Yesterday I went to a meeting at the Vancouver Hackspace about starting up an Amateur Radio Club. There was a few people interested on the mailing list, and about six people in total showed up for the meeting. It was pretty cool meeting people who have their Ham Radio licenses. Some of them got their licenses in other countries before they moved here.
When I got my Arduino Uno, it made me realize that I've got a ton of stuff laying around that could supply me with parts. For the longest time I've had a bin of old cell phones, mp3 players, and some other random things that I was thinking of just tossing or taking to a pawn shop. When I got the Arduino though, I realized that it's a great source for quite a few things:
- surface mount components ( mostly resistors )
- LCD screens ( of varying sizes )
- SIM card holders
- audio jacks
- buttons of all shapes and sizes and functionality
- motors! ( especially important if I want to build a 3d printer! )
- and a few other bits
Some of the things I've taken apart: a few old cell phones, an old mp3 player that apparently never worked, a DVD drive, a printer ( rescued that one from the electronics bin at work ), and two old video cameras. The last four are what I'm most excited about right now. Sure, the cell phones have some cool parts in them, but the project at the top of my list right now is a 3d printer, so the printer and the cameras seemed to have quite a few awesome parts.
I got lucky with the printer too – it was a combination printer/scanner that apparently didn't work. I've got at least one awesome motor + gear belt out of it, so it's a win for me!
Let's take a look at some of the awesome stuff I found.
If you want to experience the odd emotion of "laughing at something while being angry at it", go check out this article. Titled "12 Reasons to Join Vancouver's Tech Revolution in 2014", it's pretty much just a poorly written ad for CodeCore.ca, an "intensive 8-week course" that teaches you how to be a developer. Kimli has some great things to say about this article, and I wanted to dive into a few points, and make a few more. I'm not going the list route though, because I think getting that to work in Octopress would be a pain-in-the-ass.
I got something pretty awesome for Christmas this year:
So, the year is almost over.
For the past year, I've been using Emacs as my only editor. Not just for code, but for other things as well – including the post you're writing right now. Last year at Christmas, I started from scratch with my Emacs configuration. I wanted to start over, re-writing it to use some of the stuff I had learned the year before that, and to try out a few new things.
So I ran into a problem with my new love, Octopress. I'm pseudo-live-blogging the CascadiaJS, and for one of the talks I wanted to show off a puzzle, along with the answer. To do this I'd need some sort of spoiler tag.
I did some searching, and I couldn't find a 'ready-to-go' plugin for Octopress. I found a few big sites that use Markdown ( the default way of storing text in Octopress before it's transformed to HTML ), and had modified it to allow users to put in spoiler tags. A good example is the Stack Overflow group of sites, which use an extension of blockquotes to do spoiler tags.
However, I wasn't able to find a plug in that I could just drop into my site, and have it just work.
So, being a programmer, I made my own!
Last day of the conference! I'm a little beat from yesterday. We had the Hacking Olympics, and while my team didn't place it was still a ton of fun. Time to start this thing!
Another live blog! This time, it's Day One of CascadiaJS!
So, this is going to be a bit of a stream-of-consciousness. I'm going to be taking notes on the interesting stuff from this talk, because I'm sure there are going to be things that I don't already know about that I'll want to refer to later.