Rainbows and Thermometers: How Languages Divide Spectrums

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Apr 192022
 

Wisps of smoke twisting horizontally across with rainbow colors

A tour of how different languages divide the color and heat spectrums with a professional analytical linguist as your guide.

About this event

Wed, Apr 20, 2022, 8:00 PM EDT

Part of our new monthly speaker series NYC Resistor: Live Circuit!

Most humans see color the same way – but our languages divide up the color spectrum very differently. Some languages group all darker shades of the rainbow under 1 single basic color term, and all the darker shades under another – a light sunny sky and a fresh grass would be described with the same term. Some languages thus have fewer color terms than English, while others (Greek, Russian) recognize more partitions of the rainbow.

And color is just one of the fascinating sensation domains that human languages partition differently – the English way of dividing the temperature spectrum is far from standard.

Researchers have has fascinating (and often wrong) ideas about why this is for centuries – Susanne Vejdemo (PhD), who has published both academic and pop-scientific articles on the subject, will challenge the way we think our perceptional world is structured.

This event will be online via Zoom, and tickets will be Pay-What-You-Wish.

Learn to Create Generative Art with p5.js

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Feb 242022
 

Learn to create art algorithmically in our March 13th online p5.js class!

p5.js is a JavaScript library which makes it easy to create computational art in any browser. It is easy to learn and use but can also be combined with other libraries to become a powerful tool for creation. Based on Processing, p5.js can also be used to make animations and interactive work.

This class will dive into different strategies for creating interesting algorithms, including exploring the use of color and texture. We’ll talk about how to control randomness to create organized chaos. Generative art isn’t limited to abstract geometric design! p5.js can be used to create figurative work as well.

Sketchy drawing of a fictitious house

ArchiSketch by KT

This is a beginner friendly class, however you do need to already be familiar with basic programming concepts such as functions, variables, and loops. It’s OK if you don’t have any JavaScript experience, the core ideas will translate between languages.

Completed p5.js programs, called sketches, can be shared on platforms such as openprocessing.org, embedded in any web page, or exported and saved as an image.

This class is taught by NYC Resistor alumni member Kelly Maguire, who uses p5.js to generate unique postcards. Anyone can request a postcard, which is mailed using a print-on-demand direct mail service and sent directly to their homes.

Class meets virtually at 12pm Eastern time on March 13, 2022. To register head to EventBrite.

Public Craft Night Every Monday and Thursday!

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Feb 182022
 

Public Craft Night is taking place at NYC Resistor every Monday and Thursday evening! Free tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Learn, make and share at NYC Resistor (18+, Ticket, (K)N95 masks and proof of covid vaccine + booster firmly required)

NYC Resistor is open to the vaccinated public for Craft Nights every Monday and Thursday from 6:30-9:30 PM! No charge but ticket required. Come bring your current crafting project and work on it with other artists, crafters, and makers of all kinds. Resistors do everything from costumes to electronics to visual arts and more; people and crafting projects of all sorts are enthusiastically welcome. We are a proactively inclusive space, and prioritize creating opportunities for the whole community to engage with our events, across all identities of race, creed, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical appearance, and ability; please read our Code of Conduct to familiarize yourself with our community’s values before attending.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

 Posted by at 10:45 pm

Daft Punk Word Clock

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Feb 032022
 

I recently published notes and project files for my Daft Punk Word Clock on hackaday.io. This is a project I did over New Years to make a word clock-style interface to the song “Harder, Faster, Better, Stronger” by the ubiquitous musical robots from France.  I’d had an idea to do something with this song for a while, but when I sat down to go through the lyrics, I realized there were only 18 unique words, so making a classic word clock, but showing the current line instead of the current time seemed like a neat idea.

Before building any sort of custom hardware, I wanted to prototype it, so I used a spare Adafruit PyBadge, since it runs CircuitPython and has a reasonable display and speaker output. The project came together pretty quickly. I spent some time in Audacity tagging all the lyrics to get time stamps, then processed that into a Python data structure, then built code to show the word clock, with highlights starting and stopping at the required times. This was similar to work I’d done in my day job with display and timing of closed captions. I also used level data from the MP3 decoder to drive the light strip as a cheap audio visualizer.

