September meet write-up

Another month, another meet in the Malt Shovel!  We discussed some future events that need some organising. A permanent hackspace was discussed, where everyone was broadly keen on having one, but we don’t currently have the cashflow to consider renting a space yet.  One possibility to raise income  would be to bill the space as usable for telecommuters with appropriately higher tariffs of membership to occasional users.

Milton Keynes Museum

Nicholas visited the Milton Keynes museum and the curator is keen on interactive exhibits.  There’s a number of different types that were raised:

  • A multimedia display triggered by movement or visitor interaction.  It could play audio clips using a microprocessor, or a laptop could be used to show video
  • A server that offers additional information via Bluetooth to visitors
  • A model of some process or historical machine, or technology (e.g. routing comms)
  • An animatronic model using a projector to project a face, and voice clips via a speaker

To see if we could be of service to the museum, a NortHACKton group visit will be organised in early October.

Pinball evening

Adrian has offered to host NortHACKton on an evening in November and demonstrate his collection of pinball machines.  This will be on a day in November, vote here to help choose when. This would probably be a late afternoon meet, followed by a pub trip.

Python hack evening workshop

The next hack evening workshop will be on the 4th October, in the Yeoman of England.  It will be an introduction to the Python programming language by translating concepts from other programming languages. We’ll start at 8pm again with a talk about an Arduino that Nicholas and I have programmed that can communicate with the FluidDB online shareable database.  There will then be a hands-on interactive introduction to the Python language, and then a tutorial, trying to write a small Python program in groups or solo, and then a show and tell of everyone’s work. To learn Python, you’ll need a laptop with Python on it.  It comes as standard on Linux, Windows and Mac users will have to download it.  The Python version should be between 2.5 and 2.7. Everyone’s welcome on the 4th, even if they don’t wish to learn Python and simply use the space to work.  Don’t forget to bring your projects!

London Hackspace visit

Martin and I will visit the LHS in the second week of October hopefully to get some Perspex cut on the laser.  If you want a design cut out (as demonstrated at September’s Hack Evening) then pipe up on the mailing list. There’s a square foot of material (3mm thick, clear blue) for all our designs, so small is beautiful.  It also stops the laser overheating.

Maker Faire

The Maker Faire isn’t getting any further away, and we need to choose what we’re going to try to build by the next pub meet (19th October) to actually have time to build and test it.  Thinking caps on!  In addition to the designs discussed before, Martin also suggested a catapult that fires coins at a set of paper targets or models.  This would also have the advantage of raising money for the group as well!