I grew up in the 70/80's which was where my love for arcade games grew.A lot of 10p's were fed into the Space Invader and Asteroid cabinets during my childhood. I always dreamed of owning an arcade cabinet but I was never really in a position or had the space to follow it through.Two things that recently changed this recently were my introduction to the Lightboxlab Hackerspace in Drogheda which helped cured my long term procrastination and secondly the release of the Raspberry Pi. Information on hackerspaces can be found here and more information on the amazing Raspberry Pi can be found here.
My Arcade Cabinet requirements in no particular order were
- As cheap as possible
- Semi portable
- Real Arcade Joystick and Button controls
- Putting my Raspberry Pi to good use
- Having a Lightboxlab slant
- Not too complicated
Saturday 13th April members from Drogheda’s Lightbox Lab and Dublin’s TOG (http://www.tog.ie/) hackerspaces took along some of our projects and ideas to the DojoCon conference held in Slane Castle. It was Jester aka Martin Mitchell from TOG who initially suggested that it would be a great idea to have some representation from the irish hackerspace community at the event. So a after a few emails to Graham at CoderDojo Drogheda who also thought it would be a great idea, we put the wheels in motion to get a stand arranged.
TOG are well used to public events but this was to be Lightbox Lab’s first venture outside of our workshop in Millmount and we all were quite new to planning the logistics, so we naturally wanted it be as successful as possible. A week beforehand we got some of our projects organised and ready for the Saturday. And thanks to Paul Doyle and family we were also well set with flyers, posters, and our new banner.
On the Saturday we picked up Jeffrey and Jester from TOG at Drogheda bus station, got ourselves some breakfast and then made our way to Slane Castle.
We knew there might be issues with getting an internet connection in the exhibition area but we had made sure we had a backup plan to get ourselves a reasonable connection so we set this up first. After that we were pretty much set and we set up a bunch of projects and hands on tutorials for people to play with, this included Jester’s lockpicking tutorial, Paddy’s Arduino projects, Paul’s games emulators running on Raspberry Pi, Cians 3D printer, my own playdough and banana powered makey makey sip phone :-) and of course Jeffrey Roe’s soldering tutorial.
The morning was reasonably quiet but there was a steady stream of CoderDojo delegates, organisers and volunteers visiting the stands and getting stuck into the lockpicking and soldering tutorials. Jeffrey later said that about forty people learned to solder on the day!
However come lunchtime we were pretty much swamped for about an hour and a half, there was a lot of interest in hacker and maker spaces and I was surprised to learn how many people had not heard of the community in Ireland. However I think we all did a good job of explaining that it is a community open to anyone interested in exploring technology and that its not just for people who are well skilled in the area.
It also looks like we could have done with another body on the soldering stand, Jeffrey was flat out especially at lunchtime.
Shortly after lunch it was time to bring things to a close, pack up and then head back to Drogheda for some celebratory drinks.
This was of course the time to relax and go over what went well and what we could do better next time round. It was also great to catch up in the pub with the lads from TOG where we discussed ideas around running hackerspaces and some upcoming irish hacker events, most notably Gaelhack which will be a community run event in Waterford in June. details here ( http://gaelhack.hackerspaces.ie/ )
So a fun first day out for Lightbox Lab overall with thanks to CoderDojo for hosting us and of course to TOG for coming up from down south. And of course we hope to do a lot more over the next year or so.
Lightboxlab are holding a series of tutorials on Joomla CMS starting in April. For those who don't know too much about Joomla take a look at this link to Joomla's site. I've been using Joomla for a while now and have created a few sites using this great open source solution, Lightboxlab's website www.lightboxlab.ie being a real world example. This is more a hobby to me so I don't profess to be an expert by any means but I try to find my way around it. This is open to all and you don't need to an MSCS to attend. (If you do happen to have one though you can give me a hand :0) The only requirements are that you have a laptop, a sense of humor and a fiver if you need it.
An Introduction to Joomla CMS 2.5
IT Definition (My Definition)
Joomla CMS What is it? (What’s it all about anyway)
Real World examples (I like pictures)
Help? Where to look (I’m stuck)
Alternatives to Joomla CMS (I like Apple)
What is a Web Development Environment? (Let’s get going)
Install a Web Development Environment. Win/MAC/Linux (Seriously let’s get going)
How to install Joomla 2.5 CMS (Finally)
First steps in Joomla navigating the user interface (Now we’re sucking diesel)
Creating a Joomla Website
Installing a web template (techie badge)
Understanding module positions (nerd badge)
Creating Articles (creativity badge)
Menus (yawn, coffee break time)
Modules (yawn more, red bull time)
Plug-ins (prehaps time for a break)
Enhancing Articles. Multimedia, Social media, Pictures (facebook time \0/)
Joomla Extensions - how to manage your extensions (this is cool stuff)
Joomla SEF/SEO or how to be SEEN (not so cool but you need to do this)
The backend configuration options of Joomla (there be dragons ahead)
Backups (serious face)
Upgrades (ditto ditto)
Questions (Your delaying everyone leaving)
More Questions (No problem but it's your round)
GaelHack is a 3 day convention around the theme of hackerspaces, following the format of other similar events in other countries :
- It's run by volunteers and non-profit.
- No one gets a free ticket.
- The talks/events/workshops are run by those who attend.
- The types of events depend on who attends and what they volunteer to do.
- It is for people with an inquisitive mind and/or an interest in making things: hackers, geeks, scientists, engineers, artists, and crafters.
- The types of things we expect to happen
- Social meet-ups, meet those with shared interests.
- Workshops on soldering, electronic kit building etc.
- Security talks and workshops
- Talks on topics of interest in technology, software, electronics, crafts etc.
- Demonstrations of recent projects and achievements.
The types of things we expect to happen
Social meet-ups, meet those with shared interests.
Workshops on soldering, electronic kit building etc.
Security talks and workshops
Talks on topics of interest in technology, software, electronics, crafts etc.
Demonstrations of recent projects and achievements.
Have a look at the schedule of similar, UK event:
As this is our first year we expect our conference to be smaller.
Our complete schedule of events will only be released a few days before the event.
Friday 7th, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th of June 2013.
Friday night from about 7pm people will start to arrive.
Talks/Workshops/Events will take place from 10am Saturday until the evening.
Talks/Workshops/Events will take place from 10am Sunday until probably 3 or 4pm.
Full details and registration information is availible on the GAELHACK website.
Want to start your own app/game development project?
Want to learn TCP/IP, UDP, or what "packet sniffing" is all about?
Want to start learning python / perl or another laguage?
LighTboxlab wishes everyone a Happy Christmas!