If this is Friday, it must be Open Shop!

Gamers!Last night’s tabletop gaming meetup was a great success, as I counted over a dozen players at three simultaneous games. Games of what? I haven’t a clue, I was working on other stuff. ;) It happens again in two weeks!

Tonight is Open Shop, meaning non-members are specifically invited to bring a project to work on, help with someone else’s, or just come check the place out. There should be a member around by 7-ish to open the doors, but much earlier is possible too. Follow us on Twitter to get up-to-the-minute info on that! (Or just look at the upper-right box on this very page…)

Android meetup wrapup: Many lessons learned

Last night’s Android meetup was busy! And almost nothing went according to plan. In no particular order:

Did you know that 0603 resistors are smaller than the tips of most tweezers? My Galaxy Tab bricked itself last month, and the recovery procedure involves some fine soldering to make it think it’s a dev-board, so it’ll accept a new bootloader over USB. (Much software/driver fiddling remains before I know if it worked, however.) On the plus side, CarrierIQ’s evil rootkit can’t spy on me if the phone is dismantled and strewn across a workbench… (But they might still sue anyone who expresses the opinion that they’re evil, ha!)

Matt independently confirmed the long-standing theory that replacing broken screen glass is a royal pain. During that process, a cheap heat-gun failed, so the hot-air rework station was pressed into service as a glue-softener.

Attempts to share the meetup via Google+ hangout were thwarted when it was discovered that mere mortals cannot simply offer a public stream of a hangout. Apparently only accounts specially blessed by Google can do that, and work is under-way to get that done. We may try UStream next time.

Also, a wedged-up Android Market was unwedged, and a phone was rooted and had CyanogenMod flashed on it, which is the sort of warranty-voiding stuff you’d probably expect at such an event. Join us next month on the fourth Tuesday (That’s 12/27) for the next installment!

Red Bull Creation Challenge: Live Blog – Last 20 Minutes

With the end in sight the interviews start.
Sneak peek at our creation.

10:40 – Mission Control standing by for last minute support as the team sweats through interviews and finding that last bolt for the warp drive.

10:48 – LESS THAN 15 MINS LEFT! (UNCONFIRMED VOTE VOTE VOTE!)!
LETS WIN THIS WELDER.  Hit the “LIKE” button on our team page http://t.co/eXAdMRo

11:01 – Meet up with our team at 3pm @ McCarren Park, Brooklyn for the judging of who will be the next Red Bull model…. Creation winner!!
Interviews and photo ops shall now commence

11:49 – Loaded up ready to roll.  http://twitpic.com/5o5o7k

12:00 – Seems the top two liked projects were tweeted. We are one of them. “@RedBullCreation Inventions like these can be admired as of 3pm today at McCarren Park. #rbcreation yfrog.com/keifwij yfrog.com/kkhjayj

12:52 – Today at 3pm http://yfrog.com/z/kffu5zjj

3:30p – JCB: Just heard from the team, all is going very well and they’ve dubbed their creation the SquiggleTrike.

 

 

 

Taking the Red Bull by the Horns — Achievement Unlocked!

Red Bull ChipFour days, a dozen Easter eggs, and one fun challenge completed! On Friday, after the first package was lost and the second one delayed, i3Detroit’s Red Bull Creation puzzle box arrived. An impromptu team assembled itself, and over the next few evenings, revealed all the secrets contained within.

The contents of the package, a circuit board with many strange functions and features, kept us guessing and laughing. From the Konami Code to a hidden image of Rick Astley, many of the puzzles made reference to internet memes, and two gave credits to the board’s creators. Exploring the circuitry and decoding the clues tested our creativity and took a wide variety of skills and equipment, not to mention bravery!  More than once, we decided to pursue avenues that could’ve smoked the board — and our chances of success — if we botched them. Ultimately, that approach paid off, and it was in the clutches of an SOIC-8 ZIF socket (pictured) that the SPI Flash chip finally divulged its last secret.

Kudos to Red Bull (and the folks behind the scenes) for coming up with such a fun challenge, and it’s just the beginning! It appears that the ballsy bovines have developed a fascination with hackerspaces, in addition to their wiiiiiings. Next up is an online challenge, after which contestants will be chosen to make their way to New York City for the final competition in July. Will i3Detroit members be among them? Stay tuned…

(And of course, stop by Saturday’s party! We’ll be celebrating our first year in Ferndale, giving tours and demos, and serving a certain energy drink…)