Sorry to everyone for how long it took me to get this write-up out. The perils of starting a new job, I guess. Luckily, we had plenty of notes taken for the entire week, so very little was lost to the black hole that is my memory.
Our arrangements for Philly Tech Week were pretty impromptu, but we managed to pull off a number of fun things.

Monday, 25th: Open Work Night
Open Work Night turned out to be an extension of our spring cleaning from over the weekend. We got the space nice and tidy for everyone who would be visiting later in the week. One visitor came by and helped us put together a few shelves, which was incredibly handy as they required some “lite modification” with a hacksaw before they would fit in our ceilings. Oh, I know! Our ceilings are freaking tall, what was up with the shelves?

Tuesday, 26th: Micro-controller Show and Tell
The evening had a pretty light showing as people hadn’t really quite caught on to what we were doing. However, some of our members (Mike, Chris, and PJ) did get a start on a mirror-and-laser text display system. Very cool.

Wednesday, 27th: Regularly Scheduled Open House + Late Night Karaoke
On Wednesday night, we hosted a number of guests for what is normally our Open House night. These normally turn into social gatherings of sorts, and Tech Week was no exception. We found out that one of our guests is getting ready to launch a new social networking site, another who has started a vending machine company focusing on local goods (http://snacklikealocal.com), and another kind soul looking to donate a Smithy Lathe!

PJ got his MIDI Nintendo Running pad working. Basically, the old running pad controller used with the NES is interpreted through an Arduino to send MIDI signals back to a host computer, where it is used with any MIDI capable software, in this particular case Ableton Live.

We did get Late Night Karaoke going, and it was a blast. Adam rocked out with the Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”. Sean sang Gershwin’s “Foggy London Town”. PJ wooed everyone with The Temptations’ “My Girl”. Corrie set us all rolling laughing with Gayla Peevey’s “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”. Chris fiiiiinaly got up to sing Soul Survivor’s “Expressway To Your Heart”. And Brendan was Brendan with Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

Thursday, 28th: DIY/Electronic Music
We had a good mix of newcomers and members for our music night. One person brought in a completely hand-made, 7 sting electric guitar he built. The thing was sick, really wish we had gotten pictures. We jammed out with various synths and drum machines. Sean further extended his Atari Punk Console with a low-pass filter to give it a rounder tone, then blipped and buzzed along with everyone else. Brendan rocked out on the guitar, and Dan was really tearing it up on the keyboard. Definitely a fun night, and we will be looking to do more such nights in the future.

Friday, 29th: “Bricks and Grips” – Arm Wrestling/Puzzle Game Tournament
This night, we actually had more guests than members show up. The first two challengers for Arm Wrestling Tetris were Sean McBeth (the creator) and Robert Cheetham, founder and president of Azavea, a GIS software firm in Center City that is doing some extremely revolutionary work (I know, I used to work in the industry). We also had a bit more electric music jamming, which was a great time.

It was a real team effort getting the game together, between Brendan’s sound track, PJ’s voice over work, and Sean’s programming and construction, it all fit together perfectly. Next up, Punching Bag Double Dragon!

Saturday, 30th: Artemis Game Session
The developer of Artemis just released a new version that includes canned missions. We played the first mission with Sean as Captain and survived to tell the tale.

While en route to our primary mission objective of observing anomolies in a nearby nebula cluster, we encountered a squadron of Krellians lying in wait, having prepared for an ambush against us. Lt. Commander Santoro showed great skill and initiative in destroying the three ships in mere seconds with two well-placed nuclear torpedoes.

After the brief battle, we intercepted a distress call from Deep-Space 49 as they took fire from another battle group of Krellians. Running low on energy and weapons, we barely scraped by and defended the station after a core-burning sprint at maximum warp that nearly left us depleted of energy. Lt. Peterson performed admirably in her duties managing power levels and surely is responsible for our survival.

DS-49 provided us with much needed supplies as we returned to our primary mission: scanning nebulae. We returned to the cluster to find another hidden flotilla of Krellians. This time, we were completely out of nukes and were unable to deal with them handily as we did before. We managed to warp out of weapons range before any serious damage came to the ship. Our second sortie against the Krellians fared better, we damaged them, but had not completely destroyed them. Running low on weapons, Commander Toliaferro performed commendably in maintaining a flanking position on the enemy, allowing Lt. Commander Santoro to dispatch the enemy with beam weapons.

