New Front-end Web Development series starting in January

My long-running series of classes on front-end web development begins again on January 5th!

This weekly class is targeted toward those who have never written a line of code but are interested in learning to, and discovering how to make great websites while doing so. But it’s also great for old hands who are looking to brush up and learn the new ways. Whoever you are, you’ll probably find the class easy to follow and fun to attend (if I do say so myself).

The class runs for about six months from start to finish. Every Monday evening at 8, I’ll give a lecture walking you through creating a small project that demonstrates a different aspect of web development, like certain features of CSS, or frameworks like jQuery or AngularJS. Every Thursday evening at 8, you can come to the “lab” portion of the class and hang out, working on an assignment that I hand out, or a project of your own. I’ll be there to help walk you through any aspect you’d like to know about.

Since I give a half-hour recap before every lecture, don’t feel discouraged if you miss a week or two, or can’t make the labs. And, like everything at Noisebridge, this class is free to attend. But Noisebridge would love your donations! If you find this class or anything else that Noisebridge offers helpful, please consider setting up a recurring donation! We’d really appreciate it!

If you’re not local to San Francisco, my Monday lectures are always streamed via Google+ Hangouts. Here’s a link to the upcoming stream on January 5th. And past series of classes can be found on my YouTube channel. If you are local, just show up! You can optionally join this Facebook event to remind yourself.

Looking for more info? Read up on the Noisebridge wiki article. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me.

Noisebridge Grand Re-Opening Party!

After 7 years of being open 24/7, Noisebridge closed for the month of July to do some much needed infrastructure work. That work is mostly finished, and we’re having a Kickass Grand Re-Opening party!

Noisebridge-Re-Opening Party!

Come celebrate 7 years of Noisebridge helping the world!

This party is also a Kickass Fundraising Party to benefit the Noisebridge Reboot!

There will be live music!    There will be DJs!
There will be live comedy!
There will be cool projects being demo-ed!
There will be food!    There will be drink!
There will be awesome people!
There will be you!

Please come and help us celebrate,
     and help Noisebridge help the world for 7 more years — and beyond!

All are welcome!

When: Friday, 15-August, 6pm – 10pm
Where: at Noisebridge — map
Cost: FREE! Suggested donation at the door — no one turned away for lack of funds.


## Comedians/live music 6-7p

## Totem Pulse ( dance-music band 7-8p

## DJ MyKill ( 8-9p

## Doc Pop ( 9-10p

## TBA 10-11p

## Rich DDT ( 11p-12a

Please consider dontating to our Noisebridge IndieGoGo campaign to help pay for all the infrastructure work!

and get way cool stuff, to boot!
Help Noisebridge continue to help the world!



Thanks to Rubin for the upgrades to this blog! And for giving me admin access.

If you were not aware, Noisebridge has been undergoing a reboot for the past month or so. This meant closing down the space, sanding down all the floors, throwing out a ridiculous amount of cruft, putting up new walls, getting rid of code violations, destroying the DJ booth and kitchen, the whole shebang. And it’s looking great so far! There’s still a bunch of stuff do to, but I have had a significant hand in hampering that progress by organizing…

gerbil20110724-22047-1d239dr120110725-22047-xhnyp8 !!!CLASS-A-THON!!!hamwalk20110724-22047-1b7af0u120110725-22047-xhnyp8hamu20110724-22047-qp2fnw

 A week simply packed, filled to the brim, just bursting at the seams, with classes. Except for when everyone’s at work, because obviously. Someone actually felt like pointing that out to me and I was like, okay, thanks.

It’s Sunday evening and I’ve been sitting in the Church room, complete with new paint, new ethernet, and otherwise in-progress electrical wiring, for two whole days. These days have been spent learning about Arduino, Eagle CAD, Python, Kinect, and Lightroom. And I taught my own class on computers. So far, huge success! It is only too bad that having a good amount of students in the space is not conducive to coating the floors in polyurethane, on account of the whole volatile organic compounds entering people’s lungs.

Regardless, both work on the space and classes in the space will continue throughout the week. There’s just a heck of a lot of stuff coming up. Here’s the whole schedule. Just look at it.

This Friday around 6pm, probably regardless of where we are construction-wise, we’re throwing a Grand Re-opening Party and wow you’re all invited! Watch this space, or maybe the wiki‘s space, or maybe the mailing lists, or something else.

What have I been forgetting? Oh yes; money. This whole reboot thing is expensive! So if you’ve been moved to tears by this story of valor and paint fumes, please donate generously to our currently running Indiegogo so when all is said and done we’re able to appreciate all we’ve done without being evicted. Have a Noisetastic day! I’m winking and pointing both of my fingers at you.

Noisebridgers Make Novel Method to Cycle LED’s

Welcome to our workbench.

Jameco and donated a buncha weird parts to Noisebridge, including LED’s, crystal oscillators, 555 timers, Russian capacitors…. Thank You, JameCo and Instructables! Thanks Dana Sniezko for suggesting this partnership.

Our mission: make something that does something. Not as easy as it sounds.

The result: A 9-volt battery driving an LM317 power-supply outputting 5 volts, driving a tiny sliver of crystallized rock into resonance at one-and-a-half thousand vibrations per second, divided in half, 8 times, by a binary counter, down to a speed of about six vibrations per-second, driving an LED.

