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Atlanta Mini Maker Faire - Learn to Solder - Call for Volunteers

It's about time for Atlanta Mini Maker Faire 2013 (10/26). and Freeside Atlanta are once again hosting a free Learn to Solder tent. Last year's tent was a huge success, teaching around 100 kids (aged 4 to 80) how to solder together a basic electronic kit. This year, we hope to double that number, but we need help! We've got all the supplies, irons, solder, project kits, helping hands, band aids and burn gel. What we need are volunteers to supervise and mentor the kids in constructing the kits. These kits are simple, and designed for first timers, but gives them something they can be proud of and show off. You're there to help troubleshoot (solder bridges, cold joints), teach (show them how to do the first joint), and supervise (make sure they know which end of the iron is the hot one), etc. Sign up for a shift (as many as you want!) today! Informat

This Week at Freeside

Hello to all. I hope you're having a fabulous week, made even more tantalizing with the following offerings from Freeside for your enjoyment and edification. Sunday, 10/6 Liberated Tech Pre-Build and Build  at 1pm Tuesday, 10/8 Chump Car Build  at 7pm and Open House  at 7:30 Wednesday, 10/9  TED Talks and Discussion Night  at 7pm Thursday, 10/10 CryptoParty at 8pm Saturday, 10/12 Bicycle Repair 1  at 3pm and  Freeside Build Day (and potluck)  all afternoon. And if  when you head over to one or more of these events, go ahead and take pictures, share ideas, dig yourself eye-ball deep, and make the space a part of yourself, just as you are a part if it. Have ideas for classes or events at the space? Get in touch ! The only limit is yourself. -Kendra

An End to a Legacy: Painting Over the Mural

Great numbers turned out to fight the good fight on Thursday. Together we faced the mural and, each in our own hearts, said words over the icon that had been the auditorium mural. I had hated the mural, but in spreading the first layer of grey-green over the inaccurately spray-painted earth, I realized that I did not hate it, but loved it, in its passing, as a metaphor, a cautionary tale. It represents what happens when art and science are separated. Like a guitar tuned to .05 Hz below standard. Like a sculpture slowly collapsing from lack of structural support. The moon, so obstinately shining on the far side of the sun, was a reminder that only together can artists and engineers accomplish beautiful and functional things. We should all take care to remember that, as we move forward into a brave new age that contains 3D-printers, makerspaces, and DIY culture. Engineers, do not sneer at the BA's of the world. Artists, do not abstain from telling technical types that their desig

Motobrain: High Tech Automotive Power Distribution Unit

It's been about a year since my last Kickstarter, a failed attempt to launch a mini USB host Arduino compatible mirocontroller platform. I am back for a double helping of humble pie. This time, my project is a Bluetooth 4 enabled automotive power distribution unit (PDU) and solid state fuse block. I go into great detail of the details of the project at my website and at the Kickstarter page . Suffice to say, it is a really smart, smartphone programmable, PDU with 8 outputs and 4 inputs. The inputs are used to link outputs logically with other circuits (either OEM circuits or custom switches or sensors). It is a very flexible system. For example, you can setup your aux fog lights to turn on with the ignition BUT it will also turn them off whenever you turn on the high beams. The PDU can sense the ignition and you can program circuits to turn on the in response to the ignition and by linking the high beams to one of the inputs you can program the PDU to shut down t

ProCSS Your Styles

Do you need to brush up on your CSS-fu? Freeside is hosting  ProCSS , a professional CSS development lecture and workshop Saturday, September 7th 3:00 PM. ProCSS is a people-first look at what makes code good, and how CSS development can be organized for rapid development of front-ends with minimal fuss from browsers and whiny clients. Students will be taught to abandon improvised ("hacky") workflows in favor of a more pragmatic approach that keeps work simple as projects get complicated. The techniques taught in this course apply to dinky five page websites and to enterprise scale web applications. ProCSS is for people who have used CSS, but who need more practice or a better way of doing things. Experienced CSS developers can also benefit from learning new tools introduced in the course, such as CSS preprocessors and component libraries. Attending the course gets you lecture notes, source code and an one hour long workshop hosted by an experienced front-end developer

Hacker Trips: Making Awesome

This is the first of what are (hopefully) many installments of Hacker Trips - encounters of the first and fourth kind with other hackerspaces throughout the country.  Freeside knows no bounds; our members appear and disappear throughout the world!  We're coming to your hackerspace and it's gonna be OK!  My own travels are likely going to take me to the DenHac sooner rather than later, so I'm definitely planning to report on that. Tallahassee, Florida.  The word Tallahassee  means "abandoned fields" in Seminole.  It is a town of about 180,000 residents, home to FSU and FAMU colleges which turns the city into a ghost town during winter and spring breaks.  Tallahassee kind of looks like a shrunken Atlanta - complete with its own perimeter, airport, and transit system.  I grew up in Tallahassee.  I have fond memories as a child of traversing its fine ground water drainage system that linked all the neighborhoods together, and some parts of downtown, like the ol

Infinity Mirror Prototype build

For our art project for Alchemy this year, we plan to build a huge archway in the forest with a portal to hyperspace. This is no easy task, so we decided to do some small-scale prototyping so that we can look into some of the challenges of this build and play with different effects to see what looks the coolest. Our design is based around an infinity mirror, which is a cool device that is build from one regular mirror and one two-way mirror. Lights placed in the center echo between the two mirrors until they fade too low to be seen. The viewer looks through the transparent side of the two-way mirror and can see the effect move with their perspective. Kevin and Edward working with the assembled frame. That's the two-way mirror in the foreground.  I had some help with the build from Kevin and Edward, who came in for the Tuesday night open house and got recruited to the project. Nathan (not pictured) also joined in to help, so we had 4 people working on it. We also ma

Event Highlight: Analog Game Night

Howdy e'rybody! Just wanted to give you a little update on the awesome that is Analog Game Night. We're now up to bimonthly, with board and card game fun to be had on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month. Last Thursday was the first time we went for the second night a month, and given only two days' notice,  we still had 11 people show up to play Isla Dorada  and The Good, The Bad, and The Munchkin . There was also poi, Chex mix, a yoga demonstration, and excellent taste in beer.  So now you know. Y'all come now, and bring games, friends, and beer if you're so inclined and of age. It's a good time, and has been a great way to introduce new folks to the space. Incidentally, I am also learning to make videos and work a DSLR, so we made this time lapse video of the first few hours of the evening. Enjoy.

A Winner Is Us!

We just got the news we won a LulzBot AO-100 3D printer as part of their giveaway contest! Our submission landed us a spot in the 8 finalists out of over 200 submissions.  We even got a shout-out about Dr. Glass' original  medical research ! Check out the announcement !

This Week at Freeside, April 15-21

Tuesday [7:30p]: CNC Build Project, Public, Free. Freeside veterans, Preston and Eldon, will be leading this project to assemble and tune a smaller CNC for high-precision work, then design and build a full-size 4' x 4' CNC mill for the space as well. Tuesday [7:30p]: Open House, Public, Free. We host this meeting every Tuesday so that people can check out the space, chat with members of the organization, and get together to plan projects, events, and classes. Tuesday [8:30p]: Introduction to Basic Electronics, Public, Free. Chris Moore and Wayne Salhany explain basic electricity and electronics concepts that you can use in your next project. Friday [8a-6p]: Telecommute from Freeside, Members-Only. Members, come join your other telecommuters at Freeside and “work” remotely. S