Hackenings: Retro Gaming and Computing

[Strages] contacted us via IRC on the #Hackerspaces channel to let us know that Makers Local 256, his hackerspace in Huntsville Alabama, is having their annual Retro Gaming and Computing Night this week: November 12th from 4pm to 11pm.

Nothing makes us feel old like seeing Starcraft tossed in with the "retro" games category, but if they set up a LAN for three-way Zerg-Terran-Protoss action, we’ll abide. If you’re anywhere near Huntsville, you should head on down and show off your hard-earned skills.


"Hackenings" is our weekly roundup of what’s going on in hackerspaces around the world. If you’ve got an event that you’d like to see on these pages, write to tips@hackaday.com with [Hackenings] in the subject line, and awesome images or graphics if you’ve got ’em. And tune in again next Saturday to see what’s going on in (y)our world.

Weekly Roundup 3/3/11

In case you missed them the first time, here are our most popular posts from the past week:

In first place is a post about a video by [Rear Admiral Grace Hopper] where she talks about how to visualize a nanosecond using a piece of copper wire.

Coming in at second is one that we are pretty excited about here at HAD. The Raspberry Pi has finally launched! For those of you who haven’t been following its progress, this is a small (roughly the size of a credit card) Linux computer that costs only $35 for the better model! We can think of all sorts of things that we would like to use them for but alas, even we can’t get our grubby hands on them quite yet since they are already completely sold out.

Next we have a weather station for the virtual weather within Minecraft. This project uses a small LCD and an Arduino to tell you if you need to be wearing your virtual raincoat.

If you have been looking for a way to anodize titanium at home instead of sending out your parts to a service, here is a post for you.

Finally, we finish up with a post that we like a lot. It is about three remote controlled ‘airplanes’ that were flown near the Brooklyn Bridge that look a lot like people when seen from a distance.

Weekly Roundup 2/11/12

In case you have been on vacation, here is the best that we have had on our blog in the past week:

In first place is a post about [the University of Pennsylvania’s] quadcopter team. This time they have a group of twenty quadcopters flying in formation.

In second place is a post about a nice project by [Joel] where he converted an overhead projector into a TV projector by projecting through a LCD TV. He went all-out on this one by using a CNC machine to cut out a special holder for the LCD and the fans necessary to cool it.

Next up we have a post about a project where a 55 gallon plastic barrel is turned into a wind turbine. We’re not sure about how much power this would produce but it would probably be fun to play around with.

Following that is a follow up post about Printrbot, an inexpensive 3D printer which we previously posted about. It was a successful Kickstarter project a couple of months ago and now the design files have been released into the wild. Check it out!

Finally we finish off with a post about how to build a solid-state Tesla coil. It’s presented in an Instructable with 12 easy steps so that you too can feed your high-voltage addiction.

Weekly Roundup 2/4/12

Another week has come and gone and that means that it is time for our week in review. These are the top posts that have been viewed at Hackaday in the past week.

Coming in at first place is a post about a project by [Red Jones] and [Brian Kast] of Sandia labs. Ethical issues aside, this is a pretty cool project. They have developed a bullet that can be shot out of a smooth-bore gun that can hit within eight inches of a target one kilometer away. That is pretty amazing. It does this magic with an 8-bit processor. This takes the microcontroller wars to a whole new level. Are they using Microchip, Atmel or (gasp) something else?

In second place is a follow up post to our post asking how to control three LEDs with three switches, all in series. That post, although it was posted in December 2011 came in at number three. Getting back on topic though, this week’s post shows how he did it! Not only that, but it shows the extent that he went to when making it. There is footage through the eyepiece of a microscope showing him building one!

Want to use LiPo batteries in your next project but are afraid to use them? Here is a post where [Paul] shows off a circuit that he built that can charge LiPo batteries using a MCP7813 chip from Microchip.

Finally, rounding out the five is a post about a blog that was taken down but luckily not before the IEEE made a copy of it. This blog was made by a robot operator working at the Fukushima nuclear plant and detailed their ongoing cleanup operations there.

Weekly roundup 1/28/12

Another week has passed and it is time to review the best of what hit our blog in the past week.

In first place is a repeat from last week showing how you can turn an Android device with a CMOS camera into a radiation detector.

In first place if we ignore repeats is a post about how the Raspberry Pi board can decode 1080p video! We’re just itching to get our grubbly little hands on some of these guys when they are finally released.

Up next is a project from one of our own. This week [Brian Benchoff] put up a post about how he built a manifold clock after seeing a similar project on Kickstarter.

Following that is a post showing how you can overlay video onto an encrypted HDMI signal. The MPAA would probably like to crack [bunnie] over the knuckles with a ruler for this one but he actually isn’t decrypting anything. Instead, he is encrypting the overlay and just replacing the normal video with it.

We like this next one a lot because it not only is a nice hack but it allows you to subtly control what can and cannot happen around you. Specifically, you can jam remote control helicopters with this device. It probably wouldn’t be too hard to pair this up with a TV B Gone to keep people from turning the TV back on once you have wrought your mischief.

Finally, another really neat one for you. In this post, we show [Sprite_tm’s] radio transmitter that is composed out of two button cell batteries, two lengths of wire and an ATtiny processor. It is amazing that this even works but with the right tools, a good hacker can do just about anything.

Weekly Roundup 1/21/12

In case you were asleep at the wheel, here are our top stories of the week.

Our most popular post was one that shows you how to make your own ‘personal assistant’ using Wolfram Alpha, text to speech software, and the phone network. It still won’t get your coffee though. You’ll just have to do that yourself.

Coming in at second place was a post about how to use your Android camera phone as a Geiger counter. Of course, this hack will work with any device that uses a CMOS sensor to do its imaging but they have gone and wrapped it up into a nice app.

Do you have access to a laser cutter and a burning desire (pun intended) to make gears? In this post Alex makes some acrylic gears using an Epilog laser cutter.

When is our government going to get it through their heads that we don’t want the internet to be controlled by a small group of corporations? Probably when the lobbyists stop giving them money by the boat load to do just that… It seems like several times a year a bill comes through that would severely restrict the internet or would at least allow someone to shut down a website without any sort of due process. Luckily, groups like the EFF are paying attention and are well organized for getting the word out there. This post was our stand against the current bills that threaten our internet freedom.

Finally, on a lighter note, we have a post about how to do ultrasonic welding on the cheap using a ‘heat staker’ and a small drill press.

Weekly Roundup 12/10/11

In case you missed them the first time, here are our most popular posts from the past week.

In first place is a post that made our mothers’ wash our mouths out with soap. It is a periodic table of swearing!

Up next is a post about a micromouse robot that can run a maze faster than you would think is possible. Watch out lab rats, it’s gunning for your job.

Are regular violins too low tech? Would you rather play an instrument that could survive a few minutes with Chuck Norris and still keep playing the sweetest melodies? [Ken] created a violin out of carbon fiber that fits the bill.

Want to brake some aluminum? (or bend for the white collar folks out there.) In this post, you can see [Rupert’s] build where he has created a metal brake out of little more than bamboo and some hinges.

Last but not the least is [Zach’s] build that changes the brightness of his Christmas tree lights based on the pitch of the notes from the Star Wars theme.