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Oblong Presents: Computer Camp

Oblong Presents

Computer Camp

8-18 August 2005
Oblong internet café
shop 204B the Leftbank arcade (off Cuba Mall) Wellington

Computer Camp is a series of workshops for people who would like to find
out more about computers and the internet but don’t know where to


Monday 8 August, 7-9pm
The Internet for Beginners
Dan Mortimer
This workshop is an introduction to the internet for laypeople. It will explain the best way to get around, an explanation of what those annoying terms mean (URL, http etc) and how to make the most of all that information.

Tuesday 9 August, 7-9pm
Introduction to Linux
Stephen McGregor
Open-source software offers a free, easy-to-use alternative to versions you might otherwise pay hundreds of dollars for. This workshop is an introduction to Linux, one of the most popular versions of open-source software, and the benefits to be had in using it on your PC. This will also be a useful introduction to the Intro to Open Source Art and Design Software workshop on Tuesday 16 August.

Wednesday 10 August, 7-9pm
Make a Leaflet Using Pagemaker
Sam Buchannan
This workshop covers a very basic level of use of PageMaker to enable people to produce simple leaflets, magazine pages etc. There'll be just a little bit about design and typography included. Most PageMaker skills are also applicable to Adobe InDesign - the latter is a more high-powered and annoying version of PageMaker. To get the most out of this workshop come with a project to work on. Basic computer skills are required.

Thursday 11 August, 7-9pm
Poster Design
Simon Bailey
Need to advertise for a gig, a flatmate or used car? Break out from a text-based poster with this workshop on poster design using Adobe Photoshop. To get the most out of this workshop come with a project to work on. Basic computer skills are required.

Saturday 13 August and Sunday 14 August, 11am-5pm
Cuts and Spits – The Art of Stenciling
Learn about stenciling as both an art medium and vehicle for expression, including discussion of materials, techniques, concept and design. Techniques for both hand and computer stencil design will be taught, as will stencil cutting and spraying techniques. Legal issues relating to street art will also be discussed, including your rights with the police. This workshop is an opportunity to spend a creative weekend with other stencil artists. All materials will be supplied - please note this workshop costs $35 (waged) or $30 (unwaged). Please bring images and stencil ideas with you. Basic computer skills will be useful but are not essential.

Sunday 14 August, 2-4pm
Digital Photography
Cameron Burnell
This workshop will cover working with Digital SLR's, with a short explanation of digital cameras, and how they work. Bring your own digital camera if you have one (SLR’s are preferred). A basic knowledge of photography and Photoshop will be useful but is not essential.

Monday 15 August, 7-9pm
Web-based email for beginners
Dan Mortimer
This workshop features an overview of the different free web-based email providers and what they offer, and assistance in setting up and making the most of your own free web-based email account.

Tuesday 16 August, 7-9pm
Intro to open source art and design software
Clare Havell
This workshop will cover basic magazine, poster and flyer design using GIMP (photo editing programme) and Scribus (layout programme). To get the most out of this workshop come with a project to work on. You will need to have basic knowledge of how to use Linux (there’s an Intro to Linux workshop on Tuesday 9 August, 7-9pm).

Thursday 18 August, 7-9pm
Intro to Indymedia
Urs Signer
An introduction to independent media making and DIY publishing – how to post articles and photos to, techniques and tips for getting your ideas and concerns across in real basic HTML. Don't Hate The Media - Be The Media! Basic computer and internet skills preferred but not essential.


Computer Camp is a series of workshops for people who would like to find out more about computers and the internet but don’t know where to start.

Jenny Bell, one of the Computer Camp organisers, explains, “I help out at Oblong (internet café) and people regularly come in who need help with setting up email accounts, scanning pictures and the like. The Oblong collective members realised we knew heaps of computer whizzes, and decided to put their talents to use. That’s how Computer Camp got started.”

Adds Jakob Otter, another Computer Camp organiser, “The workshops cover topics such as internet and email, the art of stencilling, digital photography, indymedia (, poster and leaflet design, and open-source software.”

Most of the workshops run for 2 hours and cost an affordable $10 (waged) or $6 (unwaged). The Art of Stencilling workshop runs for 12 hours over the course of a weekend, and costs $35 (waged) or $30 (unwaged) including all tools and materials. Spaces in all the workshops are limited and participation will be on a first come first served basis. Childcare can also be arranged - please contact Jakob on 027 499 2192 to find out more.

The workshops will be held at Oblong internet café, 204B The Leftbank (off Cuba Mall) in Wellington City. Not just any internet café, Oblong is a collectively owned and operated, non-profit community resource, run entirely by volunteers. The organisers have many more ideas for workshops and hope that there will be another computer camp in 2006. “Of course that depends entirely on the Computer Campers feedback, what they like and what they want to learn next time” says Jenny.

A note on open source software: Open-source software has freely available source code, which lets anyone create a new version of the software. Linux is one of the most famous examples of open-source software. Linux has all of its source code available to the public and anyone can use it, modify it and distribute it.


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