Mid-Winter Hacker Camp In Civilised Surroundings

Imagine a weekend of opulence in which you meet your companion at the railway station and whisk away across the continent in a 190mph express train for a relaxing couple of days enjoying the ambience of a luxury resort hotel in the fresh surroundings of a woodland in midwinter. Break out the Martinis, it’s a scene of elegance and sophistication from a byegone era! This is the general idea of Hacker Hotel 2019, and I had a wonderful time!

On a recent February weekend I broke out the Club-Mate instead stea of a Martini. My companion for the Eurostar and Thalys trip was my local hackspace friend Matt “Gasman” Westcott with his keytar in a bulky suitcase for a chiptune gig, and we were heading for the Netherlands. It’s a pivot from the summer’s hacker camps as over 200 hackers fill a resort hotel for the weekend, scoring comfortable beds instead of dust or mud!

What follows is my experience from this weekend. Join me below and find out why you simply can’t miss the next one! Continue reading “Mid-Winter Hacker Camp In Civilised Surroundings”

Hackaday Meetup: Shenzhen

Hackaday and Seeed Studio are hosting a meetup in Shenzhen on Friday, March 22nd and you are invited!

This meetup is happening at X.factory, a maker hub run by Seeed Studios. Sophi Kravitz and Mike Szczys will be in town for the meetup and will both speak, along with a project talks from members of the Hackaday Community. Snacks and beverages will be served, and as always, if you have a project you’re working on bring it along! Having a piece of hardware is a great way to start a conversation, and this is the perfect place to draw inspiration, seek advice from your peers, and find team members to join in your projects!

Come and celebrate a love for design, electronics, learning new things, and meeting new people. We hope to see you at X.factory next week!

Hackaday Meetup: Vietnam

Hackaday is hosting a meetup in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Sunday, March 24th. We’d love to see you there!

Sean Boyce lives in HCMC — you’ve likely enjoyed several of his articles detailing some of the culture, like keeping track of your scooter when parking in busy areas, and squashing myths about the quality of the coffee. In less than two weeks Mike Szczys will be stopping in to visit Sean and this is a great reason to host a Hackaday meetup!

Sean enjoying a coffee on his scooter.

Join Sean and Mike at Trung Nguyên Legend Café from 7-10 pm on Sunday, March 24th for a bring-a-hack style meetup. If you have a hardware project you’ve been working on, come and show it off as an excellent conversation starter. If not, that’s fine too. We’ve also lined up three short talks spanning topics from robotics to analog electronics. Of course if you’re excited about giving a talk, let us know in the comments below and we’ll work on squeezing you in.

Hackaday tries to host live events in all corners of the world, and it’s exciting to add Vietnam to the list. Head on over to the event page for more info, and we look forward to seeing you there! Of course if you happen to be on the other side of the world this coming weekend, there’s a Hackaday Mini-Unconference happening in Cambridge, UK!

Come To The Hackaday Cambridge Mini Unconference!

Hackaday would like to invite you to a Mini Unconference on Saturday 16th of March, hosted by our friends at Cambridge Makespace, UK.

One of our most successful engagements with our community over the years here at Hackaday has been the Unconference. A group of you our readers join us for a while and deliver a series of 8-minute lightning talks about what is on their mind. This could be a project, a trend, a technological discovery, or whatever, and they combine to form a fascinating cross-section of the state of our world at any given time. Delivering a talk isn’t essential so don’t worry if you’re shy, but we hope that many of you will have something to share.

This is a mini unconference since we have room for only about fifty or so people in a more intimate venue. Cambridge Makespace is a successful hackerspace in the British university city, and they have been so kind as to host the event for us in their classroom. We’ll convene after lunch and have two afternoon sessions with a break for coffee and snacks, and finish up by getting some pizzas in before heading out to enjoy what Cambridge has to offer. Places are limited, so if you know you are going to be able to make it to Cambridge, sign up without delay.

Justin McAllister’s Simple, Post-Apocalypse-Friendly Antennas

Watch Justin McAllister’s presentation on simple antennas suitable for a zombie apocalypse and two things will happen: you’ll be reminded that everything antennas do is amazing, and their reputation for being a black magic art will fade dramatically. Justin really knows his stuff; there is no dangle-a-wire-and-hope-for-the-best in his examples. He demonstrates that it’s possible to communicate over remarkable distances with nothing more than an off-the-shelf radio, battery pack, and an antenna of simple design.

Continue reading “Justin McAllister’s Simple, Post-Apocalypse-Friendly Antennas”

Leigh Johnson’s Guide To Machine Vision On Raspberry Pi

We salute hackers who make technology useful for people in emerging markets. Leigh Johnson joined that select group when she accepted the challenge to build portable machine vision units that work offline and can be deployed for under $100 each. For hardware, a Raspberry Pi with camera plus screen can fit under that cost ceiling, and the software to give it sight is the focus of her 2018 Hackaday Superconference presentation. (Video also embedded below.)

The talk is a very concise 13 minutes, so Leigh flies through definitions of basic terms, before quickly naming TensorFlow and Keras as the tools she used. The time she saved here was spent on explaining what convolutional neural networks are and how they work, just enough to prepare the audience. But all of that is really just background, the meat of the talk is self-contained examples that Leigh has put together and made available online. I love to see that since it means you go beyond just watching and try it out for yourself. Continue reading “Leigh Johnson’s Guide To Machine Vision On Raspberry Pi”

Zach Archer: Live Coding 500 Watts For ToorCamp

ToorCamp is a five-day open air tech camping event held every two years somewhere around the northwest corner of Washington state. Think of it as something like Burning Man, except you can survive for three hours without water, there aren’t a whole bunch of scenesters and Instagram celebs flying in on private planes, and everyone there can actually build something. Oh, and ToorCamp has delivery drones that will send you creme brulee. These mini creme brulees were probably made with the hot air gun hanging off a soldering station. Don’t worry, you’re getting fresh air that’ll balance out the heavy metal poisoning.

For last year’s ToorCamp, the biggest welcome sign was a 40-foot-long illuminated ToorCamp sign. This was designed, built and coded by Zach Archer, and he was at the 2018 Hackaday Superconference to give us the details on how he made it and how it was coded.

Continue reading “Zach Archer: Live Coding 500 Watts For ToorCamp”