I am just throwing up a few free online courses and tutorials here are just a few and any one can think of any more please fire ahead and add some
https://www.edx.org/ this is some free online courses from MIT, Harvard and Berkley.
http://www.codecademy.com/ Online learning of Different computer languages
http://learn.adafruit.com/ Some tutorials on Electronics and Programming
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA567CE235D39FA84&feature=plcp Online Video Tutorial for Arduino
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/Home.aspx free Microsoft training (More for Admin and users of upper level Microsoft Products)
http://snap.nlc.dcccd.edu/learn/idaho/unixindex.html get started with UNIX (Idaho State University)
Also check out the following blog on make, gives a number of learning sites for opensource http://blog.makezine.com/2012/08/14/soapbox-return-of-the-learn-hardware-companies-will-teach/
A few of us had a bit of reminisce on Twitter of some of the old Pre 2000 pc's doing the rounds back then. On that note how about doing a Retro Game and Computing Night at #lightboxlab, featuring some of the vintage consoles,computers and games that are pre 2000 maybe?
At this stage I'd like to get an idea on who'd be interested in this and what we could set up so post if your interested in coming along and if theres anything you'd like to bring with you. I think I've a ZX81, BBC micro and maybe an old Atari 400. All have been in my folks attic for the last twenty years so I'll dust them off and see whats working.
Post on our Google Group
The evidence of a growing revolution in making and hacking in Ireland was very much in effect at the Dublin mini maker faire this weekend. I'm sure the Science Gallery were not expecting the huge numbers on the day but they seemed to be coping well. I arrived with the family early afternoon and after checking out some of the hack the city exhibits we paid a visit to Stephen Howells Kinect 2 Scratch stand.
My daughter couldn't wait to have a go as all the kids in here loved the ping pong game built with just four lines of scratch code. This room was particularly busy and I think a little crowd control would have been welcome to prevent kinect system confusion with recognition but it was great to see the interest here. Next it was on to the NUI Maynooth makers club.
Some really interesting projects here also and one thing I noted was the number of Arduinos being used in projects at this stand which really showed how popular this little device is. In this case it was integrated with a pretty cool hack controlling LEDs in an interactive Tetris game which was another hit with the kids. It was also in use in an excellent drum sequencer which was blasting out some cool techno beats in the room.
After a hectic visit to the cafe for some grub we moved outside to the physics lawn. There was tons to see and do here, and certainly more going on then I can fit in this article! Irish hackerspaces TOG and 091 labs along had plenty to show from wearable computing,3D printers to soldering classes, homebrew, a quadroptor and a giant buzzer game!. (my daughter was very happy when she left the camp after winning w a TOG duck :-)
The "imagineering" carousel of crazy looking steampunk-like toys was a particularly strange but wonderful thing to behold and there were plenty of non tech things to get involved with too, including a giant drum, cigar box guitars and model making. Other strange sounding devices provided background music to the camp.
Scalexcercise (from Brighton) and the Lego stands were also excellent. So well done to the organisers and all involved, it was fantastic. I'm sure this is something that will grow again next year. And I'm hopeful the lightboxlab community here in Drogheda and its surrounding areas we will be able to contribute a project or two to it next year!
Meet up on 1st August at #Lightboxlab
There was a great attendance for our August Drogheda Makerspace Meet up so thanks to all who attended on the night. Jonathan demonstrated the use of Thingspeak which is a web based open application platform which can be used to send and receive data via HTTP requests. So as a demo Jonathan hooked up an Arduino with a temperature sensor and added the Thingspeak Twitter API to a python script which grabbed the temperature output and automatically tweeted it directly to Twitter (25 degrees btw). As another demo a motor was added to the Arduino and started directly from a Tweet from the web. As proof of concept this has loads of possibilities for future #lightboxlab projects around the area of automation.
I brought along the Raspberry PI with the expectation of hooking it up with the Arduino but hit some performance issues with it thanks to a cheap ebay SD card :( Next time round I'll be better organised to show off the coolness of this device properly. So instead we played with a few NFC tags I had with me. With the aid of a few Android NFC enabled phones we were able to program the tags with an Android app called NFC Task Launcher. With the tag programmed scanning it enabled the phone to launch the task assigned which in this case was a pre-programmed tweet. In real world situation I use another Android application called Tasker in conjunction with the NFC Tags. A swipe of the one attached to my car dock does the following:
- Disable Wifi
- Enables Bluetooth
- Enables GPS
- Turns screen rotation on
- Launches my Car Dock Android App
- and Speaks any SMS messages I get through my car speakers
Disconnecting the bluetooth then reverts to my normal phone settings. I think we'll see a lot of these tags as they are pretty versatile.
There was animated discussion throughout the evening of other subjects along with a demo of a cool Minecraft plug-in developed by Jonny Devine. Links to some of the subjects are linked below
Last of all we'd some great discussion centered around what Lightboxlab is all about, future projects, tutorials and future makerspace requirements as lightboxlabs develops. Again it was great to see the interest and attendance last night and thanks again to Mr. Sean McEntee, Incubation Centre Manager, DKIT for facilitating us with the use of the Millmount Incubation Centre. See you all soon for the next one!
We had a quick get together on the 4th of July up at #lightboxlab. I brought along my newly aquired Raspberry Pi to show the guys. I then left and returned 20 minutes later with a HDMI cable which can be useful for viewing the console :( I've not really had much of a chance to use it so it was not setup to run headless yet. Thats at the top of my list now.
Anyway Jonathan helped us install the Python IDE and hooked up the Arduino to it. A little while later we had the Raspberry Pi displaying the room temperature from the Arduino via python script.
My first impressions of it are how small it it is. The Pi is a pretty good device for the price and addition of the GPIO socket. Running the Midori web browser did bring it to a halt with a few tabs open but thats to be expected as it doesn't appear to be optimised. It's unlikley that I'll be running a GUI on mine so not an issue that much for me so we'll see how it goes.
Here a few links for you guys for a couple of shops online which have good stock and a wide selection of parts.
http://www.cooking-hacks.com/ Spanish based company with a great selection and some tutorials and data sheets for parts also has some good discounts.
http://www.adafruit.com/ great site with a nice selection of bits and pieces and some great tutorials and videos and the blog is always worth a look.
http://www.sparkfun.com/ another American site but comes with some great bits for building cool projects and more great video tutorials.
http://www.ponoko.com/ have a 3D object you need printed or some laser cut metal parts, ponoko is a great online manufacturing site, it has weekly online course that explain how to use cad or Ink to design and print your products and get them shipped to you.
http://www.razorlab.co.uk/ Another service like ponoko for cutting or engraving using lasers.
Today 26th May was the first official meeting of Drogheda HackSpace in our new HQ in Millmount. A big thank you to everyone who turned up and especially to Seán McEntee from DKIT for giving us a space free of charge. It was great to see everyone so enthusiastic about our new group. The room is fully furnished and kitted out with internet a small kitchen and facilities.