Friday Hacks #2 Recap

Posted on by ejames

Yesterday’s Friday Hacks was huge. We had a turnout that stuffed Seminar Room 9, and when we had both the hacking and the speaking going on, people had barely any tables to sit at.

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This week we had James Yong over to give an informal talk on PCB etching for the first hour. The way we did it was that we had people who wanted to hack sit at the back (with earphones, and laptops, and so on), and people who wanted to listen-in sit in the front. A number of electrical engineering students came by just for the talk.

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Later on in the session, we had Junhao, a linuxNUS alumni, come down to brief some members on building the cluster (more information here)

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Information about the PCB Talk

The slides are available for download here, and James says that the following two items are available for purchase from him:

  • A general purpose microcontroller / NXT expansion (customizable to desired use like the Arduino)
  • IR sensor array

Anyone who’s interested in buying the above may contact James at and Tay Wenbin at

(Note: the above two email addresses are obfuscated by Javascript, so you’ll need to turn your JS on to see it).

The rest of the Friday Hacks went smoothly, though with several bugs:

  • There weren't enough tables at the peak of the event.
  • People seem to like having food around - the free bread we got disappeared in under a minute
  • Informal tech talks are good, though we're still not sure how to reconcile the hacking and the speaking in the same room. Perhaps, with better table and chair placement, things would be better.

Lastly, while it was good that we could get people passionate about programming together in the same room, what wasn’t so cool was the fact that we barely knew the names of the other people, and what each person was working on. For instance, I sat down late in the event only to find myself next to a first year student who was writing a Lisp interpreter. For fun. That’s the kind of cool thing we should all share about.

So maybe the next Friday Hacks would have us distribute name

Supported by:

NUS Enterprise

The HANGAR by NUS Enterprise — the campus hub for entrepreneurs.

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