Completely depleted of forward torpedoes, running low on energy, we were ambushed by a third squad of Krellians while under way to DS-45 for supplies. While we managed to warp into a nebula for cover, the nebula destroyed our shields and we were stuck with the enemy between us and our safety. Having nothing but mines left, Captain McBeth hatched a plan. We would fly through the center of the squadron, diverting repair crews and energy to protect critical systems as we bore the brunt of the frontal assault, then dropping our mines in the middle of the squad as we passed through them, to warp away to safety on the other side. The plan required a high level of coordination by all crew members. As Commander Toliaferro deftly navigated at close quarters through the heart of the beast, the first pass dealt great damage to the enemy, but they weren’t quite finished. Rather than coming about for another pass, Captain McBeth ordered all-stop in the middle of battle. Allowing the enemy to come in to weapons range, Lt. Commander Santoro dropped the last few mines, while Lt. Peterson delicately balanced the needs o the repair crews, shields, weapon systems, and engines largely under instinct, not having time to run the proper load balancing calculations. As a result, the final Krellian fleet was completely destroyed while the S.S. Artemis flew home under her own power, completely undamaged, back to DS-45.

Another mission accomplished.

 

Suggestion Box

What would you like to get from us here at your favorite hackerspace?

Suggestion Box

Suggestion Box

Below is a poll where you can vote on new things to do, or add your own suggestion. (If you do, keep it brief) Feel free to have a discussion about new col things in the comments below.

 

For Philly Tech Week, we’re opening our doors every night of the week at 8pm, extending our normal Open House format to the entire week, for this week only. We have a variety of different activities planned. Check it out.

Useless Photo

It's gonna be hot!

Monday, 25th: Open Work Night
For the first night of Tech Week, we’ll be working in the space on projects together. Come stop by and say hi, lend a hand, or just to jibber-jabber about your own projects. This is a little different than normal Open Houses in that we typically curb work sessions for the night.

Tuesday, 26th: Micro-controller Show and Tell
Have an Arduino, MSP430, Propeller, or other MCU project that you want to show off? Want to learn some basics of gettings started with the MSP430? Come out this night and have fun with bit-twiddling, speaker beeping, and LED-blinking.

Wednesday, 27th: Regularly Scheduled Open House + Late Night Karaoke
Our regularly scheduled social hour. We have a hacktastic “karaoke machine” running on a Macbook that lets you queue songs through our IRC channel. We don’t usually start the Karaoke until 10pm, but if enough people are interested we’ll get it started early.

Thursday, 28th: DIY/Electronic Music
Step-tone generators, electric guitar effects pedals, sequencers, keyboards. Whether you’ve made your own instrument or not, any way you want to make music tonight, come on down and jam with us.

Friday, 29th: “Bricks and Grips” – Arm Wrestling/Puzzle Game Tournament
Based on a similar concept that we are not permitted to mention due to trademark issues, this game is a standard 2-player, head-to-head Tetrimino Puzzle Game, where players manipulate their pieces through an arm wrestling competition on a specially designed arm wrestling table-shaped controller.

Saturday, 30th: Artemis Game Session
For all you trekkies out there, Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator is a networked multiplayer game that simulates a spaceship’s bridge; much like what you’d see on Star Trek®.

 

Hive76 changing focus to D&D

Dice is for real

Rollin'

Last night in an emergency meeting of core membership and management, Hive76 has decided to switch its core mission from making stuff and blogging about it, to designing and playing all manner of role playing games. This includes Dungeons & Dragons, LARPing campaigns, and our new favorite: All Flesh Must Be Eaten. We will slowly transition the space into a dark and spooky dungeon that can host up to 3 games at a time. The current infrastructure such as the drill press and makerbot will used solely to support these games by printing D20‘s and crafting gaming tables. To clear out current space, the first 5 new members will receive a free USB Typewriter or BoomCase.

Under our new rules, all members are now board members as well, the password at the door is a Tolkien quote, and all members must host a non-lame game of their choosing at least once per season. All games should be women/trans friendly, but to garner more female interest in the groups, we will be running more unicorn–themed RPGs. Let us know if you can find any.

In addition, Hive76 will re refiling out 501(c)(3) applications as Awesome Dwarves, Inc. in order to reflect our new-found love of fantasy and beards. We will be running a logo contest to pick yet another graphic image for our new identity. The prize will be a tshirt.

Finally, we’d like to announce our newest venture: the South Philly Karaoke Concern. SPKC will hold bi-weekly meetings at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar to discuss pressing karaoke and RPG related matters in the key of your choice. (Over 21 only please.) The SPKC has been funded from a generous donation by the Kaufman Beverage Elevator Corporation.

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More Press

There was an excellent article on us by Michael Alan Goldberg at the Philadelphia Weekly, and Andrew Hill from Geekadelphia stopped by to do a piece on 3D printing. Thanks guys!

 

Technically, these are highballs

We have big plans for this week’s open house meeting. Brave the cold and come hang out with us tomorrow night for an evening of tomfoolery, shenanigans, and if you’re lucky, maybe even charcuterie.

