CNN stopped by the space last night, Oct 22nd to interview some of the guys on their projects for a report called “Made in America” which airs Tomorrow, Oct 24th. However, we did shoot some cool video and photos alongside them. There’s a full album available on our Facebook page. We were also fortunate enough to get some quick shots of our projects at work.
We are cosponsoring Cory’s Pirate Cinema event at IndyHall tonight, but since there’s not much for Hive76 to do, we decided to make him a present. Here’s a video of production last night:
That’s a 3D printed sugar head! Cory’s excited to see it in person. You should be too! Come to IndyHall 22N 3rd at 7pm tonight. Here’s the Anyvite link to RSVP. We’ll be bringing a boomcase for the PA too.
The gritty details: That’s a Baricuda extruder using air pressure to extrude molten sugar. Now I need to figure out how he can get it home to the UK in one piece.
Okay, so I’m going to switch over to a very simple format, with very short examples of how you do certain things. The long article format is just too much for everyone to digest and takes too much time for me to write, so I tend to put it off forever.
Types of Games
Most games fall into two patterns: turn-driven or time-driven.
Turn-driven games have distinct periods where user input is taken, then periods where game updates are made, and the two do not overlap in anyway. The user-input section waits for the user to make their choice, and the user then waits for the update section to finish before they take their next turn. Many puzzle games and most board games are going to be of this type. For example, in chess with an AI player, the game waits for the player to move a white piece. Once the player moves, the AI takes over and calculates a move for a black piece, during which time the player is stuck and cannot make any moves. Once the AI has moved the a black piece, it’s up to the player to make a move decision again, and the AI cannot progress until the user has decided.
Time-driven games work completely differently. They are constantly updating the game, never waiting for the user to first make a selection or hit a button or waggle their joystick. If a user does perform some kind of input, the input is not processed separately, it is taken into account for the next update. Think of a game of Asteroids, in which the big, giant rocks float around the screen all on their own until the user decides to turn her ship and blast them.
There is actually a third class of game called alternate-reality games (ARG) that do not really update and do not really take user input–not in the same way these other games do–but they are way outside of the scope of this project. ARGs are more literature projects than programming projects.
Turn-driven games are relatively simple to create, as the user drives everything and performance issues do not cause noticeable artifacts like frame-rate stutter or audio clipping and buzzing. When we get into handling user input, you’ll learn all you need to make turn-driven games. Actually, time-driven games turn out to have many of the same features as turn-driven games, just with the additional features of not waiting around for the user first, having its own pump to drive the game forward.
We will be focusing on time-driven games, as they are the most technically challenging.
Many folks surely remember the days of fighting robots on TV: Battlebots, Robot Wars, Robotica, etc. And while its televised days are behind it, the sport is kept alive by groups of builders and competitors across the country. The Northeast Robotics Club (NERC) is just such a group, and one that I have been a member of since I first saw robots destroy and get destroyed on TV.
In the years since, I’ve traveled up and down the East Coast competing with robots of my own. But this past weekend, our own city of Philadelphia hosted NERC’s annual Franklin Cup, held in conjunction with the Franklin Institute. For this event I decided to continue the lineage of a long-standing family of NERC bots: ALF!
Now, this is the first robot I’ve built since I’ve moved to Philadelphia. My center-city apartment is about the size of a large phone booth and lacking any machine tools, so it’s obviously not a good workspace. The Hive, on the other hand, with its storage space, large work areas, and 24hr availability of tools and resources, was the perfect place to build. It may sound like a shameless plug, but the story of ALF would be incomplete without it.
Today, several hive members were contacted by a major Philadelphia news organization, asking if they could interview us about hacking.
Unfortunately, their idea of hacking has more to do with unattended Facebook accounts than the hacking we do, and we thought it might be a good time to clear up just what hive is, what our hackers do, and what hacking actually means within the hacking community.
