Saturday, 6 September 2014

Blackpool Makerspace and LUG - 6th September 2014

In attendance - Mike H, Les, Olly, Tony, David, Josh, Andy and Richard

General Geek chat about what we've been doing.

Olly was updating a VPS server, Josh was making a multi player Pac Man Game for Mac, Linux and browser playing. Les trying to emulate a keyboard using an Arduino.

Richard was hacking Router settings, and Tony was showing off his new OnePlus Phone and setting it up with all the software he had on his old Nexus4.

Thanks to Mike for hosting us in the new venue and providing the refreshments.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Blackpool Makerspace and LUG meeting 23/08/2014

Attending: Michael, Joe, Les, Tony, Elizabeth, Kieran, Michael (2), Richard, and Joshua

General discussions:-

3D Printers, obtaining parts; types of glass (& lubricants); Solvents etc
Comparisons between Raspberry Pi and Banana Pi; 
Mouse preferences over touch pads; 
Wiki advertising; Server sizes & costs;  
Online payment Providers & agreements; 
Bricklaying for the common man (or woman!)/Plastering/Wallpapering (hysteria creeping in!); wood burners and firebrick cutting; 
Buying cheap electronics from China via eBay; 
Gas pressures/supplies/upgrades;
generational loss of information/interpretations; 
Blackpool floods of 1976 & extreme weather generally.

Discussion also took place about the next 2 week meetings for the Lug which will be relocating temporarily.  Michael (2) has kindly offered to accommodate us for this period at his own home & will email members shortly with details. 

Joe continued his Server Analysis project.

Richard helped Kieran download & install Hamachi server, and used the GUI called Haguichi for configuration and administration.  Kieran could then join Richard's Minecraft Server.

Les was working on a sensor Robot which was partially successful but failing on finding direction.

Tony also helped Elizabeth with a panel issue on Mint 17. The panel was accidentally removed & efforts to restore were partial & not acceptable.
If anyone else has this issue the following command restores the panel back to its original state: -  
sudo mate-panel --reset

Many thanks to those who provided this week's brain food and to Michael for providing the Space and the coffee.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Makerspace & LUG meeting 16.8.14 - Full house for the Arduino session

Present: Mike, Joe, Michael (2), Les, Richard, Elizabeth, Kieran, Andy, Joshua, Chris, Rick and a warm welcome to four new visitors, Arthur, Sue, Jack, and Kimball,  

Les started an Arduino session setting up those interested with Shrimps & helping them achieve various tasks.  Kieran and Richard were making lights go on & off; Jack & family set up a Shrimp called Ping, which worked by sensor - 2 lights, green & red - as a hand approaches & gets within 2 cm the light changes from green to red & as the hand withdraws the light reverts to green.
Rick was using Shrimp for the 1st time & making a light go on & off.

Joe was continuing his hunt for Gary's Mod Game Servers carried forward from last meeting.

Chris and Joshua worked on  structural changes to Josh's website, using node.js.

Jack brought with him his School project, worked on by the entire family as an end of term project.  "Monster in the Box" - a wooden box, built & decorated by Jack (aged 10) - with a switch on top. When the switch is flicked the Monster gets angry and turns it off again! He demonstrated this and there really was a Monster which emerged & nastily turned it off & snappily returned from whence he came. (Mikro basic programming used). Using Scratch Jack went on to create characters.

Kimball worked on an Electromagnetic Field Badge (for a Technology Camping Festival at Bletchley, 29th-31st August 2014).  Kimball's task was to programme (MPU) so that the Badge would be fully functional irrespective of direction it was held. (Currently fixed in a single landscape position).

Quote and pictures from Les:
Awesome day @MakerspaceFY1 we had 15 eager @arduino hackers and makers

Goodies (AKA brain food) kindly provided by Kieran's Nana and Les.  Mike, the perfect host as always, made sure the coffee machine was continuously refilled.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

LUG and Makerspace meeting - more MAME and Pi B+

Present:  Michael, Joe, Les, Tony, Elizabeth, Kieran and a warm welcome to new member, Rick who is interested in Arduino/music/midi and related stuff.

Les brought along a dual xeon rack mounting server kindly donated by one of our remote members - thanks Heed.

Mike explained  binary and hex to Elizabeth with a little maths session, then went on to explain the relationship between binary and voltage levels on the data bus. ASCII also got a mention, but by then Elizabeth had information overload.

Les worked on the MAME, project, transferring 40GB of games onto the Hard Drive as well as making a list of the most popular games.
During testing of the MAME project, there was a discussion comparing retro games to modern offerings.
Once testing has finished, the internals of this compaq evo will be removed and fitted into a cabinet.

Kieran took his first look at the edX Foundation Course, and helped test some of the MAME roms by playing them on a laptop.

Tony brought the latest B+ Raspberry Pi & explained the improvements.

Joe created an Analytical tool using Python. 
The tool scans for all instances of a specific (steam) game. When found, the server is polled for the number of players, and the maps in use.
Joe is trying to improve the service on the game he hosts by finding out what the most popular instances are doing.

There was a short discussion about how the group would be managed after we move to our new premises.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Electromagnetic fields event - Bletchley UK 29-31 August

Electromagnetics fields is a non-profit camping festival.


The badge:

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Meeting 26-07-2014

Present: Michael, Joe, Elizabeth, Kieran, Michael (2), Tom

Discussions about:

1) the Linux courses offered by edX. Elizabeth & Kieran are looking forward to the commencement of the Foundation Course on 1.8.14.
2) Universal PSU's - Kieran's Acer laptop has no charger  Michael suggested looking at Universal PSU's as well as the manufacturers item.

3) Ubuntu 14.04 being more stable
4) equipment needed for uploading video's to YouTube.
5) issues installing Linux as a dual boot with Windows 8 (UEFI) v using a virtual machine
6) Tom's Apple computer for breaking up & selling
7) Michael (2) researching virtual 3D printer of German design (framework) - all electronic parts have been ordered from China. Discussions about the different potential uses eg. using silver/titanium etc...
8) Thermal imaging. Heat storage possibilities.

Joe was writing software which analyzes Server logs.

Kieran was looking for online games to upload to his (& a friend's) YouTube channel.

Tom was designing logo's for Freelancer website.

Thank you to Elizabeth for thus post.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Meeting 19-07-2014 RISCOS Laptop, Linux Mint and Minecraft

Attending: Michael, Mike H, Richard, Kathleen, Elizabeth, Kieran, Mark

Mike H installed Mint 17 Cinnamon onto his Dell laptop. A discussion took place about the best desktop to use on older hardware, Cinnamon or Mate.  Michael was happy with the end result, Mint 17 was much faster than the original Windows Vista. 

Kieran and Richard made an island on Minecraft - Kieran making cobblestone with lava and water.  Richard was collecting "hard core" getting ready to build.

Kathleen was "house building" on Minecraft - creating walls and fencing etc.

Various discussions took place comparing processors; virtual machines; old versus modern technology, and various hardware suppliers.....

Brioche, Biscuits and Jelly Babies were available for all (thanks to those who brought the treats) and Mike was the perfect coffee/tea Host and space provider as always.

Thank you to Elizabeth for writing this post.

This week I finally found a use for my Raspberry Pi, a  RISCOS laptop.  I use the term 'laptop' loosely, because it needs mains power (no battery) and an ethernet cable (no wireless) but it can be used on your lap, and can be folded up to fit in a laptop case.

RISCOS makes heavy use of the middle mouse button, which the laptop does not have. Winmenu maps the windows key as the middle mouse button.

And to end the session, some assembly language examples from a book by Bruce Smith, former technical editor of the Acorn User magazine.