A strong and vibrant IT community based in the North East Of England

Archive for July, 2009

Open podium, a review

Alastair Mc Donald introduced us to the world of geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing), a treasure hunting game which is played by thousands of players around the world. The game is an intriguing mix of treasure hunting, navigation, and outdoor hiking/walking. Players (geocachers) place caches in hidden locations around the world and log them on a geocaching website. Anybody with a GPS device can then try to locate the geocache.

A typical cache comes in the shape of a tupperware box that contains a pen and paper. Once located the player can open the cache and sign the register. There are many types of cache and these are listed on the geocaching.com website.

Players are encouraged to find local caches and place a few themselves. Alistair has been playing for a few years and now has 14 caches located around the country.

Gavin Elliot and Justin Turner from the Ecommerce Experiment told us about how they plan to revolutionise the ecommerce market.

The Ecommerce Experiment was setup in early June by the Carrot Media team. Over the next three years the team will setup and run an online shop. During this process they will blog about all of their experiences. The team plan to discuss each step in detail including:

  1. How to setup a bank account
  2. How to source and buy stock
  3. What development platform to use
  4. What marketing tools work

You can follow the team on their blog and twitter.

Mike Parker from OrangeBus told us about how he uses Drupal to ‘Work less, Surf more’, a story which told us how he uses Drupal for rapid development.

Drupal is an open source development environment (released under the GPL) used by tens of thousands of people to power scores of different web sites, including Nike, Sony, Yahoo Developer Network and Beyonce (if it’s good enough for Beyonce it’s good enough for me). Drupal makes web development easy by combining an excellent PHP, mysql and user interface in a powerful environment that allows for third party modules and plugins.

Mike used an example of a website that he developed in 45 minutes to demonstrate how easy it is to develop using Drupal and the CCK, Panels, Five Star and Views modules. This was Mikes second presentation to SuperMondays.

Our final presentation of the night was from Ryan Dewhurst who introduced his  ’Damn Vulnerable Web App’.  DVWA is a PHP/MySQL web application that is damn vulnerable. Its main goals are to be light weight, easy to use and full of vulnerabilities to exploit. Used to learn or teach the art of web application security.

Ryan first released DVWA in December 2008 and since then it has gained quite a following. It has been developed for the use of information security professionals and students to test out their skillz and/or toolz in a legal environment.

The newest version of DVWA is 1.0.4 and was released at SuperMondays under the GPL.

The group want to thank our four speakers for their time and commitment….and Northern Film and Media for their sponsorship!