Reconditioning a touch tone dialer.

  pictures project restoration retrotech telephony phreaking history

One of my holiday break hobby projects, a palate cleanser if you will, was reconditioning a classic Radio Shack touch tone dialer I'd picked up on eBay somewhen around Thanksgiving. They're retrotech to be sure, dating back to the days when the touch-tone dialing that we take for granted these days (so much so that we don't even hear them anymore because we use mobile phones) was actually pretty rare.

Note: A lot of the following history of telephony has been edited to reflect only the salient points for this article. Telephony experts out there will probably rankle a bit …

Read more...

Adventures in retrocomputing: Restoring a vintage Commodore 64.

  commodore_64 pictures project quarantine retrocomputing restoration

You've probably been wondering where I've been since my last update in the latter half of April.  I mean, where would I reasonably go right now when most of the country is locked down and only a relatively small number of people with more memes running inside their heads than conscious processes are running around with mall ninja gear and weapons (some props, most unfortunately not) doing their damndest to cut the population by infecting everyone around them with covid-19?  Well.. when I haven't been working (as one does) I've been reconditioning my old Commodore-64 computer, the first computer I …

Read more...

Steps toward an open source microfacture shop and what could be the first recorded nanoparticle injury.

  3d_printing allergies criticism hardware injury medicine microfacture nanoparticles nanopoisoning open_source project

A common criticism of 3D printers is that they're not a panacea. They can't do it all - a limitation shared by every tool, when you think about it - and because of that some vocal people claim they're worthless. You can't really convince anyone who's dead-set against being convinced, so let's move on to more interesting things. A problem being worked on right now is developing a set of technologies and workflow for microfacture - extremely small scale automated manufacture, on the scale of a hackerspace or a home workshop. Most of the components exist right now, from 3D printers to lathes …

Read more...

Gareth Branwyn: Borg Like Me.

  author cyberculture cyberpunk essays kickstarter project

Older denizens of the Net probably remember the name Gareth Branwyn. His name and visage were well known amongst people who were active in what came to be known as the cyberculture of the late 1980's and early 1990's, that weird mish-mash of hacker culture, people who identified as cyberpunks, psychedelic culture, rave culture, and other tiny social groups so far out on the fringe that they never really coalesced but instead moved in the cracks and fissues left in the wake of those other groups. Most of us remember two major projects he worked on at the time, the …

Read more...

ANNOUNCING BYZANTIUM LINUX V0.1a (Scarab)

  byzantium hacdc mesh_networking project release

Approved for: GENERAL RELEASE, DISTRIBUTION UNLIMITED

UPDATE: Due to a critical bug in Byzantium Linux v0.1a, a file containing the mesh routing and application software was omitted from the .iso image. The code which makes Byzantium, well, Byzantium isn't there. To fix this, please re-download the .iso image from one of the mirrors linked below and try again. We humbly apologize for our screwup. QA processes are being put in place to ensure that this never happens again.

We're sorry.



Project Byzantium, a working group of HacDC (http://hacdc.org/) is proud to announce the release of v0.1 …

Read more...

DC Discotech.

  byzantium community dc mesh_networking presentation project wireless

As I mentioned late last week (done so because it took that long to finalize some details), Ben the Pyrate and I were invited by Bread for the City to take part in what they called Broadband Bridge, a technology discovery faire for the public. Broadband Bridge contacted us because one of their major projects - adding broadband Internet access to the services offered by Bread For the City - dovetails with the spirit of Project Byzantium if not the two use cases we had in mind when we started building it. In truth, there is absolutely no reason that one could …

Read more...

Down to the wire: Byzantium Development Sprint (September Edition)

  byzantium development hacdc linux networking project routing sprint

Friday evening the Byzantium development team met once again at HacDC to determine where all of us are in the engineering and development process and figure out what we have to do before we can put the alpha release online and announce open testing. Ben the Pyrate has been hard at work setting up the infrastructure and is constructing an automated build environment for the Porteus project (whose distro we're basing Byzantium on), and which we can leverage to make it easier to compile Byzantium Linux into a bootable .iso image. Right now the installation process is entirely manual, which …

Read more...

Spaceblimp-1 recovered after 75 days; photographs online!

  hacdc hackerspaces pictures project spaceblimp update

Back in August of 2010 HacDC launched a prototype near-space probe, designated Spaceblimp-1 in preparation for entering the Hackerspaces In Space competition run by Workshop 88. Unfortunately we lost contact with Spaceblimp-1 a few hours after launch and were unable to locate the instrument package that day.

Sometime yesterday afternoon, one of the members of the Spaceblimp team received an interesting phone call. By all accounts it seemed that Spaceblimp-1 had been found but the labels on the housing were somewhat damaged, so the finder had mis-dialed one of the numbers. The individual who was called, one Bob Dehn, found …

Read more...

The RepRap build-a-thon in review.

  3d_modelling acrylic critique extruders hacdc hacking hardware hopeful microcontrollers open_house project rapid_prototyping reprap repstrap robotics sanguino tiny_little_pieces tools wireless

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 …

Read more...