The department of dirty

I quite like the Open Rights Group‘s new campaign against internet filtering

The Department of Dirty is working with internet and mobile companies to stop the dirty internet. We are committed to protecting children and adults from online filth such as:

  • Talk to Frank: This government website tries to educate young people about drugs. We all know what ‘education’ means, don’t we? Blocked by Three.
  • Girl Guides Essex: They say, ‘guiding is about acquiring skills for life’. We say, why would young girls need skills? Blocked by BT.
  • South London Refugee Association: This charity aims to relieve poverty and distress. Not on our watch they don’t. Blocked by BT, EE, Sky and VirginMedia
We need you to help us take a stand against blogs, charities and education websites, all of which are being blocked [1]. It’s time to stop this sick filth. Together, we can clean up the
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So Make It has a new location

(originally posted at

It’s our very sincere pleasure to announce that we will be holding the Grand Opening of our first dedicated space:

1st February 2014 at 2pm
(please arrive from 1pm)

Southampton Makerspace,
Unit K6, Liners’ Industrial Estate,
Southampton SO15 3FQ

It’s been a very long road but we’re very excited to finally have a place of our own, allowing us a lot more flexibility and freedom (not to mention warmth!). If you’re not familiar with Southampton Makerspace (or even if you are) you may be interested to read on.

What is Southampton Makerspace?

Wikipedia states:

hackerspace (also referred to as a hacklabmakerspace, or hackspace) is a community-operated workspace where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialize and/or collaborate.

But we like to think of Southampton Makerspace as a friendly and inclusive community of people who like making things (be they physical, digital or otherwise) and sharing knowledge, experience and tools. Currently the interests of the current membership seem to focus on subjects of technology (3D printing, microcontrollers (Arduino, etc), robotics, home automation, computers (Raspberry Pi, etc) and programming), wood- and metal-work and more arty disciplines such as costume design. We have a significant number of tools available to facilitate these activities and our members are often willing to lend their own personal tools too.

We are keen to attract new members to expand our horizons and build upon other forms of making such as costume design and props, pottery, photography, fine art, glass blowing, baking, games design and anything else that tickles your creative fancy!

Looking back (or: a brief history of Southampton Makerspace)

Activity interest according to the 2012 SoutHACKton survey

It all started as a call to Southampton hackers in 2009, followed by a tentative first meeting at the Crown Inn to gauge interest. Then there were some further meetups including a visit and workshop from Mitch Altman and Jimmie P Rodgers of Noisebridge, San Francisco. We started joint meetings with a Dorkbot group at the Arthouse, where we effectively merged and continued to meet monthly for the next few years (except one meeting at ASpace). Finally by September 2012 our community had grown sufficiently that getting a space of our own seemed feasible, so we ran a survey, the results of which were very promising. In the mean time we started meeting at DHaus/Etch; a venue that enabled us to hack easily without having to worry about the safety of other patrons.

At the beginning of 2013 we attempted to set up a makerspace as a charity, but this was quickly quashed by the Charity Commission who insisted that we were an educational outfit and thus must register with Ofsted to qualify. Not being fans of bereaucracy but not giving in easily we decided to go ahead the next best way – as a non-profit company limited by guarantee (CLG) – So Make It Ltd. Whilst we were sorting out the paperwork to register with Companies House one of our members had located someone who could help us out with somewhere to meet and keep our stuff – Tim from rideride Cycle Workshop was very supportive of our venture. He very generous allowed us to use a 500sqft area in the corner of their warehouse at just the cost of the electricity we used until we were big enough to afford a space of our own. We continued to grow and met much more frequently at the rideride warehouse; until finally at the end of 2013 we realised we were big enough to set out on our own and we crowdfunded some capital and started looking for places to go.

Having ruled out a large number of places; at the very end of 2013 we finally found a suitable and affordable place – Unit K6. We signed the contract early in January and spent the rest of the month moving in and improving the space. There’s still plenty to do but we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved – and it’s much easier to heat than our previous space!

Looking Forward

The Makerspace has run a number of events covering quadcopter dronesbuild your own mini-Arduino and use it to power your Christmas Lightslearn to program Node.JS and a behind the scenes of rendering in 3DS Max; not to mention our regular 3D printing meetups and of course our thrice-weekly regular openings. But now we have a place of our own with a dedicated workshop room we hope to run many more events in 2014!

Having a space of our own also gives us a lot more freedom – we intend to expand our number of keyholders significantly. Any member can become a keyholder by passing a short list of sensible pre-requisites. We’ll be “hacking” our front door such that any keyholder can get in to the space by scanning an wireless card or similar (like opening the gates at the London Underground using your Oyster card) which gets past the issues of potentially having to revoke all copies of traditional keys. By having more keyholders we should have the space open considerably more than we’ve been able to commit to in the past, and this also relieves the pressure on the trustees freeing them up to work on growing the space in other ways.

