Geek is the new cool


October is an exciting month for the technology and startup scene in Singapore, especially with Geekcamp kicking off the month at Microsoft’s office. Geekcamp, put together by volunteers Jason Ong, Sneha Menon, Chua Ruiwen, Luther Goh, Justin Lee, Laurence Putra, and Shanmugam, was a sharing session in which participants pitch in knowledge about all things code related.

Being one of the few guys from a non-technical background at Geekcamp, the various talks that were revolving around all the programming languages and geeky stuff obviously put me slightly out of place. However, I was absorbed by the awesome stuff that technology can do, and how we can leverage on technology and build things.

A presentation by Mingfei, Microsoft’s developer evangelist, saw her demonstrated how the Kinect was able to capture image stream, depth stream and audio stream and how various applications can interact with it. For those of you who are not familiar with the Kinect, it is a motion sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game console. Mingfei presented two Kinect hacks, one of which was to “transform into Ultraman yourself” and also “Kinect with Dragon Ball”. Essentially how it works is to stand in front of the Kinect, allowing it to detect you, and the application transforms you into Ultraman when you do his signature gesture. This wowed the audience, myself included.

I think one point worth mentioning is that, even with a room full of geeky dudes, Mingfei still managed to wow everyone. This shows that geeks do not necessarily be guys, and that more and more girls are empowering themselves by learning how to be programmers too.

Self-confessed geek and passionate coder @hongster presented a session on Andriod security. Hongster shared that android are actually susceptible to possible hacks if a normal user are not vigilant enough. Hacks such as theft of personal info, bank account info, as well as service and system abuse through code modification and network packets tampering are various examples that were provided by Hongster. He subsequently demonstrated a simple hack on PayPal.

I believe that most of the participants enjoyed themselves. Most of the topics were really geeky such as Functional Programming, Hypershell, Parellel Processing with Python, TDD/BDD on iOS, or even HTML5 semantics where most of them are topics that I was clueless about. At the end of the day, I was really amazed by how technology can change the world and make things work, and that geek is the new cool.

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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  • Anonymous

     It was a great GeekCamp with many thanks to everyone involved in organising the event!

    For everyone who attended our talk on ‘Hacking RC cars into Cloud Products”, thank you. We are setting up a page where you will soon be able to find the images and instructions for the talk –

  • Anonymous

    thanks for covering the event. =D hope to see the community grow even larger next year

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for giving a talk too =D It couldn’t have been a success without all the awesome people who volunteered to talk =D

  • Jacky Yap

    Haha the coverage came a bit late tho

  • Matt Manlangit

    Yeah I saw that Kinect hack here and it really blew my mind. There are other hacks out there like the Kinect Fire Effect which gives users like the human torch image. Maybe we can experiment on other super powers?

  • Jacky Yap

    yeaps Mingfei’s demo the other day @geekcamp got me super excited as well. =) geek is the new cool.