Posts tagged tasmania
SnapTas: winner of the Go South Awards 2014
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SnapTas is a fun little app that we made earlier this month as part of the Go South Awards  competition, which is an app development competition down here that's run by the Tasmanian Government. We're pleased to announce that SnapTas won the business category of the competition! Congratulations also to Bappy Golder, who won the individual category in the competition!

If you were a VC we were pitching to, here's how we'd describe it: "Instagram, but for Tasmania, with retro travel post cards."

We made SnapTas because it's harder than it should be to find great examples of people sharing photos and content that shows off what makes Tasmania such a great place to live. Tasmania is world famous for its scenic environment and its high quality of life, and has hundreds of thousands of interstate and international visitors every year. Right now, though, the best way to find pictures that people have shared is to try searching for hashtags on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Every visitor has a different perspective on our beautiful island, and they enjoy sharing them with the world. SnapTas makes it easy to share and discover photos of Tasmania by creating a dedicated social network for both tourists and locals: when you're in Tasmania, take a photo or pick one from your camera roll, and SnapTas makes it look like a delightfully retro 1950's postcard. It's then shared with your Facebook friends, and you can also choose to make your photo available to everyone via the web.

For tourists, SnapTas is a way to share your trip to Tasmania. For locals, it’s a way to share your unique perspective on your home. SnapTas serves as a showcase of the best of Tasmania, and a single point to show potential visitors, or those want to move to our lovely island.

SnapTas also helps you share photos to Twitter and Facebook. The more people seeing Tasmania, the more people coming to visit and sharing their experience on SnapTas!

We used Parse for the backend of SnapTas, which handles user sign-up, data storage, push notifications, and all of the sharing, commenting and liking features. All of the images get rendered on the iPhone before being uploaded. 

SnapTas will be available to the public soon.

Go South Awards

Yesterday the Go South Awards were announced in Hobart. The Go South Awards is a competition to design and develop an amazing new app, of any kind, for Tasmania.

The competition has some really solid prize money, and looks like an excellent opportunity for app developers and students hoping to make their mark! Check out the Go South Awards website (built by our friends at Ionata and onetonne) for more information.

We're really thrilled to see an event like this pop up in Tasmania, and commend our friends in the Tasmanian Government, TasICT, and the ACS for collaborating on it. 

Tasmanian ICT Industry Awards 2013

We're absolutely thrilled to have won a TASICT award last night at the Tasmanian ICT Industry Awards for 2013. We won the "Best Software Product" award for our work on innovative apps for kids. Thanks to TASICT, TasmaNet for sponsoring the particular award that we won, and Michael Ferguson for presenting the award to us. Congratulations to all the other amazing nominees and winners: Elan Projects, Jobric, CGI, ISW, Vodafone, Anittel, Kingborough Council, UXC Eclipse, Ionata Web Solutions, Synateq, Acrodata, Aurora Energy, and RBF. Thanks also to the event sponsors: Autech, Fuji Xerox, Insight4, Aurora Energy, HP, Hays, Anittel, and the Tasmanian Government.

Don't forget to check out Malcolm Turnbull's recorded message, regarding the NBN, on YouTube (thanks, Josh Deprez!)

Recap of PyCon Australia 2013

PyCon Australia 2013 This weekend we were at PyCon Australia 2013 in Hobart! Once again, it was very exciting to have a technology conference in our city. So exciting, in fact, that we sponsored the conference WiFi network. You're welcome! (We attempted to troll our friend --- conference coordinator Chris Neugebauer --- by setting the WiFi password to AskChris, but it backfired in that everyone asked us, rather than Chris. Better luck next time!) Our friends from the Australian Computer Society (Tasmania) also sponsored the conference.


Highlights of the conference were the three keynotes: Alex Gaynor, Mark Pesce, and Tennessee Leeuwenburg. Alex spoke about the nature of software engineering, and its relationship to art and science. Mark, during a brilliant dinner keynote, spoke about the Internet of things, and his new venture: MooresCloud. Tennessee discussed the use of tools for problem solving and communication. All three keynotes were highly enjoyable, alongside the sessions, and we highly recommend watching them as they become available on PyCon Australia's YouTube channel.

