plugging you in

hacked ipod cable

i finally got all the slides from this spring’s talk-tour uploaded. warning: all are in pdf format, and all are photo-heavy. contact me if you want them in open office or ppt versions.

“future fabrics” talk at dorkbot, description here, slides here.

“building the future” talk at re:publica, description here, slides here.

“hardware hacking on the cheap” at ggd, description here, slides here.

[photo: 5-minute-hacked mini jack male-male cable for a girl geek road trip, made from parts from dave’s basement, stripped with a pair of scissors, and some scotch tape. ghetto-tastic. photo by elisa.]

getting DNS to stick in OpenWRT


as of a week now, i have OpenWRT version “Kamikaze” 7.09 running on my linksys WRT54GL v1.1 (marked WRT54GL-DE on the box). by following the setup instructions here for PPPoE, almost everything worked perfectly.

one part of the setup did cause me trouble. i need to manually dictate DNS addresses for my ISP. it turns out that it’s not /etc/resolv.conf one should worry about, but /etc/dnsmasq.conf instead.

in /etc/dnsmasq.conf change the line:


…and change the ip addresses at the end of the line to match the DNS addresses that play well with your particular ISP. now the DNS entries will survive a router reboot. now if only i had something interesting to do with my old BEFW11S4v2:


post hardhack

pile of parts

thank you to everyone who came to hardhack, it was a lot of fun. the solder fumes were pervasive! for once i wasn’t the only one who was completely and utterly obsessed with circuits *smile*. so thank you one and all, i really had a blast watching people help each other and get inspired to try something new in the way of hardware. if you document all or part of a project online which you showed me at hardhack, don’t forget to email about it. my photos of the event are here. thanks again for participating if you were there.


"hardware hacking on the cheap" at girl geek dinner amsterdam

nokia audio

i’ll also be giving a presentation at the girl geek dinner amsterdam next week on april 10th. if you are interested in attending, sign up info is on that site. if you are a guy, a girl that attends has to invite you. reverse sexism? perhaps a little, but it should be a fun evening. which reminds me, last week in vancouver at cansecwest, there was an after party that had more women than men, and all the women were geeks. that was the first time i can ever remember that happening naturally. i can’t wait until that is a common occurrence. say hi in amsterdam if you are around on the 10th.

subtitling t-shirt


i’ve wanted a t-shirt that has subtitles (either in the same language or with semi-simultaneous translation). eliot brought a bunch of fun stuff with him including an lcd kit (which was a pain to interface because cu on netbsd wasn’t cooperating and neither was winblows, but eventually got it working with both hyperterm and a 3rd party mac app, though with two different usb to serial converters). right now i’m fighting sphinx to get it to work (on anything. seriously. a-n-y-thing.) the instructions for getting the training sets going is thorough, but why isn’t there any info showing how to use one of their example programs like sphinx_continuous? i feel like i’m stabbing in the dark with the flags settings, but i am determined.

i also took apart a pcmcia / compact flash adapter and confirmed that the wiring is in fact just straight through with no extra components (one side pictured below). the next step is to cannibalize a pcmcia slot from a pci card and a cheap cf card. before anyone writes to tell me that a cf to pcmcia adapter and a pcmcia to cf adapter both exist, yes i know but i need one that is folded so that it is compact for a zaurus.


update 3 billion and 57: workshop not cancelled

up close

so because of so many wonderful people who have written me in the past two days with names and model numbers of devices they are going to bring (oh yes it is going to be a crazy mix of interesting dsl modems, routers, ethernet switches, and even some rare gadgets), we are going to have a solder fest on sunday. see you at ph!

in celebration of all the people that wrote me here is a little contest: if you are the first person who writes me (my email is fabienne at this website) and correctly identifies the circuit that is on the breadboard in the photo above (no not the type of microcontroller, that’s too easy), you win a wifi backpack strap kit.

ph-neutral custom serial and j-tag cables workshop


if you are planning to come to ph-neutral and you want to make a serial and/or jtag cable to interface with your dsl modem or other device in my workshop, please let me know as soon as possible so i know how many participants there might be. i am purchasing parts on my own and it would be nice to know if, say, fifty people versus fifteen will be interested. i will probably start a few hours earlier than 14:00 on sunday, so show up earlier to get a head start. no there will be no charge (to stay within the everything-is-free-at-ph spirit), but you do need to bring the device for which you want serial or jtag cables and documentation and probably a laptop and a usb-to-serial converter. the full workshop description including what to bring is here. if you have any questions whatsoever, send me an email: fbz at this website.

chumby: day 0

there's the chumby!

it is with great reverence that i present you with the first unboxing photos of my Chumby, whom i have dubbed Tzitzak. she arrived yesterday, day 0 of my Chumby adventures if you will.

before booting

a few minutes after the unboxing, i powered Tzitzak up:

boot sequence

she booted with a few bleeps and blurps as the cute octopus swam around her screen.
swimming chumby

soon i set the date and the timezone using the touchscreen interface:
set the date with the touchscreen

and thus the cute, cuddly, hackable, open source, open hardware, alarm clock came into my life. My significant other can’t stop saying “Chumbaaaaaaaaaah” every time i mention how happy i am to have this momentous hacking opportunity.
ahhhhh, chumby.

we don’t have wifi at our place due to paranoia (yes every room including the kitchen has wired ethernet *smile*), but i will set up a special chumbaaaaaah access point for her. in the meantime i browsed her file structure. she came only with the bare minimum of flash widgets:

preinstalled widgets

i will be posting much more about Tzitzak’s adventures here so stay tuned to my rss.