AGM and Wall to Wall Raspberry Pi



Branch Annual General Meeting, followed by Wall to Wall Raspberry Pi

Raspi_Colour_RAlex Goodyear, Colin Hogben and Adam Stephen, CCFE. A talk about the inspiration behind the Raspberry Pi and its achievements which have far exceeded the original project aims. We’ll give an overview of the device’s capabilities and uses, both domestic and commercial.

This will include a demonstration of the use of the Raspberry Pi to create incredibly configurable video walls.

Alex Goodyear is the chief designer of the PiWall. He is working as Senior Control and Electronics Engineer at CCFE mainly with embedded systems.

Colin Hogben is a Professional Software/Control Engineer working at CCFE; software developer for PiWall video wall.

Adam Stephen is a project manager with both technical and commercial responsibilities at CCFE.    He is equally at home developing hard real-time control systems, or managing international bids for research and development projects.

Event Information

The meeting is on Thursday 14 November 7.00 for 7.30 and ends around 9.00.

It will be held at the Oxford e-Research Centre, 6 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3QG.

Sandwiches and light refreshments are available from 7.00pm.

Meetings are open to non-members and free.

Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

[Event Summary] Who Wants 4G?

Dr. Ana Isabel Canhoto
Senior Lecturer in Marketing
Oxford Brookes University

Video of Presentation


Who Wants 4G?


The deployment of 4G phone services in Oxfordshire brings with it the promise of high-speed Internet connectivity on the go. But who is likely to pay the premium monthly subscription and upgrade their mobile phone handset? This talk draws on insights from consumer decision making to explore the market segments most likely to adopt the new services and why, and what features they will value the most.

It has been said that people do not buy product features; they buy benefits. Accordingly, this talk focuses on the emotional and psychological needs fulfilled by mobile telephony, offering a behavioural perspective on the adoption of technological products.

The event is free.
Members and non-members are very welcome.
Please just turn up.
Tea, coffee, and a sandwich buffet are served from 7:00pm.



4G_PosterAdvertise this BCS event at your place of work using this High Quality PDF file.


Visit to Bletchley Park – Saturday, 17th August

17 August 2013

The Mansion, Bletchley Park


We are currently busy planning our programme for the year starting in September. In the meantime, we have organised a special visit to Bletchley Park (near Milton Keynes) on Saturday, 17th August. We have a tour booked at 2.15pm but there are now plenty of other things to do there, so you are welcome to arrive any time after midday. This is also open to family and friends and bookings can be made at

Once Britain’s Best Kept Secret, today Bletchley Park, Home of the Codebreakers, is a heritage site and vibrant tourist attraction. Visitors can explore and experience the top secret world of iconic WW2 Codebreaking Huts set within the atmospheric Victorian estate nestled in a microcosm of Buckinghamshire countryside. Discover the secret world! Exhibitions available include The Life and Works of Alan Turing, the only reconstructed Bombe machine and the largest display of Enigma machines on public display in the world. Visitors can enjoy a full day at Bletchley Park with a tasty hot and cold menu available in Hut 4 cafe, a playground where children can let off steam and a souvenir gift shop without which no visit is complete.

The cost is as follows:

BCS Members £8.00
Adult non-BCS Members £12.00
12-16 year olds £5.00
Under 12 Free

This is a significant reduction on the usual admittance prices but we need to confirm numbers 14 days in advance. Bookings can be made at


The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes MK3 6EB but full details will be sent to those who have booked shortly before the event.

General Interest: XML Summer School 2013

XMLSummerSchoolThe XML Summer School is running again this year at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, between 15th and 20th September. It’s for every­one using, design­ing or imple­ment­ing solu­tions in XML and related tech­no­lo­gies. The innov­at­ive cur­riculum com­bines formal lec­tures, prac­tical hands-on exer­cises, inter­act­ive tutori­als and panel dis­cus­sions. There is a choice of courses on offer; for example, the three day “Hands-on intro­duc­tion to XML” is recommended for beginners and is based around the real life scenario of building your own website. Other courses include “Semantic Technologies” and “Trends and Transients” giving a more in-depth exploration of XML topics. Speak­ers are some of the world’s most renowned XML prac­ti­tion­ers and teach­ers, including John Chelsom, Norm Walsh and Mike Kay.

