What projects are be interested in?

I know we are early in the planning phases ,but I am curious about
what projects others will be doing in a future hackerspace?

Personally, I have always been interested in building a MAME Cabinet.

I look at these places for inspiration:

One other thing I would be interested in doing is building a

http://www.atomiczombie.com/ - Personally I like the Loderunner and
the Kyoto Cruiser ,but they are all cool.

I've meant to do the Cabinet for some time now ,but I lack the funds
and wood working knowledge. I think I could figure it out with the
amount of available information and watching a few ours of New Yankee
Workshop. The recumbent is something I recently become interested in
since I live without a car. I lack the metal working experience and I
would probably rather delegate that responsibility to someone else. At
the very least have some very good lessons before I try to assemble a
whole bike frame.

So what does everyone else have in mind?

I’ve built a mame cabinent. Still have it acually. It was my first attempt so the wood working is basic but I did add my own custom buttons etc.

I also wrote a custom menu to pick the game w/o a keyboard. Wrote it in C with the SDL library. Only tested it in linux because I wanted X to load just the bare minimum then my frontend on boot.

I would be interested in doing some hardware hacks but my main use for the lab would be RE work and virus/AI research and development.

Oh and sitting around being nerdy and drinking :wink:


I'm interested in hopefully doing some projects with personal digital
fabrication, 3d printing, laser-cutting, cnc-routing, etc.

The project I've got at the forefront of my mind right now is building
a MakerBot ( http://makerbot.com/ ). I could afford to buy one
myself, but I might like to split the cost if anyone else would like
to work on it with me. Other things that would be cool to have in the
space would be RepRap, an Epilog laser, a Craft Robo, stuff like that.

I'd also like to learn skills like screen-printing, book-binding,
knitting/weaving, carpentry or other crafty types of things. Right
now I'm getting started on learning how to make paper.

Other wacky ideas off the top of my head that I'd be on board with
would include objects that twitter, automated gardening bots, qr-code
based open source currencies, bike powered machines, rapidly
prototyped board games... basically stuff that blends together ideas
from the web with real life.

Also, the hackerspace would be a good excuse to order Red Bull by the


i like the idea of a mame cabinet, only instead of the typical standup arcade box, i’d like to build it and an lcd (or a junked laptop) into a picture frame that you hang on the wall and use wireless controllers with. my goal is to build a big digtal picture frame (well, big compared to other picture frames) for my mother that doubles as a game system when the grandkids are over.

i would also like to learn about/work with data visualization with wireless sensor motes. i saw a talk by bruce potter on visualization of data as a tool for security assessment at last year’s notacon, and i would like to do something similar with sensors for home automation. if you could use small, low power devices to gather data on temerature change, light levels, motion, etc. you could use that data to adapt your home’s climate control system to changes in occupancy, weather, or even threat level.

dave, i have read a little about engineering and design in permaculture, one book on my list of many to read is called “square foot gardening” which is a system that supposedly requires significantly less water, work, seed, and fertilizer by using 4’x4’ beds in boxes with a blended soil mix rather than tilling the ground, which supposedly means less work and no weeds. if you could further gains and reduce work through automation, so much the better.

craig: let’s build a virus aquarium like the one on xkcd!! http://xkcd.com/350/

I just realized how badly I fat fingered the subject. “What projects are be interested in?” I think I had too many thoughts going on at once. I was going for either “…are we…” or “…are people…” and ended up with neither. Oh well, welcome to my improper grammar hell.

Anyways, great ideas so far.

Chris, I have seen some LCD MAME builds, I have one in mind that I want to dig up for you. Whenever you bring the idea up to a purist they will rant about scanlines. But the picture frame idea is so awesome. You could make it into a Cyperpunk or Steampunk type build.

Dave, love the Makerbot, I haven’t seen that 3d printer before. I am familiar with the fab@home project. During Spring Break of '08 I was in Ithaca, New York and had the time to visit Prof. Evan Malone ,but I was intimidated by his research. Also I didn’t have much free time ,but mostly because the intimidation. :confused:

Chris, Craig, Virus Aquarium? Awesome idea. I meet with Mike Schuetter Monday to brain storm ideas for projects that I can do for CBTS. I doubt that i could get enough resources to do so ,but it would be interesting. I have been thinking about a project that would be about disabling botnets. And not in the Anti-Virus and patch manor. In a case like conficker, communicate over the P2P network to get as many machines on the botnet and then using some sort of attack to disable the bot. (buffer overflow, etc.)

Virus Aquarium it is then! :smiley:

Also for the MAME stuff… I would help anybody build one up. If we use donated material and want to leave a MAME cabinet in the hackerspace then I recommend we let ppl write/graphitti on it. I think that would look cool :slight_smile:

I would also be intersted in small soldering projects like http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=index has or from hack a day.

Do we have a time/place for the meeting this Sat. yet?

Tell Schuetter I said “Hi” and that he should donate to our projects :wink:


there are a ton of builds for laptops → picture frames:

the mame part is probably just a matter of software. in fact the software possibilities are endless, for example:

  • use linux and some agetty/mingetty + xorg kung fu so you could use virtual terminals so you get picture frame on one term, mame on another, nintendo on a third, and so on, like switching channels on a TV.
  • make the frame accessible from the internet via wifi and ssh, so i/my fam can upload new pics/roms all the time.
  • full screen weather map from some weather website
  • software for running demoscene
  • run synergy2 so you can contol it easily from a laptop
  • mp3 player
  • email/im client
  • twitter feed reader
  • web based managment
  • text to speech program for reading news/email/tweets/whatever

other hardware hacks:

  • buttons on the front for launching apps/changing screens
  • webcam and omni-directional mike for video conferencing like on the jetsons
  • stereo speakers/component out for use with surround sound setup
  • water proofing plus touch screen for use in the kitchen
  • telephone thing + overlay to do large print caller ID on the screen
  • embedded os + insulation + small touch screen for use in a car (like a car dvd player, but has games and stuff)
  • a motion/light sensor so the frame suspends at bedtime or when no one is around. not sure how that would work with the remote uploads, but i am sure there is a way (wake on lan?)
  • wireless surveillance cameras for home security
  • gps/lowjack beacon + map for kids/cars/pets, like the weasley clock from harry potter

i will admit, some seem eaiser/more feasible than others :slight_smile:

Wow, The first thing we should have the frame do is show this TODO list.

Awesome list and it would be good to leave around the space for ppl to take on and work on pieces.

ooh, i forgot the big dog, the reason i started researching this in the first place:

i have been trying to get a big screen that can split 4 ways. this is surprisingly hard to do for under $5,000.

so i thought about a videowall: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_wall

the idea being that you use 4 smaller screens to make one big screen. that way each of the 4 screens can be used for something, or all 4 screens can be converted into the video wall when you want one large screen.

so the ultimate frame/screen hack would be to set up hardware/software to let 4 frames/screens to be used as individual screens, or by their powers combined turn into the voltron screen. as long as all the screens are the same size (14", 17", etc.) and same aspect (4:3, 16:9, etc) the screens should scale exponentially, so you should be able to use 4, 9, 16, 25, or 36 to make your video wall.

you would want to keep the bezels thin enough so the lines aren’t an issue, and probably nail your hangers into studs :slight_smile: