Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’Category

Event: Confectionery Combat! Chocolate VS Shelly and Gerald

shelly-and-gerald-vs-chocolate-smaller

 

What:
Confectionery Combat! Chocolate VS Shelly and Gerald:

When:
Friday February 12, 6:30-8:30 pm

 

We will start with a discussion on the evil ways of this culinary foe and tactics to successfully wage war against it.

We will be making truffles, roasting nuts, coating lots of things with chocolate, and “practicing” our feeble double boiler tempering skills.  Practice is the word! Just as in war there is no guarantee of success but at least in this we will have chocolate.

This event is open to PS:One members and their guests who want to watch, sample, and participate as the space allows. (There will probably be a cap at 10 people in that small kitchen) If you know you are coming give us a holler on the member group here so we can prepare excess supplies and plan our battle strategy.  The cost is free but donations to fund our efforts will encourage more such campaigns.

06

02 2016

Group Project: Making Toolboxes

20160121_232528Last Monday, NegativeK got the funny idea that he wanted to do a project to practice his sheetmetal work. 20ga mild steel sheet was ordered, and we collected in cold metals to make some very expensive tool trays.

 

Making a project like this, is a bit of a puzzle. Before we get to the tough stuff, we first do layout. 20160121_213737 Here’s Toba wishing we had a printer that would do the layout for him.

Once we all finished drawing lines all over our sheetmetal we had to come up with how we were going to make all the cuts.
20160121_201027That’s an 8″ shear. It makes cutting sheemetal a magical experience. It’s quiet, smooth, and pretty easy to control. The only thing to remember, is it’s like working with the tip of a pair of scissors. It cuts a long way in front of where you “see” it cutting, and if you reach the end of the cut, it makes a punch mark. Just… it’s steel instead of paper.

That does mean making inside cuts is a bit of a challenge. We all had unique approaches to dealing with the inside corners. Now that we have three and a half toolboxes, I think that the “best” method, would have been drilling holes at each inside corner. Instead, I twisted and wiggled out the metal, and used a file to clean up the corner.
20160121_213731Here’s my tool tray blank. All of the fold lines are marked, and it’s sitting on top of my tool tray handle. I didn’t get good shots of how we did the handles. They were definitely easier than the body of the tool tray. To go from that flat sheet of metal, to a three dimensional tool tray, requires a sheet metal brake.

20160121_221810Here’s Toba setting up to do his bends. NegativeK found that our brake won’t do seams well. As if that would stop us. We all ended up using a hammer to finish those folds.

Those folds were simple in description, but not so simple in practice. None of ours look machine made. But they do hide the sharp edges, and make the tool trays safe to use.
20160121_231527The handles, and sides were affixed to each other with the space’s spot welder.

Spot welding is a very quick method for joining metal. I’m glad we’ve got that tool in the space. I had suggested that we might rivet the parts together, but between drilling and attempting to rivet, we’d have spent two or three times longer affixing the parts together.

The welds also have the air of “professionally made.” Or at least “not in a garage” made.

20160121_232535At the end of the night, Here’s what we had. TachoKnight, Toba, NegativeK, and My boxes.
20160121_232418In the future, we won’t put the short guy furthest from the camera.

 

22

01 2016

NERP Tonite! systemd with Bonnie King

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.

Bonnie King is a Linux Administrator at Fermilab and works on the Scientific Linux distribution. At Nerp tonight, Bonnie will give us a tour of systemd. If you work with embedded linux, this is must have, must know material.

The architecture of systemd as it is used by Tizen. Several components, including telephony, bootmode, dlog and tizen service, are from Tizen and are not components of systemd

The architecture of systemd as it is used by Tizen. Several components, including telephony, bootmode, dlog and tizen service, are from Tizen and are not components of systemd

“Linux” is the kernel of an operating system. You generally can’t see it, feel it or touch it directly, but you know it’s there by what it does. At boot, the kernel launches “init”, the process with Process ID number 1. Everything else is started by by init. On my computer, init, PID 1 is /lib/systemd/systemd. systemd is “new”, sort of. It’s been around for several years, but has recently taken over lots of core system functions that have been provided by some very traditional Unix-based tools and utilities. When I look under the hood of my Ubuntu system, it looks very different than it did a couple of years ago. What goes for the desktop goes for embedded, too.

from http://freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd/
“systemd is a suite of basic building blocks for a Linux system. It provides a system and service manager that runs as PID 1 and starts the rest of the system. systemd provides aggressive parallelization capabilities, uses socket and D-Bus activation for starting services, offers on-demand starting of daemons, keeps track of processes using Linux control groups, supports snapshotting and restoring of the system state, maintains mount and automount points and implements an elaborate transactional dependency-based service control logic. systemd supports SysV and LSB init scripts and works as a replacement for sysvinit. Other parts include a logging daemon, utilities to control basic system configuration like the hostname, date, locale, maintain a list of logged-in users and running containers and virtual machines, system accounts, runtime directories and settings, and daemons to manage simple network configuration, network time synchronization, log forwarding, and name resolution.”

