When a fifth Tuesday rolls around, PS:One usually has a pot luck following the membership meeting. October 30th is the fifth Tuesday in October, so there will be a pot luck starting around 8:30 pm. Since it will be so close to Halloween, spooky food is particularly encouraged, but spookiness is not required. Come and bring a dish!
CivicLab is entering the field with an initiative called “Hacks for Activists” (H4A). H4A seeks to build tools that solve common problems plaguing community organizers. We’re looking for activists, designers, coders, open hardware enthusiasts, and anyone with the slightest interest in technology for social change.
Our first meeting is being generously hosted by Pumping Station: One on Thursday Oct 18th, 7:00PM – 9:00PM. Snacks, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages provided! Here’s a few ideas we’re currently exploring but new projects are most welcome:
Sign Me Up: An SMS/web based tool to replace paper sign-up sheets at community organizing meetings.
Crowd Speaker: An application that would leverage participants’ cell phones as a collective public announcement system at rallies.
For more information and notifications about future meetings, you can contact bsugar [at] skilfullycurled.org, or visit our web site at http://civiclab.us.
Hey “Open Science” people and folks interested in Fungus…
A few months ago we got ahold of some very rare and insider information about fungal infestations on board MIR, the International Space Station, and the Apollo Missions. It turns out, the reason we let MIR burn up in the atmosphere was to protect our ecosystem from being exposed to mold species that had mutated during their time in space.
The super-fungus became more aggressive and could etch glass, eat through rubber gaskets, and grow four times as fast as fungus does on earth. Crazy, right?
Anyway, my family and I spent the last five months or so compiling this information into a 45-minute documentary. This documentary is just now starting to make the rounds in the microbiology world. It’s been screened privately for groups of microbiologists, the US Military, and other industry professionals.
We will screen this movie at PS:One, October 17 at 7pm.
Here is the trailer for the film:
If you are into science fiction, biology, Star Trek or real space exploration, this is really up your alley.
Folks, it’s that time of the month again. Join us at Automation Night (formerly DIY CNC night) and be part of the automated manufacturing and design revolution! Get together to discuss, fix, repair, upgrade, and show off 3D printers, routers, laser cutters, and other tools made awesome by computers.
WHEN: Wednesday September 12th 7pm (show up early if you want a tour)
WHERE: 3519 N Elston Ave, PS:One electronics lab
6:45 tour for new people
7:00 introduction round-robin
7:20 guest speaker
7:30 schmoozing, machine repair, demos, etc
This month we have a guest speaker giving a 15 minute talk.
International Manufacturing Technology Show recap by Jeff McAlvay
Jeff McAlvay is attending the IMTS and will give a 15 minute talk about highlights from the show.
The International Manufacturing Technology Show (http://www.imts.com/) is a trade show that is focused on automated manufacturing. It has about 2000 exhibitors and 80,000 attendees and takes place in Chicago 9/10-9/15.
Jeff is currently working on software projects for McMaster-Carr, an industrial parts reseller. In the past, he has worked on projects concerned with improving their conveyor systems and has been involved in running a variety of their warehouse operations. Outside of work, Jeff works on automated manufacturing and distribution at Jeff’s Inventions (http://jeffsinventions.com/). Currently, he is working on an autonomous car and a CNC milling machine conversion.
It’s gonna be a good one this month. See you there!
Longboard designed & fabricated by Bart Dring of buildlog.net
The next NERP (Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi) meeting will be at 7pm Monday Sept. 10th. See the NERP Meetup page for more information on location, meeting format, etc.
NERP is Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi, and this Monday’s meeting will also discuss Android and beer.
During fermentation beer must be kept at fairly precisely controlled temperatures. The required temperature varies with the stage of fermentation and other factors.
Any self-respecting beer temperature monitor would be accessible from the ‘net, and this one is no exception. Monday, Eric Stein will show Brewing Station: One’s Raspberry Pi based temperature monitor and controller. Eric will show how the Python code and electronics work and discuss some issues around controlling temperature. Sampling the product will have to wait until Beer Church taps the keg.
The Desktop is DEAD, Long live the Desktop: The Android 4.0 miniPC
Jay will be doing a short walk-thru and talk about the user-land experience with the new Ricomagic MK802 thumb-drive-sized pocket-computer. Jay will be demoing android 4.x, Fedora, Ubuntu and/or puppy linux on the Ricomagic MK802. The Ricomagic MK802 is a $65 Cortex A8 1GHZ processor with 1GB of DDR3 Ram, 4 GB flash, wifi and a 500MH GPU (Mali 400) with HDMI video. The small computing landscape is changing fast, and the Raspberry Pi is only part of the story.
