A quiet Forsk night this Tuesday. Nice, for a change. We have had much to do the last couple of weeks. Moving house – we have made room for more activity at the other activity house by moving our junk and gear out of storage – some of it onto a junk table at NGBG.

Present: 7 sciencers.

It is action, not rest, that constitutes our pleasure –John Adams

Olle continued work on the model of the Hexayurt, which has been sitting in a pile for while. Lakevalley helped cut paperboard.

phrst and omni showed the rest of us how to weld using the MIG welder. Sparks and safety! Three or four people let sparks fly.

omni took another stab at fixing the Forsk’s WRT router, which supplies Net to the house.

Davey and David were planning and discussing mad, large projects.

Annika kept working on metal projects.

We got leftover cake from Klädoteket (the Clothes Library). They are nice.

 

Hello researchers and friends!

Today, a gray and rainy Sunday, there was an extra, freely added, completely optional small Forskningsavdelningen maker gathering at the Norra Grängesbergsgatan 26 premises.

(Q: How do we add gatherings? A: Oh, a process question. Let’s be transparent! It works like this: Key-holders say they are coming to the space, in this case Annika mentioned she was going to craft stuff today, in an email to the mailing list. This can galvanize others to join. Alternatively, a non-key-holder can request access to the place, on the mailing list. If any key-holder can be located, an extra gathering can be added.)

I (Olle) came there just after noon and found Annika carpenting a tool compartment inside a cabinet. The compartment had sliding shelves which ran on re-used rails, scrounged from a previous Annika project; a CD cabinet.

Later, phrst showed up, and metalcrafted on a hand-made copper needle valve. The valve was finished in one session and looked very steampunky.

Myself, I wanted to make a wooden scale model of a Hexayurt H13 microhouse. Here are my pieces, 7 out of the 13 I need. The readily available materials ran out. I plan to use something lighter than building-grade plywood for the roof.

Plan of hexayurt model and materials

My Hexayurt model needs: More thin plywood for the roof. For next time: bring glue, screws, make and use small wood angled blocks for “hinges”.

On the way back, we met omni (aka “pipe-pipe-underscore-underscore-slash-slash”), who was going to build smart storage rollers for the low-ceiling storage space underneath our raised section of the workshop.

Productive Sunday. Cheers.

Do you want to tag along to build stuff of your own?

Pop us an email, or tweet @forskningsavd. Email? Oh, we have a mailing list. Or, just show up on a Tuesday (the workshop at Norra Grängebergsgatan 26) or Thursday (the basement of Stapelbäddsparken). You’re welcome.

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Hello API!

Report on the first evening with the Software Study Group, a Forskningsavdelningen interest group that began its activities 2011-04-05.

Reports like this one may be more or less common, we shall see.

Participants: olleolleolle, qzio, kaffekopp, phrst, wesik, jonasb. Anyone I forgot?

Things covered

  • Open Data, Why
  • Scraping human-readable web pages to structure information for machines, using Python, lxml, and Scraperwiki
  • Using Scraperwiki’s API to fetch the now-structured data. See example
  • Guided tour of Peter Rukavina‘s data visualizations of the wind energy creation on Prince Edward Island, Canada
  • Using PHP, Joel built a microframework and a tool to query data from services (“I will Open Source it, when I’ve written the README.”)
  • Comparison to Yahoo! Query Language, and its related tooling
  • Study of the existing opened-but-API-less data sources at opengov.se

When the lightning tour of the tools available was over, we discussed the Data That Matters angle, that is, finding something that can change our local world. Data advocates inside government are key, according to Dutch Open Data expert Ton Zylstra.

Results

To see a working sample of the evening’s results, please visit this example page.

What’s next?

In upcoming meetings, we will look further into web development and aspects of Open Data. This is a beginner-friendly eye-opener excursion into web technology, not a competition. Even if you never hacked on Web stuff before, you can join. Bring a willingness to learn and teach yourself, and help will be provided.

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We had our first meetup in the new space. It seems we haven’t been excessively good at communicating where Forskningsavdelningen is located these days.
Yesterday we were at Kontrapunkt Social Center on Västanforsgatan 21. It’s the door to the left of the van in this picture.
This is where we will be until we move into our new locations.

Our room was littered with stuff since the move but luckily we found a nice work area in a nearby room. It took some time to find our boxes of tools, but once found we started hacking with the help of lots of energy drinks two forskers brougt as a moving in gift.

Some people were working on the house bot project initiated this weekend, there was some problem with the motor shaft couplings that were eventually solved by large amounts of epoxy glue.

We did some improvised hot wire styrofoam cutting in preparation of next weeks Sterling engine project. It was super fun cutting styrofoam with a hot wire.

Equipment used:

  • some nichrome wire
  • a piece of wood
  • 4 screws
  • a computer PSU
  • a rubber band (optional)

Boomlinde, our in-house musician, provided entertainment in the form of djembe drumming and sweet calimba vibes.

 
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