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hpr1340 :: Out and about at OHM 2013

Observe, Hack, Make. A five day outdoor international camping festival for hackers and makers

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Hosted by Ken Fallon on 2013-09-20 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
OHM 2013. 1.
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Duration: 01:20:53



OHM2013. Observe, Hack, Make. A five day outdoor international camping festival for hackers and makers, and those with an inquisitive mind. On 31st July 2013, 3000 of those minds will descend upon on an unassuming patch of land, at the Geestmerambacht festival grounds, 30km north of Amsterdam.

It is a four year tradition in The Netherlands to hold such an event. In the spirit of WTH, HIP and HAR the latest edition, OHM2013, is a non-commercial community run event. The event happens thanks to the volunteers, all 3000 of them. They will run the network, help people around the site, give talks, hold workshops and be excellent to one another.

The target audience includes free-thinkers, philosophers, activists, geeks, scientists, artists, creative minds and a whole bunch of people interested in lots of interesting stuff.

Lock Picking

First port of call is a lock picking in a tent. Although lacking modern conveniences like, for example, doors, Nigel and the team has assembled a selection of locks for all levels. For more information contact Nigel Tolley from Discreet Security Solutions:
Follow @discreetsecure on Twitter

Rainbow Island

Next stop "Rainbow island" for a chat with Johan, Brenn, Stitch and Joob.

Rainbow Island is possibly the most modest project you'll see at OHM2013. Obviously, in this context, possibly means absolutely, and modest means insane.

The 2,500 sqm island on field R will be adorned by an immense castle-like structure, with towers that reach five meters into the air. In daylight, you'll see just a marble-white castle. But at night, it turns into an oasis, nay, orgasm of colours, video projections, smoke, and laser-beams.

Inside the castle, several tents will be raised, containing all kinds of art and entertainment.

The first tent will host vintage pinball and arcade machines. But these are not just for mindless consumerism! There will be a large pinball-repair station, where these old machines can get the TLC they so often need. Bring your multi-meter, spare parts, screwdrivers, and hack away! There will be a number of machines eligible for improvement.

The second pair of tents will contain the complete collection of Awesome Retro, a group of retro-gaming enthusiasts who collect everything regarding gaming, as long as it's over a decade old. You'll find classics like Super Mario Kart and Bomberman, the first editions of Pong and Pac-Man, and a lot of other blasts from the past, which will wrap you like the warm blankets that they are. Besides that, you'll find a fine collection of ultra-high-end Personal Computers, but to year-2000 standards, of course. A game of Quake 1 multiplayer, anyone?

A small and informal stage surrounded by sofas will also be available for competitions and presentations. In the time in between events, this “living room” is free to use as a cosy lounge. Because what better way to enjoy gaming than from a sofa, with friends, whilst eating crisps?

Rainbow Island sketchup april

And that is all, you think? Think again, because this is Rainbow Island, where the word “boundary” got scratched from the dictionary!

First of all, numerous smaller tents will be put up within the walls of the castle, consisting of the essentials of multi-player retro-gaming: comfy four-seater sofa, game console, great 4-player game, four controllers, a TV… and projector! Yes, the games will be projected on the castle walls, which are semi-transparent, so even people on the outside will be able to enjoy the competitions.

Next, the interiors of the four castle towers are available for all kinds of arts and other projects. These towers are 4 by 4 meters wide, and can be entered at the ground level. You may claim these for your own projects!

Other highlights which are in the process of being perceived –or otherwise prepared– are a life-size model of a CRAY-1 supercomputer, Operation Oversight (a master-control room putting you in the driver's seat of the world's super powers), and of course the results of the Dance Dissect Repurpose competition.

Next we have a chat with Jeff POINCARE who was building a seat shaped like a Cray 1.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Cray-1 was a supercomputer designed, manufactured and marketed by Cray Research. The first Cray-1 system was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1976 and it went on to become one of the best known and most successful supercomputers in history. The Cray-1's architect was Seymour Cray, the chief engineer was Cray Research co-founder Lester Davis.