The bi-weekly NERP (Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi embedded systems) Meetup focused on serial i/o. Serial interfacing allows connecting “stuff” to a processor using a small number of wires. There are different ways of making serial connections to processors, and last night we talked about two of them. Drew showed how to implement I2C interfacing to several devices he had out for demo. I2C (I-Square-C) is a way of wiring smart devices like sensors, displays, and microcontrollers to a host computer. The Raspberry Pi has connection pins for I2C on the board and a kernel module for talking to I2C devices from user land. Ed quickly demoed a couple of examples of UART serial technique with a Raspberry Pi running a login on a dumb terminal demo and an RS485 to PC interface on a Macbook. We’ll examine practical applications of these connection methods and others including SPI in future meetings.
The NERP description and meetup are at http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/ . (It’s not necessary to use the Meetup signup to attend NERP, but it helps us anticipate how to set up the electronics lab for the number of attendees. Also it shows Meetup that people actually attend the meetings.) .
We’re looking for people who would like to show their work or lead a NERP-related discussion. We’d especially like to hear about works in progress (i.e., unfinished), both in hardware and software. Python, C, interfacing, non-Rasapberry Pi embedded systems, media, networking, and physical devices are particularly interesting. Contact Ed (ed -> kineticsandelectronics – com) to schedule a day.
This is what happens when geeks get married. Back in December, I decided that I wanted to have a photo booth at the reception, so I looked around at rentals and services and was surprised at the cost. I then looked around at DIY photo booths and was slightly disappointed by the state of the art of the DIY photo booth – most seemed to have a big button, and Arduino, a webcam, and a full laptop.
So I designed a simple test circuit with a Canon point and shoot camera (with CHDK installed), an Arduino, and a button. Now, months and hundreds of prototypes later, I have Photoboop! A robo party photographer that turns most cameras into photo booths or time-lapse video machines.
Thanks to the entire PS:One community for help and support while making this project a reality!
The next NERP (Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi) meeting will be at 7pm Monday August 27th. The new regular format of the NERP meetings is
a new user orientation (first session) at 6pm
The regular meeting (second session) from 7-8:30pm.
The after party which goes on until the building closes.
The orientation sessions help new users get their Raspberry Pis booted and quickly demo where the start buttons are in the operating system. The second session is a forum for talks, demos, free discussion, and questions. Subjects can be of general interest or advanced and highly focused. *
occidentalis – the black raspberry
The purpose of NERP is to promote discussion and exchange of knowledge and ideas. Interruptions and dumb questions are encouraged. The flow of a meeting can be deliciously chaotic.
I didn’t set out to take minutes at the NERP meeting last Monday, but there was so much good information flying around that it was hard to resist jotting some things down.
Drew demoed many of the apps that come with the pi by default.
Looked at Quake on the RPi. Learned about the Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) (“…a cross-platform, free and open source multimedia library written in C that presents a simple interface to various platforms’ graphics, sound, and input devices…”)
Looked at /opt/vc where the broadcom videocore libs and utils live. Note to self: some of the utils look useful for low level tweaking at run time.
Clarified the difference between Arduino and Rpi by running a blinky demo with the arduino hosted by the Pi
Cortex M-series is the microcontroller family of Arms. There are <$20 ARM M4 boards.
The logic level output lines are weak. Voltages are: USB = 5V, general i/o = 3.3V, HDMI = 1.8V.
It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that adafruit clear box and breakout board.
All the cool kids are ditching plain Raspbian. Occidentilis (derived from Raspbian) is the one to have. It’s specifically for doing electronics. It has good support for SPI, I2C, one wire, and more WiFi sticks. Black Raspberry – wheezy. Yes.
Drew will make a wiki at PS:One (DONE)
Computer vision is the killer app.
That, and network services that interact with the physical world.
*If you would like to show your work or lead a discussion on NERP, email ed at kineticsandelectronics dot com to set up a time.
NERP (The Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi embedded systems interest group) will meet Monday August 13th at 7:00pm. During the last meeting we talked about what the Raspberry Pi is and the nature of its capabilities. Jay showed a couple of videos to demo the HDMI output and described the process of setting up a new RPi. Drew Fustini took notes and has posted some comments and resources on the PS:One public list.
After the meeting, a few people stayed around to try some fun but not completely simple experiments with the RPi’s serial port. Using what I learned in the NERP serial port experiments, I made a RPi demo for to the Evanston Mini Maker Faire. The demo involved adding a 1984 Televideo 910 dumb terminal to a serial port on the Pi. The terminal is text only and displays characters as green on black. In addition to the normal gui session on the LCD screen, the RPi ran a separate user login on the dumb terminal. The LCD screen showed a video clip every 40 seconds, and the terminal showed a root login. Quite a number of people stopped by to check out the terminal and were surprised to learn about the Raspberry Pi’s role in making the demo run. More images of the Raspberry Pi at the Faire, and more technnical photos are at http://kineticsandelectronics.com/RPi-makerfaire
On Monday 8/13, Drew will demo some of the basic applications that one might run on the Pi, and possibly discuss some issues around the subject of hardware interfacing. Open discussion is always welcome. An hour before the NERP meeting begins, Jay will be available to help anyone who has a RPi and would like help installing the basic operating system and apps. Jay starts at 6pm. The regular meeting is at 7pm.