Free Code Camp Hangout

A group of coders and aspiring coders mashed buttons while staring into screens in attempts to learn some code. We were trying freeCodeCamp, which is a learning tool in the vein of Code Academy, but seems more extensive. These code learning websites are unique in that everything is done in the browser. This gets rid of the sometimes difficult task of learning the user interface in a development environment, much less the installation. So instead, you go straight to coding itself. Each lesson builds on the last and it starts from the very beginning of things. freeCodeCamp is also unique as it proposed to take people all the way to a somewhat professional level of understanding by going “full stack”. Like many of the meatspace code boot-camps that have started to pop-up, like Hack Reactor, freeCodeCamp focuses on webby programming with html5, javascript, jquery, and json in the learning pipe. It’s possibly more get a job than get a computer science degree, or their just addressing changing times where the web rules. Anyway, it’s a worthwhile experience to try it out.

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Microcontroller Monday!


Microcontroller Monday has been one of our biggest hits lately. It’s a monthly event that focuses on the use of those magic little boards that power so many projects.  Lot of people, lot of fun, lot of electronics.

Event host, Thomas sez:

“Microcontrollers are a great way to get started in electronics.  There are so many things that you can do with them.  To begin with, you can control servos, drive stepper motors, turn things on and off, and later work your way up to attaching a screen and playing games on them.  If you have something that you have been working on and would like to bring it to show off to others, or are new to microcontrollers and want to know how to get started, then this event is for you.”

Check out the HackRVA Meetup page to find out about the next event.

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Photogrammetry Photoscan Workshop

23303643714_8cf7d4bca8_oDo you know your “point clouds” from your “alpha channel”? Well we do now thanks to Grey‘s Introduction to Photogrammetty Photoscan workshop! We tried doing a Silver Surfer figure outside, but the light was too much. So, we took a pile of pictures of Charli’s head instead. Those pics get loaded up into Agisoft and processed. To go even further we used Z-brush to do more cleanup. Here’s a link to the tutorial info.

Here are some links to Grey’s work, and below a little video to get the full effect of the scan.

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Small-Run Electronics Manufacturing Bootcamp


We spent the day soldering, desoldering, programming, and testing SNES reproduction carts. It was a good opportunity get the small-run of electronics making experience – especially for those thinking about taking an electronics product to market. People also leveled-up their soldering skillz in general. And here are some notes on PCB making from HackRVA wiki.

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