A number of influential people in the Linux community have strong philosophical and practical differences with the design of systemd and the way in which it’s become ubiquitous across distros. Nevertheless, mainstream Linux continues to move toward systemd and away from System V and BSD init. systemd is installed by default in Ububntu since ver 15.04. (April 2015). If you work with Linux at a low level, for instance in embedded applications, a knowledge of systemd is a must have.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at

NERP – Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi

Chicago, IL
399 members

NERP is Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station One in Chicago. (Chicago’s oldest and finest hackerspace.) NERP…

Next Meetup

Bring questions, demos, personal research, etc. to share.

Monday, Jan 18, 2016, 7:00 PM
10 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

and
http://pumpingstationone.org/

Doors open at 6:30pm.
NERP is free and open to the public.
Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics com
Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source, Linux,
raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Pumping Station One

18

01 2016

NERP TONITE! Drew shows us the C.H.I.P. $9 Linux SBC!

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.

In 2012 the cheapest Single Board Computer that could run Linux cost around $150.00. The prospect $35 Linux SBC with HDMI was loney talk. If it wasn’t vaporware, it certainly couldn’t be sustainable, we thought.

CHIP-computer

The RPi and its cronies and successors are very much here to stay. Even so, a $9 credit card sized linux SBC seems a bit “out there”, but here comes the C.H.I.P “The world’s First $9 Computer”.

The C.H.I.P. hasn’t shipped in volume yet, but Linux kernel hackers have been able to order alpha versions for testing and for fun. Tonight at NERP, PS:One’s Drew Fustini will demo his new C.H.I.P. board. Is it another game changer? We’ll see!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1598272670/chip-the-worlds-first-9-computer.

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at
http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/
and
http://pumpingstationone.org/

Doors open at 6:30pm.
NERP is free and open to the public.
Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics com
Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source,
raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Element14, Pumping Station One
Tags: Beagle Bone, electronics, Element14, embedded, hackerspace, NERP, Open Source, Pumping Station: One, raspberry pi

26

10 2015

Why Discourse?

Why Discourse?

I’m not sure people understand maintenance burden.

Google groups has been a maintenance headache. Probably one of the smaller maintenance headaches, but still a problem.

With most of the system’s that PS:One has developed over the last several years, new member handling, auto admining of the 40 or so systems group member’s, etc has been automatic.

PS:One cycles through motivated individuals pretty quickly. If we ever come across a gap between an old productive member and a new ones, we lose something. There are a few ways to handle this: One is to stop burning people out, and to make sure that gap doesn’t exist. The other is to reduce the amount of information that can fall in that gap.

Per application user management is a great way to burn out technologically creative individuals. I’ve seen it happen a few times.

Our current systems approach is to reduce maintenance burden to deal with the first problem. The other is to make most of the tasks a systems person needs to carry out be automatic. Google Groups has not presented us with much as far as solutions to deal with these 2 problems. They offer no api to add or remove subscribers, and are notoriously difficult to write scraping tools for, and offer no guarantee of long term stability for scraping tools.

We have investigated a few potential solutions for mass communication in the membership. Most of these focus on web forum technology, as we are hitting the magic threshold where mailing lists are no longer the right solution due to message volume. So far discourse is the most promising.

Jeff Atwood Is one of the main developers and founders of discourse. Previously he started stack overflow with Joel Spolsky (the Joel on Software guy), and has been running a blog called coding horror since about 2004. He’s got some experience with online communities and a lot of opinions and practical experience on what makes them work well and what doesn’t, including a few very well known implementations of online discussion platforms. I don’t always agree with his technical and social decision minutia, but I have to understand that he’s coming from a wealth of experience, and has left the discourse discussion platform open to plugins and extension.

https://discourse.pumpingstationone.org

20

09 2015

Hack a Replacement Wacom Tablet USB Cable

usb-cable-hack

 

WP-White-Bar 550x20

Did you lose the USB to USB Micro B cable that connects your Wacom pen tablet to your computer? Don’t panic! This is not necessarily another propriety piece of equipment you can only get from the manufacturer. There is a quick fix.

