Posts Tagged ‘Arduino’

nerd nite 16: building things

This nerd nite – our sixteenth! – will look at buildings things. Building structures, building adventures, building Arduinos. Hooray for the makers!

nerd nite 16 poster

Click to enlarge to full, printable size (for your office, school etc)


As usual, nerd nite will start from 6pm, with speakers beginning at about 6:30pm. It’ll take place on Monday, May 13th, at Hotel Bristol (our official home, dontcherknow).

Our speakers, listed in an order they may not necessarily actually speak in, below. See you there!

Nerd nite is a free-entry community education event, where passionate people talk about their loves while their audience eats and quaffs beer (or whatever). We’re always looking for speakers and topics, so get in touch!


Title: Rocking in the Free World with Post-Tensioned Timber Buildings!
David Carradine

Post-tensioned timber buildings were being developed as early as 2004, but following the Christchurch Earthquakes there has been a dramatic increase in the acceptance of these buildings as one of the possible ways to create beautiful, resilient and sustainable structures that have the potential for immediate reoccupation following seismic events like those experienced in Christchurch. How do these buildings work? Why use timber? How are they different from other buildings? Come find out what the hype is all about and get a short lesson in earthquake engineering without the need for your calculator or pocket protector, although both are optional.

Engineer, woodworker, builder and breaker of wooden objects. I have worked as an experimental researcher in the field of timber structures for the past 15 years, testing everything from single nail connections up to 15 meter long poles made from Brazilian hardwoods and lots of things in between. I came to New Zealand in 2008 to work as a Timber Research Engineer with the Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC) in Christchurch where I had the pleasure of working with a team of very talented people from around the world in a effort to develop post-tensioned timber buildings for multi-storey applications. While in Christchurch I also had the fortune/misfortune of experiencing all of the major earthquakes and most of the subsequent aftershocks, after which I spent moths evaluating buildings and learning what happens to buildings subjected to seismic loading beyond that required in the building codes. I currently work for the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) as a structural engineer.


Man vs Andes – making life into an adventure
Mark Chambers

Feeling a bit of a fraud alongside previous nerdnite talkers, I’m not going to talk about my latest research or climate change or even computers. I am, however, going to talk about the 6 months I spent cycling through South America whilst attempting to make it sound more than just “hey check out my cool holiday snaps”.

Currently I’ve no idea how to do that, but I have a month to think about it!

In my 9-5 I am a Web Developer, in my 5-9’s I’m an adventurer, brewer, baker and candlestick maker. Well I probably could make candlesitcks if I wanted. And I like bicycles, very much.


An Aduino in Twenty Minutes
David Preece (@rantydave)

The best thing about Arduino’s being the new hotness is how ridiculously simple they are. As if to prove a point, Dave is going to build one, from individual parts, in under twenty minutes. And, y’know, talk about what the bits do or probably segue into fixing helicopters. Murphy’s law of technology demonstrations is sure to be in attendance.

David Preece just wants to make cool stuff. Normally involving software but he can feel the call of the dark side. Right now he’s doing some more Mac development and loving it.

nerdnite wellington 5: of hardware, spaceware, brainware and wordware

UPDATE: videos available here, prezis from the talks available here.

18th April at Bodega, Wellington!

More geekery will be delivered to your eagerly-awaiting grey (and white) matter on this most auspicious of Mondays.

nerdnite #5 will cover topics such as antennae, narratives, open hardware and scrabble!

In no particular order, then (since I’m still deciding), may we present the Order of Things to Come!


Antennas, Everywhere.
Jon Brewer

There are more antennas in New Zealand than there are sheep. Many, many more.

From millimeters long to kilometers across, these little guys touch every part of our lives: communications, electricity, entertainment, food safety, medicine, retail shopping, transportation, and more.

In this talk we’ll walk through the lot of them, with a dive in to how they work, where they’re hiding, and what we’d do without them.

Jon Brewer has spent the last seven years of his life obsessing about antennas.


Consciousness and Reality, Story, and Bad SF movies
Jonathan Todd

An exploration of the nature of consciousness and reality, explicated via the nature of the stories we tell ourselves, facilitated by the common nerd-language of bad science fiction movies. Also contains comic books and cosmic gibberish.

Jonathan (Billy) Todd is a writer, musician and filmmaker. No one knows if there is really a person beneath all the hair.


Beyond Arduino
David Zanetti

“Beyond Arduino” will be about going a layer lower and learning from the Arduino designs to implement custom embedded electronics, from the perspective of challenges and lessons attempting to a complete self-contained Stratum-1 NTP server board.

David Zanetti has been in and around IT for the past 16 years professionally, and a geek well before that. Most of the time it’s with Open Source systems, and currently as a contractor with a multinational running Open Source systems for a variety of large New Zealand customers.


On becoming a Scrabble® nerd
Steven Brown

What does it take to go from being a mere Scrabble player to meriting the designation Scrabble nerd? This talk will touch on a few of the possibilities, including anagrams, algorithms, intellectual property, and more anagrams.

Steven has been involved in club Scrabble for around 18 years, and has been playing in tournaments for almost as long. He has represented New Zealand in the Trans-Tasman Challenge five times (so far), but hasn’t qualified for a World Champs (yet). His day job is not important, but note that his full name anagrams to BRAW GOVERNMENTESE. (It also anagrams to SNOWMEN ABET VERGER or BROWSER AVENGEMENT, but those are not nearly as relevant.)


Remember, new venue is Bodega. With oodles of room, so bring everyone you know! And yes, it’s still a free event. Because knowledge wants to be shared ­čÖé