When I tell people I’m building a land yacht, people tend to get one of two mental images:
Here’s what I actually built:
Sailing it at El Mirage Dry Lake:
I used these awesome “Lake Lefroy Mini” instructions from the seabreeze.com.au land yacht forums as a starting point, and made some small tweaks of my own along the way.
I did the major welding and woodwork at Tech Shop SF:
Raw materials from Alan Steel and Discount Builder Supply
Free windsurfing gear from craigslist
Fabricating the rear axel assembly
Main frame, v1
Frame with mast step and steering
Mast and sail
During the initial test sail with a friend in Mountain View, prior to having a real seat to sit on, we managed to open the spine like a can opener due to the lateral force of the wind (and some likely dubious welds).
I replaced the spine with much heavier stock, which while probably overkill in terms of weight, will never fail.
I added a seat, and took it down to El Mirage dry lake bed in Souther California for a true first sail. El Mirage is like the worlds largest parking lot – flat, hard, and windy. I estimate it got up to 20-25 mph, though the commercially built yachts were blowing by me at 40+ mph like I was standing still.
Most recently, I brought it into Noisebridge for some rerigging, including recutting a windsurfing sail according to these instructions from the sea breeze forums, so that it’s flatter and hopefully faster. What I thought was going to be an afternoon project ate up the better part of a week or two, though I learned a ton about sailmaking in the process.
Layers, so many layers
Finished recut sail
Rerigged all sexy like and ready to sail!]]>
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.]]>
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!
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 (https://soundcloud.com/totem-pulse) dance-music band 7-8p
## DJ MyKill (https://soundcloud.com/djmykill) 8-9p
## Doc Pop (https://docpop.bandcamp.com/) 9-10p
## TBA 10-11p
## Rich DDT (http://richddt.com/) 11p-12a
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…
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.]]>
Jameco and Instructables.com 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 Instructables.com.
For more details and hot pix, and to learn how to make your own, go to:
850 views, 6 faves, and counting…
On the night of Sunday October 7th, come and celebrate the fact that we are the most oldest (and still operating), most resilient, and probably most open to everyone hacker space in San Francisco.
We'll be at the space from about 20:00 onward with paper and tinfoil hats. There'll be some sort of music. Surprise guest appearances by Pedobear. I'm sure you could donate some Bitcoin on food and drink, if not BYOB. This'll be a very informal gathering so don't expect the theatrics from parties past. Think of it as a hack night with a general theme of party, socializing, and crying into each others shoulders remember 4 years of excellent failures.]]>
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!]]>
I’m in the middle of my Hackers On A Train Workshop Tour, giving my popular Learn-to-Solder and Arduino-For-Total-Newbies workshops at 22 hackerspaces near Amtrak stations, and going to 4 conferences, over a 53 days. All by Amtrak. That was the plan, anyhow.
I was scheduled to give a talk about the hackerspace movement at the WorldFuture 2012 conference this Saturday. While there I was going to stay with my (academy award winning) friend Chris. It was going to be a really wonderful 5 days in Toronto.
To give the workshops, I’m traveling with a rucksack full of clothing and toiletries, my laptop, camera, and two huge suitcases, 50 pounds each, full of workshop stuff, including kits for teaching.
The train to Toronto from Syracuse, NY, stops at the Canadian border for customs and immigration. Everyone has to get out of the train with all their stuff. The line moves rather quickly, and when it was my turn, the Canadian Border Patrol wanted to have a look at my huge bags. After much polite discussion, there was no way that I could assure the CBP that I wasn’t going to sell the kits in Canada.
The CBP folks politely offered a suggestion that I could leave the workshop stuff in the US, and then come back to the border. When I asked where to leave the workshop suitcases, they had no info to offer. When I asked about my train to Toronto, I was told I’d have to call Amtrak. Then they gave me and a Japanese woman a free van ride to the US side of the border in Niagra Falls, NY. As we were getting in the van, one of the CBP people politely told me that in order to get into Canada, I’d need court records for my arrest when I was a young teenager.
Flashback: I’m 13 years old, hanging out with a friend in suburbia. My friend has the idea to grab his remote control for his garage door, and see if it works on any other garage doors in the neighborhood. Wouldn’t you know it — it did! In the hour that we walked around his suburban ‘hood, we came across 5 garage doors that would open. Damn. On the last one, we hid behind a bush, and opened and closed and opened and closed the garage door to see what would happen. The people who lived there came out, scratched their heads, and went back inside. As we were walking home, the police stopped us, assuming we were the people wanting to break into someone’s garage. Oddly (naively), it never even occurred to us that anyone would think we were trying to steal anything.
After meeting with a lawyer friend of my dad’s, he told me that after I did some community service, I should never tell anyone about this, since the record would be expunged.
It turns out, however, that the record was not expunged. After all these decades, it’s the CBP that (politely) told me this. They also (politely) told me that in order to get into Canada, I’ll need the court records for this case, otherwise they’ll assume that the case is still open. Since I was never given any records (from my parents or anyone), and I have no idea how to get any court records, this may mean that I may never be welcome to Canada ever again.
Scratch the WorldFuture 2012 conference in Toronto and the workshop at Vancouver Hack Space.]]>