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HacDC Summer School 2013

  • Jul 16, 2013 · 7:00 PM

This is a beginner level workshop series and assumes no knowledge of programming but assumes participants can install software and purchase required materials.

July 16: Kit-Build featuring SparkFun's Danger Shield (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10570). Learn how to assemble/solder IC kits with the Danger Shield (for the Arduino), a collection of input and output devices on a board, useful for testing physical computing projects. Participants must buy their own materials and bring a portable computer (or share one with a friend). See http://goo.gl/Am3Py for a complete list of materials and requirements.

LAB: Learn to solder by assembling your Danger Shield (you’ll need it for the other workshops)

July 23: Programming the Arduino: A Primer This workshop will introduce the Arduino, the most popular microcontroller board and programming environment in use by hobbyists and artists today. You will learn how to program this versatile device and you’ll write a program that uses the Danger Shield’s sensors and controls the LEDs. This session will include an overview of the features this versatile platform offers to those interested in sensing the environment and making things move, sound and light-up. Learn how to work in the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE) by writing Arduino sketches that blink and pulse an LED using the same programming techniques you might commonly use in your projects to turn switches and devices on and off, and to control the speed of electric motors. Participants must buy their own materials and bring a portable computer (or share one with a friend). See http://goo.gl/Am3Py for a complete list of materials and requirements.

LAB: Use the Danger Shield (DS) with the Arduino to add a physical interaction dimension to control the DS’s LEDs.

July 30: Introduction to Processing This workshop will introduce Processing, a software development platform created to teach artists how to write software (called “sketches”). Learn how to work in the IDE to create a sketch that generates animated particles and sound, and you’ll be introduced to how an Arduino can communicate with your processing sketch. You’ll also get an overview of what features Processing includes and gain an understanding of how to learn on your own by studying and tinkering with the many example sketches that come with it. Participants must bring a portable computer or share one with a friend who is also registered for the class. See http://goo.gl/Am3Py for a complete list of materials and requirements.

LAB: Write a sketch that generates a cloud of animated particles, make changes to your code to vary their number, color, speed and trajectories.

August 6: Processing + Arduino Together, featuring the Danger Shield After a quick review of what was learned in the preceding three sessions with a view toward imagining how you might use what you've learned for designing your own projects. Learn how a Processing sketch can control physical devices by using the Arduino's input and output pins, and how physical devices can similarly control your Processing sketch through the Arduino and your computer's USB port. You’ll learn how to control your Processing sketch with the Danger Shield’s sensors, sliders and buttons via your Arduino, and get introduced to controlling the DS’s output devices with your Processing sketch. Participants must buy their own materials and bring a portable computer or share one with a friend who is also registered for the class. See http://goo.gl/Am3Py for a complete list of materials and requirements.

LAB: Write a sketch that allows you to affect your webcam's video capture stream by using sensors and and other input devices on the Danger Shield.

The workshops will require a laptop and a webcam. Finally, it will require that all the software be pre-installed so we don't spin our wheels for too long during workshop time.

These workshops are beginner level and targeted at artists and hobbyists wishing to get their feet wet with physical computing by using these free and inexpensive tools and the vast, free resources available online.

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  • Alberto G.

    Thanks for the feedback, folks. Learned a couple of important new gotchas to impart the next time around. Looking forward to the next one.

    July 17, 2013

  • Emelie R.

    Great workshop! Thanks for the help! Will this Arduino board work?
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12268262

    July 17, 2013

    • Alberto G.

      Yes, the Danger Shield will work fine with the Uno R3. The Uno has more pins but the extras aren't used by the Danger Shield.

      July 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great workshop!!! HacDC really knows how to to run a work session. Good times. Everyone was super smart and helpful.... well worth the drive from Baltimore!!! Even with no DangerShield I certainly learned lots! Can't wait to solder mine up when it finally arrives. See y'all next week!!

    p.s. @M yes! Beach Boys and maybe a little Beach House as well ;)

    July 17, 2013

  • shawn w.

    That went amazingly smoothly. Esp considering an issue with the boards, lots (most) people hadn't soldered before, number of people, etc - everyone basically finished and I think everyone was pretty satisfied so far.

