Quite a while ago I went to the Noisebridge hacker space in San Francisco to be all rebellious and to learn me some hacking like a real hipster.
Now, I imagined that a Matthew Broderick figure dressed all in subtle greys and designer blacks would be teaching me to code my way past the corporate ice of the New York Times to list myself in their database as an expert news source on hacking and computer security issues. Shazam! Super-size my irony, to go, please. What I got was a middle-aged dude in cargo shorts who somewhat phoned in our lesson on soldering Arduino boards to make one of a number of prefab kits.
The good news: I picked a kit to work on that allowed me to assemble a master remote control that issues the "shut off" command for every known major brand of television. Bwahahaha! It works up to 50 feet away. I have tried it on my own tee vee and it turns off the boob tube like a champ.
If only I weren't such a non-hacker chicken and were willing to take it with me to bars and airports to flip the kill switch on the droning ubiquity of cable "news" in public spaces. But I worry about explaining to the flight safety mandarins how my exposed wiring and inexplicable mini-UV light bulbs are just a fun project and not, wait, no, I don't need to visit the special room, no, it is just a fun project I did, and I have a plane to catch, please, please take off the surgical glove, there is no need for that....
Still, it was fun to re-learn to solder -- turns out I had completely forgotten how to do it correctly -- and to brush shoulders with Fog City's energetic maker culture. Not that I can actually make anything else without serious coaching and supervision. But, I do have my one hilarious remote. If your television mysteriously up and quits, look out the door for my car coasting down your street with the lights off.
PS - Prior to that, I went to a maker space and took a lesson in lock picking. Yeah, I can't do that by myself, either. But, speaking of the waterless Golden State, I can listen to "The Golden State" by John Doe; now playing on iTunes.
One Hundred Thousand Flashbacks
6 years ago