Ready to get your geek on for a whole weekend? Come out to the lab and join in an event! Or join all the events!
We begin Friday with our monthly open house, or "Open Hack Night". This is a great opportunity to see the lab for the first time and take a tour. It's a very casual atmosphere where you can shoulder-surf members actively working on projects or just chill and discuss ideas. Sometimes there is a loosely-coordinated dinner/drinks outing to somewhere along nearby Granby Street. A few people might even start setting up for the next day's gaming event, which is...
Saturday is the LAN party, which usually begins around 1 PM, but may have even began the night before. BYOC (bring your own computer) and try to do all your downloading and patching at home before joining in on the festivities. Team Fortress 2 is the most popular game, especially since it's free, though other games are certainly welcome -- Diablo, Minecraft, Quake, you name it.
Feeling creative? 3 PM Sunday is the 757 Comic and Cartoon Creators meeting. Bring something to draw with.
And just when you think the weekend is over, it's Microcontroller Monday! Beginning at 7 PM, discussions will focus on everything microcontroller-related; from hardware to software. Beginners and advanced users are both welcome.
Here are two events scheduled to be held at the lab on Saturday, March 5, 2011:
2:00 PM EST - basic soldering class by Harold; bring eye protection and something to solder
in Harold's words:
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2011 19:30:14 -0500
Subject: [757labs] Class this Saturday
I finally decided to dive in and become the experimental pig for the first class! Well at least the first "hardware" related class.
This Saturday, at 2:00 PM, I plan on holding a Basic Soldering Class for anyone who wishes to show up at the Lab. With that said, if for some strange reason we are swamped, I must give preference for room to current Lab Members. That is only fair to them. I doubt we will run out of room, so please show up if you want!
The game plan is to have the herd assembled by 2 PM and the actual start time might be 15 or so minute later. The one thing that would be nice is to have a list of who all plans on showing up so I can have a roster to know when it is time to start. I won't wait all day and plan on letting 2:15 PM being the delayed start time.
For anyone who wishes to attend please bring the following if you have it:
1. Your soldering iron, station, whatever you currently use. PLEASE DO NOT RUN OUT AND BUY SOMETHING!!! Unless you really want to. There are the good bad and ugly types of irons to waste money on.
2. Hand Tools. Most soldering hand tools could be classified as side cutter diagonals or regular diagonals if you don't have those. A straight pick, tweezers, any heat shrinks etc.. Again, don't run out and buy stuff if you don't have it already.
3. Safety glasses. I am not going to demand that anyone wears a pair; however, if you do not wear any type of glasses normally ... I suggest getting a cheap pair. Remember, solder is molten metal. Your eyes do not like it. Burns to your skin are one thing ... burns to your eyes are something you more than likely wont recover from.
4. If you have any type of circuit kits or solder breadboards etc.. that you would like to work on, please bring them. If you don't have anything, please try to snag a cheap one from Radio Shack to play with. Also, if you have some old components like resistors etc.. drag them along so you can have something to solder on.
5. Solder. If you have your own type that you are used to working with bring it. If not, I should have plenty for everyone to play with.
6. Solder wick / Solder sucker. This is something that would be nice to have, but it is not required. We can pass around what we have.
7. If you have a board vise or any other sort of device that you use to hold circuit cards etc.. that would make life easier on you. If not, we will do it old school.
The objective to the course is not to turn everyone into a uber solder dude but to at least give you some insight and hands on experience to allow you to enhance your current skill set. Since I just decided to get stupid and give a class (oh joy!) I don't really have a course written up so please handle the lack of continuity and we will all get through it.
8:00 PM EST - game development meeting by Matt (cyberflux); bring your ideas
in Matt's words:
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2011 19:20:12 -0500
Subject: [757labs] Game Developers Team (March 5)
I am looking to have a game.dev meeting this Saturday for those interested in creating games at the Lab. Those who are interested feel free to show up sometime around 8pm or so, but I should be there earlier. Currently I am loading services on an older dual Xeon 2 server that will host development environments for Net applications. There is currently no defined hardware for the group so there is flexibility in what platform to go with, however most have been looking at diving into the mobile device market. Any input prior to the gathering is welcomed.
Hope to see some people there! Cheers!
Some members of the lab will be at MAGFest in Alexandria this weekend manning a table that will be representing Hampton Roads to a crowd of possibly 3000 people. We've done behind the scenes work for this years MAGFest including the InvisoFrogger frogger arcade hack, and some work to get past security measures on the Arkanoid arcade game board to get it to display custom made levels. InvisoFrogger has the frog removed for more difficulty, and some custom text.
Also of interest is the Frostfest ham fest in Richmond on February 5th. It sounds like it's going to be pretty large. We're hoping to get a table once again to represent the creative wizardry going on in Hampton Roads. www.frostfest.com has more information on the hamfest. I'm thinking we will bring information from our high altitude balloon project.
Flyers will end up at Shmoocon in DC. If anyone is interested in doing a video stream watching event at the lab, speak up on the mailing list.
And later this year in June it will be off to Maker Faire in Raleigh, NC. Another exciting event!
More info on that as it nears.
Ethan, MarkG, and Matt got the legs mounted on the Mata Hari pinball. Later, when DJ Mike arrived, we went to Cogan's Pizza for dinner, where we discussed plans for our upcoming MAGFest road trip. At MAGFest, we plan on setting-up a vendor table to promote the hackerspace, and maybe the radio station project.
There was also talk of a lab members-only meeting the following weekend (Saturday, January 22, 2011 around 6:00 PM EST), followed by an open hack night (8:00 PM EST until whenever).
Other plans include another electronic / MIDI music jam session, and another LAN party, both in February. Stay tuned.
At HRGeeks ][ Matt Crainer gave a presentation on the progress of a laser pong game being developed.
Our friend Ken Kurzweil donated a real, industrial robot arm to the lab. It's made by American Robot and is a Merlin model. We're a bit of parts from making it work, but we know where we have to go to make it run! This is an exciting addition to the lab.
The Lan party was a new diversion from working on projects. It was fun, but won't be an every-month occurrence. I'm thinking we had 14 people playing.
Also there are some new projects that are really active, props to Kyle! More public information on his work soon!