    July 17, 2013

  • Ann V.

    unbelievably cool!!!!!! HacDC folks - Alberto G., Martin etc helped/guided everybody through a fantastic first class during which we each of us - practically all complete newbies - successfully hands-on soldered up our own very first DangerShield boards w. resistors, counters, buzzers, photosensors, buttons - the whole deal!!!! wow!

    July 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great meeting, had a blast learning to solder. Big thanks to the camp counselors for donating their time, knowledge and patience. Nice group of campers too, see you all next week.

    -Martin

    PS: Next week, could y'all fire up some Beach Boys tunes? Gives it that summery feel.

    July 16, 2013

  • Steven W.

    I don't have my soldering kit yet. Can I still attend? I do have my laptop though :)

    July 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Although I paid extra for 2-3 day delivery USPS didn't come through with my Danger Shield in time :(

    hopefully I can look on and assist a fellow hack mate tonight :)

    July 16, 2013

  • Joyce L.

    I am already on way from Baltimore but realized I forgot pliers and cutters, will there be extras to share? Sorry

    July 16, 2013

    • Alberto G.

      Plenty here to use. Do not worry! :)

      July 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm sorry to back out at the last minute, but some work stuff has come up and I won't be able to make all the sessions after all.

    July 15, 2013

    • Alberto G.

      Thanks for letting us know, Allison!

      July 15, 2013

  • Christina

    i wish i had known about this earlier :(

    June 17, 2013

    • Steven W.

      How can I join wait list ?

      July 12, 2013

    • Alberto G.

      Steven, I've added you to the Waiting List.

      July 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds like fun! Waiting list sign-up still available?

    July 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm very excited for this! Aside from purchasing materials, please let us know if there is any prior suggested reading etc.

    July 3, 2013

  • Ann V.

    Yippee!!! I made it in! - I'm so excited!! - thx!

    July 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    As current leader of the waitlist group, on the first day of Summer School, I suggest we waitlist members mount a protest outside of HacDac for being excluded. Our protest may include drinking excessive quantities of beer, telling off-color jokes, and letting our personal grooming generally fall into decline. And when one of the students comes out, we can mock them for having to go to school during the summer instead of having fun like us.

    1 · June 6, 2013

    • Ann V.

      cool - and I think we should all be smoking cigarette butts, chewing gum and raising a lot of racket doing flips on our skateboards .... I guess we should have something like car chain bling as well ... maybe wrap LED light strips around our necks ...

      June 6, 2013

    • Alberto G.

      Damn kids...get off our lawn!

      June 6, 2013

  • Ann V.

    Good on you, Alberto for trying to pull all this together!! two thumbs up!! best, ann v.

    June 6, 2013

    • Alberto G.

      Appreciate it, Ann! Here's hoping a spot frees up for you. Would be nice to see you again.

      June 6, 2013

    • Ann V.

      cool! I'm keeping my fingers crossed & hoping! :-) av

      1 · June 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Will not be able to attend.

    June 6, 2013

  • Alex M.

    Since there's so many people on the waitlist already, could there be a possibility to set up a webcam stream and the rest of us meet remotely? Or better yet, meet at a nearby, larger location?

    I've got an idea for an alternate space...

    June 5, 2013

    • JP

      Conversely, I can help with the Processing class. I TA'ed a course on it at my university.

      June 6, 2013

    • Alberto G.

      Just acquired a second member volunteer, so i'll be adding 7 more seats. Cannot fit more people comfortably, especially for soldering and 17's gonna be tight with laptops and peripheral stuff but I'm trying. If we can get a webcast together, it'll happen that way, too.

      June 6, 2013

  • JP

    Are there going to be more than 10 spots available? A waitlist is already growing...

    June 5, 2013

    • Alberto G.

      You've probably gotten at least one of the emails I sent to those waitlisted. Stay tuned for *possible* added capacity.

      June 6, 2013

  • Emelie R.

    This is great. I have only visited HacDC once. Is it OK if I attend?

    June 5, 2013

    • Alberto G.

      Of course you may attend! It's an open org. Thanks for signing up.

      June 6, 2013

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