A strong and vibrant IT community based in the North East Of England

Archive for April, 2012

Review: Makers and Hardware Hacking

With over 130 attendees this was our most successful SuperMondays event in around a year.

This month’s Super Mondays is an insight to the world of the homebrew makers and “hardware hackers”. The bedrock of today’s computer industry, this movement is seeing an international comeback and pushing today’s technology forward and making it accessible to the masses.

Our presentation topics were:

  • 3D Printing
    3D prototyping has been available for decades but only in recent years has the hardware cost has been affordable. Thanks to this, open source software and sharing on the Internet is it now practical to make a 3D printer at home. Cay Green gave us a thrilling presentation on how the technology works.
  • The Raspberry Pi
    The Raspberry Pi is at sub $25 single-board computer with the aim of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools and is often equated to the 1980s BBC Microcomputer. Demand for the device has been extraordinary bringing down both the Farnell RS Components web sites on launch, but luckily Tony Dixon managed to get one of the initial 10,000 boards produced and he gave us a full rundown of its capabilities.
  • The Arduino
    Arduino is a popular open-source microcontroller board designed to make using electronics more accessible to everyone. The hardware costs around £20, is easily programmed by coders and non coders alike from any computer, and can react to and control all kinds of electronics devices. Ed Bisdee gave us a great introduction to the Arduino.
  • BeagleBone
    The BeableBone presentation was the fourth and final presentation on the night.  Nigel Hope introduced us to this rather powerful opensource development board.

Stuart Holmes has written the following event review too:

Our thanks goes out to Alistair for organising an excellent event, to the speakers for all of their efforts in preparation and delivery of their presentations and our sponsors for their continued support.