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by Michael Park, Treasurer on December 5, 2013

in News

IMG_0977Ceramics artist and Jigsaw member Ling Chun has just put up an installation as part of the Storefronts Seattle program. It’s an interactive animatronic piece consisting of eight maneki-nekos that do “the wave” when people pass by.

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Check it out at the Publix Hotel on 5th Ave, just a couple of blocks from Jigsaw.

Here are a few photos of Ling constructing the piece at Jigsaw. Other Jigsaw members provided technical and moral support during the process.


Technical details: Each cat had its innards replaced by a servo, two X-band motion sensors are used to detect the presence of people, and a Parallax Propeller microcontroller drives the system.

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A very interesting meetup last night. We had three presentations. First, Rutger gave an overview of RasPi basics for the newbies.
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Then Alan told us about BitTorrentSync and how he’s installed it on his Raspberry Pi to make his own personal “Dropbox”-like system.


Finally, Steven showed off something amazing: an old school Mac with a Raspberry Pi for brains. He’s using the Pi’s I2S to drive the Mac’s monochrome video, using PWM to generate sync signals, and DMA to get those two systems in sync. Pretty crazy, but very clever.

Next meeting is Dec. 18. Mark your calendars!

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This weekend, November 8-10, hackathons will be taking place all over the world in memory of Aaron Swartz. Jigsaw is hosting the Seattle hackathon. The event will bring together the varied communities that Aaron touched to figure out how the important problems of the world connect, and to share the load of working on those problems.

The November 8-10 hackathon series is being coordinated on this wiki page: https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Worldwide_Aaron_Swartz_Memorial_Hackathon_Series

Background

Within weeks of Aaron’s death in January, 20 hackerspaces, schools, and libraries organized Aaron Swartz Memorial Hackathon events all over the world. In our collective shock and grief, we came together to console ourselves, remember Aaron, and, in his memory, to work on important problems ranging all the way from open access advocacy to a web.py database refactor.
Half a year later, we still feel an immense shock and loss, and after many conversations with people who attended one of the initial events, still think that we need to be there for each other and focus on the things that are important.

More details here: http://aaronswartzhackathon.org/

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Jigsaw’s own Ben Dobyns will be conducting a workshop on Kickstarter this Saturday starting at 10AM. Ben and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment have been remarkably successful at raising funds via Kickstarter, and he’ll be sharing the secrets of his success. More info and registration (required) at http://womeninfilmseattle.org/workshops.htm

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I salvaged an otherwise disappointing Sunday in Vancouver by visiting VHS. VHS member John gave a tour of the space and showed off his tricopter. I was really impressed with the space and took a lot of pictures in the hope we can steal some of their ideas.

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On the davinci mailing list, in a thread bemoaning the lack of electronics stores in Seattle, Matthew Dockrey piped up that Vancouver BC has a block containing *two* electronics stores (O RLY?). Well, your humble blogger happened to be in Vancouver yesterday and found said block.


Just as Matthew had said, Lee’s Electronics and Main Electronics are just doors apart–crazy! Unfortunately, they both close on Sundays, and it was Sunday, so for now we must content ourselves with these tantalizing glimpses of the treasures inside.
The afternoon was not a total bust, however…

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Alex Clemmer hosted the first Seattle Hack and Tell on Thursday. He showed off his Apple //e LISP machine and described the trials and tribulations he went through to make it work. (More info)
Michael Truog presented cloudi, an Erlang-based personal cloud computing platform. He calls is “a cloud at the lowest level” which is why he’s sitting on the floor in the photo above (not really; his laptop wouldn’t connect to the large monitor). (More info)
Your humble blogger presented two projects: pself, a single-board retrocomputer, and the Willpowerometer, kinda the opposite of a sound-level meter. I might blog about them here at some point.
Hack and Tell is off to a great start and will repeat every second Thursday at Jigsaw, so get hacking and prepare to tell.
Meetup link

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2013-10-08 21.30.44
On Tuesday, Curtis led us through the basics of Unity 3D, a game development system. To get the ball rolling, he showed us how to create (wait for it) a rolling ball controlled by the keyboard. This was actually pretty cool. In the classes to follow, Curtis will build on that foundation to teach us the basics of game development. It’s not too late to sign up: meetup link.

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