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Festival Day

Friday, 1st September 2017

9:00am — 9:30pm The Town Hall, Hebden Bridge



Getting Wuthering Bytes 2017 off to a start with a welcome from compère, Dr Laura James.


Dr David Hartley FBCS

The early history of computing in Britain

From wartime experiences at Bletchley Park and TRE Malvern, to achievements at Manchester, Cambridge and NPL. This talk will provide unique insights into pivotal developments in computing and the role of key figures involved, such as Maurice Wilkes, Max Newman and Alan Turing.

In closing we will consider Britain's legacy and take a look at the rebuilding of landmark machines, so that future generations may learn from and enjoy them.


Caroline Gorski

Learning to speak machine – devices, communications, and the talkative ape — Caroline Gorski

In the next ten years interconnected devices will play an ever-increasingly intimate role in our lives. How will we respond to ever-present, ever-listening, ever-communicating technology – and how will the future of communications technology change the way we think about ourselves, our interactions and our ability to be heard.

Tea/Coffee Break


Ian Drysdale

Build communities, not products

How do you research, design and build ambitious new digital businesses where co-operation is a competitive advantage?

Ian is going to talk about some of the approaches that he and the team are taking at Co-op Digital. He'll share what's worked for them and what's not, and how he sees the future of co-operation. You can expect to hear about:

  • how to rapidly test a wide range of ideas at low, low prices
  • how to apply agile thinking to designing platforms
  • how to prototype new types of relationships and communities

Katie Hassell

Balancing the very hot and the very cold - how do you keep something "just right" in space?

Space is cold, very cold. The Sun is hot. Spacecraft have many different things going on and don't even stay in one place. If you've ever wondered what it takes to design spacecraft, or just want to get your hands on shiny space materials, then come and find out how thermal design impacts and is limited by every part of a spacecraft. We'll be looking at some of the best UK missions (including Rosetta, LISA Pathfinder, ExoMars Rover and Solar Orbiter) and the many aspects of their design from the thermal point of view.


Ross Dalziel

Off-grid Interactive Non-Fiction

How to tell the story of the Roman Cavalry, Fish detectives and Why the Nation's Economic Money Supply is not like a Household Budget with very little power.

Domestic Science have been exploring interactive non fiction across the north of England. Ross Dalziel will tell you how to make and play non fiction text adventures off-grid in places like the Lake District, Hadrians Wall and Brazil.



Jenny List

A Hack A Day, Even When It's Raining

Everyday dramas in the life of an itinerant Hackaday scribe.

A Hackaday contributing editor on finding the good stuff from the hardware treadmill, how to write an interesting post about hardware, and what to put in your write-ups if you want them to be seen.


Kevin Murrell

The Charmed Life of The Harwell Dekatron Computer

Built in 1950, the Harwell Computer helped mathematicians and physicists at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment design the first nuclear reactors in the UK. It went on to support students taking the UK’s first under-graduate degree course in computer science. After a long time in storage, and thought to be lost, it was discovered again in 2005 and restored to full working order at The National Museum of Computing.

The Harwell computer is still running today and is now recognised as the world’s oldest functioning computer.

Tea/Coffee Break


Dr Suzie Sheehy

The Secrets of Particle Accelerators

Join physicist Dr. Suzie Sheehy on a journey into the atom smashing world of particle accelerators. With live demonstrations, explore the science of the most advanced machines on the planet and uncover some of the unexpected ways they are changing our lives, from treating cancer to addressing our global energy needs.


David Allen

Groping our way towards 'Computer Literacy'

Why did the BBC embark on one of its most ambitious projects - the Computer Literacy Project - in 1982? What was the scene like then and how successful was the enterprise. What technical issues were involved? 85% of schools used BBC Micros and millions were sold, along with best selling books and software, including 'telesoftware'. What is the legacy - if at all? How did the work then benefit BBC technology now?


James Larsson

15 Years a Dork

Since 2002 James Larsson has been a prolific contributor to Dorkbot London (whose mission is "People doing strange things with electricity"). In that time, he has become notorious for weird, funny, dangerous and sometimes outrageous hardware hacks. These usually involve radical re-purposing of old electronic equipment be it domestic, professional or even military. In this talk, he will describe a “best of” selection of these hacks, their back-stories and the technology involved.


Lightning Talks

Sign up on the day!

The bar also opens, with a selection of local ales and other drinks available :o)


The Legendary Wuthering Bytes "Happy Valley" After Party

Dave Ives (Red Tin Tunes), Mark Tranmer (Gnac, The Montgolfier Brothers), Richard O'Brien (Vespertine Records).

Playing folk to electronica, dream pop to space rock.

Food will be available from the cafe.

Tickets are available NOW

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Supporting diversity

Hebden Bridge

35mins from Leeds & Manchester