Push it at VMMF

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Aw yeah! Maker Faire!

I think we can say that it went great! We gave out lots of book recommendations to people, met lots of librarians, were able to enthuse about raspberry pi computers, and apart from the “small” problem of no children’s books in our machine everything went great! (Who would have thought that children would want to push a mysterious button?)

DSCN1857(Krista and Stephanie at the booth.)

Here’s an article on the Georgia Straight’s website where they interviewed me about the project and makerbrarian stuff in general. Unfortunately they failed to mention ASIS&T at all! : (

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(Thanks to our faculty adviser Eric Myers for the first three photos in this post.)

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Check out this awesome skull we borrowed from another booth.

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And our raspberry made out of balloons!

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So what’s next? I’ll be taking the machine to the ALA conference in Las Vegas, we’ll be giving a talk at the UBC Library Camp on July 25th, Koerner Library has expressed interest in having the machine in their library in September, we’re in the process of sending in a poster proposal for the ASIS&T conference in Seattle this fall, and who knows what else!

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Maker Faire!

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Check it out! That’s our box! It prints things! It’s amazing!

You can come and see it (and use it!) at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire this weekend (June 7th-8th) at the PNE! More info here. We’ll be in booth B10 (hopefully the one with a giant raspberry made out of balloons) and we hope to see you there!

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Raspberry Pi Construction (part 2)

Last time we showed you how we set up our Raspberry Pi and managed to print something on our thermal printer! This post will show you the rest of the process for building our Readers’ Advisory machine.


Here we are watching the Eurovision semifinals on the projection screen.


Here are all the snacks we had (this is important).


Here are our wires! And the button we had (that didn’t work, more on this later).


Monica working on the code.


Wires plugged into our breadboard. The red button was missing a key component so we couldn’t actually wire it in. Oops.


Wires and cables everywhere!


Monica and Stephanie finishing off the code for the printer.


And it works!


Here’s a video if it in action.


We wrote up a bunch of reviews which are randomly pulled from a CSV file.


If you look carefully you’ll see the spacing and other issues we dealt with for the printer.

And that was all we could accomplish on that day! We’d have to come back on Saturday to finish everything off.

Saturday


Thankfully the Eurovision finals were on, so we could still watch those.


Whoops. Turns out we also bought the wrong resistor thing, but thanks to our extra long bread board we were able to wire stuff together.


All the wires in action.


Our shiny new button!


Hooking everything together.


It’s alive, alive!


Just a few hours later was the Maker Faire social. So we hauled our gear downtown to the Mozilla office and set everything up for people to see what we’d been doing.


Of course (of course!) it didn’t work. Why didn’t it work? We don’t know.


We double checked how all the cables were hooked up.


And it worked! Right now we still need to hook it up to a monitor to get everything running, but we’ll soon have that fixed.


Here’s the sign we made to explain what the machine was.


Krista, Monica, and Stephanie Basking in the delight of having a working machine.


Some of the other people at the social. We met a person from UBC Rapid who will hopefully be making a case for us!

Next up is the show and tell in the SLAIS lounge at 5pm on Wednesday the 21st, and then the Maker Faire on June 7th and 8th! (And if you can’t make either of those, the machine will be around at other events too.)

Don’t forget to write us some reviews for the machine!

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Raspberry Pi Construction!

So we bought a Raspberry Pi recently in order to make a rad RA fortune telling machine for the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. This week a bunch of us got together in order to get everything working and installed, and hook it up to the rest of the machine.

It looks like this! It’s pretty tiny.

Installing stuff!

Stripping wires for the printer.

Screwing wires into another thing!

Stuff is happening! Wait, should this be happening?

Apparently not. We goofed up and had to reinstall the operating system.

This takes a long time. So…

We played Pirates of the Caribbean Life! It is really terrible and poorly made. But it was hilarious!

Meanwhile, Stephanie, Monica, and Eka (she took this photo) are actually doing work. Thankfully they fixed things.

We take the lid off the Pi (this took too long and too many people) and hooked up the printer. And things didn’t work.

