Barcamp Bangkok

Only a few days to go, t-shirts and banners being printed, final preparations being made, faster network connection being sorted, etc. You can feel the buzz online, Thailand’s first Barcamp is fast approaching. We had to close registration only days after it opened as we received an overwhelming (and unexpected) high sign-up rate. If you registered to attend but cannot make it please email with your details. If you were unlucky and didn’t know about the event or could not register in time there is a waiting list. Send your details to, you might just get lucky.


After much messing about getting sponsors logos then converting to vector and one color* ready for screen printing the design is finally with the printers and they are rolling. In the end we put in an order for 250 shirts with a mix of sizes. They had a lot of trouble finding enough black shirts for us due to high demand at the moment. Why?

Unlike any other country I have ever visited the Thai people seem to have a passion for waring the same colors (out of respect towards the monarchy) and over the past year we have had a number of color trends. It started with yellow (supposed to be gold) for the kings celebration’s, then light blue for the queen. Colors are linked to days of the week, so for instance Monday is yellow day (see pic below).  That was followed recently by pink, a trend that started when the King exited hospital waring pink one day.

Hmm.. must be a monday. (credit: I just stole this pic from a google search)

So whats the deal with black. The King’s sister died a short while ago, and so now black is the new yellow. Government workers will be waring nothing else for the next 100 days and the general public seems to be following suit. Hence the run on back all of a sudden. If only I could predict the next color trend I could make a mint in T-Shirt futures.

Anyway this blog post went on a little bit of a tangent, all I meant to do was post the design for the T-Shirts so people know what to expect. Most will be in black, but they ran out of XXL black so some lucky people will get red instead.

Barcamp Bangkok T-Shirt Final Design

* Forgive the spelling, I’ve converted to US aka international spelling these day.

I’ve never been a fan of banks, but I’ve stuck with my Barcalys account for a long time. When we moved to Thailand I notified them of my change of address and they have managed to send me monthly statements via snail mail ever since.

Strike 1: Can I have a new card please.

Now I find I need a new debit card so I figured it would be easy enough to get one sent to the same address they have associated with my account. Quick call to telephone banking, sit through marketing blurb about switching my (non-existent) mortgage. Play silly buggers with the automated phone menu system and in the end get to speak to a person. “No problem Mr Hubbard we send out a new card for you, it should take 5-7 days plus a few extra since you are overseas”. Generally mail between UK and Bangkok is quite quick so I assume I’m looking at 10 days max. Then they launch into the standard sales pitch.. We have a package, wont cost you anything to upgrade, yada, yada. No thanks, just the card please.

Strike 2: No new card, current card has been blocked. Getting annoyed.

A couple of week later no joy. I have to leave the country for a quick trip to Malaysia. On arrival I find my card doesnt work. Luckily I have another card I can use. On my return I call them suspecting the computers have blocked the card due to “Irregular Activity”. This keeps happening since I use the card abroad. “No Mr Hubbard we have canceled your card as we sent you a new one.” Only it didn’t arrive. So I ask them to unblock my current card, and asked what has happened to the one they sent. They didn’t have any idea and told me they would send another should arrive in 5-7 days plus a bit extra.. blah blah. Same old sales pitch too. No thanks just the card.

Strike 3: Still no bloody card. This is taking the piss.

Same routine, “Sorry Luke (they calling me by my first name now being all friendly) about what happened let me double check the address”. Address is correct. “We will send out a new card will be with you.. blah blah blah.” Right… I said. I’m loosing confidence that I will ever get my new card. I fear its being sent by some automated system, perhaps the letter doesn’t have the correct postage stamp. Could it be sent by a human? “Im sure you will get your card” the lady says confidently “5-7 days”. Yawn.

I don’t hold out much hope. 3 strikes and you are out. Barclays is running out of lives. Time to find a new Bank.

Update:  A couple of days ago my card arrived via DHL recorded delivery. Who knows maybe someone at Barclays is readiny my blog. Anyway damage is done, I’ve found better options.

Today I successfully (with a bit of help from friends) managed to add JSONP support to the Nginx upload progress module C code. I’m dead chuffed since: 1) this is the first time I have ever managed to modify a C program to do what I want, 2) the Nginx code is ninja. What the hell is JSONP ??? Good question. Its a way to get around the restriction that AJAX calls can only be sent to the same domain as that of the page. You embed a dynamic script element in the page and point it at the server which returns JSONP. Its just like usual JSON but wrapped in parenthesis and prefixed with the value of the ‘jsonp’ parameter passed with the get request. This turns plain JSON data into JSON data wrapped in a callback function call. An example is probably in order..


GET /foo


GET /foo?jsonp=callback_1

Once I have tested the code a bit more I will send a patch to the original module author. But if you are feeling daring you can download the hacked module here.

I’m really happy to report some great people are organizing a BarCamp in Bangkok. This will be a first of its kind in Thailand and I’m looking forward to attending with a few of our crew. It will be quite interesting from a cultural perspective to see how people take to enforced participation. See rules of BarCamp below. Codegent has signed up to sponsor the t-shirts, the logo chosen by vote shortly. There is still time to vote so head on over and cast your ballot. *

* Note: Look’s like that the guys have not finished setting up the voting page. Sure it will be fixed soon.

The Rules of BarCamp (copied from the wiki)

  • 1st Rule: You do talk about Bar Camp.
  • 2nd Rule: You do blog about Bar Camp.
  • 3rd Rule: If you want to present, you must write your topic and name in a presentation slot.
  • 4th Rule: Only three word intros.
  • 5th Rule: As many presentations at a time as facilities allow for.
  • 6th Rule: No pre-scheduled presentations, no tourists.
  • 7th Rule: Presentations will go on as long as they have to or until they run into another presentation slot.
  • 8th Rule: If this is your first time at BarCamp, you HAVE to present. (Ok, you don’t really HAVE to, but try to find someone to present with, or at least ask questions and be an interactive participant.)

More Information

Incase you are wondering what Erlang is all about, this video tries to explain but will probably just result in a good laugh.

I’m just testing embedding videos really 🙂

I have been bugging them for this feature since I got my first slice. You can now save a backup of a slice ( a Zen VPS server ) and rebuild another slice using this image. This opens the door for creating a master slice server image which can be reused whenever we need a new slice and also for the possibility of saving a snapshot of a production slice, restoring it to a spare slice, preforming a complex upgrade or doing some debugging, saving the a script of the procedure, rebuilding the test slice, running the script, checking everything is correct, then applying the script to production. This should minimize messing about on the production slice. Perfect. I love virtualization, knowing slices are backed up daily and can be restored in minutes in the event of hardware problems helps me sleep at night. Slicehost you are leading the way.