THOTCON Badge Hacking Contest Begins!

We’ve all had a full week to recover from the THOTCON and B-sides activity here in Chicago and it is time to get back to hacking.    The badge that was distributed to THOTCON attendees was designed to be hacked and reused in your projects. In the spirit of badge hacking we’d like to announce our first badge hacking contest for the attendees of THOTCON 0x4.

The contest will start today and will run until 11:59 pm CT on Monday, May 27th 2013.

The rules are simple: In hacking there are no rules.

Although there are no rules your submission must be reproducible and should include:

  1. Video Demonstration of your Badge Hack
  2. Any applicable schematics for your hack
  3. Any code and compile instructions

In the interest of collaborative learning any requested information about the badge for the purpose of the contest will be shared with other contest participants. All contest submissions will also be archived on the official badge website.

There will be several categories we will judge against, you’re automatically entered to each category:

  • Best overall badge hack (make us say uhh!)
  • Most hackerish hack (what can you hack with the badge?)
  • Most unorthodox hack (does your badge now dispense cat food?)
  • People’s choice (the tubez chuze)

The prizes will be notoriety and some 3D printed randomness courtesy of the badge crew at Workshop 88.

The astute observer will notice that the pin outs on the side of the board fit the Arduino footprint for access to many of the ATMEGA128RFA1’s peripheral systems and compatibility with most Arduino shields.  The badge can be easily reprogrammed  via the unpopulated ICSP header with (at least) the following methods:

If you’re looking to hack your badge over and over again we have a few left over prototyping kits we were selling during the con and you can get them for $20 plus shipping by emailing us here. 

These include all the prototype rails and headers you need to use arduino shields  plus the passive components necessary to power the badge from a wall wart or other external supply.  The power system components are not necessary to reprogram or hack the chip.

Register here for the contest!

 

 

New meeting schedule

Workshop88 is happy to announce a new meeting schedule staring February 2012. Meetings will be at 7 pm Thursday evenings every week, and the open hack night will be Monday nights. Class schedules and the meetup schedule will be updated to reflect these changes. Board meetings will be scheduled once a month.

image

We look forward to seeing you at our new weekly meetings.

Hackerspaces in Space: Year 2

A few days ago we launched (no pun intended) Hackerspaces in Space: Year 2.  HSIS (as we like to refer to it) is a challenge that we extend to other hackerspaces (and like-minded groups of people) to design, build and launch a weather balloon equipped with cameras to take photos at near-space altitudes. The HSIS website has all the rules regarding the contest which you can check out if you’re interested.

Last time we ran the challenge, we had a great response from the makerspace and hackerspace community.  We’re hoping to make HSIS better this year.  We want to use HSIS to promote science exploration and discovery in schools.  We want to take whatever best designs come out of this year’s challenge and send kits based on the winning designs to schools, so that student can launch their own balloons to near-space.

To make that happen, we’ve set up a kickstarter project. (You may have seen the banner at the top of the page.) Take a look at some of the prizes we’re offering and consider becoming a backer to this project so that we can get kits into schools!

Also, we need your help spreading the word about HSIS.  Please link to the page, tweet it, facebook it, retweet, upvote it on reddit, or just post it wherever you share your information online. We can’t make this happen without your help!

Changes to the site…

If you received an email about this post please hit reply and send so we know it worked. Seeing this blog post in your email means we’ve worked out the kinks in our new mailing list plugin.  Currently all users are notified when we make  a blog post about an event, class, or major announcement.  We’ve set up the plugin this way because the survey we sent out to our current mailing list showed overwhelmingly that you all prefer email communication.

If you’d like to unsubscribe just do so in the sidebar of the blog.  You may also register and edit the categories you would like to be subscribed to.  Hopefully in the future we’ll be making so many posts about classes and events, that we’ll move to a digest model for the mailing list, but for now it’s setup to work post by post.

In other news, we’ve successfully transitioned from our Google Calendar setup to a nice WordPress plugin with Eventbrite integration.  Have no fear though, we still have an iCal link available for those of you who use Google Calendar.  The events page of the site now shows a list or calendar view of all the upcoming events we’ve posted about.  The fancy Eventbrite integration now creates an event and embeds a registration box at the bottom of posts so we can keep track of planned attendance at events and classes, and also allows us to sell tickets.

Intro to electronics class

photo by Windell Oskay on flickr

On Saturday November 6, Workshop 88’s own hacker extraordinaire Kevin Roof will be hosting an “Intro to electronics” class. Come out and start learning the basics of resistors, capacitors, transistors, diodes and all types of basic circuits. In this class you will build an LED throwie which conserves battery power by turning off during the day.

Date: November 6th, 2010 (Saturday)
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Workshop 88 (Map to Workshop)

Cost: $10.00 (which covers the cost of the materials)

Contact: info@workshop88.com
Twitter: @Workshop88

Revitalize your computer with linux

Tux!

On Wednesday, October 20, Workshop 88’s own president Russ Lankenau will be hosting “Revitalize your computer with linux”. Do you have an older computer at home that you don’t know what to do with? Learn how to breathe new life into your machine that you didn’t know it still had.

Date: October 20th, 2010 (Wednesday)
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Workshop 88 (Map to Workshop)

Contact: info@workshop88.com
Twitter: @Workshop88

Practical Photography Class

Photographer

ƅethan @flickr - My Konica & Me

Tuesday the 12th of October, William will teach our first Practical photography class. It will cost $10 and you’ll need to bring your own camera. The class will start at Workshop 88 at 6:30pm. We’re trying something new, if you’re not already a member and want to join the Workshop after the class we’ll discount your first month’s dues the cost of the class!

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.

Workshop 88 Class – The Physics of Music

This Sunday, starting at 2pm, our own Andrew Morrison will be teaching a class on the Physics of Music.  A short description:

In this class we will explore some of the basic physics which governs the behavior of musical instruments. After exploring the science of resonance, pitch and timbre we will build some simple musical instruments out of common materials. By the end of the class you should come away with your own musical instrument and the ability to invent new musical instruments of your own design.

Tickets will be $10.00 for non-members and supporting members, and free for regular members.  Material costs are TBD, but should be under $20.00.  All payments will be accepted at the door.

Please let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll keep you updated!