Thinga-me-GIGs: Gathering the Internet of Things Community

July 23, 2014 in Events by benbland

Internet of Things

I can’t wait for the Internet of Things, it’s gonna be epic. Wait, no, it’s already here. But it’s gonna be cooler next year, right?

The connected world has been shifting from bits to atoms for a while and it feels like we’re finally riding over the edge of a kind of Cambrian Explosion of connected tools and systems that could reshape every sector of life. Or maybe not, maybe that’s just starry-eyed confirmation bias. We’ve spoken with a lot of people in the last few months about how to stay on top of the Internet of Things (“IoT”) movement.

We’re trying to figure-out what the right level of discussion and engagement is for Northern Ireland’s part in the revolution. So earlier this month we got a few good people around the benches in the sunshine outside the Labs to move things forward. Below are some disjointed notes following that session. Better to think out loud.
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Return of Raspberry Jam

July 9, 2014 in Events by Andrew Bolster

On Saturday July 19th, we’re opening up the space from 1pm to 5pm to all kinds of hacking and making around the Raspberry Pi in the form of a Raspberry Jam

Raspberry Jam is a rapidly growing global network of user groups that meet every month to support hobbyists, developers, teachers, students, children and families – in fact, anybody that would like to put their Raspberry Pi to good use. While Raspberry Jam is not endorsed, sponsored or associated with Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi products or services, some of our regular members are volunteers for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. At our meetings we have helpful people who can help you with everything you need to get what you want from your Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Jam is a Farset Labs Members event, so visitors will be expected to make a small donation either in the form of an online ticket, or chucking a few coins in the tin in person.

You do not need to have a Raspberry Pi to come to a meeting. In fact, not having a Raspberry Pi is an excellent motive for coming along. You will discover what you can do with a Raspberry Pi when you do manage to get hold of one.
Stuff we’ll be trying out:
  • A ‘beginners guide’ walk through of how to get started with your Pi
  • Getting started with Hardware interfaces to the Raspberry Pi
  • Beginners guide to hacking Minecraft Pi edition (Main focus for July event)
  • Some show-and-tell demonstrations of cool projects people have already done with their Pi’s
  • Breaking to a relaxed evening of Pi-Jamming, where everyone is encouraged to share their experiences.
Children are welcome to attend the event, when accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
We will try to get our hands on as many HDMI compatible monitors as we can, but please try and BYO monitor. We have plenty of mice and keyboards, but few HDMI compatible monitors. 

Get Kids Coding, Designing and Building This Summer with Our Special Four-Week CoderDojo Course

June 25, 2014 in Events by benbland

CoderDojo Summer Course 2014

Summer can be either be downtime or uptime for kids, families and businesspeople alike. For our members who volunteer to run CoderDojo at Farset Labs it could have been a good time to chill out. But noooooo, they’ve only gone and made more work for themselves.

This July and August, bring your kids to Farset Labs to learn their choice of the following, in four weeks:

  1. Build and program a LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robot. The robot was part of the kit kindly donated to Farset by the Nerve Centre for just this kind of hands-on learning. Well, it’s not just about the learning, right? It’s the errr…. Robots! UPDATE: LEGO sessions were booked-out in a couple of hours! Sorry. Hannah is taking names for more LEGO sessions in September, just email
  2. Design a working computer game with GameMaker.
  3. Design and build a website.

Normal CoderDojo will resume in September. See the calendar for details.

Aaaand, while we have your attention, it’s worth reminding everyone that Farset has no public funding and is run by volunteers. No, wait, not quite volunteers: in fact all of us pay to be members in the first place. So if you or your contacts are interested in sponsoring great causes like our CoderDojo events, or getting behind Farset in its mission to develop everyone’s creative and technical skills, get in touch. And you don’t have to be a deep-pocketed company, Farset’s lifeblood is our recurring monthly member payments, and we are always keen for small personal donations from visitors to the Labs. ‘Nuff said about filthy lucre, now let’s get back to the… errr… ROBOTS!

Register for the CoderDojo Summer Course here.

P.S: No nasty remarks about my design skills on the flyer. I stayed up to the wee hours putting that abomination together. It’s MY abomination and I’m proud of it.

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