dozen, mainly studying for an MSc in IT for Oil & Gas on a visit BP’s HIVE – Highly Immersive Virtual Environment. The visit went through a number of presentations & demos highlighting how the HIVE is used. The visit took roughly two hours – commencing just after 14:00 and finishing around 16:15.

BP HIVE Visit 17th Oct 2014

BP HIVE Visit 17th Oct 2014

It began with an introduction to the HIVE and a visualization plot of all the oil fields located mainly in the north and east of the UK. One outlier happened to be in the south – the only site that wasn’t off shore. After that we were presented with some 3D models that necessitated the use of 3D shutter glasses. Given the images on screen were blurry without glasses I didn’t take any images of the simulation. The models showed one oil field in particular and the structure of the various layers below the sea bed. It also displayed a number of test drilling sites and how the pipe work was implemented to facilitate extraction.

Following on from the 3D visualization we saw a number of other models depicting the contours of some areas and how various pipes were positioned across the field. After that we say a 3D model of a sea going vessel capable of operating way out at sea & were able to explore from bow to stern. We also saw some models of Christmas Trees dotted along the sea floor and the flexible pipe work infrastructure going right up to the waters surface.

BP HIVE Visit 17th Oct 2014

BP HIVE Visit 17th Oct 2014

Towards the end of the talks we were presented with a more modern visualisation making use of 360 degree panoramic photography and how it may be used to identify parts that needed work / maintenance carried out. A good deal of discussion also occurred on the use of technology in the oil and gas sector with quite an emphasis on how technologies such as Wi-Fi, RFID & mobile devices can greatly assist in reducing costs and ensuring work is carried out correctly.

BP HIVE Visit 17th Oct 2014

Finally before leaving their was time for one more group photo before departing. A big word of thanks to those who presented the presentation / demos / visualizations.

BP HIVE Visit 17th Oct 2014

BP HIVE Visit 17th Oct 2014

BP HIVE Visit 17th Oct 2014

BP HIVE Visit 17th Oct 2014

Below is a map of where BP is located, as you can see it is situated just before the Marriot Hotel which is located at the roundabout intersecting Victoria Street and Riverview Drive.

Street View of the BP Building

Event Address
BP Exploration
1 Wellheads Avenue
AB21 7HG
United Kingdom

Another School Visit to Bridge of Don Academy

The previous post discussed a visit to Bridge of Don Academy for a workshop on how to build a personal computer. We visited the same school again today to meet with another group of students. The sun has been shining here in Aberdeen more or less all day, hence one couldn’t ask for better conditions to go on a short road trip (with a stack of computer parts in the back of the van of course)!

One can find quite a few videos of PC’s build within fish tanks, such as the one below.

One can find lots of useful hints tips and reviews on Linus Tech Tips youtube channel.

School Visit to Bridge of Don Academy

This afternoon we visited Bridge of Don Academy to give a workshop on building a personal computer. I have updated my presentation slides to include some videos I made a few months ago showing the process of building a PC. One can access a playlist of almost 30 videos showing this process from here. Some of the videos I featured in the presentation can be seen below. A selection of videos showing the unboxing of the featured components can be accessed from the following playlist. Further videos covering anything from roller coasters to scenes from Aberdeen can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/dcdoolan.

Installing an Intel Core i7 3930K CPU on an ASUS Sabertooth Motherboard

This is a short video showing the process of installing an Intel Core i7 3930K Hexacore CPU on an ASUS Sabertooth X79 Socket 2011 Motherboard.

This is just one of a series of videos showing the developments of an Extreme Gaming PC Build within a Cosmos 2 Ultra Tower PC Case. This is one of two videos recorded at different angles showing the process. On a number of occasions during the year I visit various secondary schools to give a series of workshops on the likes of Xbox Programming, Computer Networking and of course Building a PC. Hence these videos should prove useful for the Build a PC workshops.

The following video is showing an alternative angle on the CPU installation process.

