Gareth Branwyn writes about technology and tech culture. For 12 years, he was a contributing editor at Wired, co-creating and writing the Jargon Watch column. Through that work, he was asked to be the consultant on computer and Internet terms for the Oxford American Dictionary. Gareth is currently a contributing editor for O’Reilly’s MAKE magazine and Make: Blog, and he’s also an editor at Make: Books.
Gareth is also the author of numerous books, including the first book about the World Wide Web (Mosaic Quick Tour: Accessing and Navigating the World Wide Web) and The Happy Mutant Handbook (which he co-wrote with Mark and Carla of Boing Boing). He recently contributed the introduction to Device 1: Fantastic Contraption, a book celebrating post-industrial surrealism, published by Device Gallery and IDW Publishing.
More on Alberto:
Alberto Gaitán was born in Quito, Ecuador, moving to DC when he was 14. He has since worked as a composer and programmer in the DC metropolitan area working collaboratively in cross-media projects with DC’s best musicians, poets, choreographers, and visual artists. His new-media work has included the very first computer-based installation presented in a DC nightclub, as well as some videography and photography. He has been working with digital audio, including sampling and synthesis, and computer controlled interactive sound environments since 1985.
His music has been played in the Kennedy Center and in performance spaces around DC and in Europe. His work with collaborative artist group Art Attack International has won international critical acclaim and his solo sonic pieces have been presented internationally and locally. He has written music for conventional ensembles and for the less conventional, such as automobiles. His road-based sound installation, Loci, was commissioned by Arlington, Virginia, and by the city of Aachen, Germany. Arlington County has also commissioned him to create a permanent, net-aware, interactive sound sculpture at the site of the original courthouse.
He has written for exhibition catalogs and for publications including The Washington Post, Kustforum (DE), The Baltimore Sun, and The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog. He has lectured nationally on the collaborative process at universities and galleries and taken part in peer review panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts’ New Forms Regional Grants Initiative. He recently developed, Remembrancer, a cybernetic, net-aware piece for a solo exhibition at Curator’s Office, in DC, April/May 2007 as part of ColorField Remix, a Washington, DC, citywide project, spanning the spring and summer of 2007 and linking numerous art venues to celebrate the many legacies of the generation of Color Field and Washington Color School artists.
I’ve been spending way, way too much time at our fellow Hackerspace NYCResistor. Fortunately, I’ve done some things other than heading out into Midtown Manhattan at 3 AM to make some cardboard cutouts and eating some of the world’s best waffles at Veselka.
This PASCSR was inspired by Bre Pettis and Maximka, both NYC Resistor members. Bre thought a slide rule would be cool, and Max was…well, the only person I know of in NYC who actually has real life experience with slide rules.
Regular slide rules are…well, not that exciting. Crypto on the other hand, now there’s something we can get into. As it turns out, they used slide rules pretty extensively for Polyalphabetic Substitution Cyphers! The design was based loosely on the P185 Engineering Instruments Codemaker, but the concept was used throughout WWI and WWII to send coded messages.
Thanks to NYCR’s lazzzer, the design came out really well on plain ‘ol black acrylic lying around their shop. You can make your own! Just download the design from Thingiverse and you can fabricate it yourself on a CNC, your own laser cutter, send it out to a laser etching shop or cut it out yourself out of some balsa wood.
The PASCSR is but one of many things in the Thingiverse, a growing community of DIY makers who are creating lots of rapid prototype DIY designs. While this might be HacDC’s first contribution, it most certainly won’t be its last. And one of these days, we’ll be getting our own Lazzzer…
COMING SOON: Enigma decoder rings you can wear on your fingers.
You should all join the Thingiverse. Upload your own creations!
They’re also making really good progress looking for spaces, and have a great discussion going on their hackerspaces.org talk page.
In other news, it was great to see all of you who came out and built a Brain Machine with Mitch Altman last night! Mitch will be around for tonight’s Microcontroller course and Tuesday’s Member meeting, so stop by if you haven’t already!
Mitch Altman, microcontroller hacker extraordinaire and inventor of wonderful gadgets like the TV-B-Gone will be at HacDC on Sunday, September 7 at 2:00 PM to help show you how to build your own Brain Machine. Mitch will be bringing all the parts, tools and inspiration necessary, all you need to do is show up!
The event is free and open to the public, however, if you want to build your own Brain Machine, bring $25 to cover the cost of the kit. (HacDC will be purchasing some kits you can help build if you don’t want to take one home.)