Aaron is an 18-year old IT student at NUI Galway. He is a dedicated computer nerd and a massive Star Trek fan. He considers himself a recovering Windows user, having recently switched to Ubuntu 10.04 and hasn't looked back. His other interests include playing tennis and watching television and movies. He loves college life and socializing with friends, be it out on the town or in a smelly student apartment.
You can follow Aaron on Twitter @thecosmicfrog
Aaron's blog can be read at: http://www.aaronhastings.ie
The Galway Home Brewers Club will be having their monthly meeting for the second time in 091 Labs on Wednesday, August 29 at 7pm. Last month’s meet up was a big success, with home brewers flocking from all over Galway to discuss the art of brewing. On display were some wonderful homemade ales, lagers, stouts, pilseners, ciders, wines and meads. Needless to say, we sampled each others’ wares.
The Galway Home Brewers Club is open to everyone interested in brewing, whether you’ve been doing it as long as you can remember or if you’re just curious and looking to start out. The members can offer you some great advice and explain where to begin.
This Wednesday is the second class of our 3-week introductory course for Arduino. Attendees should bring with them a laptop, Arduino, electronic components* and a USB cable for their Arduino. Some spare Arduinos and electronics will be available on the day, but they will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis.
The class is free, but spaces are limited so attendees are advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment. As 091 Labs is a non-profit teaching-and-learning group, any donations on the day would be greatly appreciated.
This Wednesday at 7pm we will be starting our Introduction to Arduino course. It will run weekly for 3 weeks and will be FREE for both 091 Labs members and the public! You can get by in the first class without many electronic components – attendees can share components like LEDs, resistors, etc. amongst each other for the first week, but is recommended that people buy the necessary components for the next two classes.
Most of the components in the above kit can be bought in smaller numbers for a cheaper price, so it would be good to purchase electronics based on the above model (if you don’t want to buy the actual kit). If you do not have an Arduino, we can pair you up with someone who has one.
The relevant wiki page details what you’ll need if you don’t want to buy the full kit.
We’re delighted to kick off the new 091 Labs premises with this complimentary event. If you’d like to spare a few pennies to help with the upkeep of the non-profit 091 Labs we’d be very much obliged :-)
You can sign up for the class below on the sign-up sheet below:
A few of our members recently made a buswalkingbus walking trip out to Maplin Electronics here in Galway to source some electronics. A few months ago I purchased a Velleman solder-it-yourself clapper kit, which I subsequently plugged into an Arduino and had some fun with. After picking up some resistors, piezos and other bits n’ bobs, I took another look at the solder-it-yourself section for some inspiration. I came across something which tickled my hackery-fancy, an “IR Light Barrier”, again from Velleman.
The basic principle is the following: Two PCBs, one with the sole purpose of illuminating two IR LEDs, the other having a photo transistor and a fairly large buzzer. Place the two boards across from each other, break the IR “beam” between the IR LEDs and photo transistor and the deafening buzzer starts sounding. Belated apologies to those across the road in John Mulholland.
So in a typical maker reaction, my thoughts were, “Well that sucks”. So I ripped out the buzzer, placed two wires on the PCB contacts and plugged them into my Arduino microcontroller:
What I now have is a brilliantly useful and marvellously simple security system. My next step is to hook up the Arduino code to the Twitter API and have it tweet a message every time the beam is crossed.
Many people ask us what the best thing is about having a makerspace in Galway city. Without even a blip of hesitation, our answer is always the thriving and exciting arts community. We’re excited to share with you a mobile gaming app from our friends at Galway Loves Theatre. It’s called G Loves T, and it looks a little bit special.
According to the website, “It’s part treasure hunt, part code-breaking, part puzzle-solving. It will be played online and around Galway from July 4th – 23rd.” The game involves collecting clues hidden on websites, forums and around Galway City, combining some of the latest (some might even say bizarre) trends in social networking, like geocaching and QR codes. A good old fashioned treasure hunt brought to the virtual world? I’m in!
The game is launching right in time for Galway Arts Festival 2011, so go on over to Galway Loves Theatre’s website and sign yourself up!