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OpenElectronics Day – Saturday 31st May 10am – 4pm


OpenElectronics day on soldering, simple electronics, robots, raspberry pi, talks at Temporary Arts Project, Southend with Chelmsford Makerspace and Southend Techmeet.

Join us at TAP for a day of Open Electronics:

  • Come along and try your hand at soldering
  • Discover how to use LEDs to create patterns
  • Pick up ideas for your own building projects
  • Dip into our demo programme of robotics and other building projects
  • Listen to what’s hot, new and exciting in Raspberry Pi and Arduino groups
  • Meet other makers, share tips and hints, pick up ideas for your own projects

SoSLUG, Chelmsford Maker Space and Southend Techmeet’s interactive day celebrates all things Open Source and Electronic with a range of demonstrations and talks alongside a full programme of exhibits and activities.

All free of charge! Why not come and see what you can do?

  • Create light shows with Raspberry Pi/Arduino and learn how to control fans, lights, etc in your house through this amazing little computer
  • Make your own, permanent circuitry with our soldering workshops – your components will never fall off again
  • Discover intriguing new Breadboard and Vero Board making projects
  • Basic robotics with PiBOT and Sparkfun
  • LED Cubes: make your own patterns and timing in 3D – or make your Cube respond to sounds, music, light levels or buttons – all programmed by you
  • Banana keyboards – or jelly babies, apples, toys – anything, in fact! Learn how to programme a Raspberry or Arduino to “sense” when a human is touching something, using our natural electric conductivity and use that as a keyboard
  • SpokePOV: Use LEDs to create designs and patterns on bicycle wheels, and take away some ideas to customise your bike

Talks and demonstrations about robotics, ranging from the large to small, showcasing Raspberry Pi/Arduino and modular synthesizers and music-making

Southend on Sea Linux User Group

Open Source Software for the Upcoming Transition

On the 14th I’ve meet Derek Shaw from SOSLUG at their headquarters in the Mediashed at Grainger Road.

The abbreviation stands for Southend on Sea Linux User Group which is “a group of enthusiastic and committed Linux enthusiasts, we are prepared to share our knowledge to everyone by running workshops and other non-formal training methods“.

Linux just like M$ Window$ is a computer operating system but it is free to use and allows the users and community to modify it according to its needs. It allows people to learn, innovate and contribute and hey – I have to say it again – it doesn’t cost a penny.

You might wonder what are the Transition Westcliff people doing there?:)

Transition Initiatives are aiming at engaging the whole of the local community and enabling them to participate in the work of building up their localities resilience. We want to be open, transparent and inclusive but…

…there are some unanswered questions. How to conduct meetings so they are not only talking shops? How to organize our group so everyone gets heard and the work done? How to make our work and information about it accessible to everyone?  How to reach out to people and give them opportunities and tools to realise their potential? Are we using methods which unintentionally exclude some groups or individuals?

As one of the moves towards more inclusivity we would like to make our internet presence more open to the public so everyone can add their comments, suggestions and create content on our website for their own projects without the need of expert programming. This kind of approach is already happening with Transition Networks – which support the different Transition Initiatives – who are using wiki technology and Drupal for their websites. This enables amateurs – like me  – to share information and good practice with the wider public.

Here is a little video on what is a wiki and its usefulness.

And exactly here is where SOSLUG comes in with their expertise and enthusiasm for supporting other projects in using open source software. They are experienced in this kind of work as they supported and are working on digital arts projects. They are very good at design too so try them out:)

They are willing to help by keeping their meetings open to everyone who needs their support. So if you want to learn more about open source software give them a visit every Thursday at the Mediashed Unit 38, Grainger Road Industrial Estate, Southend on Sea, SS2 5DD.

In the meantime Transition Westcliff will be working with SOSLUG on our website and other related activites where we are going to use internet and software. Thanks for the meeting to Derek and the Soslugs for the emails you gave me. If anyone else of you want to be kept up to date with the work of Transition Westcliff drop me an email at kamilpac[at]googlemail[dot]com and I’ll add you to our newsletter email list.