Direct contact with other practitioners and an exciting programme of social events make this a great week whatever your knowledge of XML. See for more information. Use discount code XML13 to get a 10% discount on the course fees.

What does the Turing Test actually tell us?


Thursday 20th June 2013 – 7:15pm

Oxfordshire Branch Prestige Summer lecture

Professor Kevin Warwick, Reading University

Venue: Sophos Plc, The Pentagon, Abingdon Science Park, Abingdon OX14 3YP, United Kingdom

Location map:


This is the highlight event of our year and is again kindly hosted by Sophos in their global headquarters in Abingdon. As summer may finally be with us by then, we will be serving cloudy lemonade, non-alcoholic fruit punch and strawberry tarts with cream before the talk. The Spam and Lettuce bar will also be open afterwards.

We look forward to seeing you there.

You can book places now at:

The Talk

The talk is based on a practical example of the Turing Test which Kevin originally staged at Bletchley Park on 23rd June 2012, the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing’s birth.

Can you tell the difference, in conversation, between a human and a machine? Results from practical Turing Tests are used to show how some of the top philosophers and computer scientists have often made a complete pig’s ear of it. You’ll also be given lots of opportunity to show if you can hack it yourself or not. But there’s a lot more to the Turing Test than meets the eye. In terms of communication, it’s not just about how well machines can perform; it also shows how humans are sometimes not as good as we may think.

If you don’t know much about the Turing Test then this is for you. If you think you ‘understand’ all about it then this will make you think again. A cool evening of Turing reflection!! Attendance Warning: Machines with open minds are preferred to humans with closed minds.

Professor Kevin Warwick from Reading University is a popular author and commentator on artificial intelligence.

Meeting Information

The meeting is on Thursday 20 June, doors open at 6:30pm and the talk will start at 7:15pm.

Event Location

The meeting is being held at Sophos plc. The Pentagon, Abingdon Science Park, Abingdon OX14 3YP.

Event Details

Refreshments will be served from 6:30pm onwards and the Spam and Lettuce bar will be open after the talk.

The meeting is open to non-members and is free.

Discrete Linear Dynamical Systems


Professor Joël Ouaknine, University of Oxford

Thursday 16th May 2013 – 7:30pm

Oxford e-Research Centre, 6 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3QG

In his talk for us last year on real-time systems, Prof. Ouaknine gave his audience a deeper understanding of a complex topic, which was very well received. For his return visit, expect more of the same, this time on Discrete Linear Dynamical Systems, which are simple mathematical models used in a wide range of fields. These give rise to many deep and interesting decision problems, relating to everyday computer-science concerns. This talk will also discuss some of the fascinating links which have recently emerged with other parts of computer science and mathematics, inspiring some of the best minds in these fields around the world. Expect to be challenged and enlightened in equal measure.

About Professor Joël Ouaknine

Joël is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St John’s College. He was awarded a BSc and MSc in Mathematics from McGill University, and received a PhD in Computer Science from Oxford in 2001. He subsequently did postdoctoral work at Tulane University and Carnegie Mellon University, and more recently held a visiting professorship at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Cachan, France. In 2009, he was awarded an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship, enabling him to focus (almost) exclusively on research for a period of five years.

Joël was the 2010 recipient of the BCS Roger Needham Award, given annually “for a distinguished research contribution in Computer Science by a UK-based researcher within ten years of his or her PhD”. His research interests include the verification of real-time, probabilistic, and infinite-state systems (e.g. model-checking algorithms, decision problems, complexity), logic and applications to verification, linear dynamical systems, automated software analysis, concurrency, and theoretical computer science.

Event Information

The meeting is on Thursday 16 May 7.00 for 7.30 and ends around 9.00.

It will be held at the Oxford e-Research Centre, 6 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3QG.

Sandwiches and light refreshments are available from 7.00pm.