Meaning, we made multiple LED’s blink at varying rates, all without a microcontroller. “i’m happy to say, not one 555 was used”, says Johny Radio, organizer. “This was my design goal, since everybody uses 555’s for everything.”

John Ellis provided essential insight regarding chip-pinouts, Jonathan brain-hacker suggested using two crystals to derive beat-frequencies (which we decided added unnecessary complexity, and would have delayed pizza-time), Martino Da Video was our handsome public-relations representative (he wore pink sunglasses), and Johny Radio conceived the circuit design. It was a real Noisebridge group achievement.

“One amazing Instructable” says Carley Jacobson of

For more details and hot pix, and to learn how to make your own, go to:
850 views, 6 faves, and counting…

Toorcamp with Noisebridge

Toorcamp is a hacker/maker conference and camp, the next one is coming up August 8th through the 12th and takes place on the Northern Washington coast in Neah Bay. Hacker camps generally consist of talks and workshops, plus the fine tomfoolery that hackers can come up with when faced with the great out doors.

Just like last year, Noisebridge is planning a camp, The People's Republic of Nosebridge. Within PR0N we'll be hosting the Welcome Pavilion, Light Tower of Consenso, Occubus, Drama Cafe, and a vomitorium.

Interested in going to Toorcamp? Want to possibly camp with PR0N? Are you an excellent human being? Great! Get on our mailing list and ask how now!

Geeks & Depression meetup (in San Francisco)

Geeks & Depression meetup
Tuesday, 6-December, 7:30pm
No Starch Press, 38 Ringold Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
(near Civic Center BART Station)

Let’s have a meetup where geeks can talk about depression and suicide. You are not alone. Share your story, if you like. Share a friend’s story. Or just hang out and listen. Let’s make it OK to talk about these things so that we don’t feel so alone with our feelings of being alone and depressed or suicidal.

This is not a support group — none of us are trained professionals, but we can get together in a safe, confidential space to talk about depression and suicide — an important part of life for so many of us geeks.


If others elsewhere in the world feel like creating their own meetups, please do.




Please reach out

For folks who don’t know, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the founders of Diaspora, committed suicide recently.  He was 22 years old.

Ilya hung out at Noisebridge, and also led workshops and hackathons for Diaspora at our space.  Most people who met him were quickly taken in by his enthusiasm and do-ocratic charisma.  I became instant friends with him the first day he showed up at Noisebridge shortly after he moved to San Francisco last year.

Hardly anyone had even a clue that Ilya was depressed, let alone suicidal.  He was bubbly, cheerful, excited about all the way cool projects he was implementing, as well as the ones he had thought, and would think of.

Last night was his memorial in San Francisco, followed a party in his backyard in the Mission.  This party was typical of the epic parties Ilya threw in his backyard over the past many months, bringing together so many wonderful people — incredible opportunities to have fun meeting and connecting with each other.  The only thing atypical last night was that Ilya was not there.

Both the memorial and the party were full of people who knew and loved Ilya, and who Ilya knew and loved.  Ilya could have reached out to any one of us — any time of day or night.  He could have reached out.  But he didn’t.

For Ilya to have held in and hid his pain so well that all of these people, including myself, had no clue — Ilya must have felt *so* alone, *so* isolated, exacerbating his pain too greatly.  If he had reached out, maybe — maybe — he could have lived another day.  But he didn’t.

I lived the first half of my life in total and utter depression.  No joy, just shame, just self-loathing, dread and anxiety and fear of other people — total depression.  I know what it is like to be depressed.  I know what it is like to live for one’s whole life knowing and believing that the best life might have to offer is the ability for me to endure the pain till I eventually died.  That was the best possibility.  As with Ilya, I hid all of this from the world as best as I could.  And most people had no clue I was depressed.

Yet, I learned, through making choices for myself, and learning from the consequences of my choices, and with help and support of others, over a period of many years, making more choices, learning, growing, crashing, burning, making more choices, more support. . . — I eventually learned to live a life I love.  I love the life I live!  If I could learn to live a life I love, then, certainly, it is possible for anyone to do this!

It is more than possible — it is way worthwhile, way rewarding, way wonderful to go through the experiences of our life — through the ups and the downs, through the all-arounds, and all the pain and suffering and joy and love and excitement — and come to a place where you know that the pain, regardless of its intensity, is yet another (perhaps seemingly unendurable) experience, which gives way to more of what makes life even more worthwhile.

Depression is an important part of life.  Everyone experiences it to some extent.  But to those of us who know chronic depression, it is our own unique hell.

Unique as it is to each of us, we all share a lot.

And we all have a lot to share with each other. Through the ups, and the downs, the all-arounds.

For someone who has no experience reaching out, it can seem to be the scariest thing possible.  But it is possible.

It is very possible.  Ilya is dead.  But you — you are still alive.  If you are contemplating suicide, please know that you are not alone.  You are part of a community of others, many of whom know what it is like to be hopelessly depressed.  Many of whom are more than open for you to reach out to (if you only knew!).

You *can* choose to kill yourself.  But it will be your last choice.  If you are ready to kill yourself, why not try out one choice first?  What do you have to lose?  I know it is scary, and perhaps way shameful, and maybe too awful, and extremely difficult — but, really, what do you have to lose?  Please know that you *can* choose to reach out to someone.  Please, know that you can.  Please, pick someone and reach out.

Why wait till your pain is so unendurable?  You can reach out now.  (Really, you can.)



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