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Posts by filipecruz

AZ Residency Day 4 — Routine Strike

Today we haven’t done anything at all. Nah, just kid­ding. We seem to have grown well adjus­ted to our new home, the days are almost rou­tine and the nights grown more social, everyone seems to be so tired that work on pro­jects after din­ner doesn’t quite work out as imagined.

New ideas for pro­jects still pop up every other second but we’re now slo­wly star­ting to focus more on spe­ci­fics. Pedro seems to be nearly done with the OSC­Bus link to Pachube. And Fran­cesco seems to be polishing up his ants pro­ject some more, atle­ast it was rumou­red that we can alre­ady get some inputs from both the fish and the ants for our pro­mi­sed audio mis­chief ses­si­ons. We haven’t quite mana­ged to have some of those yet, but we defi­ni­tely will. We should also pro­ba­bly con­nect it to Assault­Cube, just to reuse late night gaming pwnage from our gamer residents.

Sér­gio mana­ged to get the hall lights also syn­ced up to OSC so it’s now clear that com­plete and total world domi­na­tion is eminent.

Filipe has been busy with his secret new pro­jects and also pet-sitting his fishies, who seem not to be doing so great, pro­ba­bly new water tank rela­ted, so they’re get­ting a new one tomorrow!

Jorge been busy all day buil­ding a frame for his VJ mixer, it’s loo­king good by now, just wish my brain could alre­ady be able to fil­ter the dre­mel sound by now!

Cata­rina and Tiago tried to assem­ble a new breed of TV-B-Gone’s, but seem to have fai­led mise­ra­bly so far. Hope­fully tomor­row they’ll suc­ceed in a lit­tle more than just fin­ding all the pos­si­ble ways that it won’t work and we’ll have something more to show and tell to the world.

The bio­plas­tic sam­ple tests have been somewhat neglec­ted but we pro­mise we’ll report something back about them. Gui­lherme has retur­ned to the resi­dency and seems to be wor­king on some evil plans for world domi­na­tion for his robots, we hope to have some fol­low up info on that in the next few days aswell.

Meanwhile Tara has been pushing forward her plas­tic bag fabric PCB ideas with a few spe­a­ker cir­cuit tests.

All in all it seems that the daily pro­ject mee­tings have set­tled down to lunch hour. Which fluc­tu­a­tes. And excur­si­ons to the ran­dom local shops are now com­mon atle­ast twice a day. This care­fully devi­sed and hea­vily pon­de­red time mana­ge­ment scheme is easily ena­bling us with the latest cut­ting edge tech­no­logy, which allows us to put together something as exqui­site, bril­li­ant, inno­va­tive, revo­lu­ti­o­nary and so righ­te­ously dedicated.

AZ Residency Day 3 – Ideas Are Like Rabbits On Spring

The bre­ak­fast table side pro­jects mee­ting seems to have jetlag­ged sligh­tly to lunch hour. Cold water mor­ning shower is truly revi­ta­li­zing but i wouldn’t want an encore tomo­row! Des­pite the early shock some folks cle­arly fue­led with their sleep depri­va­tion mana­ged to come up with a few other pro­ject ideas to add to our pool. Among which we seem to have a top secret face­book jun­kies clothing line and a not that top secret Boris Vian piano cock­tail idea revamp, for the drun­kards in us all to rejoyce aplenty about (rela­ted elec­tro valve expe­ri­ment docu­men­tary pic­ture below).

misc purchases

electro valve

So an excur­sion to the local city store was in order, visi­ting ran­dom local Chi­nese sto­res, hard­ware sto­res, tex­ti­les store, pet sto­res, elec­tro­nic mate­ri­als sto­res.
BTW, you should know that using a mul­ti­me­ter to pick a zip­per at a tex­ti­les store might get you kic­ked out!

misc purchases

Also, musi­cal christ­mas cards + cheap ear­plugs + sili­cone + skills = con­tact mics + hydro mics + led + cute paper lef­to­vers for our col­lage club! Be afraid!

Meanwhile, in a land far far away, Tara has been very busy iro­ning a few ran­dom plas­tic bags to cre­ate a DIY PCB pro­totype and suc­ces­s­fully unra­vel­ling many dis­tinct ways on how it will def­ni­tely not pos­si­bly work! Plus dis­co­ve­ring an advan­ced paper prin­ting tech­ni­que. Fol­low up should come within the next few days. We hope.

misc purchases

Tiago Serra and Jorge Ribeiro from xDA have also arri­ved tonight, so our din­ner plans also invol­ved a lit­tle brains­tor­ming on all of these ideas and more top secret ones TBA. Meanwhile here is another ran­dom silly photo:

silly ps

AZ Residency Day 2 – Nothing Like The Fresh Smell of Vinegar Early In The Morning

Day star­ted with a small queue to access the showers and a bre­ak­fast table side pro­jects meeting.

Today’s plan for world domi­na­tion invol­ved:
– Con­nec­ting OSCu­lat­tor with Pachube
– Trac­king fish in the fish tank
– Coo­king bio­plas­tic sam­ple expe­ri­ments
– Twit­ter bot with pro­ces­sing and/or javas­cript
– Taking apart old key­bo­ards
– Plan­ning a real­time vide­owall for AZ Labs

Most of the goals were rea­ched des­pite the usual setbacks.

