We made a giant fastener. We used the laser cutter. More fun shall ensue…
We made a giant fastener. We used the laser cutter. More fun shall ensue…
Hello, all. I’m Elijah, and I work with NoiseRep, or in other words: The folks who futz around with and build the 3D Printers.
I myself am helping to build George and Gracie. They are not from television from ages past, nor are they whales from Star Trek IV (Although if you do research about that movie you’ll see why they kind of are related to those whales). They are the names of the two new RepRap Prusa Mendels that I, Miloh, and Andrew are working on bringing into this world.
I’ll have updates thereof, as well as updates from our regularly scheduled event, Replicator Wednesday. By the way, y’all should all go to that. It runs on Wednesdays from 1700 to 2200. There, you can learn about and how to do 3D printing.
Say, why not an update now? As it stands, the frames of both Prusas are tightened up, and we are building up the Y-Stages. I’ll run along and buy some plywood and bring it in on Wednesday (2 November). We had some acrylic, but cutting it (with a jig-saw) didn’t go so well.
Miloh has our ten NEMA-17 stepper motors needed for the two machines. It’s getting exciting because we pretty much have everything we need to assemble the machines.
Anyway, that which does not get finished on Wednesdays, I try to finish on Sundays if I’m not already busy. Hopefully the machines will be done in a few weeks.
That’s all for now. I shall attempt to make an update at least one weekly, but I’m very busy at this time.
Last weekend, Noisebridge hosted Hackmeet 2011, a two-day unconference and skillshare for activists, hackers, artists and community members. There were lectures and group discussions as well as hands-on workshops and space for last-minute sessions which weren’t on the schedule. Several Noisebridge participants and Food Not Bombs and others cooked vegan food for the whole group, and around 150-200 people attended. The Hackmeet organizers after meeting expenses plan to give some money to Food Not Bombs to buy pans, and the rest to Noisebridge for hosting.
If you missed Hackmeet and you can make it to Mexico next week then you could go to Hackmitin, another free unconference! Hackmeet sponsored a representative from Hacklab Autónomo and his talk on their activities was very interesting.
Hackmitin will be held just north of Mexico City, at Cereza in Ojo de Agua, October 28-30. Here’s a link directly to their call for participation. The focus will be on software libre – privacidad – hacktivismo – resistencia y desobediencia digital: free software, privacy, hacktivism, resistance and digital civil disobedience.
Here’s some photos of the Hackmitin taken by Mitch Altman.
People sitting in a big circle for a group discussion of technology and privilege:
Morgan Mayhem (@headhntr) speaking on anti-forensics, i.e. ways to help secure data or delete it from a hard drive so it can’t be stolen, intercepted, recovered and read. Standing room only for this talk!
A medium-sized audience for a talk in Noisebridge’s main room:
And some of the intrepid cooks who fed everyone for two days:
Hackmeet organizers suggested that we might work with them in coming months to make some modifications to Noisebridge that make it easier to use for events. The main improvement, one many people have suggested in the past, is sound insulation for the different rooms. We could build up the walls between the shop and the classrooms, or put up sound baffles of some kind, or perhaps set up thick theatrical curtains to muffle noise.
I’m in Cairo. The main reason for this trip was to set up a 3-day hackerspace at Maker Faire Africa, which is in Cairo this year. Exciting time to be here! Lots of high hopes since the “Freedom Revolution”. Plus lots of attempts by the still-ruling-military at divide-and-rule.
Our trip was funded by generous donations from 186 people, who collectively gave us $8,169 so that we could spread the joy and hope provided by the international hackerspace movement. <http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bilal/3-day-egyptian-maker-space-expanding-the-maker-mov/>
The 3-day hackerspace at Maker Faire Africa was incredible! The main idea of setting this up was to show people how incredibly cool it is to be part of a supportive community where people explore and do what they love. And the energy was high. I taught about 300 people to solder (on my own) at an ongoing, 3-day-long workshop, with kits and soldering irons bought with money donated through our Kickstarter campaign. The brand new Cairo Hackerspace put together the MakerBot, donated by MakerBot Industries, and also put together the Egg-Bot, donated by Evil Mad Scientist — and they gave 3-D printing workshops. Minal gave fabric painting workshops. Bilal gave several Arduino workshops with Arduinos donated by a new local electronics store named Future-Electronics. Lots of fun for all! I gave away lots of Noisebridge keys to people who will be visiting us someday in San Francisco. And Cairo Hackerspace now has a large number of enthusiastic people who will help contribute to Egypt’s first hackerspace.
Before Maker Faire Africa we organized two Hackerspace Meetups, to get people psyched about starting and joining hackerspaces. The first was hosted by a co-working space in Cairo named Rasheed22. The second was hosted by a startup incubator in Alexandria named Tahrir2 [the 2 is actually a superscript, and pronounced “squared” — a reference to the “Freedom Revolution” much of which took place in Tahrir Square in Cairo].
We will have two more Hackerspace meetups before we leave on the 14th.
