For our 11th meeting, we are visiting the School of Engineering and Digital Arts at the University of Kent. Trains run regularly to and from central London and take approximately an hour. For anyone wishing to stay overnight please see the list of accommodation.
Open Source Hardware Collaboration
An assessment of the current state of the art in hardware collaboration through a tour of a series of Open Source Hardware projects. How easy is it to discover projects, view and understand their designs, build your own version and contribute changes back?
Paul Downey (psd) is a doodling software hacker, former member of Osmosoft — a small Open Source software team where he represented BT at the W3C, a co-organiser of OSHUG and a co-founder of SolderPad, a collaboration platform for electronic design.
Building open, communicating communities
The hardware engineering community is typically seen as fragmented, closed and conservative, shackled by the dependency on restrictive closed-source tools. Thankfully, we are now at a time where this is changing. In this talk, Saar Drimer will discuss his efforts to bring the FPGA community together so we can reach the level of sharing and project integration that the open source software community currently enjoys. The end goal is to reach a state where projects are integrated in a similar way to what Linux's package mangers enable: "sudo apt-get ddr2-controller". [Background reading].
Saar Drimer is an experienced hardware engineer. In the past he's hacked the UK's Chip and PIN payment system, and advocated reproducible research practices in the engineering sciences. Now he's working on boldport, an "IndieEDA" company that aims to make HW/FPGA easier.
Adventures in working with surface mount devices
An ambitious open source hardware project--Amino--recently called for Alan Wood to uplift his home lab to support prototyping, testing and basic production using surface mount devices. Alan will be sharing with us some of the things he has learnt, and giving us a run through what you might require in order to tackle working with surface mount devices yourself. Rather than using expensive off-the-shelf tooling, Alan will be covering a number of affordable approaches that make this possible without breaking the bank.
Alan Wood originally trained in systems engineering, got lost in software engineering and open source for a decade, before returning back to his hardware roots via the open source hardware and makers movement that has gathered momentum over the last few years.
Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt. Parking is available at the Jennison Building, however, please ensure that you are parked within a bay.