Programmer since childhood, with BA in psychology & computer science from NYU. Worked in Internet/ecommerce during the bubble of the 90s. Also some graduate study in anthropology. Philosophically, think Grace Hopper meets Jane Jacobs meets Annemarie Mol.
Co-host a monthly community crafts event for my housing co-op. Full of ideas, and love a good brainstorming session. Looking to share a space where creative folk are doing creative things. Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
Working on projects in three different general categories, tracked below. (These lists are maintained on my staging server, with updates pushed to Hack Manhattan's server every few weeks.)
Various DIY/smarthome and other projects about (or relating to) the domicile.
Have been sorely derelict on a heap of household and client bookkeeping and filing, while immersed in other recent making projects. This includes scheduling of long-overdue appointments and restocking our household pantry. Hoping to power through this stack in July, so I can get back to other projects in earnest.
This also includes working with my roommate on several projects: electronic birthday calendaring, charitable giving analysis, organizing teaching materials filing system, substitute teaching go pack strategy, and prepping unique favor packs for next Halloween.
Various small and large projects have been waiting in the wings, including: repair of a glitchy flat-screen monitor, retouching nylon on dishwasher racks, repairing vinyl floor in kitchen, securing a shoe holder mount, and arranging for replacement of our bathroom sink faucet.
The last of these is a dependency for the storage tower installation discussed below. Also on this list is refurbishing an old hammer drill — the chuck no longer holds bits reliably, but seems reticent to be removed, suggesting that the drill will need disassembly and cleaning before it is back in serviceable working order.
DIY Storage Projects
Once repairs are out of the way, a number of household storage projects are on the agenda, including: a corner bar for hanging clothes, custom-fitting a storage tower in our bathroom, hanging rack shelving in our kitchen, and [when a certain neighborhood retailer holds their annual shelving sale] erecting shelving for crafts storage. (Donations to our monthly co-op crafts event have left us sorely in need of a place to keep all the materials.)
The bathroom storage tower project is going to involve cutting and reinforcing an existing piece of furniture to accommodate some rather inconveniently positioned hot and cold water-control valves protruding from the wall. In anticipation of this, I've also planned out a system for erecting a quick-assembly dust tent in our hallway.
The various electronic components on the table-level of my IKEA-built standing desk have become an unmanageable tangle. The plan is to build a pair of LackRack component mounts under the standing desk and transfer various Ethernet and power connected devices thereto. As part of this process, will build out a heat ducting system to channel air from below the desk to the intake vent of the convector a few feet away — taking advantage of the chiller cooled pipes that feed the convector in the summer.
Also want to run Ethernet to the back of our apartment, rather than rely on spotty performance of EoP extender currently in use. This will support the development of audio notification relays planned throughout the apartment for telephony and other applications listed below.
Intending to replace current lighting fixtures with programmable smart bulbs and a custom driver that will adjust the level of blue light throughout the day, in accordance with my 2nd/graveyard-shift work cycle. This includes the appliance bulb in the refrigerator, so that one isn't treated to a blast of bright white light when scrounging a "midnight" snack. Also part of this project will be running motion-detector activated red LEDs along the hallways, to allow my roommate to get around early morning without disturbing my sleep by flipping on room lighting.
The first step will be to set up a dedicated console-cable managed wifi router and management hub that will allow for control of smart bulbs without exposing those devices to the Internet.
Various writing projects: prose, copyediting and programming — together with related technical tasks.
Media Library Consolidation
Long-term projects include a bespoke media management system for what is currently a 2 terabyte podcast archive. In anticipation of same, an presently migrating that library to a RAID and configuring an Orange Pi Zero as a pre-3.14 kernel usbip host, with the intention of migrating iTunes to a virtual machine on the RAID (and retiring the Win7 netbook currently being used for podcast management).
Parallel to this, am refurbishing an iPod Classic to use SD cards in place of HDD, and doing some feasibility testing of gtkpod for eventual podcast database migration (to aforementioned bespoke solution) via the same device.
Tellurium is the name of the project for generation of the bespoke, each-one-of-a-kind, design-masked word clouds used in current Hack Manhattan handbills and tear-off-ticket flyers, and also the name given to the bramble hosting the tools for same. Currently a lash-up of perl, python and bash scripts, and involving a lot manual steps from cloud sculpting to proper alignment for paper-cutter-ready double-sided printing, the process of creating these materials had become profoundly time and resource intensive.
I've been retooling the production process to provide a screen-able console application for crawling and intelligently caching the cloud crawl process and to automate the assembly of properly-aligned PDF files for printing. However, my decision to use ncurses for the console (simply because I've never developed an ncurses application before) has hit a bit of a snag: Python is now segfaulting on refresh (or, more properly, noutrefresh) calls after a SIGWINCH. Gonna have to do some gdb spelunking to figure out why.
