Workshops Announced For Hackaday Belgrade

Hackaday is hosting a full conference in Belgrade, Serbia, on 26 May. Today we’re excited to announce the workshops that will take place at Hackaday Belgrade. Workshop tickets are available now, but space is extremely limited and we expect these workshops to fill up fast so purchase your ticket right now!

Details of each workshop are listed below. Topics this year include bringing art to your PCB designs, learning the fundamentals of e-textiles, and getting up-to-speed with FPGAs.

You must have a Hackaday Belgrade ticket in order to purchase a workshop ticket. This is our premier European conference, with the best hardware and technology culture you’ll find anywhere. We think of it as a Hacker Village that comes together for one incredible weekend in May. There will be a bar meetup the night before, talks and workshops all day on Saturday, followed by IDM and DJ sets during the hardware badge hacking which goes late into the night. In addition to the experience of being around a critical mass of excellent people, we’ll have refreshments and food throughout and the conference badge you’ll get is a piece of custom electronics for you to play with and hack on throughout the day.

It’s entertainment. It’s professional development. It’s the crowd of people you’ve always wanted to hang out with. This isn’t hype, it’s Hackaday Belgrade.

Creating Art in PCB

Brian Benchoff

This workshop will guide attendees through the process of creating art in PCBs. Topics covered will be the layer stackup of the modern PCB (copper, fiberglass, soldermask, and silkscreen), the current state-of-the-art using Chinese board houses, and how to implement graphics in PCB art using KiCad.

Interactive Poetic Glove

Lavoslava Benčić

In this e-textile workshop, participants will create a unique interactive wearable that generates sounds of various frequencies and responds to the touch (pressure). This includes learning about electronic elements and circuits with emphasis on the capacitive, conductive, and resistive properties of fabrics and yarns.

FPGA Development 101

Miodrag Milanovic

This workshop will show the capabilities of FPGA devices, providing an introduction into FPGA tools used and the Verilog hardware description language. We will go through prepared examples and show the differences in approach when doing design for FPGA and MCU.

Hackaday events always sell out so don’t wait to buy a ticket. Of all the things you could do this year, the Hackaday Belgrade Conference is one that’s worth disrupting your normal routine and making a pilgrimage — we “get” you and we want to see you at the con!

A Taste of Who’s Speaking at Hackaday Belgrade

We’re busy confirming speakers at the Hackaday Belgrade conference, taking place in Belgrade Serbia on 26 May. Now’s the time to grab a ticket and be part of something special. Here’s a teaser.

Asier Marzo // Build Principles of an Acoustic Levitator
Applications of acoustic levitation in mid-air chemistry, spectroscopy, and tissue engineering.

Vanessa Julia Carpenter // Designing for Meaningfulness in Smart Products
Creating new smart products which focus on value over function, self development, critical reflection, and behaviour change to enable meaningful experiences.

Marcel van Kervinck // Building a TTL Microcomputer without a Microprocessor
Building a small 8-bit homebrew computer out of a few dozen 1970s TTL chips, an oscillator, some RAM, and an EPROM.

Hackaday Belgrade is the hardware community you love gathered together for one exquisite weekend. Get to town Friday for a meetup at the pub, then spend a marathon Saturday enjoying the best talks, badge hacking, workshop, and live music. What we’ve just listed are of course all just the events… the real value of Hackaday Belgrade is the culture and the people that make up this community. Don’t miss it!

More Excitement to Come

Join the Hackaday Belgrade project page to get in on the live chat where we drop early info as it comes along. Also keep your eye on Hackaday, we’ll announce more speakers as we receive final confirmation. Right now we’re reviewing workshop proposals and expect to send out acceptances later this week.

Of course there’s a lot more to get really excited about. For instance, Voja Antonic and Jaromi Sukuba are hard at work on the hardware badge for the conference. It’s alive, and that’s an awful lot of switches!

