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7 Years! June 18, 2009

Posted by k0re in Meeting Archive.
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Seven years ago dorkbotSF was born in a 2-car garage at Unicorn Precinct XIII. It was amazingly low-tech! We used a sheet for the screen in the midst of all the leftover surplus from New Hack City which a year later, also hosted a dorkbot!

About 30 people were in attendance mostly SRL, hackers, random friends, boingboing!! The flyer was black and white made by zsoul:

There was a bar with $1 beers and $2 tequila shots and the tamale lady!

The first dorkbotSF speakers were Nick Thompson talking about Grey Matter or modifying projection to match lighting and background colors, David Pescovitz talking about artists and media (applies to hackers too!), Al Deaderick aka ice cream cone/zsoul showing how to be a dj with soundedit 16 -lowtech and badass!, and Brian Normanly demonstrating the liberation and redistribution of electricity. Marc Powell who also presented at the 1st 7 year anniversary meeting on Food Genome MC’d and hosted this one!

The night ended with Dan Collard showing off Babalou’s British Death Fleet pickle light, a motorcycle club’s lamp powered by a pickle! Talk about low-tech green energy! Then Jon Sarriugarte who is hosting one of this month’s 7 year anniversary parties on June 20 ended the festivities with a mortar bang. Greg Leyh also in attendance then hosted the first 7 year anniversary party last June 3

More info on the first dorkbotSF meeting here. More easily navigable pix on flickr here!

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Greg Leyh’s Lightning Lab Presentation for dorkbotSF 7 Year Anniversary Meeting June 12, 2009

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For the 7th year of dorkbot SF, Greg Leyh hosts a meeting at his Lightning Lab which closes its doors in San Francisco at the end of the month (June) and moves to the East Bay.

He talks about the various research possibilities for the proposed lightning lab which will be built in Nevada. They are 2 12 story Tesla coils which can produce football-field sized arcs. There will be a visitor center. At the end of his presentation, Greg demonstrated some Tesla-roasting technique on some corn using an 11 ft Tesla coil. Videos of the Tesla Coil demonstration on the anniversary archive page here.

Video taken by dorkbot regular James Young. Q&A portions starts at about 20 minutes in. The demo followed.

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Other speakers that evening were Marc Powell on his Food Genome software and Jonathan Foote on his light printer Ghostmatrix.

Kindling May 13, 2009

Posted by k0re in how-to.
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Via Windell of Evil Mad Scientists:

The Amazing Kindling, a neat wooden Kindle made by cockeyed.com and evil mad scientists:

And there’s more! It also is nicely flammable and handy as a heating device during the apocalypse and everyone’s batteries have run out

The Gristleizer May 8, 2009

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Had to re-post another video from Throbbing Gristle Chris Carter‘s flickr stream as I’m sure you guys would dig the Gristleizer. You can get them here:
http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2007/04/from-which-gristlizer-came.html

But this is Chris’ post on the Original Gristleizer:
http://www.throbbing-gristle.com/gristleizer/index.html

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Homemade antenna redux May 6, 2009

Posted by rururudy in how-to.
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coffee can antennaAm I still making homemade antennas? Can’t think of anything new?  Years ago, I gave a dorkbot talk on a can antenna.  OH MY!  I just looked at Karen’s old photo of me — I have the same facial hair after 7 years — I better shave it off before I finish this post — don’t want to be in a hairy rut!

I did an 802.11g test last week and got 10Mbps across the street with the can, but the goal is to convince KQED to replace their 1990’s  T-1 lines with a wireless link.  It’s got to look a bit better than tin cans, so I went down to Complete Fabrication and scrounged some tube out of their yard.  (MonkeyBrains.net hosts their website, and Ryan is a great guy, so he let me grab some three and a quarter inch aluminum tube.)  Jay Brommel welded the tube pieces onto some angle bar, I drilled some holes, and tonight I added the ‘element’.  Here is the final product:

Wifi CansThe measurements are thanks to the ‘How To Build A Tin Can Waveguide WiFi Antenna‘ instructions.

(The Ruler is thanks to Alameda County — you can get not only a free ruler, but your soil, paint, etc tested for FREE with a home lead-test kit — fun!  You should try it.)


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Throbbing Gristle Sound FX April 25, 2009

Posted by k0re in how-to.
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Chris Carter of Throbbing Gristle tries out different synth effect combinations for the unique TG sound.

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From the video description, he uses “Korg Kaossilator, Bugbrand Postcard Weevils, Korg Kaoss Pad 2, Korg Kaoss Pad 3, Zoom PFX9003, Chimera Synthesis bc8 & bc16”

Last night’s sold out show at the Regency Ballroom in SF was a landmark performance. Their last show was also in SF in 1981! I took some images and horrible-sounding video clips with a point and shoot that don’t do justice to the actual performance, but people are still buzzing from the TG high.

Magnet fun April 22, 2009

Posted by rrmutt in how-to.
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Physics fact: dorks like magnets. Windell over at EMSL has 17 cool magnet tricks you can do with those cheap neodymium magnets.

I’ve been having fun with these small sphere magnets.  Would enough of them start to exhibit frustrated lattice behaviors, or even start to look like a spin glass?

Here’s a stupid magnet trick you probably don’t want to repeat: (warning: gory shots of finger smashed by super-powerful magnets.)

Food ideas for your next dork party April 2, 2009

Posted by k0re in how-to.
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Via Laura Mappin who shows step by step how to personalize vienna sausages the dork way (ie. lasers!)

laser-etched sausages

Laser-cut vinyl FAIL March 20, 2009

Posted by k0re in how-to.
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According to previous dorkbotSF presenter Laura Mappin laser cutting vinyl is toxic and horrible for your laser!

toxic laser cut vinyl

toxic laser cut vinyl

Thanks Laura, for sending us the link!

Moldover’s Advanced Controllerism Workshop March 5, 2009

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Moldover who is speaking at next week’s dorkbotSF #43 will be holding a 1-day intensive Ableton Live Controllerism workshop at Pyramind

Sign up now as only 20 seats are available!

Sign up info and other important details below:
http://pyramind.com/evolution/Calendar-of-Events/moldover-interactive-workshop.htmln