Sick of 9/11 coverage? Call Film Yarn!

Workshop 88 member Fredo, who records his podcasts at Workshop 88 is looking for participation in his upcoming podcast.  Here’s his idea, in his own words:

Hi guys, as some of you know I do a weekly movie podcast called Film Yarn.

I want to try something, it’s short notice but I think it will work. I want you to call the Film Yarn line and tell us what movie you watched during the incessant covering of 9/11 to escape or help you conceptualize the new reality. It could be emotional or funny, I just want to know what you watched while the news were going 24/7 and there was nothing else on TV.

Please introduce yourself and then tell us what you watched and why. (931) 516 9276. The phone is a google voice mailbox.

Responses will be stitched together in an episode by Saturday, and published Sunday. I’ll add a commentary to the beginning of the show and reveal what movie I watched.

Please repost and forward as you see fit. I want as many varied opinions on the matter as possible.

For more on the podcast the URL is



Introduction to Arduino class (Arduino 101) September 2011

Workshop 88 is thrilled to be offering an introduction to the Arduino platform at our space in Glen Ellyn. Class attendees will learn how to configure their arduino programming environment, how to design simple circuits for interfacing with the arduino and how to write simple programs to control the arduino. What is Arduino, you ask? From their home page:

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

You can order Arduino systems from several places, including Adafruit and Sparkfun. Both companies have lots of tutorials and howtos to get you started with Arduinos. If you choose the tuition + materials option, we will have an arduino and assortment of electronics components for you to take home after the class.


Build a blinkie night at Workshop 88

Dale and Dwayne from 2DKits (get it? 2 Ds: Dale and Dwayne…) are bringing their blinkie building kits to Workshop 88 for a night of blinkie building fun!

They have 15 different kits that they will be bringing. Many of the kits have several different options to choose from to customize the kit.

The folks at MuseCon are sponsoring their 6-LED circle kit for attendees for FREE! All other kits will have a materials charge, but the build night event itself is a FREE event, open to the public.


Introduction to electronics class (August 2011)

Get started exploring electronics with our Introduction to Electronics class. We’ll cover some of the most basic concepts that you’ll need to understand in order to build, modify and design simple circuits.

This class will have a textbook included in the “supplies”.  The textbook will be used in followup electronics classes at Workshop 88.


LED Hacking Night recap

Image credit: Jim Williams

We had a great time on Tuesday night hacking on the scrolling LED display that Jim brought.  It was a great exercise in figuring out how the design worked and trying to improve upon it. Thanks to all who came out and had fun with us!  We like having nights like this, so anyone out there who wants to do something similar with us, let us know!  (Email or leave comments here on the blog.)

Jim has already posted a much better summary of what we did on his blog.  Check it out!


Mastering the Linux Command Line (July 2011)

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.


Intermediate Arduino Class (July 2011)

Workshop 88 is offering a follow-up to the Introduction to the Arduino class featuring a concentration on interfacing the arduino with various sensors and learning to use communication protocols with the arduino.

If you already have an arduino, you have all the materials you’ll need for this class.  Otherwise, you can order a kit and we’ll have it for you when you come to the class.