[Vaibhav Chhabra], the co-founder of Maker’s Asylum hackerspace in Mumbai, India, starts his Remoticon talk by telling a short story about how the hackerspace rose to its current status. Born out of frustration with a collapsed office ceiling, having gone through eight years of moving and reorganizations, it accumulated a loyal participant base – not unusual with hackerspaces that are managed well. This setting provided a perfect breeding ground for the M19 effort when COVID-19 reached India, mixing “what can we do” and “what should we do” inquiries into a perfect storm and starting the 49 day work session that swiftly outgrew the hackerspace, both physically and organizationally.
When the very first two weeks of the Infinite Two Week Quarantine Of 2020 were announced in India, a group of people decided to wait it out at the hackerspace instead of confining themselves to their homes. As various aspects of our society started crashing after the direct impact of COVID-19, news came through – that of a personal protective equipment shortage, especially important for frontline workers. Countries generally were not prepared when it came to PPE, and India was no different. Thus, folks in Maker’s Asylum stepped up, finding themselves in a perfect position to manufacture protective equipment when nobody else was prepared to help.
Every hacker out there is familiar with the zaps and sizzles of the Tesla coil, or the crash and thunder of lighting strikes on our hallowed Earth. These phenomena all involve the physics of plasma, a subject near and dear to Jay Bowles’s heart. Thus, he graced Remoticon 2021 with a enlightening talk taking us on a Dip Into the Plasmaverse.
Segmented liquid crystal displays are considered quite an old and archaic display technology these days. They’re perhaps most familiar to us from their use in calculators and watches, where they still find regular application. [Joey Castillo] decided that he could get more out of these displays with a little tinkering, and rocked up to Remoticon 2021 to share his findings.
[Joey] got his start hacking on these displays via his Sensor Watch project – a board swap for the venerable Casio F-91W wristwatch, with the project now available on CrowdSupply. It kits out the 33-year-old watch design with a modern, low-power ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller running at 32 MHz that completely revolutionizes what the watch can do. Most importantly, however, it repurposes the watches original segmented monochrome LCD.
Segment LCDs are usually small monochrome devices made out of glass, that have the benefit of using very little power in their operation. They come with a fixed layout, which cannot be changed – so they’re often designed specifically for a given purpose. A calculator will have segments laid out to display numbers, often in the usual 7-segment fashion, while a watch may add dedicated segments for displaying things like “AM,” “PM,” or “ALARM.” Continue reading “Remoticon 2021 // Joey Castillo Teaches Old LCDs New Tricks”→
With just a few days to go before the kickoff of the 2021 Hackaday Remoticon, we’re still working furiously behind the scenes to pack as much content as possible into the two day virtual event. In fact, there’s so much going on that we thought you’d appreciate getting a bit of a head start as far as planning your own personal course through the weekend goes. The event might be free, but that’s no reason not to squeeze as much out of it as you can.
Chat It Up on Discord
To begin with, you’re really going to want to join the official Hackaday Remoticon Discord server. We know some subset of the Hackaday readership would rather we used Matrix, or IRC, or maybe carefully modulated smoke signals; but at the end of the day, Discord has bubbled to the top as the defacto choice for this kind of thing. Give it a shot, you might actually like it.
The Discord server isn’t just a place for like-minded hackers to hang out and discuss the musical stylings of DJ Jackalope during the Saturday afterparty. It’s also how attendees can ask questions at the end of each presenter’s talk, as we’ll be turning off YouTube chat to keep things centralized. Even if you don’t plan on communicating with others (though you really should), the Discord server has an interactive schedule of events which will let you sign up to be notified when the talks you’ve selected are about to start, and we’ll be dropping important announcements and links in there as the event goes on.
Friday Bring-a-Hack on Gather Town
Friday night ends with a Bring-a-Hack where attendees can show off whatever they’ve been working on using Gather. It’s a video chat platform inside a virtual 2D world that looks a bit like Legend of Zelda.
Using this virtual environment, you can easily drop into an ongoing video stream simply by walking up to the presenter. Once you’ve seen enough, just walk over to the next little cluster of users. The point is to recreate the experience of stopping by a crowded after party where everyone brought some hardware project along with them to get spark conversations. Space will be limited, with ticket holders and people in Discord getting the first dibs, so keep an eye on your inbox for information about how to join.
Of course this is not the only Friday evening activity. A few weeks ago we announced that Lewin Day will be hosting Hacker Trivia, giving our beloved commenters the chance to show off your unimpeachable knowledge of technology and Hackaday history. The Friday talk stream will dump immediately into trivia, but here’s the dedicated link if you want to set a reminder for yourself.
Try It, You’ll Like It!
It’s difficult, perhaps even impossible, to truly recreate the experience of going to an in-person hacker con. But with interactive events and the latest and greatest communication software, we’re hoping the 2021 Remoticon can get pretty close. All the pieces are in place, the only thing we need now is to have a whole bunch of excited hackers to join in and have a good time. Think you can help us out?
You know, it’s hard to believe, but Hackaday Remoticon 2021 is just two weeks away. Every year, we work hard to make the ‘con a little better and brighter than the one before it, and this year is no exception. We’ve already got a star-studded list of keynote speakers, and our list of inspiring talks seems to get longer and more exciting every week. With todays announcement of three more speakers, that list is complete and available along with their scheduled times on the official Remoticon website.
Come and see what we’ve got in store for you on Friday, November 19th and Saturday, November 20th. Remoticon admission is absolutely free this year, unless you want a t-shirt to commemorate the event for a paltry $25. Tickets are still available — in fact, they’ll be available right up until Remoticon Day One on the 19th, but if you want a shirt you’ll need to grab one of those tickets by a week from today. Go get yours now!
Okay, let’s get on to today’s announcement of the speakers!
We’ve already unveiled multiple keynote speakers and a slate of fascinating presenters that will be showing off everything from reverse engineering vintage calculators to taking those first tentative steps on your CAD journey for this year’s Remoticon. You’d be forgiven for thinking that’s everything you’ll see at the conference, but there’s still plenty to announce before the two-day virtual event kicks off on November 19th. Normally we’d be promising to make sure you get your money’s worth, but since tickets are completely free, we’re shooting a bit higher than that.
We were blown away by the number of fantastic talk proposals we received during this year’s extended call. Let’s take a look at the next four presenters who will be joining us for the 2021 Hackaday Remoticon on November 19th through the 20th.
It’s coming up fast — Hackaday Remoticon 2021 is just a few weeks away, and we’re working around the clock to load up the weekend with awesome and inspiring talks that are bound to get the creative juices racing through your crazy straw brain.
Come and practice your neuroplasticity with us on November 19th and 20th. Remoticon is free-as-in-beer this year, unless you want a t-shirt. Even then, $25 is peanuts, because we’re sure that you’ll find a few talks that are priceless, and you’ll have a cool shirt to remember them by. Grab your ticket right now! We’ll wait.
A few days ago we announced mechanical engineering marvel Jeremy Fielding as our second keynote speaker. Passion is paramount to all projects, and Jeremy’s passion is making things move. He’s a renaissance man with a quiver full of self-taught skills, and is sure to bring enthusiasm to his keynote talk, which focuses on building hardware that moves, and how to handle the mechatronic mysteries that arise when trying to scale things up.
For now, let us indulge you with a preview of the second round of talks and speakers that we’ll be showcasing on November 19th and 20th. There’s plenty more where these came from, and we’ll be serving up fresh samples all the way until Remoticon weekend.