Hello folks, I wanted to draw attention to the Function Keys Conference happening this November 1st to 4th here in Hamilton. The conference is a kind of intersection between arts, technology and culture with some great presentations, demos and workshops. Included:
- Art/Science Collaborations as an Interdisciplinary Practice
- My Experience as a G20 Hacker
- Laser-Based Collaborative Space
- INCUBATOR LAB: Reproductive Technologies from Print Media to BioART
- Beyond the Uncanny Valley
- Intro to Quadcopters
- Public Participation in Visualization
- Mediated Reality – Past, Present and Future
- Plasticity of Flesh: Breeding and BioArt
- Augmented Reality and Grand Island’s Jewish Ghosts
Three of us at thinkhaus will be presenting too! Trevyn Watson will be giving the quadcopters talk, Richard Degelder will give a 3D printing demo, and I’ll be exploring the uncanny valley. Tickets and passes are on sale now. Please visit the Function Keys website for more information and venue details. http://functionkeys.ca
Hope to see you there!!!
I just wanted to thank everyone who came out to our first ever TOOOL meeting. It was a whopping success and you all helped make it happen! I would also like to send a very special thanks to Ken Owen who REALLY saved my ass!! We have not yet received our TOOOL care package and I figured I had about enough locks/picks to keep ~ 10 people busy, but I was very surprised by the 20+ people who showed up and, had it not been for Ken and his huge collection of locks/cuffs/etc. I would have been in real trouble We had some people drive in from the Niagara Region and even one person who drove in from Ottawa o.O! Pictures from the meeting are attached at the bottom of this post.
It is my pleasure to announce that Think|Haus will be hosting TOOOL (The Open Organisation of Lockpickers) meetings on the first Saturday of the month from 2pm-4pm. Our first meeting will be on Sat. Oct. 6th. Several of the Think|Haus members and friends have pick sets already, and we have the “lockpicking” locker full of old locks to practice with. On top of this, Deviant from TOOOL.us is sending us a care package of goodies The meetings are open to everyone (ie: you do not need to be a member of the hackerspace to attend) so feel free to drop in and check it out! Since it’ll be our first meeting we’ll likely spend a bit of time on some basic tutorials and the rules. We can do some picking, bumping, jiggling and maybe even some impressioning (limited # of vices and magnifying lamps may not make this easy to accomodate until we are better equipped). Come by and check it out! There will be something for everyone! For more information about The Open Organisation of Lockpickers check out the http://toool.us/ website. You can also sign up for our TOOOL mailing list over at http://lists.thinkhaus.org/listinfo.cgi/toool-discuss-thinkhaus.org to keep up with the latest news and announcements!
Edit 9/29/2012: For those who asked, we will have pick kits for sale at the meeting. The kits available will be the “Beginner’s Blend” set listed on the TOOOL.US website here: http://toool.us/equipment.html The cost will be $25 and unfortunately (for now) I’m only equipped to accept cash. Looking into electronic payment methods for future meetings.
Some of the really great things about having a HackerSpace, and being a member of it, are that you get access to some really cool tools, like lasers cutters, and thinks that people have brought into the space, like the kit from MakerBeam from their successful KickStarter campaign, as well as the ideas of the members. And having access to great Open Source Hardware ideas like the Nautilus Gears by MishaT (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:27233) can lead to some interesting works in progress.
I took the initial .dxf file included in the Nautilus Gears and expanded it 375% to get something that was about as large as the laser cutter could handle. But that left me to figure out the best spacing for the gears. For that I constructed a small frame using the Aluminium extrusions, along with assorted other parts, that we got as part of the MakerBeam KickStarter campaign, which allowed me to easily adjust the spacing to find the best distance between the hubs of the gears. With this I was able to easily move the center points back and forth and to know that they would not move otherwise. I had also needed to make a small part on the laser to attach the gears but that was easy using a few small scraps.
Some of the ideas that were discussed with various members also expanded the potential of the original design and gave me more ideas on where to look at making the original gears even more assume. The original gears were really interesting to begin with but expanding them makes them even better. It is really interesting to watch as they rotate.
This test rig has allowed me to try a few things and to ensure that further progress will indeed work. And it is all possible by being a member of a HackerSpace and having access to the things within it.
Now to make it even better.
Laser cut thinkhaus keychains! I put all my keychain know-how into designing them:
- Etching and cutting!
- Double-sided content!
- Stick font text for surplus legibility! (used CamBam fonts)
- Motivation slogan “Be excellent to each other” on front, thinkhaus url on reverse!
- Double split-ring action for increased doesn’t-break-in-your-pocketness!
We’ll be bringing them out to events like art crawl and software hamilton, plus handing them out to guests who stop by on open house nights (Tuesday starting at 7PM) Come by and grab one!
Long time since an update, so I might as well talk about two recent laser upgrades. First I converted an unused exit sign box into a big hey-don’t-forget-laser-station-is-on indicator light. A couple of times we (/I) have forgotten to turn it off and have left the computer + pump + vent fan running. Not horrible, except that the pump runs quite warm and that ain’t good. Plus, I’d been thinking of ways of making turning on the laser more awesome, so this was a good opportunity. Read on after the break!
I’ve spent some time lazzoring acrylic keychains as prizes for the retro gaming fest this Sunday. They’ve turned out pretty sweet!! I should really be using differently colored materials, but whatever. There’s talk of lazzoring a giagantore trophy character but we’ll see how much time is left til Sunday. Hope to see you then!!
Oh, and tomorrow night (7pm) is the hackerspace Salon here at the thinkhaus. Hope you can make it then too!
Hey everyone! We’re running a retro gaming day on Sunday and you should come!
When: Sun, September 25, 11:30am – 7:00pm
Where: think|haus, 25 Dundurn St N, Hamilton ON (map)Description: Come play retro and not so retro games, eat sugar cereal, and relive your childhood days. We will have the following game systems on hand:
* Nintendo 64
* Atari 2600 flashback
* dosbox with Carmen Sandiego
* Xbox 360
We have one big teevee, a projector, and a bunch of monitors. Bring yourself, your games, your system, and maybe your pjs? Come hang out and play games just like the good old days.
$5 entry – everyone welcome
We have wanted to add some features to the laser like Air Assist and possibly aiming sites for the laser to assist in seeing where the laser is going to cut. Recently George has been printing a cable chain, using a design from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10946 that he enlarged a bit, for it. A cable chain is special in that it can curl in one direction but will remain straight in the opposite direction. At the same time it is hollow inside to allow, as in our case, for wires and tubes to safely run inside it.
We are going to have to print two chains, one to go along the x-axis and another for along the y-axis, but we are going along well. There is more than enough room within the cable chain for everything we want.