The cable that comes with the Wacom may alarm you to have lost it; it looks unique, since the smaller Micro B end has a 90 degree angle turn. This is a design element possibly for aesthetics and maybe to prevent the cable from pulling out easily from the tablet while it is in use. You do not need a replacement cable exactly like the one that shipped from the manufacturer. What you need is a replacement cable that fits.

This is where cable replacement gets tricky because the Micro B port on the tablet is deep and very narrow. Most cheap, off the shelf cables have both ends encased in a massive brick of rubber that will not fit the tiny 6 mm tall by 12 mm wide Wacom Micro B opening. You can take any old cable and make it fit by whittling down the rubber as close as you can to the metal. A box cutter with a sharp, new blade works well. I tried to improve the look of this hacked cable with a single wrap of electrical tape, but had to then remove the tape as that still made the Micro B end too thick to attach.

If you want a neater cable to use for the long term, beyond this DIY quick fix, step away from the cable aisle in your electronics store and head over by the cell phone accessories. The Micro B cables marketed for smartphones tend to have a sleeker design, more color choices and smaller rubber grips which will insert into the Wacom. Bring your pen tablet with to make sure the cable you select will fit before you leave the store. Also, be sure you get a combined data and charging cable, since charging only cables that look similar are usually in the mix of products for cell phones.

03

09 2015

Crappy Robots Rise To Compete Once Again

Hey Hacky People,

The last crappy robot competition we ran (http://pumpingstationone.org/2015/01/the-dumbrobotcompetition-for-dummies/) went so well that we’ve decided to do it again. Bring your crappy ideas to the Chicago North Side Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 2, 2015. We’ll start competing at 14:00.

Sr. Abrazos (the unofficial mascot of crappy robots) dukes it out against Unilowbrow with its dukes up!

Sr. Abrazos (the unofficial mascot of crappy robots) dukes it out against Unilowbrow with its dukes up!

Sign up here: http://goo.gl/forms/Y0ykHvbsq8

View the official rules here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MgUCLj9-AUJJMmDZXbPu0UW3-rmfRhiPhXi8PMfQo-c/edit?usp=sharing

Note that the official rules are subject to change. If you are registered for the competition, you will get notice of rule changes.

Check out http://youtu.be/46ivFpsmEVQ for inspiration! HEBOCON is what inspired us to put on our own crappy robot competition!

Justin T. Conroy

Robot at Large

27

04 2015

I made a pretty octopus

Octopus

Messing around in Illustrator and Photoshop today.  I made an Octopus.

27

02 2015

Preliminary Crappy Robot Competition Follow-Up

Thanks to Justin and SIGBOT for sponsoring the “Dumb Robot Competition for Dummies” or the Crappy Robot Competition last night. Thanks also to everyone who came out!

We promise to upload the video that was graciously recorded by Carl and Jimmy for us in the near future. There will also be better quality pictures. There will also be more information about the competition coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy this video of the Pizza Bagel bot!

Round 1: Everett (Unilowbrow) vs. Bioguy (Senor Abrazos)

round1

30

01 2015

The Dumb Robot Competition for Dummies

This robot is so crappy! <3

Bioguy made a crappy robot for us!

 

Hey Hacky People,

I’m holding a crappy robot competition at the end of the month. This
competition is targeted at people who DON’T KNOW HOW TO BUILD ROBOTS!
😀

Inspired by HEBOCON in Japan: http://youtu.be/46ivFpsmEVQ , crappy
robot will be pitted against crappy robot in some type of sumo match.
Some will win, some will lose, some will fall apart before they even
enter the ring. Everyone will enjoy themselves!

Here’s the essential details you need to know:

Date: January 29, 2015 @ 19:00
Location: Pumping Station: One Electronics Lab
Register to compete at http://goo.gl/forms/XbZrvSLq97
Only the first 31 people to register will be allowed to
compete, so register early!

The full rules will be published some time before the competition
starts. Here’s the main things you need to know:

* Robots will compete inside a circular ring.
* The goal is to either knock the other robot over, or push it out of the ring.
* There will be a penalty for making your robot too high tech
(questions about this should be directed at the judges).
* If you’re playing to win, you’re missing the point! 🙂

Happy Hacking!

Edit: The rules can be found here! As always, they are subject to change.

06

01 2015