2002 - 2003 Programme

Programme Summary

Date Event
7th Oct 2002 Control Technology for Oil Production & Export
4th Nov 2002 Digital Ancestors
2nd Dec 2002 Christmas Lecture - Mentor Capitalism
13th Jan 2003 Open Source Meeting
3rd Feb 2003 Data Protection, Compliant Systems Design
3rd Mar 2003 Joint meeting with Project Management Special Interest Group in Scotland
22 Mar 2003 BCS Glasgow Dinner & Ceilidh
26th Mar 2003 Data Protection Law Course
7th Apr 2003 Wireless LANs
12th May 2003 getlearning.net
9th Jun 2003 BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2003 + Computer Security and the Net

Programme Detail

Control Technology for Oil Production & Export

Date Monday 7th October 2002
Convenor Gordon Foulger
Speaker Alan Walsh - Honeywell.

What a marvellous start to the BCS Glasgow Branch year!

We were priviliged to have a presentation from Alan Walsh of Honeywell who introduced us to the complex and fascinating world of Oil Production Control Technology. Despite his modest affirmations of limited expertise, Alan was able to talk knowledgeably about all aspects of oil discovery, production and management. We learned about the geological aspects of oil deposits, methods of sonar sounding, construction of platforms and process safety control. Alan brought plans and charts which were passed around the audience for personal inspection.

We were given a thorough explanation of the layers of computer systems that keep Honeywell on top of the day-to-day running of their enterprise from the token ring network (at the heart of the system) through the Ethernet backbone and up to the wireless network that handles communications, including the PDAs and ruggedized computers that are used in the field to take advantage of the influence of the World Wide Web on control systems.

Thank you, Alan for providing such a worthwhile launch event for our year.

More information can be found on the Honeywell Website


Digital Ancestors

Date Monday 4th November 2002
Convenor Gordon Foulger
Speaker Elizabeth Carmichael of the Mitchell Library.

Another inspiring presentation!

In contrast to the highly technical meeting in October, this month's topic had a human interest theme. We are all interested in our own families and the heritage attached to them.

Elizabeth introduced us to the fabulous wealth of resources available to us, on the World Wide Web, to trace our family histories and find out whether we are descended from kings or sheep-stealers :-)

We learned about the progressive attitude of the Registrar Scotland and the vast amount of information that he has allowed to be released to the web. Scotland's People is the official government source of genealogical data for Scotland. The National Archives of Scotland is another rich resource for genealogists. The Statistical Accounts of Scotland at Edina detail living conditions in Scotland in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Elizabeth also offered resources for tracing family connections in the USA via the immigration point at Ellis Island.

Elizabeth's warm and humorous approach engendered a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and a lively Q & A session followed her talk. There is rapid progress in this field and we hope that Elizabeth will come back to update us at a future date.

Download the Mitchell Library's leaflet: Tracing Your Ancestors  (.pdf format requires Acrobat Reader)


Christmas Lecture - Mentor Capitalism

Date Monday 2nd December 2002
Convenor Iain White
Speaker Professor Ian Ritchie BSc, CEng, FREng, FBCS, FRSE. Past President of the BCS.
Ian Ritchie

Our special guest speaker, Ian Ritchie, gave a presentation entitled:

"Mentor Capitalism - how to start up and grow new technology companies in Scotland." - a topic on which he is an undoubted expert.

An inspirational speaker and a staunch supporter of innovative Scottish technology businesses, Ian Ritchie has been a force to reckon with in the commercial development of new technology start-ups.

Since he founded OWL, the company praised by Tim Berners-Lee for its pioneering work in hypertext technology, the list of technology businesses that he has been actively involved in reads like a directory of Scotland's new technology businesses.

  • Orbital
  • Digital Bridges
  • Voxar
  • VIS Entertainment
  • Mindwarp Pavilion
  • Active Navigation
  • and, of course, his own Coppertop which provides advice and support for technology business start-ups and growth

He is a Director of Scottish Enterprise, Channel Four Television Corporation, the EPIC Group e-learning consultancy, Northern Venture Trust and the SCRAN Millennium Project and, also, a member of the Advisory Board of Pentech Ventures, a specialist early stage venture capital fund with a special interest in communication technologies. He is actively involved with public understanding of science as a member of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, the Bletchley Park Trust and the board of the Scottish Science Trust.

An Honorary Professor at Heriot-Watt University, Ian frequently reaffirms his faith in the talent and ability of the Scottish people and devotes much of his boundless energy to encouraging entrepreneurship in the new technologies sector.


Open Source Software

Date Monday 13th January 2003
Convenor James Penn-Dunnett
Speaker Stephen Brandon

With its roots in the technical cultures that produced the Internet and World Wide Web, what is Free or Open Source software?

