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December 2012 News

December 2012 News Archive

Sat Dec 1 00:00:00 2012

This is the shadowcat news archive for December 2012.

Valued Custom

It is rare that we get to extoll the virtues of one of our suppliers to Castle Shadowcat. But in this last month we are happy to be thankful to two of them and glad to report on them here.

The first was Jack Knight of KnightTime Creations who has been working on some commissions of artwork for us and who recently gave us a special Christmas gift, (see the news article on the Christmas Cat) the second is one of our hosting companies, Bytemark.

Bytemark, hosts some of our services and we have also had the pleasure of working with them in sponsorship for a number of Perl projects like the London Perl Workshop. Bytemark are a great company to work with as they are geared towards providing excellent support and service to their customers.

Last week we received a special gift at the windy Gatehouse of Shadowcat, a handmade Christmas Cake from a wonderful local tradesperson, Betty's of Harrogate. This cake was a gift for being a client of Bytemarks.

The XMAS Cake

The Cake

The Card

The Card

It is a pleasure to be the customer of a company who value your business and provide a great service to you, it is heightened when they appreciate you in return. We would all like to say a great big thanks to Bytemark and to wish them well in 2013.

The Christmas Cat

As you may have read we are having a series of images done by Jack Knight of Knight Time Creations that depict the Shadowcat team as characters from a pseudo-world based loosely on a notion of Steam and Diesel Punk.

We are all really enjoying the look and feel that Jack is bringing to our ideas and the lick of excellence he has brought to the images. A recent commission was to do a few CatBot variants for us to use and Jack has done a stunning job on these.

But Jack has gone one step further, without asking he has created a special cat for us which we are dubbing the Christmas Cat, and since it is 2012 it is the ArmageddoCat CatBot MkIV-s. We at Castle Shadowcat had no say in this as it wasn't commissioned Jack created it as a gift. Here it is:

Animated CatBot MkIV-s

The Extra Special 2012 Christmas Cat: ArmageddoCat CatBot MkIV-s

It is refreshing, rewarding and enormously complimentary to work with a person of Jack's professionalism but when he combines it with a kindness and thoughtful attitude to his clients you know you have found someone to have a special working relationship with. If you need any work done of this type I can't recommend using him enough.

Shadowcat to host Lancaster Lab January 2013 meeting

Shadowcat will be hosting the first of many Lancaster Lab meetups on the 10th of January 2013 from 18:30 onwards. Lancaster Lab is one of the proposed names given to what we're hoping will become a Lancaster and Morecambe Hackspace.

Come and join us for discussion of things hardware and software!

The Animated Cat #3

This is the third cat in the short run series of images of CatBot(s) we have had created by Jack Knight for our continuing Steam/Diesel Punk branding and image exercise being undertaken this year at Castle Shadowcat.

Animated CatBot MkIII

Animated CatBot MkIII

This particular cat accompanies, we believe, the image of our Managing Director Mark Keating. As such we think it would be a great idea if we found a name for him, anyone may enter a name just use the comments form below, it should be suitable to a CatBot of his breeding and quality, do Mountbank WhistleWhiskers III and similar will be well favoured.

Animated CatBot MkIII

Steam Punk Mark and the Cat in a Hat

Side Note; I have used the phrase animated to great length in the description, titles and production of these images and yet they are static, why is this word bandied about so much then. Well it is a play on the word, an animation is normally a moving cartoon in a modern cultural sense. However, to be animated is to be brought to life, as in Frankenstein's creature was animated. The images are partly steampunk-ish - so we can move between the word usage animate - animatron - robot/cyborg. Finally, animate means lively, fresh, vibrant and full of energy which these images are. The long entymology of the word comes from the Latin animo, which is to have soul, and these excellent drawings have plenty of that as well.

The Animated Cat #2

Following on from the continuing news stories on this site, see links below, you should know by now that we are using the talents of the excellent Jack Knight to create a series of profile images for the Shadowcat Staff to be used in promotional ways in the future.

Animated CatBot MkI

Animated CatBot MkI

As part of that series we are having some animated cats created the first of these has already been shown to the world as the Animated CatBot MkII, I present to you here the Animated CatBot MkI: Logo Kitty (or Robo-Logo-Kitty if you like).

A further CatBot will be coming soon and we will be happy to show it off to the world, there will even be a piece of fun involved with him, more soon.

The Animated Cat

If you have been following the news on this site you will know by now that we are using the talents of the excellent Jack Knight to create a series of profile images for the Shadowcat Staff to be used in promotional ways in the future.

Animated CatBot MkII

Animated CatBot MkII

As part of that series we are having some animated cats created and the first sketches have been buzzing around the towers and passageways of Castle Shadowcat for several days now, and at last we are ready to show the first of these excellent creatures to the world.

This is the CatBot Version 02 or CatBot MkII, it is the first to be shown to the world in all its glory. Jack has done an excellent job with this image (it looks stunning at full resolution) and we are all very fond of the many details such as the furnace and the goggles.

A further CatBot will be coming soon and we will be happy to show it off to the world, the sketches look great.

The Animated Matt

In the continuing series of Steampunk inspired images that we are having created as avatars for the Shadowcat Staff we have had Matt S. Trout immortalised as a toon.

Getty visits Castle Shadowcat

Animated Matt S. Trout

This particular image was inspired by the popular web comic Girl Genius of which Matt is a fan. We took the basic notion of the scientist/engineer, added the personal touch of the chainsaw for which Matt is renown, used the touches that are common to all the images of this series (gthe cat logo on equipment) and voila, the image was created.

I think Jack Knight has managed to truly capture something of Matt's personality in this image, and anyone who knows Matt will see something of him in this image.

Look out for more images in this series coming soon.

Torsten Raudssus Visits Shadowcat

This week it was a pleasure to have Getty, Torsten Raudssus, visit us at the Castle Shadowcat offices and stay in Lancaster for a few days to hang with the Shadowcat Staff.

Getty visits Castle Shadowcat

Getty visits Castle Shadowcat

While he was here we held an emergency North West England Perl Mongueurs social at the local hostiliery (the Yorkshire House) with some drinks sponsored by Shadowcat Systems.

Getty is extremely well known online, a member of the duckduckgo team, tpf marketing committee, Enlightened Perl Organisation and a host of other Perl projects and libraries. Last week, along with the rest of the Shadowcat UK team, Getty attended and contributed to the London Perl Workshop.

If you are in the local area, and would like to visit the Shadowcat offices for a coffee, or an emergency social gathering, then please do not hesitate to contact us.