In a week-or-so (Saturday, June 4th) is Random Hacks of Kindness.

And what is RHOK? RHoK is a hackathon and competition to create solutions to pressing real world problems. By gathering the brightest hackers and problem-solvers for weekend hack-a-thons, RHoK aims to use technology to tackle disaster relief, social development, climate change, and human rights.

RHoK Philly begins at 9am on Sat June 4th. Register a team of 2-4 hackers (or join a team there) and Pick one of the dozens problem-definitions. Then design a solutions, dream/scope/layout and hack at it, and see what you can make by Sunday afternoon. The best project will be featured around the globe. If you have a global problem to suggest, get involved in the discussion on the RHoK site (http://www.rhok.org) and submit it.

There will also be a keynote talk by Roger Dingledine of the Tor Project Space is limited so be sure to pre-register.

WHAT: A FREE hackathon to create software solutions to global human challenges.
WHO: Designers, programmers, geeks, hackers, activists, problem solvers and concerned citizens!
WHERE: 3175 JFK Blvd, Drexel University, Philadelphia
WHEN: June 4th and 5th, 2011 starting at 9am. (Reception on June 3rd at WHYY)

Register at http://rhokphiladelphia.eventbrite.com

Week of 5/15/11 Saturday Open House Wrap-Up

Hey folks,

Yesterday we kicked off our new Saturday open house event, and it was awesome! We had some Hive regulars come by and get some work done on various projects, and we played a bunch of rounds of Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator as well.

During out Artemis games, we linked up with 091 Labs who hail from the Republic of Ireland, and a fellow science fiction enthusiast in Pittsburgh who manned his own ship. There were many, many close calls and fun was had by all.

We’ll be holding another open house this Saturday, so watch out for it if you can’t make it this Wednesday night.

Hope to see you there!

Announcing New Saturday Open House!

Starting this Saturday we’re adding an additional open house to our event calendar. The event will start at 2 PM. Our hope is that people who couldn’t find the time to make our Wednesday event will be able to make this one.

This Saturday we’ll be kicking off our new open house with a gaming session of Artemis Spaceship Bridge simulator, and that’s something you don’t want to miss!

See you there!

Saturday Open House
Hive 76 (915 Spring Garden)
Saturdays, @ 2:00 PM

Philly Tech Week Wrapup

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.

Deepest appreciation for all the piscine comestibles

Dear Hive76 community,

With appreciation for the last year and a half with great people and projects, as of yesterday, I’ve resigned from Hive76’s Board of Directors. There are some amazing things in the works for the group, and I look forward to watching it grow and helping out from time to time. The organization has grown so much since I first heard about it, and there is a strong core of smart people making it run. I am confident that even more positive changes are on the way for Hive76 and the Philly science/tech community.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of demands placed on my time, and I feel that I can do more for DIY, science education, and technology for social change, from a different context. I’ve picked up some other tech/ed projects around the city (like Random Hacks of Kindness), so while I’m moving out of the building, I’ll still be in the neighborhood. You can keep an eye on what I’m up to and get in touch over here.

Don’t be a stranger…any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks again, it’s been a blast. And stay tuned for the exciting results of Hive’s next round of elections!

Stephanie Alarcon

Hackerspace-Wide Gaming

Tuesday we played Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator internationally with another hackerspace, 091 Labs in Galway Ireland. Despite time zone differences, initial network trouble on our end, and the lack of a full crew, we still had quite a bit of fun.

First we played co-operatively. Trying our best to stay some what coordinated, we swooped in on enemy fleets and made quick work of them. Either of us would get in to trouble in battle, with the other ship warping  in and turning the tide at the last moment.

Eventually we  challenged each other to a battle, and I must say it was extremely intense.

For the next game (May 21st), there is talk of having a few other hackerspaces possibly joining in, so stay tuned!


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.

[polldaddy poll=”5034351″]

Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator, Tuesday!

Captain’s Log, May 8th, 2011…

It’s almost time again for our Artemis Spaceship Bridge simulator night, so get ready to beam up! Due to popular demand we’re doing it twice this month (May 10th, and May 21st).

If you’ve never played Artemis before, it’s a networked computer game that simulates the bridge of a spaceship, much like what you’d see on Star Trek®. The game allows for 5 bridge officers, plus a captain, and all you need is the software (which is provided) and a laptop to play.

Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator Night
Hive 76 (915 Spring Garden)
Tuesday, March 10th @ 7:00 PM.