Tech Talk: Interactive Fiction w/ Undum for JavaScript Beginners (Doug Sartori)

chooseyourown

Undum is a set of Javascript libraries that make it easy to create your own “Choose your own Adventure” or “Fighting Fantasy” style piece of interactive fiction. It’s a great way to learn the basics of computer programming (and JavaScript) because there is almost no new code required to create a game. Doug Sartori will give a brief introduction to computer programming and JavaScript, then create a simple game, workshop style. Bring a laptop if you’d like to follow along and create your own!

This Tech Talk takes place on Thursday, October 2nd at 6PM at Hackforge (850 Ouellette Ave).

Nerd Level: Perfect for beginners.

Doug Sartori is a Hackforge board member and partner in the Southwestern Ontario software consultancy Parallel 42 Systems. He has been a software professional since 2000. He has worked as a consultant, developer, and product manager for companies large and small.

Looking for Science Mentors for October Hackathon!

Hackforge and WETech are collaborating on a hackathon to celebrate National Science and Technology Week and we’re looking for science mentors!

Teams of developers will be paired with a scientific mentor and a technical mentor to work with open scientific data sets to work on a project or problem. We encourage potential scientific mentors to bring a data set from their own work that they are willing to make public.

Participating teams will come together for the “draft” and a series of talks on science and technology on Friday, October 17th. The teams will present their completed projects on Sunday, October 26th.

If you work or study in a scientific field, become a mentor! Send us an email: info@hackf.org.

 

 

Hackforge Software Guild Goes Weekly

guild

The Hackforge Software Guild is getting together more often! Going forward, we’ll be gathering every Wednesday evening in the Hackforge space. Every second week will continue as previously: you’ll pair up with a partner and solve a programming puzzle in various ways, improving your skills and workflow as a programmer. On the opposite weeks, however, we’re introducing Social Coding Night: bring your laptop, hang out with the Hackforge Software Guild and work on whatever programming project you’d like!

Social Coding Night starts tonight – Wednesday, September 17th – and continues every second Wednesday thereafter.
Social Coding Nights: 6-9PM September 17October 1, 15, 29
Katas & Formal Discussion: 6-9PM September 24October 8, 22

SpokePOV Workshop & Build This Saturday!

image cred: Adafruit

image cred: Adafruit

Join us in preparation for the w.a.v.e.s festival in assembling SpokePOV kits!

Lead by Hackforger Paul Anderson, learn how to build a persistence of vision kit which turns a bicycle wheel into a custom display. The assembled kits will light up the w.a.v.e.s on September 26th and 27th as the bikes ride around the festival.

Beginners welcome. Come to learn more about: electronics, LEDs, persistence of vision technology. Find out more about the workshop here.

Click here to see more cool POV projects!

Tech Talk: BioArt Residency / Technology as an Artist’s Aid (Chelsea Greenwell)

CHELSEA GREENWELL Luteum Papilio; Reverence Plexiglass, agar, bacteria, fungi, dragonfly, digital prints, light box 2013 Image cred: Incubator Art Lab

Cultivamos Cultura, Portugal 2014, a BioArt residency & technology as an artist’s aid. This talk on Thursday, September 18th, will highlight Chelsea Greenwell’s recent BioArt camp and residency in Portugal, including her utilization of technology as an aid to her art practice; the interdisciplinary melding of Sculpture, BioArt, and Technology in her current body of work.

Chelsea Greenwell is currently finishing a double major in Visual Arts & English. As an aspiring BioArtist, her research explores the natural world through a digital platform, questioning humanities relationship with nature through themes of manipulation and homage. Her current research is 3D printing and digital rendering as a BioArt medium, offering a unique juxtaposition. Chelsea’s work has been shown in BioArt: Contemporary Art and the Life Sciences, a collaborative show at the !dea Gallery in the Ontario Science Centre; as well as a collaboration piece, Occam’s Razor, a group exhibition at the Toronto Science Centre. She has a piece in an upcoming exhibition in Portugal, as well as a collaborative piece with fellow Windsor based media artist, Nicolas de Cosson, in the W.A.V.E.S festival, September 2014.

Nerd Level: Novices welcome. Free and open to the public.

Come to learn more about: BioArt, Portugal, artist residency, 3D printing, art and technology.

This Tech Talk takes place on Thursday, September 18th at 6PM.

 

The Meta Tech Talk Brainstorm

brainstorm

After a great summer of talks, and as Hackforge continues to grow into its role as a community teaching and learning space, let’s take a pause to discuss the future direction of our tech talk series.

Tomorrow, Thursday, September 4th, we’ll hold a round-table style brainstorming session at 6PM. All ideas are welcome! Many of you have already come forward with suggestions ranging from recording and archival of talks, concepts for furthering discussion on the topics online, multi-talk series, panels, certifications, and more. Come participate in consolidating these great ideas into a form easily digestible by an implementation team, and help Hackforge’s tech talk series come of age!

Join us for the Tech Talk Brainstorm, Thursday, September 4th at 6PM at Hackforge (850 Ouellette Ave). Check out our Meetup page for more information.

