Works continues on Austin Hacker Space

Today marks a pretty cool day at the space .. we put in the ceiling joists and are framing up the rooms. One more day and the first four 8×10 workspaces are done! We also paid Les our deposits, and more material was bought for the buildout. Next week will be mostly about cleaning and getting some areas ready for having people come over.

No joy .. iPhone is unhappy

Well, the theory the Genius had seems not to hold.   The phone is still acting oddly, so I’ll likely go back.

Now .. there is one other thing.  The power of the Apple Store compelled me … oh god did it ever compel me.  Allow me to show you what happens when you need to do a Capital Expenditure for a business near the end of the year:

Oooo ... prety computer

The _strangest_ Nigerian style scam email…

This is the strangest scam email I think I’ve recieved in a long time.  I’ve removed the email addresses to keep it from propagating.

Dear friend,

I am Miss Kate Wilfrey, a member of (INTERNATIONAL  HUMANITARIAN AID ORGANIZATION) Washington D.C U.S.A. it is my pleasure to invite you to participate in our global combined conferences taking place from 19th – 23rd October  2009 at Washington D.C in the United States and in Dakar- Senegal West Africa from 26th -30th October 2009.

In our request to invite people from various countries around the world, I went in search of e-mails on the Google web site as a means of contacting people and organizations. If you are interested to participate and want to represent your country or your organization, you may contact the conference secretariat of the organizing committee for details and information.

Inform them that you were invited to participate by a friend of yours (Miss Kate Wilfrey) who is a staff of the International Committee, of the Red Cross and a member of (INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AID ORGANIZATION) I believe that we may have the opportunity to meet if you may be willing to participate in this event. The benevolent donors from across the world and the Organizing Committee will provide round trip air tickets and accommodation for the period of participants Stay in the U.S, to all registered participants.

If you are a holder of passport that may require visa to enter into the United States you may inform the conference secretariat at the time of registration, as the organizing committee is responsible for all visa arrangements and travelling assistances.
Below is the contact address of the conference secretariat .By email: (XXXX@XXXX.XXX)
you can also contact me on my private e-mail: (XXXX@XXXX.XXX)

Miss Kate Wilfrey.

The HackTheBadge is getting assembled!

After an amazing 3 day turnaround from e-teknet, the board arrived from China today.   Into the shop by Tuesday, back in the USA by Friday morning! The boards are now being assembled at Virtex here in Austin, and will be assembled with two days to spare before I head off to DefCON.

Here are some pictures of the assembly line:

Automated pick and place machinesThe assembly lineAssembly line 1, where the boards will be madepic4pic5pic6

I’ve been a busy bee the last month or so

Sorry for the lack of updates.  I’ve been very, very busy with the company I’ve been working with… and literally have lacked the energy to put together a regular daily update.   There’s a lot to fill in too.   This last weekend I spent at Burning Flipside which is a regional version of the Burning Man event.  It was an absolute blast and I met a lot of cool people.

If you are finding this page after having met me, you have indeed landed on the page of Dr. Volts.   You can email me at and I’ll get back to you.

In the meantime .. back to work, and I’ll update the page with some pictures and updates about attending Burning Flipside, my new Segway Project, hacking the G1 phone, life in Austin, and a bunch of other geeky goodness.

Work work work

Finally, all the hardware, operating system, and software has come together and I can get to doing some serious benchmarking at work.   It’s taken a couple weeks to get to this point, and today was superduper productive.   So productive, in fact, that at night I was left spinning and thinking and spinning.   Can’t say I got the most solid sleep.

I also watched more Robot Chicken.    I have to say that I’m thankful this show is only 15 minutes long.  It’s just about right for how much TV I care to watch, really.

One last thing .. I know I’m bored when there are tons of little gadgets taken apart all over my workbench table in the room.   There are a bunch of little projects that I was working on that are finally getting to the ‘completed’ stage.   Secret project X, for one, is now code complete and I gave it a good test on the workbench.   I need to make a Flash or other web-based program to control it now, and figure out a user-friendly way to get the programs that are made into it.  One thing at a time, I guess.

This Friday – Monsters vs Aliens!   I need to find someone whose willing to go see it with me.

BarCampAustin was awesome…

Yesterday was Bar Camp Austin, and Whurley and company put together a great hacker unconference in the middle of SxSW.   Frankly, SxSW is an overblown, bloated mess.  Tickets are $495, and I hate to say it .. but it’s mostly a bunch of geeks circle-bleeping with each other.  SxSW was originally about independent music, independent film, and the creative spirit.    The addition of SxSW interactive was originally meant to do the same, and bring out the creative side of online content…

… what it’s devolved into is a tech conference, and an exclusionary one at that.   Dorkbot was there LOCKED BEHIND A FENCE.  “Platinum badge, Gold badge, VIP…”

VI-fucking-P for a Dorkbot meetup.  With a tent, music, and god knows what else.

So, thank you William Hurley for putting together Bar Camp Austin!   Thank you to the sponsors who pitched into the BarCamp and made it free for anyone to come and attend.   Somehow, I feel that more and better things happened there that day, than were going on at the big conference.

Bitter?  No.   Not really.    I just have this feeling that enjoying independent film, music, and enjoying some time with hackerly peers doesn’t have to come with a $500, $700 or even $1000 price tag.

Beep beep beep! Transfer complete.

Now, for you .. you’re going to the same old website you went to before.   The URL is still ‘’ .. or at least if I did everything correctly, that’s where you’re going.   Big IF.   However, all the data from the old blog, pictures and all, has been moved onto a shiny new virtual website on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.

Once I take a snapshot of this server, the website should be able to remain stable from now on, running on the Amazon cloud.   Woot.  Hopefully it will run problem-free for years.

I’m transferring my blog to a new server…

If you see this message, congratulations!  You are seeing the new blog server hosted on   I have to move some of the backups here, and that may take a little while to complete.  In the meantime, you may see some odd flips back and forth between the old server and the new one.

Bear with it!  Hopefully most of what’s on the old server will transition smoothly to the new one.