Bio­plas­tic is sick. It’s basi­cally starch, water, gly­ce­rine and vine­gar sti­red together and hea­ted slo­wly to a pasty bub­bly form that takes a day to strengthen up. Today we coo­ked a few vari­a­ti­ons of the stan­dard recipe to make a few sam­ple expe­ri­ments with dif­fe­rent ingre­di­ent ratio, coo­king time and thick­ness, to com­pare the pro­per­ties and pos­si­bly maybe pro­ba­bly figure out some inte­res­ting use for them in future pro­jects. They take about a day to cure, so we have no con­clu­si­ons just yet, but we’re all pretty sick of the smell of vine­gar by now! Stay tuned for the fol­low up, coming to an hac­kers­pace blog near you soon.

Fish are nice. We like fish. Filipe brought some with him and seems to be plan­ning some cute trac­king sys­tem ins­tal­la­tion. A crack in the main expe­ri­ments tank hold him back a few hours while the sili­cone patch dried up, so it isn’t quite ope­ra­ti­o­nal just yet, but we’re alre­ady wor­king hard on the next evil step for world domi­na­tion: devi­sing a cle­ver way to cen­tra­lize and reuse his lit­tle fishies trac­king values. And share them with the world while we’re at it. Who knows who might need a bowl fish trac­king stream of values out there.

We took a lit­tle walk wan­de­ring about Montemor-o-Novo, quite a pea­ce­ful town as it turns out, we mana­ged to find an open res­tau­rant with some excel­lent tra­di­ti­o­nal Por­tu­guese food, which was nice. Meanwhile, back in the new tech world, our plans for tonight’s gene­ric audio mis­chief jam got held back by the lack of a mix table, some lag with nin­jam wire­less and an all­nigh­ter live bro­ad­cast stream pum­ping out of Aute­chre’s web­site.

AZ Residency Day 1 — We Have Arrived!

After many months of plan­ning and plot­ting and con­ju­ring evil dark for­ces with a few selec­tive fri­en­dly con­tacts of the Audi­ên­cia Zero col­lec­tive, the day finally arri­ved where we head out for 1 week resi­dency with mem­bers form all of our three hac­klabs: LCD from Porto, AltLab form Lis­bon and our very own xDA from Coimbra.

I mana­ged to setup a ride with a cou­ple of the big bos­ses from LCD, mis­ter Ricardo Lobo and Pedro Angelo. I wai­ted for them the entire mor­ning, still sligh­tly reco­ve­ring from Satur­days photo exhi­bit ope­ning at Gale­ria Icon (where xDA cola­bo­ra­ted with Sue doing some dj’ing and pro­jec­tion map­ping). Pho­ne­call reve­a­led they were alre­ady run­ning late and suf­fe­ring a major set­back, a for­got­ten wal­let, for­cing them to go back to Porto.

Long story short: The northern comi­tive arri­ved a few hours later than sche­du­led to our des­tiny: Con­vento da Sau­da­ção, Montemor-o-Novo.


Peo­ple from the other labs were alre­ady moving around wor­king on some of their own pro­jects: Mónica gre­e­ted us out­side where she was tes­ting the wifi access dis­tance for her tree pro­ject. And inside we unra­ve­led the AZ room where Gui­lherme was bot­ching latest robo­tic cre­a­ture and Cata­rina gre­e­ted us with a handshake using her latest spe­ed­pro­ject, a glove with a led that lights when you shake hands. Filipe was set­ting up his fish trac­king sys­tem in a cor­ner. Mau­ri­cio, Sér­gio and Tara were also around doing their own thing and others are sche­du­led to show up through the rest of the week.

Quick tour of the loca­tion reve­a­led it to be pretty cool. A reha­bi­li­ta­ted con­vent inside a typi­cal Por­tu­guese cas­tle with an over­view of the entire city. Plans for sight­se­eing abit aren’t enti­rely out of the ques­tion but we are mos­tly all really eager to get down and dirty with the technology.


Sit­ting down we finally start to assi­mi­late all the poten­tial: We have a Maker­bot table for 3d prin­ting. A microwave oven, some starch, vine­gar and gly­ce­rine to do some secret bio stuff (not bre­ak­fast pan­ca­kes). Tool­bo­xes, com­po­nents and PCBs for elec­tro­nics fun and non pro­fit. Plenty of pro­ject ideas invol­ving data visu­a­li­za­tion, and fabric inter­fa­ces. And a very evil plan for col­la­bo­ra­tive sound synthe­sis that will hope­fully involve the PA, some con­tact mics, ran­dom MIDI/OSC values from the run­ning pro­jects and plenty of laptops.

We can alre­ady pre­sent the first pro­ject, the White LED Red Glove quick pro­ject by Cata­rina and Isa­bel. Which it’ll be easier to des­cribe by quo­ting her own description.


This mit­ten lights up when its wea­rer sha­kes hands with some­one. It has two expo­sed soft con­tacts around the thumb and across the palm which, when brid­ged by bare skin, turn on the LED embed­ded on the flower. The mit­ten itself was cre­a­ted by fashion desig­ner Isa­bel Tomás, and we then sewed a touch switch cir­cuit onto it using con­duc­tive fabric and thread. Isa­bel and I desig­ned this as a soft cir­cuits exer­cise for some upco­ming mate­ri­als workshops, and we’ll post some ins­truc­ti­ons soon.

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