Hive is a hackerspace. A hackerspace is not full of people who try to break into your computer, steal your bank account info, or send spam. A hackerspace, or at least THIS hackerspace, is full of people who are trying in very real ways to build, modify, and improve things. Our battle cry is “Make things awesome, make awesome things!” and we take this to heart. Visit the space on a Wednesday night, and you’ll find people who are excited about the things they are creating both in and out of the hive space, from chocolate chess pieces, to amazing pieces of audio equipment, all the way to organs which could save someone’s life.
The common theme here is that these people that define themselves as hackers are not breaking into your computer. Some of us write software, to make things work better. Some of us build things, to make things work better. And some of us screw around just to see what might be possible, or impossible, just to do it. Bottom line, this hacking is positive. What most of the public and the media refers to as hacking, the technical world refers to as cracking, and it rarely is it “as seen on TV.”
So lets hit on a few of the real dangers, and if the media is paying attention, they can feel free to make use of this. Here are a few things that actually endanger your accounts and computer, which the media often refers to as hacking, but which really are not.
1.) Spammers like to send emails that look real, talking about your phone bill, your bank, or a deposit that needs to be made in your account. Often these take you to fake sites. Instead of clicking the links in these emails, call the phone company, bank, or other company that claims to be sending the email and verify it that way. It’s not cracking (or hacking) if you hand over your username and password.
2.) If you use the same password on all your sites, and someone gets that password, they now have access to all of your sites. Likewise, if you use a simple password for your email, and someone gets access to that, it is easy for them to request new passwords for many of your other accounts. Use more difficult, hard to guess passwords (Good password guidelines), and don’t use the same password for all sites. At the very least, use a different password for your email, a different one for your taxes and other financial matters, and a different one for your online accounts at sites like Facebook. It’s not cracking if someone knows your password, or has access to your email, and gets access to your stuff.
3.) Don’t leave your account logged on in an unsafe place. Many accounts get taken simply because someone leaves them logged on in some unsafe place, like a sample machine in a mall store. It’s not cracking if you’re already logged on and walk away.
None of this is hacking. None of this is cracking. It’s poor security, usually because of a lack of understanding of the technology. And you know, that’s understandable. Not everyone is a computer expert or even really a computer beginner, but as long as the media keeps pushing these things as hacking, the public won’t learn. If anyone would like to discuss what this means to Hive76, feel free to e-mail us, or leave a comment below.
Hive76 sure made the rounds at this year’s Maker Faire. With 2 tables in the 3D Printing Village, we had a steady stream of visitors both
days, ranging from Chocolateers, Digital Artists, to young children asking about 3D printing toys and parts for their projects. Discussion started about 10 minutes after we left Maker Faire for what to do next year. Check out the album for some quick snapshots of this year’s events including Karaoke, Thumb Wrestling, and of course, the occasional interview.
At Makerfaire in NYC this Saturday, Hive76 will be running a race to test the quality and speed of any 3D printers that would like to participate.
We will have an announcement and official start in the 3D Printer village at noon on Saturday. But the basic premise is this:
- We will announce and post a 3D model on this page.
- Racers will download and print the model in any material
- The model will need to fit on a metal part and hold water
- The first part to hold water without leaking for 5 minutes wins!
- The prizes: a Math Watch by eagleApex (me) and a file to print your own trophy!
Besides this 3D printer vs Man race, I think this is the first race of it’s kind! I hope you participate and I’ll see you there.
Hive76′s own PJ Santoro will be doing the “Main Presentation” at
the Philadelphia Area Computer Society‘s kickoff meeting, Saturday,
His topic will be “Arduino: Where It’s Been, Where It’s Headed, and Why You Should Care”.
After the main presentation, a beginner class will be taught in the Linux SIG.
PACS Schedule available here.
Tom Avril came for the awesome bioengineering work that Jordan did at Penn and Hive76, but he stayed to write an awesome article about us and the Philly hacking scene. Here is the awesome article that’s also on the front page. And below is the awesome video Inky photographer Clem Murray shot during one open house. Hack on!