Picture of a Cray 1


BruCON is an annual security and hacker conference providing two days of an interesting atmosphere for open discussions of critical infosec issues, privacy, information technology and its cultural/technical implications on society. Organized in Belgium, BruCON offers a high quality line up of speakers, security challenges and interesting workshops. BruCON is a conference by and for the security and hacker community.

The conference tries to create bridges between the various actors active in computer security world, included but not limited to hackers, security professionals, security communities, non-profit organizations, CERTs, students, law enforcement agencies, etc.....

Hackers are "persons who delight in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular." People who engage in illegal activities like unauthorized entry into computer systems are called crackers and don't have anything to do with hacking. BruCON doesn't promote any illegal activities and behavior. Many hackers today are employed by the security industry and test security software and systems to improve the security of our networks and applications. In addition, for the younger generations, we want to create some awareness and interest in IT students to learn more about IT Security.

Trainings are planned for Sep 24-25, the conference for Sep 26-27. BruCON 2012 will be in the historic center of Ghent, Belgium.


Then off to the BlinkenArea to learn how to solder under the able eye of Arne Rossius.

Welcome in the BlinkenArea, the portal for "blinken" [=flashing/sparkling/blinking] projects. The BlinkenArea is a project group of people who are interested in computers and electronics and in a creative handling of both of it. They attend to the research and operation of flashing projects. In the meantime, more than 60 hard- and software projectes were developed. The group grows constantly and the number of small and big projects rises as well. The major projects have been the pixel room TROIA and the display building bluebox. Detailled information about all projects is available on the page Projects. News are always published in the BlinkenArea Blog.

Origin and motivation

The page BlinkenArea tells you more about history, background and motivation. Apart from realising projects, the BlinkenArea people set their sights on collecting money which is scheduled to flow into public welfare, e.g. by selling own developed assembly kits or campaigns within bigger projects. The attention is focussed on supporting children, fighting against poverty and spreading education. Information about the social engagement of the BlinkenArea people can be found on the page Campaign. The BlinkenArea set further objectives which are listed on the page Goals.


Everybody who is interested in our "blinken" projects and wants to contribute or support our honorary work is cordially welcomed. We are always looking for software engineers, tinkerer, translators, news editors, designer, musicians (set movies to music), and -- of course -- new projects. If you want to join the BlinkenArea, please visit the page Join. The BlinkenArea runs a Mailinglist and a discussion forum where you can ask questions, join in the conversation or just read along.


Information for journalists and editors is available on the page Press.

Sven Hageman

What do you do when the Broadcast tent is about to fall down ? Well you interview the evacuees ! And Sven works for who paid for him to attend.
He recommends this talk

Debian Maintainer - Tomasz Rybak

# aptitude show python-pytools
Package: python-pytools                  
State: not installed
Version: 2011.5-2
Priority: optional
Section: python
Maintainer: Tomasz Rybak 
Architecture: all
Uncompressed Size: 183 k
Depends: python2.7 | python2.6, python (>= 2.6.6-7~), python (< 2.8), python-decorator, python-numpy
Description: big bag of things supplementing Python standard library


PyOpenCL lets you access the OpenCL parallel computation API from Python. Here's what sets PyOpenCL apart:

  • Object cleanup tied to lifetime of objects. This idiom, often called RAII in C++, makes it much easier to write correct, leak- and crash-free code.
  • Completeness. PyOpenCL puts the full power of OpenCL's API at your disposal, if you wish.
  • Convenience. While PyOpenCL's primary focus is to make all of OpenCL accessible, it tries hard to make your life less complicated as it does so--without taking any shortcuts.
  • Automatic Error Checking. All OpenCL errors are automatically translated into Python exceptions.
  • Speed. PyOpenCL's base layer is written in C++, so all the niceties above are virtually free.
  • Helpful, complete documentation and a wiki.
  • Liberal licensing (MIT).