The biggest issue was audio sync. The clock on the PyBadge wasn’t quite exact, so using the real-time clock to time changes to the clock resulted in getting very out of sync by the middle of the song. This was especially hurt by performance issues with redrawing the screen. I had to increase the MP3 decoding buffering to help with CPU blocking during redraws, and I had to made a code change to the MP3 decoder in CircuitPython to add an attribute showing the current playback time, since that would actually match with the position in the song, where the unsynced system clock would not.

I could see a future version of this using a 3D printed clock face and LED matrix to make this more real, but I’m pretty happy with it as is.

Jan 182022
 

People leave useful things out on the curb all the time. Toaster ovens. Kid’s shoes. Sofas. Old TVs. Not-so-old TVs. And, often, printers. Inkjet printers, in particular, are a rich source of important nutrients such as motors, gears, sensors, wifi, and power supplies. It’s always fun to pop them open and salvage the good stuff.

A motor driving a shaft with a quadrature encoding wheel attached.

These are parts from an Epson WF-2540 I found in the trash that I spent a morning disassembling with my kids. Look at this beautiful quadrature encoder wheel. And that lovely little stepper and worm gear! There’s even a peristaltic pump in this one. It’s a bonanza. Every time I disassemble a printer, I end up with three piles: one of useful parts, one of plastic and metal scrap for recycling, and one of components that are too specific to make use of. Oh, and one of these frickin’ things:

control panel of an Epson printer, with many buttons and a color LCD screen

Oh. You again.

My old nemesis, the control panel. A couple dozen buttons, a few LEDs, and a color LCD, all in a well-designed, sturdy package. I can think of a half-dozen uses in a heartbeat. Wouldn’t it be nice to use this as an interface for a media player? A robot arm? A pen plotter? Your air conditioner? A midi sequencer? An overly complex toaster?

The problem is that every control panel is its own reverse engineering project. Usually I just give up on these as being too complex to reuse as a single unit, but for some reason I thought this time, I’d give it a whirl. After all, that flat cable coming out the back only has fourteen pins. How hard can it be?

I approached this project in two stages. The first was to be able to read all the keypresses and blink the LEDs, which I was pretty confident I could handle. The second, being able to display images on the embedded LCD, was, well, trickier. But let’s see how far we can get!

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:37 pm

Join us on Discord!

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Oct 072021
 

tl;dr – We’re on Discord, and our public Slack is going away.

For some time, we’ve had a public Slack Team as well as a private, members-only one. In practice this has meant that our public channels have gone fairly underused since members and friends tend to hang out in different spots. We’re consolidating our realtime chatting in a public Discord, now open to anyone:

https://discord.gg/EBywVwfyxw

Please, join us! As always, our Code of Conduct applies just as much to our online spaces as well as physical ones.

We’re looking at giving special Discord roles to Friends of Resistor – you can sign up at https://withfriends.co/nyc_resistor/join. Friends help us keep the space and community running, especially during COVID times where events and classes are particularly challenging.

Our public Slack instance will be archived and then deleted in the next couple of days, so please plan accordingly if you’re hanging out in Slack.

Thursday Night Craft Nights are re-opening to the vaccinated public!

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Jul 092021
 

[UPDATE 7/28: Masks are re-required for all participants all the time at Craft Night, pursuant to revised CDC guidelines. This is in addition to the proof of vaccine and RSVP requirements outlined in the original post below.]

NYCR is very excited to announce that we are opening our doors to the public again for Thursday Craft Nights, after more than a year of pandemic hiatus. The format remains the same: bring whatever you’re crafting, making or hacking on to Resistor from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM on Thursday nights to collab and socialize with like-minded creatives. And yes, the lazzzor is open for business for qualified users, just like the before-times!

Please note that due to the ongoing public health risk posed by covid-19, Eventbrite RSVP and proof of covid vaccination is required for entry, with absolutely no exceptions! Please bring your photo ID, along with one of:

  • [Preferred]: vaccine verification by successful scan in with the Excelsior Pass [https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/excelsior-pass]
  • CDC card showing you completed your final vaccine dose at least two weeks ago.
  • A photo of your completely filled out CDC card.

Failure to RSVP and present one of these documents will get you turned away at the door. We miss you and are keen to see you, but keeping our whole community safe has to come first.

Also, please RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-craft-night-tickets-162729866411 – tickets are free, but we just want to avoid too huge a crush of people as we ease out of pandemic-mode, so we’re opening up 10 public seats per night. See you all soon!

