Heeeeere's Guido!

Finally, the big moment everyone's been waiting for: I present to you, GUIDO!

Guido being Al's Zen Toolworks CNC machine, of course.

It is alive and kicking; as you can see it scribbled something on this piece of wood last night:

Guido at work 

Heiko and I were there to witness it, I even took some video, but I'm not sure where to post it yet.

I have updated Guido's page with some overview info on how to make it bore out your own design. Check it out (it is very high level at the moment, but will add more as I set up our systems specifically for Guido): http://wiki.acemonstertoys.org/Zen_Toolworks_CNC 

Quick update! -clamps are in! they are 6mm t-slot clamps that can be used with Guido's platform. These should hold down pretty much anything you can machine on this machine (wood, aluminium, plastic, etc.)

DIY Book Scanner in Progress

I own a lot of old or obscure books. Many of these are from small publishers who disappeared long ago. I've been moving more and more to ebooks during the last two years but I own something like 8,000 or more books. I'd like to preserve a lot of the hard to find books and something to scan them would make it easier to do so. I've stood over my share of digitizing photocopiers to facilitate them but they work slowly and often badly. Unfortunately, most of the time the easiest ways to scan a book will destroy the same books. There are other solutions though...

DIY Book Scanner
A current laser cut book scanner

Yesterday, I went over to Ace Monster Toys to work on a DIY Book Scanner. Daniel Reetz came up with this idea a while back for cheaply and easily scanning in books into computers without cracking the spine on his books.

Adventures in the land of Arrfid, Part The Second

In which our heroes frantically rework the RFID reader after catastrophic failure.

I have here visualized the security system as of our last update. We have a parallax rfid sensor feeding serial data to the arduino. The arduino sends that data (over serial) to the controller laptop. The laptop authenticates the tag that comes in, then activates the latching relay (through the parallel port), which then turns on the door.

Door thing

So this next detail isn't clear in this diagram, but where I have marked 'Parallel', what I really mean is that we took an old parallel cable, plugged it into the computer, then cut it in half, and stripped some of the individual wires poking out of the frayed end, soldering them to the relay. This is something you might say is Not Robust (TM).

Snake Time on Tuesday!

Guys, python night is on again tomorrow night. There's going to be snakes, and snakes. We're gonna talk about program structure, maybe some flow control, and all sorts of other nonsense. If that didn't make any sense to you, don't worry, it's still a beginner's class! We'll just have to kick those no-goodnik sandbaggers out to their own later class, if they keep showing up and asking their advanced questions about set theory and Big-O-Notation and runtime optimization.

The material I'm going to cover is roughly exercises 19 through 22 out of Zed Shaw's Learn to Fight Snakes The Hard Way. Try to read through it if you can, and bring questions!

I'm going to see about getting pizza again, so rsvp and so forth. Feel free to bring your own snacks (and even your own snakes, if you like), but remember, it's tough to get Cheeto stains off your keyboard.

So again, tl;dr:

Learn Python Something Something

7PM at 6050 Lowell

Open and free to all (but the quality of the pizza goes up and down with the size of the donations)

New Twitter Handle


Twitter was kind enough to kick the name squatter off of the handle @AMT. Henceforth, our tweets will show up from @AMT and not @MonsterToys. Now that our name is shorter, I promise that our tweets will be that much more succinct. Thanks to our member, SuperQ, for making this happen.

Learn to Program Python Class - OMG EPIC FTW Attendance!

OK, so the turnout is only 13 people, but for one of the first public events that AMT has hosted, this is pretty freekin' cool!  EPIC thanks to all who came out tonight.  We hope everyone learned something and we hope to see you again in the weeks to come.

AMT Python Class AMT Python Class
AMT Python Class AMT Python Class

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Ace Monster Toys is a non-profit hackerspace based in Oakland, CA, dedicated towards education, hacking, and maker culture.

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