Meetings are open to non-members and free.

[Event Summary] A Contractual Approach to Manage Security Risks When Outsourcing


The audience was pleased to welcome Dr Sam De Silva for his second visit to speak for us.

He gave many interesting insights into how to negotiate a good IT outsourcing contract which is commercially a successful arrangement for both customer and outsourcing supplier.

He spoke about the due diligence needed on both sides, identifying the standards and legal aspects that need to be conformed to. This included the need to drive to define the right level of detail in the contract. Using his extensive experience he gave lots of good examples of how to document not too much or too little detail to create a manageable long term relationship. As a lawyer he was keen to highlight important items to be agreed before the contract is signed and itemised in the contract particularly from a security view point to ensure the customer and the customer’s clients are protected.

Key aspects of the talk covered:

  • Due diligence
  • Defining the contract and Service Level Agreements
  • Negotiation
  • Legal and standards requirements, at this point he also touched on negotiating contracts with suppliers in other countries
  • Risks and Benefits of outsourcing
  • Cost savings or not. (He discussed the idea that you may actually choose to enter into a contract which does not save you money) e.g. the specialist skills provided by the supplier provide compelling benefits in other areas. Ensuring security of your file servers being one very good example.
  • Transitioning to the new outsourcing arrangement
  • Maintaining the relationship

At the end of the talk Sam opened the event up to questions from the audience. There followed a good interactive discussion around many of the points from the talk particularly the challenges that new technology and the cloud bring to setting up contracts of this nature.

Video Available

Bristol Branch – Restoring the world’s oldest working digital computer

15/04/2013 – 19:30
15/04/2013 – 21:00

Speaker: Kevin Murrell

Venue: City of Bristol College

Please register for this event here.

7:00pm Refreshments, 7:30pm Main Talk

The recently restored Harwell Dekatron Computer is a typical project conducted by the Computer Conservation Society. Starting with the author’s vague memories of the machine being a museum display in the early 1970s, and a chance observation in 2006, the CCS began a project to find the remains of the computer and determine whether it might be restored.

A combination of luck, perseverance and vintage-technology know-how made the project possible, and this 1950s relay and valve computer has now been restored to full working order. It is now on public display and shown working, and is being used again in education with a new generation of programmers.

Kevin Murrell has been a member of the Computer Conservation Society for many years, initially as chair of the DEC working group and now as society secretary. Kevin divides his time between his own business supplying systems to the health service, acting as a trustee to The National Museum of Computing, and in his spare time, still tinkering with his collection of PDP8 mini-computers.

Visit to MINI Plant Oxford


Press_releaseApril 25 and May 1, 2013 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

BMW Mini Plant, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 6NL


First Tour Full, Second Tour arranged for May 1. Please visit second tour page for details.

100 Years of Car Production in Oxford

We have a special guided tour of the Mini production plant as 2013 marks the 100th year of car production in Oxford. Each car is individually produced to the customer’s precise specification using advanced engineering and computing technology.

Registration is required. Please visit the tour page for more information.

Follow the MINI convoy as it travels to eight former classic Mini production locations across Europe starting 13 March 2013.

A Contractual Approach to Manage Security Risks When Outsourcing


Dr Sam De Silva, Partner, Manches LLP
Thursday 7th March 2013 – 7:30pm
Oxford e-Research Centre, 6 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3QG

171_Sam-DeSilvaMany businesses consider outsourcing because of cost savings, improved quality of the outsourced services and the opportunity to focus on its core competencies. One challenge in outsourcing which needs to be considered is the security risks. To a certain extent, such risks result because some parts of the customer’s IT infrastructure and processes are now under the control of a third party, the outsourcing service provider. The purpose of the session is to provide an outline of how the outsourcing contract between the customer and service provider can be used to manage such security risks.  Key issues in the contract which should be addressed to ensure that security risks are managed include: (1) addressing security in transition arrangements; (2) structuring and drafting the security requirements appropriately; (3) ensuring the customer has sufficient security audit rights; and (4) managing the risks of the service provider using shared environments.

About Dr. Sam De Silva

Event Information

The meeting is on Thursday 7 March 7.00 for 7.30 and ends around 9.00.

It will be held at the Oxford e-Research Centre, 6 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3QG.

Sandwiches and light refreshments are available from 7.00pm.

Meetings are open to non-members and free.

Oxford Brookes-Oxford University “Bridging the Digital Research Divide”

21 March at St John’s College, Oxford

The event is intended to improve the dialogue between practitioners, researchers and policy-makers in the broad area of ‘digital economy’ developments.

If you’d like to attend, click here to complete the registration form. Number are limited, so please do this soon.

[Event Summary] Visit to European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts


The visit to ECMWF was scheduled to start with a short introduction about ECMWF, the Computer infrastructure used at ECMWF and a guided tour to the computer hall where all the supercomputers used by ECMWF reside.

Manfred Kloeppel started by introducing ECMWF as an independent intergovernmental organisation currently consisting of 37 Member and Co-Operating states. Established in 1975, ECMWF’s original goal defined by a Convention is to provide medium-range weather forecast to member and co-operating states twice daily and up to 10 days ahead. Each day, more than 300 million observational data elements are collected round the clock by a variety of Earth observing systems, including satellites, automatic and manned stations, aircrafts, ships, weather balloons and buoys. The production of a medium-range weather forecast (up to 15 days ahead) consists of four key requirements: a state-of-the-art data assimilation and analysis system, sophisticated weather prediction models, a constantly updated database of global weather observations and ultra-powerful computers.

DSCF1028-pullECMWF is not known to the general public because their key customers are the government’s environment department such as the Met Offices of Member and Co-Operating states. ECMWF will typically provide the numerical forecast data to the UK Met Office (or equivalent of the Member or Co-Operating states) and the UK Met Office will apply their weather forecast model to ECMWF’s data and then disseminate the results to the general public via news weather reports, Met Office website etc. Some Member or Co-Operating states do not have their own weather forecast model so they will then just circulate ECMWF’s numerical forecast in their appropriate medium.

Isabella Weger, Head of Computer Division spoke into detail about the need for high compute power to process complex data algorithms being applied to 300 million varieties of data from different sources to come up with the 15-day medium-range forecast.

ECMWF’s High Performance Computing Facility (HCPF) currently consists of two identical IBM Supercomputer 1600 clusters. Each one is based on 272 IBM pSeries p6-575 compute servers interconnected by a low latency high-speed network. The HPCFs have a ~17,400 total number of processes, 330 TFlops Peak Performance and a Sustained performance of ~20TFlops.

ECMWF’s forecast products are disseminated over Regional Meteorological Data Communications Network (RMDCN). The main aim is to provide a network infrastructure for both the connections between ECMWF and its Member and Co-Operating States. The Supercomputers have a 50% resource allocation to Research, 25% for Operational forecasts and another 25% allocated to Member States for any activities they wish to perform.

IT Challenges from Mars


Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Dr Helen Walker, Satellite Operations Group,

STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Thursday 24th January 2012 – 7:30pm

Oxford e-Research Centre, 6 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3QG



ESA’s Mars Express satellite was launched in 2003, and has been in orbit around Mars for almost 10 years. There are seven instruments on the satellite all with different needs and priorities, and the environment on Mars is continually changing (with for example changing seasons and illumination). The software has to allow science to be executed, power to be conserved, and data downlinked. There is a mixture of techniques employed and options will be discussed. The talk will include some of the results from the various missions to Mars.

Dr Helen Walker

Dr Helen Walker is part of the Satellite Operations Group at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. She has around thirty years experience of astronomical satellites, both as researcher and planning specialist. For five years she helped ESA plan science observations on the Mars Express satellite and now works with the four Cluster satellites. She is also Test Team Leader for the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) which will fly on the James Webb Space Telescope.

Event Information

The meeting is on Thursday 24 January 7.00 for 7.30 and ends around 9.00.

It will be held at the Oxford e-Research Centre, 6 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3QG.

Sandwiches and light refreshments are available from 7.00pm.

Meetings are open to non-members and free.