Have been promising a full marketing analysis of Hack Manhattan, including a membership recruitment strategy proposal, since late last year. Tellurium was meant to be low-hanging fruit, but it's really become a major diversion, so the more esoteric tasks of founder interviews and SWOT analyses are on indefinite hold, for now. In the meantime, I'm continuing to refine handbills/flyers absent a finished toolchain and regularly cross-posting HM's Meetup events to Spingo — the backend for the community calendar used by local newspapers and other media entities.
Related to this, am wanting at some point to put together a Maker-themed museum exhibit/convention event series to draw out those on our Meetup mailing list who, while interested in the IDEA of making, haven't yet been inclined to get move involved in the Hack Manhattan community absent the sort of go-someplace-and-do-a-thing cultural activities more commonly seen on Meetup groups. Oh, and I still want to brainstorm a proposal for HM to apply to the next eWaste residency offered by the LES Ecology Center.
Mashup RPG Sourcebook
My favorite of all time tabletop RPG is a Heideggerian-thrownness of a genre-mashup called TORG. The game was recently updated and released with a new streamlined ruleset following a successful Kickstarter campaign. At some point, other projects allowing, I may even organize a group of dedicated gamers to play a camapaign or two of TORG.
However, having spent some time playing both World of Darkness systems in my younger years, I've also become fascinated with a cross-over between the two systems, and so have started drafting a sourcebook that would allow for crossover campaigns. My intention is to provide a meta-framework that will allow Storyteller-Gamemasters to mix and match the rule sets and settings of both games during the course of a campaign or even a single gaming session.
This is where my task list for this project currently stands:
First-class EC Projects
Social Propinquity Architecture
Federated Social Propinquity
Stuff I want to do with 3d printing and other miscellaneous hands-on making.
Learning the ins and outs of 3d modeling in OpenSCAD, and getting familiar with the mechanical properties of PLA and the annealing process. Recent models printed include a wallet-card size coin holder and anti-fatigue-mat-safe shoes for a kitchen foot stool.
Currently working on a replica hose cock key. (Pending temperature calibration of toaster oven at home.) Plan to explore other filament materials and/or on-demand fab options once I've exhausted the possibilities of annealing PLA.
Planned simple models include a precision bobbin cover plate for the HM Singer, a tension rod wall sconce-shelf, plastic covering of broken arm on eyeglasses, and a replacement drawer handle. Expecting to experiment with nylon filament for snap-on rod-shelving side-caddy and replica walker cable clips. Following these jobs, I'm intending to design a custom toe-space spoiling bumper replacement for my Roomba.
Our current brochure holder is a Thingiverse design. The companion sticker holder and tear-off ticket holder are both scaled versions of same, and suffer from the fact that the original design wasn't meant to shrink. My plan is to develop a custom brochure holder with a two-color stencil-inset of the Hack Manhattan tower logo for its back, together with an integrated sticker holder. Beyond this, the final design will be wind-proof (so that handbills won't go walkabout when displayed at outdoor fairs/festivals) and provide some modicum of rain protection (will likely incorporate some transparent PLA), in addition to providing for an optional tripod mount.
The first step will be to develop the stencil-inset component and figure out a snap-in-place mechanism for loading a stencil-inset back into the brochure holder assembly. Planning to refine the stencil inset process by creating some custom curb-your-dogs signage for a client's sidewalk tree-pit.
The idea is simple: use a handful of cheap 7" tablets to present basic information about Hack Manhattan, a RatPark tenants' event calendar, demonstration of the HM camera, quick sign-up for the Slack and Blabber, and even an interests questionnaire that would serve to introduce visitors to the breadth of possibilities that Hack Manhattan has to offer, as a space and as a community.
The first task: making it easy to charge and store these tablets, such that no one has to fiddle with USB connectors every time the devices are picked up and put down. For this, planning on using inductive charging loops and creating a simple case and docking cradle arrangement to ensure proper alignment. The cradle will also allow for wall mounting tablets so that they are out of the way yet readily accessible, serving as digital picture-frame style slideshow when not in use.
Going to first get my feet wet with inductive power and custom case design fashioning a recharging dock arrangement for a pair of bluetooth earbuds.
A few minor projects to be tackled:
Raspi Terminal Hub
My dream is to have a hip-mounted Raspberry Pi with an Adafruit-design HUD and a chording keyboard for terminal and input, respectively. The goal being to do much of my writing/programming while walking Hudson River Park, rather than sitting at a table or shifting my weight from foot to foot at my standing desk at home.
The first task is to learn to use a chording keyboard. Practicing on a Twiddler model last year, was up to about 40 wpm on 6 letters (~30 wpm with seventh letter) before setting this aside for a time to dive into other projects. Am wanting also to improve on the Twiddler strap (currently a velcro strip that is serviceable but not ideal) and doing something about how noisily clicky the keyboard keys are.
Related to this, want to set up a Rasbian image distribution mirror, if only so I don't have to wait for downloads for my own projects.
Other Design Projects