Sneak Preview: Hackforge Prepares for w.a.v.e.s

Hackforge is busy preparing for the upcoming w.a.v.e.s festival! As part of our participation at the festival, we are marrying art and technology with persistence of vision technology. Check out the amazing work by Hackforgers Paul and Kevin. Stay tuned for more as we get closer to the festival.

Be sure to join us on September 26th and 27th at the Sculpture Garden for w.a.v.e.s!

The 8×8 LED Matrix Project

matrix6

For the past couple of months Rob Caruso, one of the ingenious and industrious HF members has been quietly implementing a discrete 8×8 LED Matrix using the pegboard backing of one of the workbenches at the Hackforge.

The goal is to provide an educational platform, not a complete standalone display. The 8×8 LED matrix was chosen simply to utilize the existing pegboard surface. A conscious design aspect was to provide a simple ‘plug and play’ method for breadboarding experiments that utilize typical hobbyist microprocessor such as the Arduino, PIC and the ever popular Raspberry PI. Integrating the display into the existing backboard of the workbench has an inherent appeal for those who equate blank space as wasted potential. For this project Rob has blended 3D printed LED holders (his own design) with standard prototyping PCB boards to create a well-engineered design that will permit novice microprocessor (or RPi) programmers to show off their projects with a minimum of construction.

Rob has extended the utility of the matrix by providing a means of allowing the LED’s to be changed for different colours or replaced easily in the event of ‘design malfunction’. Using the 3D printer at the Hackforge, he designed a holder that snugly fits into the existing 1/4″ holes to secure the LED. A two-pin socket, glued to the back of the holder is fitted into strips of PCB board to provide a common bus for the Anodes(+) and Cathodes(-). What you end up with is 8 wires from the Plus side of the matrix and 8 wires from the Minus side that will fit into convenient plug-in headers. The intrepid experimenter needs only to connect their breadboard via short runs of jumper cables to these sockets, keeping everything in view. It should be noted too that the LED holders contain a plastic clip (part of the 3D composition) that secures the plug from popping out of the hole.

There is still some work to be done before this project can be pronounced ‘done’. In particular the wires running from the back to the sockets at the front need to be secured, and of course the position of the sockets themselves need to be finalized. Two standard 8-pin Arduino headers will likely be used, allowing for simple plugin-in ability from whatever device the experimenter chooses. We believe that simply mounting a typical Arduino UNO R3 board onto the backboard will be the ‘gateway drug’ to future experimentation.

The project can be considered completed, and ready for the enthusiastic hobbyist to develop their version of 8×8 PONG….

Click below for Terry McAlinden’s photo of the work…

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Hackforge 3D Printing Demo at Devonshire Mall on Friday

This Friday, August 22nd, Hackforge is heading to Devonshire Mall to demonstrate the power of 3D printing in anticipation for the upcoming W.A.V.E.S Festival. From 5-8PM, join us for the Back to School Craft Night at the main concourse of the mall, in front of The Bay.

This is a free family friendly event and part of Devonshire Mall Fun Fridays series. Hackforge will be joined by other local organizations like the Art Council of Windsor & Region and the City of Windsor.

Stop by our booth to see our MakerBot 3D printer in action, bringing to life various objects. Learn about how 3D printing is changing the world of engineering, health, technology, and art. Interact with 3D printed objects and meet Hackforge volunteers.

Preview the excitement of the W.A.V.E.S Festival which is coming up on September 26th and 27th. Hackforge will be taking part in the festival which connects communities through waves of art, culture and technology.

 

Hackforge/Open Data Windsor-Essex Takes Part in All Candidates Night

This Thursday, August 21st and next Wednesday, August 27th, Hackforge and Open Data Windsor-Essex are taking part in Pathway to Potential’s All Candidates Night, “Shared Prosperity: The Municipal Role in Reducing Poverty.”

Candidates and community members can learn about community groups, like Hackforge, working to improve the quality of life in Windsor Essex. Pathway to Potential will also be presenting their progress, strategic priorities, and highlighting their “What Matters” community survey results. This is also an opportunity to exchange ideas and meet others passionate on improving our communities.

Hackforge is working to making technology accessible to everyone. Money shouldn’t be a barrier for individuals or groups to use technology that could better their lives. Our Tech Talks allow people to learn about different fields for free. The Software Craftsman Guild helps programmers learn best-practice skills and acts as professional development without the cost of a class or membership. Our space gives members access to technology, mentorship, and a working area for projects, learning, and experimentation.

Open Data Windsor-Essex, Hackforge’s special interest group funded by the Ontario Trillium Funding, is promoting, creating, and hosting open data in our community. Through our three year grant, we are working with community partners, both from non-profit groups and the government, to make information free and accessible to everyone. Open Data helps to create a more transparent and community-engaged world when the public has access to information for research, advocacy, education, and content development.

TWO DATES | TWO LOCATIONS

WINDSOR: August 21, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Windsor Star News Cafe.

ESSEX: August 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Shaheen Community Room,
Essex Arena (Essex Centre Sports Complex).

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