Guess what! You have to plug in the HDMI cable for things to show up on screen. We forgot to do this multiple times. Grad school!

Oh my gosh! It’s working!!!!

Next time we’ll get our button to work, and get the software that will print the readers’ advisory information to print. Hurray!

Thanks to Eka, Stephanie, Monica, Anna, Krista/Eva, Irina, Robert, and me (Matthew).

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ASIS&T will be at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire!

We’ve been accepted to have a table at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire this summer! From June 7th-8th we’ll be amongst all the people with 3D printers, quadcopters, weird robots, and who knows what else, we’ll be showing off our own prowess in creating technical (and not so technical) stuff!

Our big project right now is to build an automatic Readers’ Advisory “fortune telling” machine, which is inspired by a number of Arduino and Raspberry Pi powered printing machines (for a more completed list check this doc).

We’ve just got our Raspberry Pi in the mail and are super excited to start using it! However, we need you to suggest books for our machine! So go to this doc and write us a (one sentence!) review of a few of your favourite books.

And here’s a picture of our Pi! So exciting!

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Meeting Minutes, 2014/03/24

Meeting start: 1:10 PM
Meeting adjourned: 2:00 PM
Chair: Eka, Mikale
Attendees: Eka Grguric, Mikale Fenton, Anna Ferri, Monica Swamiraj, Krista Parham, Matthew Murray, Samantha Mills, Hedda Monaghan
1. Excel workshop
Sam and Mikale put together an Excel resource list on google docs for beginner level users. It can be used as a ready-reckoner during job interviews, at the job etc. Sam/Mikale will send the list to google group and Matthew will publish it to the blog.
Jeremy Buhler, Jonathan Kift, Jonathan Schatz will be interested in hosting a workshop for SLAIS students later on.
Matthew mentioned Google/Open Refine, which offers some neat features for cleaning up data including facets for non-numerical data.

2. Raspberry Pie for Raspberry pi
Krista (our new treasurer) will keep the proceedings from the bake sale and deposit them later. Krista, Stephanie and Eka will pie-sit the day of.

Why raspberry pi? We are building a robot to facilitate learning at SLAIS. Students can borrow from ASIS&T to do school projects. Matthew mentioned that Woodward has arduino kits to borrow.
(P.S: Event over! Krista sent an update on our collection: $188.90)
3. Elections!
Here’s the result of our elections:
Co-Chair: Hedda
Treasurer: Krista
Secretary: Monica
Web master/communications officer: Matthew

Matthew proposed a new position Chief Robot Officer (CRO) and nominated Stephanie. Everyone at the meeting liked the idea.

4. ASIS&T conference
This year at Seattle! We could car-pool to go south and come back. Cost for students would be around $150-200. We can arrange lodging with students at UofW through ALA/ASIS&T chapters. Students are welcome to submit paper/panels/workshops/posters.
(P.S: Matthew forwarded the Call for papers for the conference)

5. Other business
a. Eka proposed organising “Coding meetups” on Monday nights where anyone can bring things to code. The idea is to keep it open so folks from HCI concentration/CS students can also join in.
General consensus was to have it later in the week, say Thursday. Eka will send an email to confirm.
b. Thursday (March 27) evening there is a Maker education meeting, Matthew and Sam are attending. We have received preliminary approval and now have a table at Maker Faire.
(P.S: Matthew forwarded the confirmation email to the group)
c. BCLA mixer is happening next Wednesday (April 2) night. Information will be posted on Twitter/Tumblr. Watch that space for an exciting opportunity network.
d. THAT camp is on April 5th. We could all go together from SLAIS.

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Excel Resources

Lots of people wish that SLAIS would offer a course (or something!) in Excel, so we’ve decided to take matters into our own hands!

Here is the preliminary Excel training/resources document Mikale and Samantha prepared. Feel free to add, edit, and use as you see fit – it might be a good jumping off point for some study groups once classes are over!

