NERDS, BRACE yourselves. Philly is in your hands as the inaugural Philly Tech Week gets under way today through Saturday.
Please be gentle with us.
While the majority of events are geared to the technologically inclined, there's also fun to be had for those who don't know CSS from cloud computing.
Tech Week sprang from the minds behind Technically Philly (technicallyphilly.com), a website covering technology and the business behind it in Philadelphia, founded in 2009 and run by Temple grads Sean Blanda, Christopher Wink and Brian James Kirk.
Philly Tech Week "is a continuation of the mission of Technically Philly, which is to encourage collaboration between all these disparate technical groups," Blanda said. "We want to bring them all together and provide exposure because a lot of people don't know this is going on in their back yard."
And our back yard is surprisingly full.
Find out what's all around you firsthand at events such as Switch Philly (6 to 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Wharton Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut St., $10, reservations at SwitchPhilly.com), where five area startups will give brief demos on their projects.
The Green Tech Showcase (noon to 1 p.m. Friday, WHYY, 6th and Race streets, free with reservation at phillytechweek.com) similarly shows off what five local companies are doing, this time emphasizing eco-friendly projects.
Tech Week's focus on Philly is not just reflected in the companies presenting but in the event themes themselves.
At noon today (WHYY, 6th and Race streets), be the first on your block to know, well, everything about your block as OpenDataPhilly.org is unveiled. The site led by Philly company Azavea organizes Philadelphia-specific statistics from various sources and makes them available in data sets that can be used to create hyperlocal apps or simply teach people about regional trends.
Philly Progressive Thinkers Forum (12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Ballard Spahr, 1735 Market St., free) will look at how laws and policies affect Philadelphia's position as a tech leader.
Freedom Rings helps those Philadelphians who need basic access to technology before they can get to the cutting edge of it. At this kickoff party (3 to 4 p.m. tomorrow, 1233 Locust St., free), the collective of public and private partners will discuss its Freedom Rings Computing Centers and Training Programs and announce more information about Freedom Rings.
Music and technology have gone hand in hand since guitarists in the 1930s decided they could rock out harder by electrifying their instruments.
Tech-heavy local musician/producer RJD2 and Tayyib Smith, publisher of two. one. five magazine, host "The Future of Music" (6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Arts Bank, 601 S. Broad St., free, RSVP to email@example.com). They'll talk about where they believe music - the form and the industry - is going from here.
Test out the future of music yourself at Music Technology Research @ Drexel (2 to 5 p.m. tomorrow, Bossone Research Center, Drexel University Mitchell Auditorium, first floor, and Room 405, 3120 Market St., free). Members of Drexel's MET-lab will present what they're working on, followed by hands-on demos. Try out the piano-playing robots or the iPhone instruments yourself.
Now that you've learned about the future of music and tinkered with it yourself, it's time to listen to the future of music in professionals' hands. The Chip Music Showcase (7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Thursday, PhilaMOCA, 12th and Spring Garden streets, $8) features acts that play tunes accompanied by video games, such as the rock outfit Cheap Dinosaurs, which counts a Game Boy as one of its instruments.
Meet and greet
Get out from behind the computer and meet others (in person!) similarly working to push the boundaries of technology.
Hackerspace Hive76 has an open house (8 to 10 tonight through Friday, 915 Spring Garden St., Suite 519, free). Hive is an open workshop that provides the space and tools (everything from sewing machines to a 3-D printer) as well as classes and tutorials on making really cool stuff.
SuperFluid in Meatspace (7 to 9:30 tonight, NextFab Studio, 3711 Market St., free) looks to hook up possible collaborators. Have a great idea and need a programmer? You could meet her here.
The Tech Talent Expo (4 to 6 p.m. tomorrow, University Science Center, Fuller Conference Rooms, eighth floor, 3711 Market St., free) also seeks to connect employers with the underemployed.
Rather than bring people together based on need, CloudCamp Philly wants to unite those with the shared bond of cloud computing (6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow, National Mechanics Philadelphia Bar and Restaurant, 22 S. 3rd St.), where programs reside on remote servers instead of on the user's computer.
Similarly, the Geek Girl Dinner (6:30 p.m. tomorrow, Triumph Brewing Co., 117 Chestnut St., free) seeks to bring together the ladies who don't think that technology is limited to those with a Y chromosome.
Purely fun stuff
Relive the greatest scene from Mike Judge's cult classic "Office Space" when the Hacktory hosts the Office Space Printer Smash (6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow, Nonprofit Technology Resources, 1524 Brandywine St., free). You'll get the chance to do some serious damage to those office appliances that exist solely to make your day worse. BYOB (BYOP optional). And you have to provide your own Geto Boys soundtrack.
To prove that geeks wasted those college years just as much as your average student, Independents Hall hosts a beer pong tournament and Philly Software Showcase (6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, IndyHall, 20 N. 3rd St., Unit 201, free). Along with a classic game of pong, there will be vendors set up to demo Philly-made software.
Booze will also be in abundance at a tech-themed Quizzo up in the Northeast (8 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Grey Lodge, 6235 Frankford Ave., free).
The games don't stop there.
IGDA Philadelphia Game Showcase (7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, The University City Science Center, 3711 Market St., donations accepted) shows off video games that have been brewing in Philly's back yard, such as one of the 15 new video-game companies that have opened here in the past year.
You can also play along at the Philly Robotics Expo (2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Drexel Recreation Center, 3301 Market St., free), where cutting-edge robotics will displayed. Central High School's Robolancers, the competitive school's robotics design club, will show off what placed them in the top eight in regionals in November. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Robolancers.