Monday, February 22, 2010

Hack Day Roundup

Hack Day was a success, thanks to all of you who were there.
Eight people showed up to work on a 3D printer following this design, lockpicking, new board games, various server builds, chemistry, and more. Most important, we made social connections to cross-pollinate ideas and get inspired for more projects yet. Want to host one, or just work on cool projects? Leave a comment, and help us have more of these.

Advocacy: Go visit the Quad Cities Tech Consortium and help us bring Google Fiber to Davenport!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hack Day Open House

This Saturday, I'm opening up my house for a day of making stuff.
Justification: It's cold out, and there's a limit to the mess they'll let you make in a coffee shop.

1207 95th Avenue West Rock Island IL 61201
Saturday, February 20, 2010 from 9 am - 7pm (times approximate, show up for any part)

Free parking in the street. I'll have snacks/drinks out all day. Residential internet access available wired and wireless. Several old workstations with WinXP/Debian and dev tools, some exotic hardware including SUN, SGI, Alpha Hand tools, Dremel, soldering iron, lock picks, some high voltage gear, other miscellany available for use.

your selves, interested friends and family
your projects, technology, questions, interests, skills, etc.

Some specifics:
I'm looking for more junk printers, servos, stepper motors, and related for 3D printer work.
You'll likely want your laptop/phone
Food and drink, if you wish.

Got a project in mind? I'll post any ideas I'm sent here to help gauge interests.
Got a question/request about the setup? I'll try to accommodate.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Game Controllers as 3D Input Device

This is a cheap hack, but may be useful to you. I use 3D CAD programs frequently. Navigating three dimensions with a 2D interface (mouse) is annoying. The UI in Pro/E, for example, requires either clicking different modes to pan/zoom/rotate, or holding various key+mouse click combos. The interface is improved by something like these.

You can achieve much the same effect, however, with any USB game controller with two analog thumbsticks. I used a knockoff Xbox controller and joy2key to map the controller inputs. I've set left analog stick to rotate, right stick to pan, triggers to zoom. Now I can perform fly-throughs in one motion.