When the second band had played its last encore, before the legendary DJ took the stage, a cadre of hardware hackers climbed three steps with a twinkle in their eyes and glowing electronics in their hands. I’m surprised and relieved that the nugget of excitement that first led me to twiddle a byte in a microcontroller is still alive, and this moment — this crossroads of hacker family — stirred that molten hot center of adventure in everyone.
The badge hacking demoscene is a welcoming one. No blinking pixel is too simple, and no half-implemented idea falls short of impressing everyone because they prove the creativity, effort, and courage of each who got up to share their creation. How could we ever get together as a community and not do this?
It was after midnight before we began the demoparty. I somehow managed to come to the Hackaday | Belgrade conference without a USB webcam to use as a top-down camera. I also didn’t line up someone to record with a camera until minutes before. Please forgive our technical difficulties — we first tried to use a laptop webcam to project to the bigscreen. When that failed, focusing on the badges because tough for our ad-hoc camera operator. This video is a hack, but I think it’s worth looking past its tech problems.
The crowd gathered as close to the stage as possible and there was electricity in the audience as the wiles of the day were explained. Join me after the break for a brief rundown of each demo, along with a timestamp to find it in the video.
Since the Hackaday Prize is in full swing, this is an excellent opportunity to team up with fellow Torontonians for a great Prize entry, or just bounce a few ideas off people to see if your idea is feasible.
Not too long ago we announced the Hackaday Meetups. We were hoping at least a few dozen people would be excited to host a meetup in their town. What we got was hundreds of people and we couldn’t be happier about it.
If you are excited about Hackaday and you want to meet other community members in your area this is your chance. We have streamlined the process so that you don’t need to wait for us to start setting up your meetup. Here’s how you do it:
The first global event is on Saturday, April 23rd: Hackaday World Create Day. Get together and get to know the other community members in your area. Brainstorm a project and document it the concept as a Hackaday Prize entry. Many groups have already added other activities that day to make their meetup really special. What we’ve seen so far is really incredible, and when you get involved it will be even better.
Check out the Meetups map for one in your area. When you find one in your area, join by clicking the “Join this Event” button in the upper right of the event page. If you don’t see one in your area, take the plunge and set up your own!
One of my favorite conversation from Saturday’s Hackaday | Belgrade conference was about border crossing. This guy was saying the border station coming into Serbia needed a separate lane with the Skull and Wrenches on the digital sign since it was obvious the two cars in front of them were also packed with people coming to the con (and all the custom hardware that travels with the Hackaday crowd). The thought of caravans full of hardware hackers were on their way to this epic gathering.
We packed the place, selling at least 50 tickets past our limit in the last few weeks to people who just wanted to get in and didn’t mind not being able to get their hands on one of the sweet badges. I recall meeting people who came from Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, USA, Germany, France, UK, and of course Serbia. If you were there and I missed your country let us know in the comments.
Obviously the main event is the incredible slate of talks that happen at our conferences. We had great presenters at last November’s SuperConference — our first every conference — so we’re delighted to say that our second was just as good. (We anticipate a third this fall.) Hackaday is so thankful for all of the speakers who donated their time and talent to share their knowledge and experience with our worldwide community.
Among my favorites were Seb Lee-Delisle’s talk on his many huge laser and projection mapping installations, Mike Harrison’s drilldown of the absolutely stunning engineering that went into Eidophor projector systems, Dejan Ristanovic’s fascinating talk about the on-again off-again history of Internet in Serbia, Sophi Kravitz’s collaborative work with polarizing materials, and Voja Antonic’s talk on the many trials of designing the conference badge which cleared out the world’s stock of more than one type of Kingbrite LED modules. If you missed the live stream of these talks don’t worry, we recorded all of them. It will take a bit of time to edit and post them so keep your eyes on the front page.
The time has arrived, the greatest hardware conference on earth has landed in Belgrade, Serbia. All of the talks are live streaming now! The lineup of speakers is incredible and you can bask in every minute of it.
Don’t settle for a one-way media experience. Take part in the conversation with the live chat. Click the “request to join this project” button in the upper right of the Hackaday Belgrade Project page.
There’s always one more thing, right? Hack the badge! Try your hand at writing code for the badge using the software emulator, then submit it to the competition. We’ll be starting the Badge demo party at 23:45 (UTC+1). Want someone to try your code out on a badge ahead of time? Just jump on the chat (mentioned above) and ask!
Want to feel the pulse of the hardware community in Europe… this is it.
It’s time to get out and have some fun with other Hackaday people in your area and we have the perfect opportunity. Be part of Hackaday World Create Day on Saturday, April 23rd. This is all about meeting others for an afternoon of creativity. You might even find your engineering dream team! As part of World Create Day you’ll and brainstorm an amazing creation and connect with the people in your area that round out your own skills (electrical, mechanical, design, etc.).
This is the first ever worldwide event Hackaday has organized, and it’s made possible by all of the people who volunteered to organize a Hackaday Meetup in their area. We have heard from more than 100 of you so far and [Liz Krane] has done an amazing job following up with each organizer to get everything set up. You can still sign up to host (or co-host) and use the map to join a meetup already organized in your area.
We’re just getting started but the first added are in Ottawa Canada, Lagos Nigeria, Lynchburg, Virginia, and Puducherrry, India. We have more on the way in Malaysia, Greece, South Africa, India, Cyprus, New Zealand, France, Mexico, China, and many locations in the USA.
We’re sending out World Create Day sticker packs — created by [Joe Kim] and [Michael Guilfoil] — as fast as we can set up the Meetup pages. We will be on the lookout for Hackaday Meetups and World Create Day projects to feature right here on the Hackaday front page. Carve out 4/23 from your calendar and get excited, you don’t want to miss this!
Only a few days ago, a significant proportion of the Hackaday crew was leaving Goshen, Indiana after the fourth annual Midwest RepRap Festival. We go to a lot of events every year, and even when you include DEF CON, security conferences, ham swap meets, and Maker Faires, MRRF is still one of the best. The event itself is an odd mix of people rallying under a banner of open source hardware and dorks dorking around with 3D printer. It’s very casual, but you’re guaranteed to learn something from the hundreds of attendees.
Hundreds of people made the trek out to Goshen this year, and a lot of them brought a 3D printer. Most of these printers aren’t the kind you can buy at a Home Depot or from Amazon. These are customized machines that push the envelope of what consumer 3D printing technology. If you want to know what 3D printing will be like in two or three years, you only need to come to MRRF. It’s an incubator of great ideas, and a peek at what the future of 3D printing holds.