Photos of all of the above are at my Flickr: <http://www.flickr.com/photos/maltman23/sets/>
From tweets and other postings, and stories from various news sources, I’ve been able to peace together this version of the big picture here in Egypt regarding tonight’s violence:
There is a powerful, small minority of ultra-right-wing Islamic theocrats called the Salafiyun, with ties to the supreme military council running the country. They want to rid the country of Coptic Christians (and, of course, Jews), and want to force Islamic law on Egypt.
Coptic Christians are angry at many violent and deadly attacks on them over recent days and months, and were demonstrating today in Cairo, when thugs of unknown association(s) attacked them. The Copts attacked back with weapons (perhaps ones taken from police or military).
There has been hatred exacerbated and promulgated by many religious groups: Sunni, Shiite, Sufi, Coptic Christian (with everyone hating the Jews). This is accelerating and getting worse. If this hatred and violence continues the “Freedom Revolution” is under threat of becoming a big win for the Salafiyun. (And many believe that it is being purposely spurred on by provocateurs from the previous Mubarak government and the Salfiyun.)
Let us hope that the majority of people here, who want to live in peace, and enjoy the freedom to be themselves, continue to prevail without violence (since, in my view, any apparent gains by violence will be of little long-term value).
The internet is a hard problem, not really solved yet. Getting the internet into your hacker space is another hard problem. Thirdly making it easy for folks to diagnose their (own) network problems without taking down the internet for others or killing other network hardware is also hard.
At Noisebridge we've got a network rack named Susan The Rack (she might be old but she's got one hell of a rack), she held our internet important network gear. After a month people started throwing their own gear in there (because obviously a free hacker space wants to host your internet/power hungry torrent box), she thing turned into the rats nest of cables and junk and hacker STDs, and we couldn't tell what was internet important and what was just garbage hardware not doing anything. Eventually the DSL modem got shoved off the rack and was just hanging off by its phone cord. One night a couple hard working dedicated Noisebridge members aimed to fix this problem...
Behold, The Wall-O-Tubes! The idea is that everything that involves getting the internet into the building and back out through our wifi is bolted onto this wall. If the wall has power, the internet should work through our wifi network. If the internet goes down, it'll be easy to diagnose, and hard for someone who isn't dedicated to fix (you have to go get a stool or ladder or poking stick to do much of anything). Currently the image shows version 1 of the wall.
One of the biggest problems we had was someone's laptop would stop loading web pages, the person would freak out thinking the whole internet is down, and start unplugging and rebooting device without doing any sort of diagnostics. For version 2 we're setting up a machine called Minotaur! This guy will monitor different parts of the network (our internet links, the router, servers and services on the network, wifi link), and display a sort of heart beat message in plain English on a monitor under the wall. If all is green, then your "internet problem" might most likely be somewhere between you and the keyboard.
Today at Noisebridge I learned that you don’t have to wave your lightsaber around like a fool in order for it to make the cool lightsaber noises. You can just tap it gently on the handle where the motion sensor is. Mike Kan demonstrates.
Mike explained to several people, during his signature “Telephone” tour of the space, that computer programming is difficult, a bit as if you were trying to teach someone how to make complicated origami over the telephone. It took me a minute to get this, but then I realized that in his parable the computer is making the beautiful origami for us and we are like these crazy monkeys screaming at the computer over a primitive communication medium.
Meanwhile! Ben did a bunch of work today testing some of our overhead lights as we prepare to try and figure out how to be more energy efficient, helped for a while by me and Evan, who mostly just handed him things while he was up on the ladder.
I showed Evan a trick that Mike Kan taught me a while back. If you stick a screwdriver or a thin piece of metal into a used cable tie, you can unstick the little tab from the ridges and undo the cable tie to be reused. We un-did some cable ties and gave them to Ben so he could secure the light fixtures to each other. You can learn a lot of useful and interesting things talking with Mike.
Later, while Ed was making pizza, Evan and I had the following conversation.
Me: Hey, Top of the Head Ponytail Guy. What’s your name?
Top of the Head Ponytail Guy: I’m Evan.
Me: Hi Evan. I’m Liz.
Evan: I’m a unicorn!!!!!
It's been 3 years since we initially opened our doors to all kinds of hackers from all parts of the world. Time to celebrate, hacker prom style! Bring a date (robots are totally allowed) and come on down to Noisebridge to relive those awkward moments from high school with your fellow hacker/maker.
We're also kicking off Noisetor, our no nonsense donate to help keep Tor functional service. Half of the donations collected for the night will go to feed the servers with glorious internet and provide more bandwidth for those in need!
Where: Noisebridge - 2169 Mission St, San Francisco (2 blocks from 16th Street Bart)
When: Saturday October 1st, starting at 8PM
What: The dancing, Makeout room (with Makerbots), spiked punch, awkward prom photos, geeks, Noisebridge-discuss Drama Queen and Queen
Humans: Wear either dress shirt with tie or dressy dress (bad ties will be given out at the door if needed)
Robots: All external metal bits must be polished
There will be chaperones, so no funny business, and we'll try to provide acceptable music. Come and have fun!
Flier by Tensory.