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Southern Area Group Event – Tuesday 6th August in Winchester

The next ISTC Southern Area event is at The Ship, 3, Wales Street, SO23 0ET, Winchester, on Tuesday 6th August 2013, from 7pm.

The event is free, but numbers are limited, so if you plan to attend, please reserve your place at: http://facesymbol.eventbrite.co.uk/

Richard Hodgkinson will talk about his work on the FaceSymbol project, which produced a set of symbols for biometric facial recognition systems for UK international airports, seaports and rail stations. His presentation will cover the design, development and testing of these symbols to current ISO standards and provide an update on his article in the Spring 2013 edition of the “Communicator”.

Richard is a graduate from Southampton College of Art, and has designed over 4,000 icons for IBM software products, as well as participating in in standards development and lecturing on the MA in Technical Communications course at the University of Portsmouth.

We’ll be there from 7pm, and Richard’s talk will start around 7.45pm.

The Ship has a large car park, but if that is full, free parking is available after 6pm in the Durngate car park (on the right about 100 yards past the Ship, if coming from the M3, junction 9). The entrance to the Durngate car park is disguised among the trees, so if you miss it, turn left into the one-way system, follow it round, keeping right where you get a choice, and you’ll come back to where you started.

More information from: southernengland_areagroup@istc.org.uk

Technical Communicator’s Meeting Edinburgh – Report

It was great to see some new faces at the meeting this quarter – including our guest of honour all the way from Weston-Super-Mare. The meeting also provided the opportunity to re-aquatint a few former colleagues.

The conversation was light and the topics broad, including a discussion about editing of scientific papers for non-English speakers.

A recurring theme was “Life Before Flare”. One attendee – relatively new to the profession and only experienced with MadCap Flare – was shocked to hear about the hoops that non-Flare (read Adobe) users need to jump through to achieve what are simple tasks in Flare.

I am encouraged to see more writers attending the meetings and look forward to hosting speakers soon.

Cambridge Group – Document Hackathon

Bring along your documents for peer critique. What happens is this…

You bring along one of your documents and let the others critique it. As you’ll already know the more eye balls you have look at something the better it gets. And what can be better eye-balls are there than other Technical Communicators!

The comments must be positive and constructive to enhance the learning experience and if possible backed up by examples and experience, NO FLAMING allowed! (not that you would of course).

This event was scheduled for earlier on in the year and has been moved to this new date.

Meet at CB2 Bistro at 19:00. Full details on EvenBrite.

All are welcome. Please book on EventBrite.

Communicator Special Offer 28-30 June 2013

Communicator is half price this weekend!

From 28 to 30 June 2013, purchase a PDF version for half price!

Or you can subscribe to the print version.

Members can access the PDF for free. Log on to the ISTC website and navigate to:
Our Publications > Archive of Communicator issues

West of Scotland Area Group meeting 11 June 2013: meeting report

The conversation at this quarter’s ISTC West of Scotland area group meeting covered a wide variety of topics:

  • The value of attending the ISTC’s annual conference this coming September
  • Tools and technologies for topic-based authoring
  • Building XML transformation systems from scratch versus off-the-shelf solutions
  • Communication and note-taking systems for working with engineers
  • Information security policies and how they affect the work of a technical author
  • Working in small and large departments
  • Remote working practices and tools
  • Career development options

The group also discussed the outline proposals made at the previous group meeting by Dr John Lynn from Glasgow Caledonian University for a degree course containing a technical writing component. We were keen on hearing more from Dr Lynn on the progress the concept had made at a future meeting.

We also reflected on the very pleasing fact that each of the most recent West of Scotland group meetings had been comprised of distinctly different groups of people, often including newcomers. On that note, we were pleased to be joined on the night by a new member, Ben Bruce of SAS Memex. Welcome, Ben!

Summary by Graeme West

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