Fan Table at Octocon 2021

Octocon is the national Irish science fiction convention running from the 1st till the 3rd October 2021. A weekend celebration of our favourite stories from books, comics, TV, films and games; from science fiction, fantasy, horror and beyond; attracting artists, writers, film-makers and fans from across the human sphere of influence.

Going virtual again this year, the programme is split across Twitch, Zoom and Discord. It is packed with panels, interviews, talks, workshops, fan chats, readings, games and guest chats (aka kaffeeklatsches). See the full programme here.

The event is free you can sign up following this link. https://registration.octocon.com/

Tog will have a fan table at the event. We share a lot in common with the Octocon community, the love of bringing iteas to life in various forms. Jump on the Octocon Discord where you can chat to Tog members, ask advice about making things and just hang out.

TOG Bumper clear out and give away

TOG 3.0 is coming to an end! We are giving away loads of good stuff, and any donation (big or small) will go to the moving and fit-out costs for TOG 4.0. Items range from kitchen paraphernalia, craft supplies, electronics, and office furniture. We want to avoid as much sending it to landfill.

We will be open for people to drop by on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th of July from 11:00 am till 6:00 pm.

Please share with anyone you think would be interested.

Social distancing rules apply, you must wear a mask and the number of people admitted into the building will be limited in line with current restrictions.

The Festival of Curiosity – Make a DIY Air Quality Sensor

We are delighted to team up with the Festival of Curiosity to bring you all an Air Quality sensor workshop. The Festival of Curiosity is Dublin’s annual festival of science, arts, design, and technology. We will be introducing the power of the Sensor.Community and how to join this great CitizenScience project. For details of the event follow the link below.

Listen back to an interview on Dublin City FM where Jeffrey talks about the workshop, air pollution and Tog. From 10 minutes mark. https://www.mixcloud.com/1032DublinCityFM/community-chats-17th-july-2021/

Hack Challenge Redo (part3)

We had a small break with our hacking challenges Redo. The format of the Meetup required a change, to accommodate for less experienced visitors. And as much as I love the SANS Institute Challenges, they tend to be quite a puzzle, especially later one. So for now, we are going to focus on couple other Hacking Challenges that are available online. And hopefully in December, when new 2022 SANS Hack Challenge starts, we will have a group ready to battle it together 🙂

Let’s start from Over the Wire. There are plenty games there, we will start with the Bandit, as most suitable to get used to the platform. Bandit offers 33 levels to play, it teaches Linux commands and tools. In each level your goal is identical, find a password to the next level, but let’s start from the beginning.

Over the Wire artwork

To play Bandit you will need to establish SSH connection to the Over the Wire lab server, all details of connection are given in Level 0.

So, what is SSH?

Secure Shell, sometimes referred to as Secure Socket Shell, is a protocol which allows you to connect securely to a remote computer or a server by using a text-based interface. When a secure SSH connection is established, a shell session will be started, and you will be able to manipulate the server by typing commands within the client on your local computer. System and network administrators use this protocol the most, as well as anyone who needs to manage a computer remotely in a highly secure manner.

How to use SSH on Windows?

Most common ways of using SSH on Windows is by using one of the clients. Most popular clients are: PuTTY, BitwiseSSH and OpenSSH. Windows 10 users have now the option to use build-in OpenSSH client. Just follow the installation details of your choose client.

How to use SSH on Mac?

Mac’s have build-in Terminal feature, that provides SSH client.

How do we do it on Linux?

That shouldn’t be a problem for any regular Linux users, but in case you are just starting with Linux. Go to your terminal and type:

ssh

This should list all ssh details and commands. If that’s not the case, just use the following command to install OpenSSH:

sudo apt-get install openssh-client

Full list of common SSH flags can be found here.

This should get everyone started and ready for this week challenge 🙂

One more thing, you may need to use Vim and couple Linux commands.

See you @ 5-7pm today @ our dedicated Discord channel.

Dublin Maker 2021 – Open Call

We are super proud to have Dublin Maker return this year and be part of the organisations making it happen. The open call for this year’s virtual event is now open. The event will run on June 19th & 20th. We are hoping to bring a range of projects including something you can all control remotely All the details can be found via the link before.

Open Call

Abbeyleix Climate Action Project – Air Quality Workshop

The town of Abbeyleix, Co Laois launched an ambitious community climate action project that ran from  October 2020 to March 2021. It had a number of elements that included a science communicator in residence Dr Niamh Shaw, a weekly Abbeyleix Almanac TV on Facebook live, lectures and workshops.

An early video (above) produced by the project called for ideas/projects that might help the team raise awareness and further the goals of the project. Our member Jeffrey Roe with family links to the town made contact and suggested the Sensor.Community project.

Sensor.Community is a contributor driven global sensor network that creates Open Environmental Data. Its mission is to inspire and enrich people’s lives by offering a platform for the collective curiosity in nature that is genuine, joyful and positive. We have worked in the past with their guides and software created by the project to deliver workshops in the past. This open community citizen science project is only possible with the contributions of the Sensor.Community at large.

The Abbeyleix team jumped on the idea straight away. They were keen to build on the experience that Tog has in running these workshops. One sensor that was already active in the town really showcased the potential for a local network to be created. A plan was drawn up with appearances on Abbeyleix Almanac TV scheduled to raise local awareness in the sensors and a date was set for the 28th of February to coincide with STEPS Engineers Week. Midlands science came on board to fund the event and remove the barrier for local people to get involved.

Network in Ireland before the workshop

With the support of the local Tidy Towns committee, we found 14 participants for the workshop. To cut costs and to support the event being run virtually, glue guns and other tools required for the workshop were found locally and shared creating a real community feel to the whole affair.

Jeffrey on zoom during workshop

Using Zoom and a host of other tools, the workshop ran for just under three hours. Participants flashed the firmware, connected parts, setup WiFi links and put together boxes.

A few weeks have now passed since the workshop and more and more people are mounting their sensors outdoors and getting on the map. All the data can be viewed on the Sensor.Community website.

Sensor in Abbeyleix

To see more photos from the workshop do check out our gallery.

We would like to thank the people of Abbeyleix for being so welcoming to us during this project and especially the Tidy Towns committee, also Midlands Science for the funding to make it possible and finally the continued work of Sensor.Community.

Update

Check out this letter published in the Irish Times about this project.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/sensors-and-making-air-quality-a-priority-1.4540696