Sunday, August 13, 2017

PyconAu 2017 - Melbourne

I recently attended my first PyconAu - a cauldron of programming goodness. It was held in cloudy and grey Melbourne at the convention center. The exact same venue I attended the Nvidia conference a while ago. It was three days of information flow and meeting very interesting people. I jotted down some quick notes in my Keep and I will flesh them out here for my own reference.

These were the sessions where I had more detailed notes and some photos:

GnuRadio Python bindings and simulator. SoapySDR. HackRF simplex hardware including a freaky demo of using playback attack to unlock cars by copying car remotes.
An update on the state of MicroPython. A live demo with I2C read from gyroscope controlling a servo. New stuff like help('modules'), upip install, VFS , assembler, Zephyr RTOS etc. Really got into this one. The idea of having line by line firmware building convenience and a REPL on an embedded device is oh so appealing.
The Murchison Widefield Array(MWA) and sampling the universe at 655MSPS - Rocket IO to Xilinix. FPGA Fourier variants and finaly 24 of 256 spectral channels trickling back to Perth at 10Gbps. The processing electronics is double Faraday caged to prevent RF feeding back into the telescope.
The messaging of data from IoT devices while minimizing data usage and allowing convenience and transfer of state. Various contenders are JSON, Avro, Protobuf and MQTT over Websockets or simple HTTP, with advantages in HTTP v2 due to header compression via HPACK.

Presentation featuring GUI's for IoT devices and a glowing orb seen in a famous Trump photograph. With interesting details about Progressive Web Apps and Javascript based IoT controls.
Another very very impressive demo came from Russell showing Python running on 6 different platforms on a few minutes. After that I should really checkout our BeeWare. Will have to write a full length article on it as well with a proper usage tutorial to earn these great looking challenge coins.

During the breaks people were leaving notes seeking jobs, offering jobs or setting a topic for a lightning talk. The looking for employees board was slightly daunting but I put up a brave little ad featuring Aerometrex anyway. I also gave a brave little talk about my LSTM and energy monitoring time series adventures.
The last day had this fun little guy controlled via Python and a Jupyter Notebook. On my list of toys to get to play with my son.
I also enjoyed the end of the day talk from Xavier on scientific data cleaning using Pandas was great as well. I quickly put it to use to clean my Tindie buyers list to send out a MailChimp Promo, not very scientific, but useful when you are running a crowd funding campaign. After that it was a couple of days of sprints and getting ATM90E26 to play nice with ESP32 and Micropython, that is another blog post altogether.
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