1. Shmoocon 2009: ...duck!!

    08 February 2009

    It's been six hours since I got back from Shmoocon, and I'm still readjusting to a low information density environment. Shmoocon is DC's premiere hacker con, held early every February by a security research outfit called the Shmoo Group, which seems to have an odd interest in moose (judging by the repeating moose motif all over the place, from the free stickers to the laser cut acrylic convention badges). I've wanted to go for a couple of years but various and sundry things kept me from attending, so when I finally was able to score a ticket I jumped at …

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  2. "I have a dream" at HacDC.

    01 February 2009

    A couple of weeks ago at HacDC Dave Monachello, an electronic artist and frequenter of the infamous gather known as Burning Man presented one of his latest works, an animated electroluminescent wire sculpture depicting Martin Luther King, Jr. Multiple layers of EL wire were attached to a translucent backing material depicting parts of different facial expressions associated with the act of speaking. The EL wire was rigged up to a bank of microcontrollers which triggered the different layers as a frame animation in time with a recording of King's I Have A Dream speech.

    You can view the photo album …

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  3. Negotiations with my immune system appear to be going well.

    31 January 2009

    I spent a good ten minutes marshalling my thoughts to write at least a semi-interesting post about the past couple of days but every time I start typing I can't seem to string six words together into a coherent sentence. To put it simply, sometime Wednesday morning the sick-to-my-head feeling turned into a full-blown cold that's had me running at reduced capacity all week. When you factor in running around to multiple sites for multiple meetings for work, I haven't had much energy left after the fact. Since then my days were fueled with Sudafed PE and espresso and my …

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  4. The RepRap build-a-thon in review.

    28 January 2009

    The weekend of the RepRap build-a-thon at HacDC started off simply: Lyssa and I went to dinner at Konami. We haven't been out for sushi for a number of months, due to my getting sick there in 2007. However, the food is still good and we enjoyed ourselves. I was unusually popular that night; my cellphone kept ringing every few minutes for various and sundry reasons. After dinner I dropped Lyssa off at home, loaded my gear into the trunk of my car, and headed to Hasufin's to pick him up because we were off to HacDC to help set …

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  5. Schedule of events for HacDC Build-A-Thon tomorrow!

    23 January 2009

    The final schedule of events for tomorrow's RepRap build-a-thon has been announced:

    Saturday, 24 January 2009
    Main Auditorium
    10:00am Welcome and introductions
    10:30am Plenary: "The RepRap Project" by Zach ‘Hoeken’ Smith, Director, RepRap Research Foundation
    11:15am RepRap Technology Overview from Local RepRap Builders
    11:45am Activities Outline by R. Mark Adams
    12:00pm Break for Lunch
    1:00pm Build the Cartesian Robot with Zach ‘Hoeken’ Smith

    HacDC Workshop
    1:00pm Assemble the RepRap Electronics
    1:00pm Learn to Solder Breakout with MAKE:DC's Adam Koeppel
    2:00pm Arduino Basics Breakout with HacDC's R. Mark Adams
    3:00pm …

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  6. No time to write proper posts lately.

    21 January 2009

    It says something, I think, when someone spends most every day of the past week going to bed at 2100 local time and sleeping clear through until 0600. Plus a nap after coming home from work. An essay I've been working on has been at a low simmer for a few days now until I've got enough neurons online to turn it into a coherent whole. I've got pictures to post that I haven't gotten around to yet.

    Come to think of it, I've got two more disposable cameras that I haven't gotten developed yet.

    Oh, and the inauguration yesterday …

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  7. The year is not getting off to a stellar beginning.

    16 January 2009

    The board of directors of Saloncon announced a couple of days ago that there will not be a Saloncon in 2009. The board is not in a position to spend the money necessary to get it off the ground this year, unfortunately. Also, given the rising rate of unemployment this year (7.2% and climbing, as of December of 2008) and the generally sad state of the economy there is a high probability that many fewer people would be able to attend this year. They are working on throwing a charity event at Teaberrys instead but it isn't known if …

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  8. Network update: Leandra back online.

    11 January 2009

    Maintenance on Leandra is finished. I took her offline around 2100 ESET5EDT on Saturday night to remove a dead DVD-ROM drive, remove a pair of 512GB memory modules that weren't doing anything, and swap out her 250 GB hard drive for a 500 GB drive. The RAID array has had 250 GB added to it; specifically, the logical volume holding everything but the /boot and / partitions has had 250 GB added to it. 15 GB from the free pool was added to /usr (so that more software could potentially be installed) and the rest of the free disk space was …

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  9. RepRap Build-A-Thon at HacDC, 24-25 January 2009.

    08 January 2009

    Please distribute widely!

    On 24 and 25 January 2008, HacDC, a hacker space located in Washington, DC will be holding a RepRap build-a-thon in conjunction with the Baltimore RepRap User's Group. The build-a-thon starts at 10:00am EST5EDT on Saturday and will run until 3:00pm EST5EDT Sunday.

    The RepRap is an open source rapid prototyper which is unusual in two ways: first, it is affordable for the home hobbyist to both construct and operate (typically, it costs $500us to build a RepRap from scrach, compared to the $49,000+ that industrial rapid prototypers cost). Second, the RepRap is capable …

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