Mastering the Linux Command Line

Linux gives us the power we need to crush those who oppose  us.  Learn how to being to use the hundreds of tiny utilities contained  in *nix systems to create simple solutions that you may think require writing a program, script, or complex system.

Forget spending countless hours designing, writing ,and debugging code in the cloud. See the methods taught in this class to begin to understand how to quickly link Linux commands together to create quick solutions to what may seem like a complex task.  Spend more time on world domination and less time learning the sexy programming language of the day.

What you will learn:

  • Learn to navigate the shell quickly saving keystrokes, sparing yourself from the scourge of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • What the hell do all those funky symbols mean? Amaze your significant other with the ability to read shell scripts like a Chinese newspaper.
  • Learn a few quick tips to automate your system administration and audit it for weaknesses.
  • Create a simple command to notify yourself of changes to your favorite web pages.  Never miss out on those Deltron 3030 tickets again!
  • Create parsers to crunch the data needed to map pig genomes.  Win the Nobel prize!!
  • Stand up a poor man’s web server to serve content in a pinch.

We’ll only touch the tip of the iceberg but you’ll walk away with the understanding and methodology to search the UNIX tool set to create your very own solutions to life’s problems.

What you should know ahead of time:

Basic Linux commands and how to navigate the file system:

Are cd, rm, mv, cp man, and ~  Greek to you?  Learn this first at home:

What you need to bring:

A laptop running your favorite flavor of Linux or vm-ware player.  The utilities we will review are available on 90% of *nix flavor system.  You can also download Linux appliances, but please come to class with your system ready.

MSP430 Launchpad Workshop

One of the members of our meetup group suggested having a night at the space where we learn a little bit about the MSP430 Launchpad. Some simple projects that may be demonstrated could be simple motor control, blinking lights, RGB fading (using PWM), and some serial communication capabilities.

What you need to bring: it would be helpful if you brought a laptop to interface with a Launchpad unit.

What you’ll learn: some of the capabilities and projects of the MSP430 Launchpad as well as the differences of the MSP430 vs PIC/Arduino/AVR.

What this workshop costs: The workshop is free, but if you want to get your very own Launchpad there will be a limited supply available for around $5.00 each.

First set of prototypes done!

(Okay, “done” may be a bit of an overstatement, but we’re really close!)

Yesterday at the space, four of us met to work on the Educube project for the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge. We started with one working display mounted to a custom shield that Jim had designed. We also had one display mounted to a PCB that was not working, 4 new displays, and new custom shields (with a speaker for sound!) to assemble.

After some soldering and a bit of troubleshooting we ended up with 6 working displays and 4 stacks of all the parts of our Educubes.  We have one extra arduino clone and IrDA board to put together to make up the guts of the fifth Educube. (See photos below.)

Educube Progress

We got another couple shipments of parts for our Educube project:

The main component of our project is a Arduino clone called the Diavolino, sold by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories .  The Diavolino uses the same ATMega328P microcontroller that comes in the Arduino Uno, but is quite a bit cheaper.  The nice folks at Evil Mad Scientist were nice enough to sell us a few without microcontrollers, and we ordered the 328Ps from Element14.

Each individual cube communicates with adjacent cubes over IR.  We ordered 10 Vishay IR transceivers, but they came sealed up in this package  covered in dire warnings, so I chose not to break them open until we have boards ready for them.

I spent a couple hours tonight putting the Diavolino kits together.  They were pretty quick, and should be a good platform for the rest of the build.