john mcnamara

writing, gaming, inventing, hubby and daddy = me


June 2015

Edge of Space – The Story so Far…

Hey folks,

Still buzzing from the launch…

We have posted quite a bit around the Edge of Space project and I thought it would be useful to put all the collateral in one place, so that you wouldn’t have to keep searching around for the podcast episodes and the blog posts on progress. So in a way, for  anyone new to the story of getting a probe up to the Edge of Space and representing the  conditions physically in the IBM Innovation Center, using Bluemix services including Messaging, Watson, Cloudant and NodeRED, here is a ‘jumping on point’

Ok – so let’s begin…

1. So start here, this is the overview presentation – given at the Hursley Summit

2. Introduction to the team and the problem to be solved – by the Imperial College students

3. A deeper dive into the technology and first impressions of Hursley and the Innovation Centre

4. The practicalities of launching a probe into space

5. The Tweeting space probe

6. Two way communications with a space probe

7. The Edge of Space Blog – introduction to the architecture and first impressions

8. The Edge of Space Blog – a deeper dive into the technology

9. Fun stuff – The Unboxing

10. Fun stuff – What makes up an Airship?

11. Edge of Space podcast part 6 – IoTf, Messaging, Bluemix, Space Probes and Chase Cars

12. Edge of Space podcast part 7 – The Launch, Messaging, Band Saws and The Beast

13. Launch Day!


Why not try MQLight for yourself?


The Imperial website can be found here:

Thanks for listening!

imparch 300x175 Messaging to the Edge of Space  the story so far


It’s here! The IBMImp01 Edge of Space Launch

Hey folks,

You will have seen the  blog posts of the construction of the Bluemix and messaging driven probe, but it’s all been leading up to today – the launch day!

For those readers who might appreciate a recap,  here is the story so far of messaging in space…

 and here is MQLight if you want to play with the cloud technologies for yourself –

Well, on Wednesday the 24th June we launched ! (Video coming soon)

The objective – reach the Edge of Space (approx 20 miles up) and by using IBM’s Bluemix and Messaging service, utilise the probes sensor data to physically manipulate the conditions in the Hursley Innovation Centre with a stretch goal to receive and display non mean tweets of goodwill and geekery.

 We also took up an awesome piece of cargo (and yes the very awesome BBC said ‘go for it!’ )

Enough words… to the piccies

The balance between huge amounts of glare and shadow was a challenge to get right – so some tweets were hard to read… (nice pics though)


bbc2 300x224 Messaging at The Edge of Space   Launch Day!

Even higher

ScreenHunter 319 Jun. 25 19.12 300x224 Messaging at The Edge of Space   Launch Day!

Eventually though as we approached space,  the conditions were right to start seeing the tweets a little more clearly

This one is mine! (@j0nnymac)

bbc3 300x203 Messaging at The Edge of Space   Launch Day!

These tweets from James Taylor (@jtonline) ​are a favourite…

jt1 300x224 Messaging at The Edge of Space   Launch Day!

jt2 300x224 Messaging at The Edge of Space   Launch Day!

 Eventually though, what goes up, must come down…  as we fall 18 miles to earth (without a deployed parachute) into (thankfully) some trees. Somewhere on the way down our TARDIS escaped…

ScreenHunter 378 Jun. 26 09.12 300x218 Messaging at The Edge of Space   Launch Day!

 And who wants to see our  Innovation Centre being controlled by the probe?

So, want to do something  fun? Play with technology!  Start here with MQLight:

More soon…

Cloud and IOT: Making it real at the Imperial College of London

Connecting a Space Probe to Bluemix with MQ…

Connecting a Space Probe to Bluemix with MQ messaging

Connecting a Space Probe to Bluemix with MQ…

IBM Technical Rock Star Program

How can MQ be used in the Cloud? Try MQ Light…

How can MQ be used in the Cloud? Try MQ Light with Bluemix!! #cloud #bluemix

How can MQ be used in the Cloud? Try MQ Light…

IBM Technical Rock Star Program

The IBM MQ Virtual System Pattern Type – with John McNamara, Richard Coppen and Mark Phillips

Hey folks,

Rich Coppen and Mark Phillips take us through a tour of the new IBM MQ Virtual System Pattern Type.

Check out the video below:

Integrating .NET and IBM Integration Bus – with John Mc Namara and Matthew Golby-Kirk

Hey folks,

We have a top discussion with myself and an integration & .NET guru, Matthew Golby-Kirk on the work he has been doing with integrating .NET with IBM Integration Bus.

Check it out below:

Bringing your ideas to life in the digital ecomony – with John McNamara and Andy Thurai

Hey folks,

This is the recording of a live discussion on “Bringing your ideas to life in the digital economy”

Bringing your life-changing ideas to fruition needs a different mindset (and toolset) in the digital economy. The need for speed with digital innovation is more important than ever, with every start-up trying to push the envelope with their new ideas. In the digital economy, once you get an idea, you cannot afford to sit around and build it for years, not even months, like legacy enterprise software. Once you come up with that killer idea, you need to move with lightning speed to the realization and execution phase. Especially in the digital world, if you don’t bring your idea to life as soon as possible, someone else is close behind you with a similar concept. You take your idea and combine it with a bunch of micro-services that are already available and mature, building only a small portion as necessary to perfect your idea to get it out faster. Because you are building only small portion to bring your idea to life, you don’t have to build something quick and dirty, or you don’t need to be bogged down by your existing IT constraints. When you try to constantly adjust your idea to fit within the constraints of the current IT, it kills your innovation, instead of liberating your IT. 

Learn how to build next gen applications using IBM tools such as API, IoT and analytics in this google hangout with Andy Thurai (@AndyThurai) and John McNamara @j0nnymac

What is Messaging? With John McNamara and Leif Davidsen

Hey folks,

Check out this discussion with John McNamara and Leif Davidsen on the topic ‘What is Messaging?’

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