About rlankenau

I do software for work, hardware for fun.

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.

Arduino 201 Cancelled, Arduino 101 Instead!

We’re calling off our Arduino 201 class due to low enrollment, and having an Arduino 101 class instead.

If the snowpocalypse deprived you of your Arduino 101 class a couple weeks ago, come on in Tuesday night for a make-up.

Arduino 101 will also be taught the first week of March, and Arduino 201 will be taught near the end of March.

Time: Tuesday, Feb 15 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Arduino 201: Sensors and Communication

If you enjoyed our Introduction to Arduino class, come back for the next class!

In Arduino 201, we’ll be using the Processing framework and the Firmata library for the Arduino to interact with the Arduino from a graphical user interface.

This class will build on the Darkness Detector circuit we built in Arduino 101, adding calibration knobs for high and low, and outputting the resulting data to a graph using Processing.

Students should be familiar with the concepts and circuits taught in Arduino 101, specifically reading analog inputs and the voltage divider circuit used in the Darkness Detector.

Knowledge of Processing is not required.

What to Bring

  • A laptop (we have a few spares, let us know if you need to reserve one)
  • Your arduino kit (or order one with the class)

Materials

All classes in the Arduino Track require the Arduino Kit (external link to Adafruit).

Buy it now ($15 off with tuition) and reuse it for the rest of the classes!

Wednesday’s Linux Class

Here’s a quick preview of the “Revitalize Your Computer With Linux” class coming up this Wednesday.

Linux is an alternative to commercial operating systems, available free on the web and maintained by a community of developers. It runs on very modest hardware (I’ll be doing a demo install on a single-core 2.0 GHz box), and has a variety of high-quality applications available out of the box.

I’ll be covering what Linux is, how to get it, and how to try it out and get it installed on your computer. Copies of Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) will be provided, so if you’d like to follow along, bring a laptop.

In addition to installation, I’ll be going over some basic skills that will help you get the most out of your new linux installation, including:

  • Command-line basics
  • Using the package manager to install new software
  • Basic productivity software (OpenOffice.org, Thunderbird, Firefox)
  • Keeping your system up to date

Hope to see you there!

Oktoberfest Open House

Hey everybody, come on out to our Oktoberfest Open House today!

We’ll be working on projects all afternoon, and this event is open to the public, so if you have a project you’ve been working on, bring it along!

The open house starts at 2:30, and will last until we decide to head over to the local pub. We may even have some members bringing by homebrewed beer for the occasion.

Labor Day! No General Meeting Until Sept. 13

We’re shifting the general meeting by a week, since the next one would fall on Labor Day, and we don’t want to interfere with the long weekend.

The next meeting will be on September 13th, at 6:30pm.

The main topic of discussion will be classes to be held at the space.

We’ve got a preliminary list of classes we’re planning on offering, but we’d love other suggestions, so come on out on the 13th and give us your input!

Workshop 88 is Moving!

Our lease at the space on Quincy is up at the end of June, but we’re happy to announce that we’re moving to a much larger space that actually has 3 distinct areas, and has space for tools!

We’re still finalizing everything, but we should be ready to start moving in the next week or so.

We’ll post photos and stuff once we start moving in.

Class: Vim basics, tips, and tricks


When: 4/19/2010 at 6:30pm
Where: Workshop 88 (1684 Quincy, Naperville, IL)

I’ll be teaching a class on using the vim editor on the 19th, so if you’d like to learn a new text editor, c’mon out and see if vim is right for you.

This class is free to members and their guests, and we’ll be starting at 6:30 on the dot.

Here’s the plancast event of you’re into that kind of thing.