Posted in Android, Arduino, Debian, Electronics, Internet, Linux, News, Programming, Southackton, Technology, Ubuntu | Leave a comment

IIB 9001 supports SQLServer for Record Replay

I know a lot of customers have been asking for SQLServer support for the Record Replay feature of IBM Integration Bus. With the release of IIB fixpack this is now a supported database for Record and Replay.

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Crowdfunding the Southampton makerspace

So Make It, the Southampton Makerspace, is a volunteer-run non-profit community space for people of all walks of life who like to make things, be they physical, digital or otherwise. Having only existed since March 2013, the Makerspace already has many tools available to use such as a 3D printer, lathe, various drills and saws, angle grinder, welder, soldering irons, printers, guillotines and much more. Besides it’s twice weekly meetups it has also organised a number of events including a soldering workshop, programming course and quadcopter hack day; and hosts a number of groups including electronics (Southackton), 3D printing (So RepRap) and .NET Gadgeteer (Gadgeteer South Coast).

The agreement we have for our space in Southampton is coming to an end in the middle of October, at which point we need to pay for 12 months rent up front. We are asking for donations via a crowd-funding campaign to cover our basic costs for the next year. This will enable us to grow, have more tools and equipment, longer opening hours and more space for more members, more events and more workshops. We will even have our own locked doors and are aiming for 24 hour, seven days a week access for all members!

Please donate to our campaign to keep So Make It around. With your help we can grow bigger and better!


Posted in Android, Arduino, Debian, Electronics, Linux, Programming, Science, Southackton, Technology, Ubuntu | Tagged | Leave a comment

Purge Record&Replay data in WMB8 and IIB9

If you have followed my article on Record and Replay in WMB 8 (also applies to IIB 9), or perhaps you are already using Record and Replay in your Broker deployment, you  may have wondered how to clear out the data which will build up over time when recording.

As there are no official tool or instructions for doing this, I thought I would take a moment to give some brief instructions on how you can achieve this yourself.

At the moment, in WMB 8 and IIB 9 only two tables are used to store recorded data: “wmb_msgs” stores each recorded message and some metadata, and “wmb_binary_data” is used if a message body or exception list was recorded. As the tables have no enforced referential integrity all we have to do when deleting data is remove it from the tables in the correct order. For example you could use the following commands to remove messages older than 15th November 2011

DELETE FROM wmb_binary_data WHERE wmb_msgkey IN (SELECT wmb_msgs.wmb_msgkey FROM wmb_msgs WHERE event_timestamp < '2011-11-15 14:54:35.121')
DELETE FROM wmb_msgs WHERE event_timestamp < '2011-11-15 14:54:35.121'

As you will likely want a more complicated WHERE clause, and to check it carefully, you may want to create a sql instruction file, for example with the following content:

-- connect to DB
-- set an alternate schema if the default doesn't apply to you
-- now do our deletes
DELETE FROM wmb_binary_data WHERE wmb_msgkey IN (SELECT wmb_msgs.wmb_msgkey FROM wmb_msgs WHERE event_timestamp < '2011-11-15 14:54:35.121')
DELETE FROM wmb_msgs WHERE event_timestamp < '2011-11-15 14:54:35.121'

Save this in a file, and you can then edit it and check it carefully, then run it with db2 -f purge.sql

You will notice that we are using strings as our timestamps. This is actually correct, as they are stored as VARCHAR in the table as we couldn’t think of any reason to parse then and turn then into timestamp types in the database, so instead went for the slightly better performing option of a VARCHAR. This of course means you must format your dates in the full ISO standard, with YYYY-MM-DD, always using two digit months and days.

You can also add your own additions to the where clause, just make sure you add it to both DELETE statements.

You don’t have to do this on a db2 command line of course, you could write your own script or application to run the database commands for you, and even add it to a cronjob if desired.

N.B. I have only tested this with db2, though I am pretty certain the same SQL should work in any other database supported by Record & Replay.

(Also posted on the official IBM Integration Bus blog)

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Southampton’s hackerspace/makerspace

A hackerspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace, or hackspace) is a community-operated workspace where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialise and/or collaborate. [wikipedia]

SoMakeIt is Southampton’s makerspace has existed for nearly 4 months. It is open Tuesdays 7:30 – 10:00pm and Saturdays 2:00 – 8:00pm and is located in Holybrook rd. We have a website and wiki and are home to the longer-running group Southackton.

We are run by our members, for our members, and are entirely funded by member donations. I should probably point out that I am also a trustee of SoMakeIt.

We are building a growing collection of tools (including a metalworking lathe!) and 3d printers, as well as some pretty good skills and knowledge, so come down and have a look at what we do!

Please spread the word and tell a friend about us too!



Posted in Arduino, Electronics, Internet, Linux, Programming, Science, Southackton, Technology | Leave a comment