I’m Steve Dalton and welcome to my personal blog. If you want to find my work stuff, head to Refactor, AiKademi or Gold Coast TechSpace.

Some people also know me as “spidie” - so just to clarify, this was a childhood nickname as my legs were like a spider, it also included my initials SPD and I happen to like Spiderman and spiders in general. So it works!

“Dalts” - well that was my other nickname for obvious reasons. So - naming all cleared up!

Welcome to Hugo

After a very long absence (yes - it’s over 7 years!), I’ve decided to revive this blog. This was partially to do with the fact that my old blog was written in Octopress, and while it still worked fine, it’s now way out of maintenance - but also because I wouldn’t mind collecting my thoughts somewhere and not everything is all about the day job eh! Anyway - this was possibly overkill but I didn’t want to lose the old posts, so migrated everything over to Hugo, a great static site generator written in Go and now host on the awesome gitlab pages. [Read More]

Arduino controlled Raspberry PI Pandora Radio

We have a nicely running little Raspberry PI that we use as a Pandora radio at the Gold Coast TechSpace. It’s a great setup and people have enjoyed upping and downing tracks on the playlists to get a good mix of tunes that we all like. We run the pianobar application which gives a really simple command line interface that works beautifully with us. I wanted to make it even better by having some big buttons that people could hit to like/dislike a track or just move on to the next (don’t want to ban it - just tired of it). [Read More]

Lego Mindstorms on Ubuntu 12.04 Part 1

We’ve been doing some Lego workshops at Gold Coast TechSpace lately and with the older kids we’ve been spending a lot of time on Lego Mindstorms. I quite like the Lego NXT software that comes with the kits for a simple introduction, it’s easy to teach and there are plenty of resources available to help. However 2 things really irk me a bit about it: It’s a bit limiting at times, I start the workshop talking about programming and what I and others do for a job - but when students ask me about how to do more advanced things I’m sometimes stumped on how to do it in the GUI - even sometimes quite simple things that would be ridiculously easy in REAL code. [Read More]

How to Build a Startup - Steve Blank

Our first lecture in the Steve Blank Lean Startups Course is this Wednesday at 8am. Please be on time and be prepared for an awesome course. Please RSVP I’ve watched ahead on the first lecture to get a feel for it - and it looks excellent. Would be great if all those attending watch Lecture 0 in their own time. You can get to it via the Classroom page, the video links are on the right-hand-side. [Read More]

Lego workshops are back

I am running the Lego workshops again at Gold Coast TechSpace during the school holidays. They were a huge success last time and I am following through on my promise to Parents to continue with them. There’s a more details post on the Gold Coast TechSpace Blog So, if you’re a Gold Coast parent with a Lego obsessed child like mine - send them my way! I’ve now introduced an additional “Machines” class for younger kids that doesn’t involve the programming or mindstorms, but does teach them a thing or 2 about Physics and Mechanics in a fun way. [Read More]

Building Pianobar On (L)Ubuntu

I’ve been using Linux since slackware 0.9 and I’m quite used to compiling software and kernels from source, but in recent years it’s very rare that I have to do this anymore. I run Lubuntu on my desktop as I just like things things to be clean, simple and just work - I often sacrifice the latest and greatest for stability. One of the tools I just can’t do without is pianobar which is a command line tool for listening to music on Pandora, which incidentally is now available in Australia without the use of proxies! [Read More]

Gold Coast TechSpace Storage Funded!

I am very happy to announce that Gold Coast TechSpace managed to raise $1709 for our shelving and storage project. Our target was $1500 and we will use the extra to go towards storage boxes & lockers. We purchased the first of the racking on Monday and have already installed a couple to get some stored items out of the way. Additional money will be used towards storage boxes and lockers and once everything is in place I will make sure I post plenty of pictures for you. [Read More]

Gold Coast TechSpace Storage

One of my big projects over the last year outside of my day job has been helping to setup the Gold Coast TechSpace. It’s been a really rocky ride; things like this are really difficult to setup in a place like the Gold Coast and it’s been a huge learning experience for myself and the founding committee. However, it does feel like we are over the hump now with people starting to get what we are trying to achieve and a handful of loyal members paying a membership fee of $40/month ($20 for students) to help cover our rent. [Read More]

Barcamp Gold Coast this Sunday

Just a quick reminder that Barcamp Gold Coast is on again this weekend. A few people couldn’t make Saturday so we are trialling running it on a Sunday this time. The day will take place at the Gold Coast TechSpace again which is at 3b/51 Johnston St, Southport just behind the Johnston St Cafe (map here) To RSVP please go here Our sponsors are again: Dundas Lawyers (Coffee) Ninefold (Lunch) Freetronics (Prizes and giveaways). [Read More]

Noteboard OLPC Project at Griffith Uni

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the presentation of 4 Griffith University Gold Coast Students Yukito Tsunoda, Harold Haigh, Ben Cowley & Maryam Nemati. They have been working on an OLPC Activity “NoteBoard” as part of their Industry project. The students developed the activity based on specs supplied by Sridhar at OLPC Australia. This approach differs from some of the other OLPC Activities in that it was based on a real customer need rather than the meandering evolution that we sometimes see with some of these projects. [Read More]