Hackaday Links: January 24, 2021

Code can be beautiful, and good code can be a work of art. As it so happens, artful code can also result in art, if you know what you’re doing. That’s the idea behind Programming Posters, a project that Michael Fields undertook to meld computer graphics with the code behind the images. It starts with a simple C program to generate an image. The program needs to be short enough to fit legibly into the sidebar of an A2 sheet, and as if that weren’t enough of a challenge, Michael constrained himself to the standard C libraries to generate his graphics. A second program formats the code and the image together and prints out a copy suitable for display. We found the combination of code and art beautiful, and the challenge intriguing.

It always warms our hearts when we get positive feedback from the hacker community when something we’ve written has helped advance a project or inspire a build. It’s not often, however, that we learn that Hackaday is required reading. Educators at the Magellan International School in Austin, Texas, recently reached out to Managing Editor Elliot Williams to let him know that all their middle school students are required to read Hackaday as part of their STEM training. Looks like the kids are paying attention to what they read, too, judging by KittyWumpus, their ongoing mechatronics/coding project that’s unbearably adorable. We’re honored to be included in their education, and everyone in the Hackaday community should humbled to realize that we’ve got an amazing platform for inspiring the next generation of hardware hackers.

Hackers seem to fall into two broad categories: those who have built a CNC router, and those who want to build one. For those in the latter camp, the roadblock to starting a CNC build is often “analysis paralysis” — with so many choices to make, it’s hard to know where to start. To ease that pain and get you closer to starting your build, Matt Ferraro has penned a great guide to planning a CNC router build. The encyclopedic guide covers everything from frame material choice to spindle selection and software options. If Matt has a bias toward any particular options it’s hard to find; he lists the pros and cons of everything so you can make up your own mind. Read it at your own risk, though; while it lowers one hurdle to starting a CNC build, it does nothing to address the next one: financing.

Like pretty much every conference last year and probably every one this year, the Open Hardware Summit is going to be virtual. But they’re still looking for speakers for the April conference, and just issued a Call for Proposals. We love it when we see people from the Hackaday community pop up as speakers at conferences like these, so if you’ve got something to say to the open hardware world, get a talk together. Proposals are due by February 11, so get moving.

And finally, everyone will no doubt recall the Boston Dynamics robots that made a splash a few weeks back with their dance floor moves. We loved the video, mainly for the incredible display of robotic agility and control but also for the choice of music. We suppose it was inevitable, though, that someone would object to the Boomer music and replace it with something else, like in the video below, which seems to sum up the feelings of those who dread our future dancing overlords. We regret the need to proffer a Tumblr link, but the Internet is a dark and wild place sometimes, and only the brave survive.

https://commiemartyrshighschool.tumblr.com/post/640760882224414720/i-fixed-the-audio-for-that-boston-dynamics-video

9 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: January 24, 2021

  1. Programming posters, I realize your looking for cool looking pics with C code, but there is a program called POVRAY on povray.org. That is a program that let’s you create pictures (3d art) with C like code.

  2. You can probably dig into the archives of obfuscated C contest entries to find examples of “the code IS the art” with a circle shaped one that calculates pi from itself and a Christmas tree shaped one IIRC, may be several more.

  3. the roadblock to starting a CNC build is often “analysis paralysis”

    Really? My guess would be most have the same problem I have: “Where the heck would I put it?” The only space I have that might fit a router of useable size is a damp and unconditioned shed that isn’t quite 100% sealed from the elements.

  4. Supported round rails have a weak spot: where one line of the bearing balls is removed from the bearing to make room for the support. The very first picture on that page shows both the X (assuming the gantry is the X axis) and Z axis rails in their weakest orientation considering sideways (routing) cutting forces (especially along the Y axis, again assuming the moving table is the Y)….

    Although it is easier to use those rails that way, it is definitely not the best

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