life has lurched into fast forward

Posted in berlin, conferences, web two oh on December 15th, 2008 by fabienne

this is just a quick post to round up a few recent activities, and a small explanation as to why my life seems to have been vorgespult (fast-forwarded). since the beginning of october i’ve joined forces with Kai v. Harbou at doctr.com. as CTO, i’m defining the tech for the company and i can’t begin to say how stoked i am (even after more than two sleep deprived months!). we are building secure and stable communication platforms for doctor to patient and doctor to doctor. i’ve been doing the web2.0 conference rounds lately, so if you’ve met me at one of those events and want to geek out further, please drop me a comment or an email. in reverse chronological order, i attended Le Web 08 in Paris, Open Everything Berlin (at which I spoke about open source hardware, slides here [pdf]), Medizin2Null (helped organize via doctr.com, videos here), LateCrunch, Girl Geek Dinner Berlin, Barcamp Berlin 3, and the Pre-Web 2.0 Expo Europe Drinkup.

and if you thought i was going to stop, haha good luck. this week kicks off a long series of houseguests international flatmates. for what comes between christmas and new year’s each year? oh yes. it’s chaos communication congress time. this will be my fifth congress in a row. i won’t be presenting or running any workshops, but i may be around lending a soldering iron or multimeter as a hardware hacking enabler. if this year’s ccc is anything like last year’s month-o’-hardware shenanigans, i’m up for a very hacktastic time:

i’m already planning some crazy projects for next summer’s har2009 .nl hacker camp as well as finding a location/date for my own event here in berlin: hardhack (site down at the moment, some documention here). so stay tuned and i’ll try keep my blog more closely synced with my real-time life.

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massage couch

Posted in conferences, hardware hacking, projects on December 12th, 2008 by fabienne

i am way way way behind on blogging, but i just wanted to start to pull myself out of this hole of online silence by starting with the mobile massage couch i helped build in amsterdam during the rfid hacker camp put on by mediamatic during the picnic conference. i haven’t finished documenting the build process, but at least i’ve started. i have more photos not on the couch’s page here. the top level trac page for code is here and the source code for the various components (microcontroller code for massage units and led display units and python code for the eeepc to talk to the network and control the whole couch) is here. the couch was conceived of and built in five feverishly hacktastic days with a team of three: Edwin Dertien, Ralph Meijer, and myself. the massage couch had rfid readers built into the armrests and gave you a longer massage if you weren’t yet friended in the picnic conference’s social network. it was all wireless and powered by a 12v lead-acid battery, thus the mobility factor. we hacked the living daylights out of every single hardware component in the couch, and started to document what we did, the most extensive being the add-on circuits to control the once-static massage controllers. we upgraded them to pulse width modulation controls and wrote our own massage programs. check out the massage couch’s project page for more info.

by the way, if you were wondering what happens when the hardware team finishes and the poor lone coder is left to do some late night coding on the last night:

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