Posts Tagged ‘hackerspace’

Is there such a thing as « hackerspace burnout » ? [en]

samedi, janvier 28th, 2012

After the awesome Chaos Communication Camp 2011, i had some difficulties to get involved with projects in the space for about a month and half: it’s like i lost something.

To put in context, i’ve been co-driving the truck that carried the material and luggage of 3 belgian hackerspaces and one dutch space up to Finowfurt and back. My co-driver did all the paperwork for the truck, made the whole pickup schedule, did the initial loading at the starting point, and even did the cooking every day since we arrived at the camp, while also taking care of his son. Hats off to that guy that will certainly recognize himself when reading this. On my side, i was busy coordinating the set up of our party tent (we barely had enough hands to raise it), doing all the wiring and light setup, and helping installing the tables and the network. The weather was not friendly either. After the camp was the teardown, packing and filling the truck, Then the driving back and final delivery to the different spaces, all on a very compressed schedule.

Now i feel the same thing again: i’ve been working in the space over the last month on a quite regular basis: drink shopping, moving shelves, filling fridge, garbage collection, rebuilding the electric installation nearly from scratch and dealing with the sharp aspects of socializing.

I want to work on my own pet projects and stop working on infrastructure and janitorial stuff for a while. For the ByteNight, i already made it clear that i will not get involved in any aspect of it. I’ll be there as a customer, sipping my drink on the sofa.

Once i finish the last missing bits on the electric installation, i will freeze all infrastructure projects (Zoppas, Parallel port interface, last power circuit and relay board) for some time.

Reboot in March 2012 ?

Today in the physical mail box [en]

jeudi, juillet 14th, 2011
Package content

Package content

Today i received the GSM shield for Arduino from Open Electronics. I rushed to get a pre-paid SIM card to start playing with the new toy.

I just realised that i don’t have an arduino board yet in my personal toolbox, but i can borrow one from the hackerspace to start experimenting.

I have two projects in mind:

  • mailbox watcher: Since the mailbox is far from my apartment and not within my regular walking path, (and i am a lazy person ;-)), i want the board to send me an SMS when a letter is landing in the mailbox. This is also a nice opportunity to experiment aggressive power saving and see how long can a set of fresh batteries last.
  • Hackerspace door opener: I am also building a motorized lock for the local hackerspace. I don’t know yet what kind of remote control we can use, but it has to be democratic enough. This is not the most original project: the Ghent hackerspace already did it.

Assembly

GSM shield assembled

GSM shield assembled

The shield come as a kit, some soldering is required, but nothing too serious (only through hole components, 2,54 mm pin spacing). In my case, only the switch SW1 was tricky to install.

That’s all for the moment, time to write code.