Is the Open Source model a real alternative to the large software corporation and are there any benefits for software consumers?

All was explained by Stephen Brandon of Brandon IT Consulting who specializes in Open Source solutions and is a proponent of Linux and Apple OSX systems. Stephen is an active participant in several SourceForge projects, and frequently delves into SourceForge's treasure troves to find solutions for clients' problems.

Stephen has kindly allowed us to post his presentation on this site and, in the true spirit of Open Source, he has provided two versions: one in PowerPoint and one in OpenOffice Impress.

Stephen will post an HTML version of the presentation to the Brandon IT Consulting website.

(SourceForge.net is the world's largest Open Source software development web site, providing free hosting to tens of thousands of projects. The mission of SourceForge.net is to enrich the Open Source community by providing a centralized place for Open Source developers to control and manage Open Source software development.)


Data Protection, Compliant Systems Design

Date Monday 3rd February 2003
Convenor Pat Crawford
Speaker Bill Milne of W Y Milne Associates

In a well-received talk, Bill looked at the far-reaching impact of the new Data Protection Act on systems design. He briefly reviewed the principal changes in the law introduced by this act and compared European and USA practices. The shift in legislative framework means a profound philosophical change in cultural behavior. In practical terms, this imposes new legal disciplines on information systems designers, implementers and even users. Bill gave consideration to recent technological trends and the Data Protection issues raised by these trends.

Knowledge of your rights is fundamental to protecting your Freedoms and respecting those of others. This legislation affects everyone.

Bill Milne proposed a course on Data Protection to take place in March.


Joint meeting with Project Management Special Interest Group in Scotland

Date Monday 3rd March 2003
Convenor Gordon Foulger
Speaker Phil Hill

Phil gave an interesting presentation on portfolio delivery management within a technology company subject to rapid change in its markets and technologies, most of which are unpredictable. He also addressed the question "What is a realistic expectation of monitoring and control in such circumstances?"


BCS Glasgow Dinner & Ceilidh

Date Saturday 22nd March 2003
Convenor Pat Crawford

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner with a modern Scottish flavour followed by an evening of traditional music and dance at The Holiday Inn, Glasgow.

Our ceilidh has now been established as our major annual event.

Och aye, the BCS Glasow Ceilidh gets better every year! This year we were regaled on the bagpipes by Robert Adams, were treated to a lovely display of dancing by Elizabeth Jolie's young troup of dancers and were serenaded with songs both traditional and entertaining by Iain.


Data Protection Law Course

Date Wednesday 26th March 2003
Convenor Bill Milne
Speaker Eur.Ing. WY Milne BA, BAI (Hons), MSc, C.Eng, MBCS

Bill Milne is a Computer Professional with over 30 years experience in the industry and was some time lecturer in IT at Paisley University. He is a chartered Information Systems Engineer with Certified Data Protections Qualifications. He now runs his own consultancy specialising in Webware and legally compliant systems and regularly advises industry and government on Data Protection Issues.

BCS participants completing this course qualify for 10 CDP points

Download the course definition document DP Law Lecture (53KB)


Wireless LANs

Date Monday 7th April 2003
Convenor Laurie Borthwick
Speaker Rami Houbby of Allied Telesyn

Presented as a generic neutral technology overview of the various aspects of Wireless LAN technology, this event included some background on the theory and some practical "real-world" scenarios.

Topics covered:-

  • Wireless Technology/Regulatory Overview
  • Benefits of Wireless Networking
  • Wireless Networking Security - how secure is a WLAN?
  • Users Needs & Challenges
    • - are WLANs fast enough for everyday use?
    • - can WLANs save you money?
    • - is Bluetooth a viable technology?
  • Past, Present and Future of Wireless LANs
  • Real-life case studies


Date Monday 12th May 2003
Convenor Pat Crawford
Speaker Thomas McCusker

Thomas McCusker introduced us to getlearning.net - the fully integrated managed learning environment on a broadband network which connects Clydebank College and community learning establishments.

Thomas explained how getlearning.net is poised to deliver online learning at the College, in the workplace, at home and in the community by offering access to a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) served by a broadband infrastructure. The short presentation showed how integration of communications technology, student tracking, controlled access and customised resources and materials can provide a new and exciting learning experience for everyone.

Bishop's Napkin

The highlight of the evening was a short sample course from the leisure range. We had great fun learning how to fold napkins into Bishop's Mitres. The front of the house, comprising Chairman Donald Bell and Gordon & Kay Foulger, were champions of the evening. If things get tough in the industry, these three are assured of a successful career in catering!


BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2003 + Computer Security and the Net

Date Monday 9th Jun 2003
Chair Donald Bell
Convenor Iain White
Speaker Colin Rose