 

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Meeting Minutes, March 10th, 2014

Meeting start: 1:05 PM

Meeting adjourned: 1:40 PM

Chair: Mikale Fenton

Attendees: Mikale Fenton, Anna Ferri, Matthew Murray, Hedda Monaghan, Stepahnie Fan and Monica Swamiraj.

1. Previous meeting notes were approved. The last ‘official’ meeting was on Oct 15. We spoke briefly about the 2 meetings (in Dec + in Jan at Grad pub) that were not recorded.

2. Elections will be held in 2 weeks from now (week of 23rd). Mikale will touch-base with Eka and send out the dates.
3. Excel workshop
- Excel workshop will be conducted on the 24th.
- But Stephanie will not be available.
- Format: The goal of the workshop is to make SLAISers confident about working with Excel. Rather than a live demo of Excel, a list of resources for learning/mastering Excel will be presented. A handout will be distributed during the workshop and posted online after.

- LASSA meeting on the 24th. So schedule between 1 and 2 PM?

- Mikale will discuss with Samantha and get back on the final date

4. “Raspberry Pi” promotion event - ASIS&T bake sale!

- Date: Wednesday Mar 26 (11-2)

- Volunteers needed to bake/sell pies (Matthew, Eka, Hedda, Mikale bringing pies)

- We will have other baked goods as well (Stephanie, Monica can bring something)

- Signup sheet will be created in google docs and sent out
5. Funding
- How much money do we have?
From Eka: We have $150.00 at present.
- We discussed turning ASIS&T into AMS club for additional funding (and also to enable students from other disciplines to join) (not a formal motion yet)
From Eka: $100 which we’re supposed to receive every year, $300 for the two unconferences (70 for food and drink + extra for paying a guest speaker / gifts), and $300 for other since we’ve never asked for money before (including the $100 we are supposed to ask for).
- Can we apply to ASIS&T (the society) for funding? When?
From Eka: Submissions for funding from ASIS&T get submitted in September each year. We missed it last year because we didn’t know it was possible until October and I suggest we request $700.
6. Membership discussions
- should we trim google group?
- Or make AGM attendance mandatory for members and remove others from list?
- How do we get a quorum for the elections?
(No solution or formal motion put forward today)
7. Nominations for election
- Co-Chair position: Hedda
- Secretary: Monica
- Treasurer: Krista Parham
- Communications officer: Matthew / Eka
8. Maker Faire brainstorming
- Application will be submitted by Matthew by this Friday
- New ideas proposed today: Course recommendation game/ Arduino (vs Raspberry pie)
9. Feedback on Research Day
- Eric Meyers stopped by for a couple of minutes
- Said very good feedback for research day assistance
Next meeting: Mar 11 at 1, will be chaired by Eka. Because of the date confusion.

Action Items:
1. Mikale – discuss with Eka, finalize date for AGM, election
2. Mikale – discuss with Samantha, finalize date for Excel workshop
3. Stephanie – follow up with Danielle on details for Raspberry pie (kit constituents, price etc)
4. Matthew – submit application for Maker Faire by this Friday

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Our First Unconference!

A few weeks ago we ran our first unconference, and it was a great success! We had discussion and demonstrations on:

You can checkout notes that people made about those discussions (and add your own comments about what you learned!) on the shared Google docs.

We’re hoping to have more events like this in the future, so stay tuned!

Thanks to Samantha Mills for the photographs. 

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Cool Tools Unconference, January 10th

What’s an “Unconference”?
Basically,  it  means  YOU  call  the  shots! There’s  food,  coffee  and  nametags  like  a real conference – but YOU submit, vote on and  lead  the  sessions,  in  a  safe,  SLAISers only space.

Each session will focus on a particular tool, topic or issue submitted by YOU, exploring the question:
“How can this affect, enhance, or challenge our work as information students and professionals?”

You DO NOT need to prepare a formal presentation. Simply submit a topic, & be prepared to suggest areas of conversation and/or briefly demonstrate your Cool Tool to a small group.

SUBMIT SESSION TOPICS to asist.ubc@gmail.com by JANUARY 8th.

Register: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/cool-tools-unconference-tickets-9776789641

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