  • 7pm starts our membership meeting, where we will discuss open projects and start brain-storming on a cocktail and gastro/mixology workshop. Tom Cruise will not be attending.
  • 8pm starts the open house, where will be working on plans for a semi-secret, semi-sweet-chocolate project (well actually, no chocolate) involving remote control systems, stereoscopic vision systems, and high-voltage effects.
  • 9pm starts ???
  • 10pm is pure profit

Don’t dilly-dally, look lively, step to it, and make something!

 

Last night was elections at Hive76. It’s my pleasure as the previous Instigator to announce our new slate of Management, who were elected with 100% of all the members that voted. If you need to reach them with questions or feedback, they are available at Management@Hive76.org

Quartermaster – Brendan
Brendan has been around for quite a while, and us the longest standing member of Management. He’s been Quartermaster as long as we’ve had the position. He keeps the space clean and usable, and makes great amps and audio tools.

Book Keeper – Jack
Jack is one of Hive76’s Co-founders, and is the brain (and hands) behind USBTypewriter. He was previously our Events Coordinator, and is now going to be keeping our books.

Chief Technological Officer (CTO) – Adam K.
Adam is one of the powerhouses behind making Hive76 awesome. He’s done a great job as CTO setting up tools to make the organization run smoothly. Above and beyond his officership, he invests a lot of time keeping Hive active, and getting things done. He’s also our #1 print-ninja for our Makerbot.

Secretary – Chris T.
Chris is a designer, artist, and maker at large. He continues his post as Secretary (aka secretarat). He’s also an expert in cutting things into meat with lazzzors.

Instigator – Mike Hogan
Mike is an gentleman and a Maker of first degree. If you’ve taken a micro-controller class or electronics class at Hive, you’ve probably met Mike. He’s also our inside source for MSP430’s.

Events Coordinator – Sean M.
Sean is a developer, zombie-dummy maker, and now our Events Coordinator too. He has some great ideas for 2011, and some cool classes are already in the planning.

Congrats! *ding* to all our new officers, and thanks to all our old officers. If you want to reach them all at once, you can always drop them a line at they are available Management@Hive76.org.

On a sadder note, Adam Elkins has retired from the board of Hive76. He’s done some great projects (like the Free Spirit Stickers), and has constantly brings the coolest water-rockets to the Make:Philly picnic. We wish him the best of luck with whatever cool project he’s onto next.

We are now accepting nom-nom-nominations for a new board member for the open seat on the board. We are open to hearing nominee ideas from anyone. If you have a good idea for a nominee (even if you are not a member) feel free to drop a note on our discussion list with the name of the person, and why they would be a good board member. The members will consider the nominees, and vote to choose the best board member they can decide on.

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History of Hackerspaces

class icon Hackerspaces, Makelabs, whatever you call them, they are our beloved tinkering garages and workshops away from home. But just what is it that makes them so great?

In this short class/discussion group, we’ll be covering a bit of the flora and fauna of the hackerspace movement—for new and old members alike—and its growth in popularity throughout the world. We’ll look at some notable spaces and what they are known for, how different spaces organize themselves, the pros and cons of such arrangements, and how new members can get involved, have fun, and make new friends quickly and productively. Afterwards, established members are encouraged to introduce themselves, share their stories of Hive76, and talk a little bit about their projects.

Join us on Wednesday, September 22nd and/or Wednesday, October 6th, at 7pm. Come for the class and stay for the open house afterwards to experience the full buzz of a vibrant community of creators in action.

 

The Next HOPE (Hackers On Planet Earth) conference is next weekend in NYC. Along with Hive76 helping with the Hackerspace Village and the OpenAMD project, there are a bunch of Hive related folks at the conference giving talks or on panels. Below is the quick list of some people you might have run into around Hive or in Philly who are presenting at HOPE and how they are related to our space.

Stephanie Alarcon (board member), Mitch Altman (workshop), Maggie Avener (workshop), Scott Beibin (local vj), Matt Blaze (UPenn professor), cpfr (project), Travis Goodspeed (philly local), Joey Mariano (local musician), Far McKon (officer), Don Miller(local musican), Christina “fabulous” Pei (visitor) , Tiffany Rad(visitor) , Pete Tridish (frequent visitor). And more!

Come to HOPE! Help with the Hackerspace Village! Meet interesting people, and hear about their project! See the RFID awesomesauce. There are still some tickets left, and it’s a train ride + two block from 30th Street Philly to Hotel Penn in NYC.

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Hey,
A top s33kret RFID project is going on at Hive76, starting next week.
An RFID tag
What I can tell (in a google search-able place) is that It’s a RFID system based on Open Beacon for an event this summer. We could use some hardware hackers, UI/Web/Software folks, and a server wrangler or two. We are meeting next week (Tuesday Night) at an undisclosed location to do some planning for this, and get started. If you think you can spend some time working on this project, email FarMcKon@gmail.com to get the details and get involved.

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