Tech Jam – Jan 2018 write up.

January 2018

We set the room up as usual and implemented a new table layout for the Physical computing are, which myself and Matthew worked out in Early December 2017. This worked really wall as the horseshoe shape allowed 3 sides to get access to hardware while leaving a larger area, sectioned off with chairs as a sort of service area in which cables could be without posing a trip of health and safety hazard.

This month was a really busy jam with lots going on.

Firstly we had the usual physical computing activities and access to scratch, python etc, on the Pi’s and Netbooks. This again proved popular.

We also had a demo of Samadis Voice controlled LED, this uses a arduino connected to a tri-colour LED and a laptop.

Theo demonstrated a wooden arm, using Hydraulics with sryinges to control the movement, this was built from a kit from Waterstones but does a really good job of demonstrating the enginnering principles. [ Robot Arm Wooden Construction Kit with Water Hydraulics ]

Rob Beard brought along ZX spectrum Next, this is a ZX Spectrum but for the 21st century, runs all the old games (via sd card) but also has modern IO ports etc. The main issue highlighted was that using a modern keyboard you don’t have the keyword references on the keys for programming in Sinclair basic. [ZX Spectrum Next] It was also good to catch up with Stephen, Rhia and Rob.

Following on from the November Jam, Shelley from Encounters Arts came along and did a workshop on what people want in the Upcoming mobile hackspace (Chrysalis), so we had over an hour discussing and writing down ideas, as this is going to be environmentally friendly we also looked at ways this could work, how the space could be constructed. Shelley has returned back to her team lots of really good ideas to consider.  A follow up to this is planned so please watch the next Jam page. [Project Chrysalis]

Hopefully the library also have some more people for [Codeclub](https://www.codeclub.org.uk/) which runs every other Saturday, mornings at Paignton library then afternoons at Torquay library, please ask at the library desk for more information. [Codeclub]

We also discussed various random topics such as the situation with the GCSE Computer Science exams and the merits of using GOTO statements in programming.

The next jam will have more of the same on 10th February 2018.

Related links
[Micro:Bit]
[CamJam Edu Kit]