This year’s OSCON (July 19-23, Portland, OR) has its biggest ever hardware hacking track. OSCON co-chair Edd Dumbill covers some of the highlights:
OSCON this year will be a delight for anybody interested in working with hardware. A full open source hardware track offers a range of talks to get you started with hardware hacking, and gives a great insight into the current options for prototyping.
Many software developers are astonished to find that there’s nothing that hard about hardware, and a few basic skills can go a long way. Some have bemoaned that you can’t hack your iPhone the way you used to be able to learn with an Apple ][, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t options out there.
From microcontrollers such as Arduino, through to complete systems such as the SheevaPlug and BeagleBoard, there are now many accessible form factors to enable novices and experts alike to begin experimenting and prototyping hardware systems.
Some of the highlights from Edd’s post:
- Father-and-son team Bruce and Matthew Momijan will discuss software control of home automation systems. Find out how to cron your washing machine and script your telephone.
- “Hardware Hacking 101″ will demonstrate how to build small single-purpose devices, and give an overview of what to look out for when starting to wrangle chips and PCBs.
- Hacking in Real Life: Crafting for the Modern Geek invites you to find out what happens when you mix fractals, 3D printers, robotics, open source, high-powered lasers, and non-orientable surfaces with wood, plastic, textiles, steel, cloth … and lots of coffee.
- If you’ve never met Arduino before, get introduced with a hands-on three hour tutorial, or follow a quick introduction, then stay for the fun.
- In a session on the Plumbing toolkit, we’ll hear how with six lines of code we can go from making simple blinkenlights to responding to environmental sensor inputs.
- OSCON regular Russ Nelson will be talking about how he used Arduino and sensors to monitor water quality.
- “Open Source Data Visualization on Open Source Hardware” is a soup-to-nuts tour, covering data acquisition to visualizations.
- The Plug Computing Primer will give a tour of the strengths and weaknesses of using the SheevaPlug computer in practice.
- How to Boot Linux on the BeagleBoard” will introduce the board and its developer ecosystem.
Check out Edd’s post at O’Reilly Radar for more information, including a 20% discount code.