Monday, 7 April 2014

Linux mag south coast raspberry jam

I've been excited for this one since it's was first announced on twitter and yet the day had arrived.

After a two hour rain sodden drive down to Poole grabbing a few geocaches on the way to brighten things up I soon made it and was welcomed by Russell and rob.  The atomosphere was chilled and happy and soon bumped into tim and Claire from piborg, the dawn robotic team who gave me some advice of setting up my robot with an Internet browser (hint for what I'm doing next). I was able to see how I could set up the swivel and tilt with my camera kit from camjam and was able to have a play with the robot on display.

The little British robot company was next where I made a purchase for my robot to find it 5mm to wide but on twitter they have said they will see if they can sort it out for me.  The kit they had on display was like mechano but heavier and in my opinion more robust, certainly worth the extra money just wished I had enough to buy it and take it away to try.

Ben from phenoptix was there always good to see him and his LEDs flashing away, he even had the latest neopixels there on display and already I have thought the latest one could be used as a halo in a school nativity play.

Next up was bigtrak these two were new ones so I could see the difference compared to my 80's one and this gave me more ideas for mine.

Mr O'Hanlon did a talk on minecraft, I must be one of the few that don't understand it and later went to the workshop upstairs where we were given a printed sheet. Although all computers were taken I brought the sheet home and have already got somewhere hurrah.

Next was a sandwich from the restaurant, expecting it to be over three quid I was suprised to be told at the till that it was a little over one pound fifty so the rest went into their charity tin, I believe you will earn more that way than selling food at extortionate rates.

Lifeboat and in distance bridge raised.

I decided to bring my neopixel along and wore it, the pattern was a random generated one and this brought in lots of inquisitive people, all run with a Gemma and a 150mah lipo battery which lasted more than a few hours.

After copious amounts of tea and coffee I entered the raffle buying a strip here and there through the day (to get a broader scale of numbers). At the raffle there was a huge starter kit, robot kit, pi, cases etc and as my disappointment for each went down I soon struck gold and won something already eyeing up the piborg bag with triborg, pico borg, ledborg and xloborg estimated around £20 although I have most of the stuff already some bits three lots I was more than happy as I later discovered I could use it to control stuff with like a robot :)

Then I came across a guy I think his name was Matt but as I'm rubbish remembering names I apologise immediately if I got it wrong.  He however had something I had only seen on YouTube videos, a led cube matrix which could display a thousand colours, text and patterns and to write each lighting program uses a spreadsheet due to the amount of code needed.

I spent a while here as he was so energetic and enthusiasm that leaked out from him over his proud project, showing me the code and telling me where online it was, you could easily loose a few hours watching the random patterns and for the twenty quid ish in parts and few weeks soldering plus a few weeks coding you could see that it was priceless and there was no chance he be selling it anytime soon.

The last talk was from tim at piborg, very interesting and lead to many ideas running through my head for my robot. However we never got to see the doodlebug running live but did see the video and wow that could cause some damage possibly more than a motorbike.

Thank you to all at the linux user mag for making this possible, the RNLI for having us and all the companies who turned up and also to everyone who donated prizes as well as those who bought tickets, Russell announced today that five hundred pounds was raised half going to rnli the other to the pi foundation, so thanks all and thank you everyone for making it what it was, I look forward to the next one.

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