All posts by Sophie Meixner

The CCC Project: Computing, Champagne and Cockroaches

Reason #923 why I love interning at The Edge: Arriving at the office at a quarter to midday (continuing my proud tradition of being the flakiest intern ever) and being greeted with a glass of champagne and a table full of food! While I’m told this doesn’t happen every day, I can already tell that my stint at The Edge will be the benchmark of awesomeness to which I compare all my future jobs and general life achievements. I wonder if they’ll let me stick around here indefinitely if I agree to accept payment in cake and muffins? Seeing as it’s already my preferred form of currency, it’s definitely worth a try.

Last week I sat in on the Creative Community Computing (CCC) workshop directed by Outreach Catalyst Andrei, although I think he’d agree with me that the kids participating in the workshop didn’t need much directing. They were given a computer, a couple of screwdrivers and some basic instructions, and soon enough they’d taken apart the entire contents of the hard drive, put it all back together again, and asked what was next. Coming from the girl who hitches a ride to Meltdown City every time Microsoft Word so much as closes unexpectedly, let’s just say I was in awe.

The rationale of the CCC project is simple: in the digital age, digital knowledge is power. Provide young people with a basic knowledge of operating systems, an ability to fix and troubleshoot, and some hands-on experience with hardware, and they’ll be given valuable knowledge to use in their daily lives, as well as inspiration to continue their technological education into the future.

As one of those annoying students who still believes that journalism can do some good in the world, I’m just a little bit thrilled that I get to write about it. Stay tuned for the story. You know, once I’ve finished all these time-consuming blog posts and taken all these pesky champagne and cake breaks.

In other news, I have successfully stolen from outsmarted arch nemesis fellow intern Sam and I have the privilege of presenting to you: two interns wrestling with the resident office cockroach Gregor. Who said the intern life was easy?

.Cockroach photo

Off to a Ghostly start

edge interns

As I look out of the glass windows of The Edge office, almost at pedestrian level with the South Bank Boardwalk that runs along the Brisbane River, I wonder how many of the passers-by admiring the view realise how close they are to the busy, buzzing hive of technology, brainpower and ideas that lives only metres away.

I know I’ve certainly discovered things I never knew existed in my grand total of two official days as an Edge intern. I found out 3D printers are not science fiction but an actual reality (remind me to look back at this post in five years’ time and cringe at my naiveté); I learned that it’s much cooler to never act surprised at the obscure and baffling items strewn around the Edge offices (a personal Bingo game next to a homemade arcade game machine next to bags and bags of Ghost Drops!) and most importantly I discovered how stylish I look dressed in a vest made completely out of tea.

The Edge is one of those sprawling, open-plan offices where everyone seems to get a huge amount of work done while still managing to look cool as cucumbers. The great thing about this place is that although it looks like some kind of trendy, hipster café, with quirky posters on the walls and a floor-to-ceiling blackboard wall, they have really great programs here that help various people in a real and genuine way.

As a journalism student, I’ll mainly be involved with writing up two of these fab projects onto the website, both of which concentrate on combating the emerging phenomena of the ‘Digital Divide’: the Mobile Media Lab project, in which an indigenous community in Rockhampton is provided with a toolkit of iPads and MacBooks; and the Creative Community Computing project, where a group in the community is given computer hardware lessons, leaving with a new set of skills along with a refurbished computer to practise on. I’m thrilled to be helping out, and hope I can bring some exposure to these worthwhile projects.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be chatting to participants and those involved, exploring the most effective way of displaying the projects on the website, and trying madly to get Ghost Drop dye off my tongue.