Intel Core i7 PC Build Components Unboxed Overview

A series of panning shots showing the unboxed components used in a PC Build within the Cooler Master Cosmos 2 PC Case. Components include the Intel Core i7 3930K processor, Cooler Master 1000 Watt Silent Pro 80+ Gold PSU, Corsair Dominator 32 GB DDR3 RAM, Corsair Force 3 Series SSD Drive, NVidia GTX 570 Graphics Card with 2560MB GDDR Memory & 480 Cores, ASUS Sabertooth X79 Motherboard, 2 TB Hard Drive, Pioneer BDR S06 XLB Blu-ray Drive and the Corsair H100 Liquid CPU Cooler.

Intel Core i7 PC Build Boxed Components Overview

A series of panning shots showing the components used in a PC Build within the Cooler Master Cosmos 2 PC Case. Components include the Intel Core i7ย 3930K processor, Cooler Master 1000 Watt Silent Pro 80+ Gold PSU, Corsair Dominator 32 GB DDR3ย RAM, Corsair Force 3 Series SSD Drive, NVidiaย GTXย 570 Graphics Card with 2560MB GDDRย Memory & 480 Cores, ASUS Sabertoothย X79ย Motherboard, 2 TB Hard Drive, Pioneer BDRย S06ย XLBย Blu-ray Drive and the Corsair H100 Liquid CPU Cooler.

Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1000 Watt PSU Unboxing

Unboxing video of the Modularย Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1000 Watt PSU. This series of Power Supply Unit is capable of exceeding 90% power efficiency under load. The Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) is in excess of 100,000 hours. The PSU itself is 150 X 180 X 86 mm & features a 135mm ultra silent fan. If required its maximum capacity for output is 1200 watts. According to Amazon the boxed product weight is 3.7 kilos.

Unboxing the Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Motherboard from ASUS

The ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 motherboard features support for the latest 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processors such as the 3930K. The motherboard is quite heavy & has an ATX form factor. It has multi GPU support in the form of both SLI and Crosfire. Capable of a handlying a maximum of 64GB DDR3 RAM spread across eight DIMM’s at 1866/1600/1333/1066Mhz. It features 14 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports, 4 x USB 3.0 on the back panel & 2 x USB 3.0 ports at the mid-board for front panel support. Storage comes in the form of 4 x SATA 6GB/s connectors, 4 x 3GB/s connectors 1 x Power eSATA & 1 x eSATA port.

Corsair 240GB SSD Drive Unboxing

Unboxing video of the Corsair 240GB Force Series SATA 3 SSD Drive. One can read up on the technical specifications of the drive from the manufacturers website. The SATA 3 interfaces runs at 6GB/s, it has a max sequential read speed of 550MB/s and 520MB/s for sequential write. The mean time before failure is rated at two million hours.

School Workshops at Oldmachar Academy

School Workshop visit to Oldmachar Academy today for workshops on Computer Networking and Building a Personal Computer. The workshops were given to a class of about twenty higher students. Oldmachar is about four & a half miles from the School of Computing at St Andrew Street. The Computer Networking workshop looked at the use of a switch to interconnect a set of laptops. Once IP Addresses / Subnet Masks were assigned the students were able then issue the command line command ping to test and see if they could communicate with other machines within their small LAN. With an active network in place we were then able to proceed to creating shares to allow for the sharing of files / documents, this was enhanced by mapping network drives and adding a level of security. We also took a look at FTP data transfer using Filezillaย to upload to a server. A number of other things were also covered including DNS mapping. For the Build a PC workshop the focus was on assemblying a PC and testing it to ensure all was in working order.

Irish Collegiate Programming Contest (IrlCPC)

I received word just a short while ago that the Irish Collegiate Programming Contest (IrlCPC) being hosted in Cork Ireland will be going ahead for 2012. This year the competition is being opened up to provide an additional category for postgraduate students and faculty members.

Teams can attempt to solve the problems using any of the main stream programming languages i.e. Python, C, C++, Java or C#. The undergrad level competition is based on teams ofย three students and a coach, all from the same University / Institute.

Registration is open until 24th February 2012. The competition will run for an entire day with registration beginning at 10:00 and the final awarding of prizes concluding at 18:00 in the evening. The competition itself will take place on Saturday the 24th of March 2012.

One can see photographs of the 2010 competition available from here. You can also access last years photographs from here. If you are interested in setting up a team and joining in the fun then get in touch with me. To learn more about the competition take a good look at the IrlCPC site.