Mark Pesce's dinner keynote

Exceptional conference coffee was again supplied by Ritual Coffee Tasmania. Although we didn't sponsor the coffee this year, it was as tasty as last year --- we can't wait to get a bag of beans to enjoy in the office.

Ritual Coffee Tasmania at PyCon Australia 2013

Lightning talks were also highly enjoyable, as well as CodeWars --- a devious and irreverent coding competition devised by our friend and frequent collaborator Josh Deprez. This year, Paris from Secret Lab, and another friend and frequent collaborator Tim 'McJones' Nugent hosted the event. We're sure that we thoroughly confused all those who participated. It was pleasing to inspire a room full of conference-goers to chant "Bovril! Bovril! Bovril!"

McJones and Bovril during CodeWarsWe spent a lot of time hacking on the Holiday by MooreCloud, a fabulous set of very open and very hackable Christmas lights. Over the course of a few hours of coding (and harassment of Mark), Secret Lab and friends managed to build a script to make the Holiday respond to sound levels, a CPU activity display, a one-dimensional game of life style game, and a native iOS interface to the Holiday. It was all great fun, and we highly recommend that you order a Holiday while it's a little cheaper (they ship in November); it really is one of the coolest, most fun and inventive gadgets that we've seen in a while.

Presenting Holiday by MooresCloud hacksDuring the lightning talks at the end of the conference  the hacks that we'd all made for the Holiday were also showcased. Very cool! The other lightning talks were all highly enjoyable as well.

Our friend, Frank Sainsbury, was the life of the conference (as usual), delivering a surprisingly meaningful lightning talk on helping others, as well as (also as usual) entertaining everyone with his wigs, and assorted props.

Frank, delivering an inspiring lightning talk

Next year, PyCon Australia will be in Brisbane. We're looking forward to it! All our photos from PyCon Australia this year can be found on Flickr. Congratulations to Chris and his team for another successful world-class technology conference.

Also, huge thanks to Rex Smeal for his fantastic art work for our conference poster.

PyCon Australia 2013

PyCon AustraliaOnce again PyCon Australia is being held in our hometown of Hobart, Tasmania, and one again we're sponsoring! We had an excellent time at PyCon Australia last year, and we're really looking forward to learning about the latest developments in Python, how to make games in Python, what not to do with Python, how to test with Python, security and Python, transitioning to Python, and much, much more! Congratulations to our friend and frequent collaborator, Chris Neugebauer (conference coordinator), for putting together such a a great show. PyCon Australia

If you haven't registered for PyCon Australia yet, we strongly recommend you do! It's sure to be a blast.

GovHack 2013

GovHack Tasmania 2013 Over the weekend, the Secret Lab team participated in GovHack 2013. Together with our friends and colleagues we formed a team and hacked a project together, using government data, over the 48 hour event.

The GovHack team included Secret Lab’s Jon and Paris, as well as frequent collaborators and friends Tim “McJones” Nugent, Nic “Winton” Wittison, Josh Deprez, Matthew D’Orazio, and Rex Smeal, as well our friends Frank Sainsbury, Sebastian Cook, and Eloise “Ducky” Macdonald-Meyer. Together, the team built a digital card game called Marvellous Ultimate Appliance, based around Energy Australia’s appliance efficiency and power consumption data.


The game was designed to help raise awareness of the energy usage and efficiencies of common household appliances. We had an absolute blast making it, and can’t wait for next year’s GovHack!

Marvellous Ultimate Appliances

WorkingYou can learn more about our 2-day game, Marvellous Ultimate Appliance, at The game was built in Unity, and runs on the web, Mac, Windows, and Linux. We plan to expand on it, with the team, in the near future. Thank you to the Hobart venue, The Typewriter Factory, and the organisers in Hobart, particularly Richard Tubb and Casey Farrell. The food was brilliant, the venue was brilliant, and the constant coffee was exceptional!

Frank, Spirit of GovHack

Special congratulations to our team member, Frank Sainsbury, who won the Spirit of GovHack award for Tasmania. Likewise, thank you to Pia Waugh for organising the event nationally.

You can watch our team's video below.

[youtube=] You can view all of our photos from GovHack 2013 in Tasmania on Flickr. Don't forget to check out our project, as well as all the other brilliant projects on the GovHack Hackerspace.