Dorkbot OpenHack in LA

nym | 01:36 PM


If you don't know dorkbot, you should. It's geeks doing very geeky things, or as igargoyle reader Ro Bo puts it, 'Dorkbot is an international umbrella for creating flesh-and-bone networks of “people doing strange things with electricity.”'. I'm totally facinicated with creativity and engineering that comes out at these meetings, so I'm really pleased that socal has a dorkbot of it's own now.

Like Burning Man, dorkbot melds techology with art. On that vein, here's Ro Bo's account of dorkbot LA's OpenHack, a kind of anything goes hardware hacking session:

In the spirit of interrogating the manufactured reality rising around us, May’s OpenHack got back to basics with some olde fashioned deconstruction. Falling under the screwdrivers and inquisitive, scavenging minds were consumer electronics, their test equipment, and some not-so-household gear. Normally used for diagnosing other circuits, a Tektronix Type 321A oscilloscope and a Model F-29 volt-ohmmeter were reduced to sheet metal, coils, and their own circuit boards. Apparently Silicon Valley and the Aerospace industry provide for decades of dumpster diving dementia to come. Since surplus radiation dosimeters don’t charge themselves, we had the opportunity to stare down a ruggedized Kelekey “charger radiac detector” unit model K-125. Then we gutted it. We learned that radioactive mystique is sometimes more interesting than a few decades-old battery blocks. However, there were many more objet’s d’art liberated from their boxy shells and scattered around the multiple operating tables. They included a cylindrical, translucent, phosphor-free picture tube from an oscilloscope, the lightweight metal heat pump from a victimized Sony Vaio laptop, the electromagnetic nubs from a cupric neck massager, and the cold cathode and fluorescent light tubes from two flat lined flatbed scanners. The picture tube was like a hollow but durable glass billy club, or “CyberCudgel”. We left eviscerated laptop entrails strewn across the dais to warn upcoming presenter's machines to behave, but they rebelled nonetheless. A young woman even tried to fix her cell phone, and we all hope that worked out well for her. Those who just sought advice on a project had to be careful where they set something down, lest they look away, only to find it lying in pieces seconds later. I appreciate everyone who not only brought in items for the group to dissect, including Tom Jennings, and for their personal restraint in allowing the items to arrive in one piece. This allowed the group to share the anticipation of what may spring out from behind every turn of the screw.

Ro Bo is excited to be contributing to igargoyle, and has more to come, including some stuff on space and cyborgs. For more information on dorkbot, visit http://dorkbot.org/. LA's next meetup is on June 3rd. Information on dorkbot in southern california can be found here.

[ Link to more images from the day. Thanks Ro Bo! ]


I'm pretty sure dorkbot socal has been around for awhile now

Posted by: qwiki at May 30, 2006 05:16 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?