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.

 

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®.

 


Update: Online ticket sales are closed. A limited number of tickets will be available tonight to PAFA members and those who want to sign up for membership.

The other day, Sean mentioned that we’re helping with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ After Dark event this Thursday 3/31, called “Grossed Out”. Here’s another teaser.

PAFA has been opening up their beautiful, cavernous spaces on North Broad Street so people can get down with music, drinks and hands-on diy projects, all surrounded by super classy art. This Thursday’s event, Grossed Out, celebrates the famed “Gross Clinic” and PAFA’s new exhibit Anatomy/Academy. The exhibit examines “how Philadelphia’s dynamic art and science communities… fostered knowledge of the human body… transformed the attitudes of the public towards mental and physical health, and challenged conceptions about beauty.” Music and body-bending entertainment are courtesy of the Olde City Sideshow. Yes, glass eaters at the Academy!

Hive76 and The Hacktory are building four (!) different activities for this Thursday’s event. The Hacktory has posted some updates on our progress. Here are descriptions of the activities:

(more…)

Tagged with:
 

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!

 

We got a mention on CultureMob.com for our upcoming participation with PAFA at their next After Dark event.

 

Weekend Itinerary

the Atari Punk Console

This is a busy weekend for Hive76, with classes and guest speakers and projects out the whazoo, so if you can manage to dig your way out of your snowy sarcophagus, come on down and see what’s happening.

  • Friday, Jan 28th – At 6pm tonight, we’re having a new member orientation meeting. This will be one of the first times we’ve had so many new people join at one time to warrant a specific “orientation”. This event is open to new members as well as any old ones who would like to get more involved at the space. Afterwards, we are going out to a nearby restaurant for dinner and drinks.
  • Saturday, Jan 29th – From 10am to 4pm we are running our “Making Things Blink and Buzz” class ($40, kit materials included) with Far McKon. This class is a hands-on workshop for building fun noisemakers without getting bogged down in drawn-out mathematics and electronics theory. A couple of seats still remain open and we do take last-minute entries if you are paying cash-at-the-door.
  • Sunday, Jan 30th – From 5PM to 8PM we are running a special open house for analog audio hacking. This is an open house for anyone of any skill level to mess with audio electronics. The event is free, you may bring your own materials, or beginner audio kits ($15 – $30) are available to get you started. A few very knowledgeable geeks—Jimmie P. Rogers, circuitbender and designer of a popular Atari Punk Console kit, and our very own Brendan Schrader, cohost of our Guitar Effects Class—are on hand to help out with more advanced projects.

This is just the start to our new year of classes and workshops. We have a few exciting events currently in planning stages, including a workshop on Rapid Prototyping and a series of workshops on Mixed Drinks and Molecular Gastronomy. Also, don’t forget our weekly open houses, every Wednesday at 8pm, where you can meet our current members, get to know everyone, and join our ranks yourself. Members get discounts on classes and kits!

(ed: snafu on list of attending “experts” fixed)

 

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!

 
Chris building a BoomCase

Chris building a BoomCase

Our entire building at 915 Spring Garden is taking part in Open Art Studios this weekend, and we’ll be there too!

Almost 30 studios will be open to the public, including Hive76! There’s a ton of different medias people use, everything from textiles to clays to electronics.

Come join us on Saturday and Sunday, December 4th and 5th, from noon – 5 pm at Hive76. We’ll also be upgrading our MakerBot with a new MK5 Extruder so we’ll be printing in tip-top shape again soon!

 

Make Philly on Nov 11th

Make:Philly is back after a summer vacation, and is kicking off a fall round by events by hosting Peter Bressler of Bresslergroup. From the Make:Philly website:

Peter’s expertise includes user research, human factors application, manufacturing processes and innovative criteria conflict resolution. Peter has authored or co-authored over 60 design and utility patents and has received over 40 national design awards. He is a Past President of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).

Make:Philly is happening on a new time and date, (Thursday night, at 7PM sharp) instead of the classic Sunday afternoon, but the place ( University of the Arts, 211 S. Broad Street, Terra Hall, 5th Floor) is the same. And the Make:Philly meetings are still 50% a great talk by local maker and 50% build challenge, where you build something on the spot to meet a challenge announced at the start of the meeting.

In Short:
What: Make Phily with Peter Bressler
Date: Thursday, November 11th*, 2010 (revised date)
Time: 7PM sharp!
Location: University of the Arts, 211 S. Broad Street, Terra Hall, 5th Floor
ID: Bring your ID with you to sign in at the front desk
Cost: Free!

Tagged with:
 

Top Secret Rosies tonight!

Just a reminder to come out to The Rotunda tonight at 7pm to check out “Hidden Herstory:  The Top Secret Rosies of WWII.”  Local filmmaker LeAnn Erickson will give an illustrated lecture on the “female computers” who did the math that made US weapons accurate during WWII, and worked on some of the earliest mechanical and electronic computers.  Pretty cool stuff.  More details here.  Thanks to Sean for the flyer!  Note:  Our weekly open house should still be on, so come check out the talk before heading to Hive76 to hang out and hack.