Brush up on your BASIC language skills and dig that PICkit out of your tool bag. We can’t wait to see the hacks that come together with this one. If you have suggestions for features we should roll into the stock firmware, leave a comment on the badge project page!

One Week Left for Hackaday Belgrade Proposals

Do you have your tickets for Hackaday Belgrade? Our premiere European conference is on 26 May and tickets are on a rapid trajectory to sell out.

Those of you weighing the idea of presenting a talk, you now have less than one week to get your proposal to us. While we have already accepted several exemplary talks, final decisions won’t be made until after the submission deadline passes on Sunday, March 4th.

Mike Harrison showing off his demo work on the 2016 Hackaday Belgrade badge. If you have stories of the demoscene, consider sending in a talk proposal.

What kind of talks are we looking for? We’d love to have a few talks about the demoscene. The conference badge this year is a full-blown retrocomputer, and we’re working on a BASIC for it. If you can push pixels on a Comodore 64, we’d love to hear you talk about it. We’re also suckers for the lesser known stories of tech history (Mike Harrison’s talk on the Eidophor projector tech all but forgotten to history was a delight).

We’re always interested in creative design; think circuit boards that aren’t square and enclosures that go beyond just putting something in a simple box. And of course we’re forever in search of the rare gems that share a glimpse of the research world, like this computing cluster built to get around limited supercomputer time when calculating quantum effect simulations.

These are great talks presented to an audience hungry to share your excitement. Get those proposals in by the end of this weekend!

Early Bird Tickets for Hackaday Belgrade

Early Bird tickets for Hackaday Belgrade have just gone on sale, but they will not last long. This is Hackaday’s premier European hardware conference with talks, workshops, great food and drink, entertainment, and a hardware badge for hacking and demos. Festivities will go all day on 26 May and carry long into the night. The last time we did this was two years ago and it was completely sold out — now’s the time to get in on the fun.

Who’s speaking, what are the workshops all about, what does the hardware badge do, and what music do you have lined up? Trust your gut — we’ll have more details soon enough but you know this conference will be epic and it’s worth your time and treasure to be there. To reward your enthusiasm, Early Bird tickets are a much better deal than general admission.

Our Call for Proposals is now open. We seek talks and workshops exploring the most interesting uses of technology and the culture that goes along with it.

The Circle of Friends You May Not Have Met

You know those people just outside of the Hackaday orbit who are tired of hearing about the stuff you build and the coding tricks you discover? Those people won’t be there. Everywhere you turn at Hackaday Belgrade, fascinating conversations await. You’ll want it to last a week but it’s just one day… plus a little more.

Plan to arrive in Belgrade on Friday. There will be an unofficial meetup at a bar (last time we took over most of the place). The weather in Springtime is amazing and having pivo on the porch until far too late in the evening was a blast.

Hackaday Belgrade Badge prototype. Voja Antonic, creator of the Galaksija computer — now in museums around the world — just Tweeted this teaser image of the conference badge design.

Things get started, not too early, on Saturday around 10 AM, and we’ll have coffee and treats to kick off the day. The baristas in 2016 were incredible, and the food — lunch and dinner — were as well. These amenities ring the socializing area of the conference in the lobby of the main hall. Talks and workshops will go all day but at 7 PM it’s all about hacking while our crew lay down a live IDM set. At 11 PM the badge hacking demos begin and the live DJ steps up at midnight.

See the Sights

Don’t let things end there. I vaguely remember a 3 or 4 AM ćevapi run after the last Hackaday Belgrade conference, and there were multiple groups planning museum trips the next day. Belgrade has a wonderful Museum of Science and Technology (I made it to that one), a Nikola Tesla Museum (I’m planning to get there this time), and a multitude of interesting attractions. I’ll save you from having to see my gallery of food photos, but the city is fun, inexpensive, and has really delicious cuisine.

This is a weekend you’ll remember forever. Make your plans now!