 

 Posted by at 1:52 pm

NYC Resistor at RC3 – Avatar Fashion Show on Wed, Dec 30

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Dec 192020
 

NYC Resistor at RC3 – Avatar Fashion Show is taking place at NYC Resistor on Wed, Dec 30. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Launching our virtual NYC Resistor Clubhouse and Hackerspace connector in conjunction with this year’s Chaos Computing Congress (CCC).

Resources:

The documentation here contains a github link where you can get the base model. Updates not in the document: You should use Blender 2.91 and the latest Hubs exporter.

For examples of how to rig your own model, watch this handy tutorial.

Additional things to know:

  • The lattice component morphs the model into skirt formation (will happen when the modifiers are applied on export). If you want a non-skirt robot model just delete the lattice modifier.
  • Make sure your animations are not in edit mode when you go to export. Go the the animation tab in Blender and make sure the bars in the key frame area are not green. If they are, click into that area and hit tab. If the bars turn orange, you’re good to go. – Do not try to apply modifiers before exporting, instead check the Apply Modifiers box in the export settings when you export.
  • Make sure your Hubs components are in the right place: animation components (like idle_eyes) go on the avatar root, and morph keys (aka shape keys, used for, say, animating the mouth when talking) go on the mesh.

 

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

Launching the virtual NYCResistor clubhouse

 classes, Interactive Show  Comments Off on Launching the virtual NYCResistor clubhouse
Dec 172020
 

We are super excited to be launching our virtual NYCResistor space – NYC Resistor Clubhouse and Hackerspace connector – in conjunction with Chaos Computing Congress 2020 (CCC) this year known as RC3 – Remote Computing Experience. You can join in 2D on your desktop and mobile browser, or you can join in VR — all major headsets are supported. For best browser experience we recommend Firefox or Brave. (On chrome you will experience a very slow frame rate).  For VR, just go to the link in your browser and follow the instructions.

There are no need to get tickets, but we’ve created Eventbrite pages for each event so if you want a calendar link, sign up for a free ticket and it will sort out the timezones for you.

We are planning to have 3 events and also encourage you to submit art:

***Generative Art Gallery***
Place: Hackerspace connector
Github: https://github.com/hackerspace-zone/art
If you’re into generative art, we would love to show off your art. You’ll code it as an Aframe javascript component and we’ll include it in the room html code. There are some examples in this github and instructions in the readme. 


***Femme Hackers Meetup***
Times: Sunday 27th Dec, 8-10pm CET, 2-4pm EST, 11am-1pm PST
Place: NYCResistor Clubhouse main space
Tickets: Meetup

Inviting all femme identifying folks to join in an international meetup – come meet other femme identifying makers, hackers, crafters, activists from various walks of life. When you create your avatar name – also include which country / state you’re in.

***Hacker Dance Party***
Times: Sunday 27th, 10pm – late CET, 4pm EST, 1pm EST 
Place: NYCResistor Clubhouse backroom and rooftop
Tickets: Dance Party

Come join our line-up of DJs and dance against the backdrop of NYC. We will have LEDs and Club Mate!


***Avatar Fashion Show ***
Times: Wednesday 30th Dec, 11pm CET, 5pm EST, 2pm PST
Place: NYCResistor Clubhouse rooftop
Tickets: Fashion Show

Show off your best avatar at our avatar fashion show!! There are many ways to play, model your own avatar, rig one or reskin an existing avatar with your own textures. Our only restriction is that you keep polygon count below 5,000 and textures no larger than 1024×1024.

If you want to enter the fashion show, please drop us an email at [email protected] and show up to the fashion show 15 minutes before hand so we can create the line-up.

Resources:

The documentation here contains a github link where you can get the base model. Updates not in the document: You should use Blender 2.91 and the latest Hubs exporter

For examples of how to rig your own model, watch this handy tutorial.

Additional things to know:

  • The lattice component morphs the model into skirt formation (will happen when the modifiers are applied on export). If you want a non-skirt robot model just delete the lattice modifier.
  • Make sure your animations are not in edit mode when you go to export. Go the the animation tab in Blender and make sure the bars in the key frame area are not green. If they are, click into that area and hit tab. If the bars turn orange, you’re good to go. – Do not try to apply modifiers before exporting, instead check the Apply Modifiers box in the export settings when you export.
  • Make sure your Hubs components are in the right place: animation components (like idle_eyes) go on the avatar root, and morph keys (aka shape keys, used for, say, animating the mouth when talking) go on the mesh.

If you want to be a friend of NYCResistor on withfriends, join us here!