PyCUDA lets you access Nvidia‘s CUDA parallel computation API from Python. Several wrappers of the CUDA API already exist–so what's so special about PyCUDA?

  • Object cleanup tied to lifetime of objects. This idiom, often called RAII in C++, makes it much easier to write correct, leak- and crash-free code. PyCUDA knows about dependencies, too, so (for example) it won't detach from a context before all memory allocated in it is also freed.
  • Convenience. Abstractions like pycuda.driver.SourceModule and pycuda.gpuarray.GPUArray make CUDA programming even more convenient than with Nvidia's C-based runtime.
  • Completeness. PyCUDA puts the full power of CUDA's driver API at your disposal, if you wish.
  • Automatic Error Checking. All CUDA errors are automatically translated into Python exceptions.
  • Speed. PyCUDA's base layer is written in C++, so all the niceties above are virtually free.
  • Helpful Documentation.

EMF Camp

Alec Wright ( and Chris Munroe (@chrismunro40x) make the mistake of giving me a leaflet.

Electromagnetic Field (EMF) is a non-profit UK camping festival for those with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things: hackers, geeks, scientists, engineers, artists, and crafters.

In the summer of 2012 we gathered hundreds of people in a field outside Milton Keynes for three days of talks and workshops covering everything from genetic modification to electronics, blacksmithing to high-energy physics, reverse engineering to lock picking, computer security to crocheting, and quadcopters to beer brewing.

To help matters along, we arranged a 380-megabit internet connection, reliable WiFi, and a bar stocked with real ale.

@emfcamp | facebook:

Irish HackerSpaces

First we chat with BaconZombie and ?Procie? who are slacking off drinking beer in the tents

Meanwhile Robert Fitzsimons is slaving away in the hardware hacking tent and gives us a rundown of his projects on display.

Open Garage

The "Open Garage" is a double garage in Borsbeek, Belgium, some sort of hackerspace, where I host weekly workshops and many of my projects. The garage is open every Thursday evening to everyone who wants to join our community's numerous hacking projects.

Just be excellent to each other (principle #1 out of 1), bring a drink, a project and a friend and we're all set.

I have all the tools and basic stock for elementary wood and metal working. Electronics gear and misc materials are available to tackle various projects. I also run a nano brewery from my garage, try to convert a car to electric, have a printrbot/Wallace++ 3D printer and we are trying to get a professional CNC mill and CNC lathe to work and I want to build a toolset for some DIY biotech, among many other things.

Projects that have been successfully tackled or demoed at the garage are 3D printers and CNCs, a weather balloon, quadcopters, soldering and welding tutorials, a Tesla coil, beer brewing, a compost filtering machine, Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects, a windbelt, a Rubens' tube and many tens of other thingamajigs.

For those that may be new and interested: There's usually a few technology-minded people that drop by on random Thursday evenings with "goesting" to make. Some people bring a project and others bring their skills to collaborate on others' projects. (and there's a lot of nerd talk) If you're into that kind of stuff, feel free to drop by.

It is NOT required for your skills be on a high level, you are NOT required to contribute knowledge; instead, it is encouraged that everyone LEARNS stuff at our gatherings.

I'd like to push my regulars to RSVP to the events, there's a lot of useful features in Meetup to share all kinds of stuff if you become part of the game ...

Kerkrade Mini Maker Faire

Kerkrade Mini Maker Faire is a day of family friendly making, learning, crafting, inventing and tinkering in the Discovery Center Continium.

Be inspired by arts, crafts, engineering, science and technology from the Makers of the Euregion.

Best of all: there will be many opportunities to get hands on!

About Maker Faire:

Maker Faire ( is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It's a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.


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Comment #1 posted on 2013-09-27 16:06:04 by Frank

This was really fun to listen to.

I especially enjoyed real-life nature of the segment on soldering.

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