Hackaday Belgrade 2018 Posters (click for full size download link):

Relive the Hackaday Belgrade Conference

The Hackaday Belgrade Conference was an amazing success. For proof, you need look no farther than the slate of talks that we have been publishing over that past several weeks. Each looks at different angles of the hardware universe; what does it mean to create hardware, where have we been, where are we going, and where does inspiration for the next great design come from?

The talks have now all been published and collected into one video playlist; it was an intense day of talks all caught in one streaming frenzy. But if you can’t make it through in one sitting, I’ve also listed the individual talks after the break so you that you may pick and choose.

There are, however, two talks that have just been published this afternoon. These are the opening remarks presented by Aleksandar Bradic and the closing remarks which I presented. When we meet people we’re often asked about what is going on behind the scenes. It’s really easy to think that nobody cares about what it takes to pull together a conference, run an amazing engineering challenge, or how we decide what we think matters when looking to the future. Alek covers the back story of how Supplyframe and Hackaday came together, as well as what led us to choose Belgrade for this conference. I discuss what I think is a core virtue of Hackaday; the free and open sharing of information and ideas. It’s a concept I believe in, and the most noble of reasons for documenting your work so that others may build upon your knowledge and skill.

Hackaday | Belgrade went beyond what we even considered possible. It joins the 2016 SuperConference (whose talk videos have also been published) as a shining example of our strong, active, and engaged community who want to spend their time enabling everyone — hackers, designers, and engineers alike — to succeed.

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Evolving Storytelling to Marry the Ancient Skills with the Digital Age

Storytelling is an art. It stretches back to the dawn of man. It engages people on an emotional level and engages their mind. Paulina Greta Stefanovic, a user experience researcher and interaction designer is on the cutting edge of bringing our technology together with the best human aspects of this long tradition.

The information age is threatening storytelling — not making it extinct, but reducing the number of people who themselves are storytellers. We are no longer reliant on people in our close social circles to be exquisite story tellers for our own enjoyment; we have the luxury (perhaps curse?) of mass market story-telling.

Paulina’s work unlocks interactive storytelling. The idea isn’t new, as great storytellers have always read their audience and played to their engagement. Interactive storytelling in the digital age seeks to design this skill into the technology that is delivering the story. This is a return from passive entertainment.

This breaks down into interactive versus responsive. At its simplest, think of responsive as a video that has a pause button. You can change the flow of the story but you can’t make the story your own. Surprisingly, this is a new development as the ability to pause playback is but a few decades old. So you can pause a responsive medium, but true interactive experiences involve creation — the audience is immersed in the story and can make substantive changes to the outcome during the experience.

This equates to a power transfer. The creator of the media is no longer in complete control, ceding some to the audience. We are just at the start of this technology and it looks like the sky is the limit on what we can do with algorithmic interactions.

Video games are the forerunners of this change. They already have branching stories that let the users make choices that greatly affect the storyline. This industry is huge and it seems obvious that this active aspect of story consumption is a big part of that success. Even more intriguing is a “drama management system” (a new term to me but I love it) that results in a story whose ending nobody knows until this particular audience gets there. What a concept, and something I can’t wait to see for myself!

If you find these concepts as interesting as I do, check out Paulina’s talk below, which she presented at the Hackaday Belgrade conference.

Navid Gornall Eats His Own Face

Navid Gornall is a creative technologist at a London advertising agency, which means that he gets to play with cool toys and make movies. That also means that he spends his every working hour trying to explain tech to non-technical audiences. Which is why he was so clearly happy to give a talk to the audience of hardware nerds at the Hackaday Belgrade conference.

After a whirlwind pastiche of the projects he’s been working on for the last year and a half, with tantalizing views of delta printers, dancing-flame grills, and strange juxtapositions of heat sinks and food products, he got down to details. What followed was half tech show-and-tell, and half peering behind the curtain at the naked advertising industry. You can read our writeup of the highlights after the video below.

Continue reading “Navid Gornall Eats His Own Face”