Perth, Western Australia - 6th to 10th January 2014
The concept of Free / Open Source Software, already well understood by LCA attendees, is complemented by a rapidly growing community focused around Open Hardware and "maker culture". One of the drivers of the popularity of the Open Hardware community is easy access to cheap devices such as Arduino, which is a microcontroller development board originally intended for classroom use but now a popular building block in all sorts of wierd and wonderful hobbyist and professional projects.
Interest in Open Hardware is high among FOSS enthusiasts but there is also a barrier to entry with the perceived difficulty and dangers of dealing with hot soldering irons, unknown components and unfamiliar naming schemes. The Arduino Miniconf will use the Arduino microcontroller board as a stepping stone to help ease software developers into dealing with Open Hardware. Topics will cover both software and hardware issues, starting with simpler sessions suitable for Open Hardware beginners and progressing through to more advanced topics.
The day will run in two distinct halves. The first part of the day will be a hands-on assembly session where participants will have the chance to solder together a special hardware project developed for the miniconf. Instructors will be on hand to assist with soldering and the other mysteries of hardware assembly. The second part of the day will be presentations about Open Hardware topics, including information on software to run on the hardware project built earlier in the day.
The hardware project for LCA2014 hasn't yet been set in stone, but the current plan is a DIY cellphone with voice and SMS capability, an Arduino-compatible brain, and breakouts for sensors and actuators. More details of the project such as costs and how to reserve your spot will be posted on the Arduino Miniconf website at www.arduinominiconf.org before the event.
Jon has been hacking on both hardware and software since he was a little tacker. Most recently he's been focusing more on the Open Hardware side, co-founding Freetronics as a direct result of organising the first Arduino Miniconf at LCA2010. His books include "Ubuntu Hacks" and "Practical Arduino".