New donations this week!


_Copied over from ithacahackerspace Google Group, courtesy of @Elliot_Wells _

Hi makers!

We’ve recieved some interesting donations this week and I wanted to let you know! This is cool stuff you could really use for a project!

1 - Chumby device. This looks like some kind of internet streaming media device. HDMI in and out, a little IR remote control, and receives a micro-usb for power (5v, 1A). I plugged it in and got a loading screen and then a wifi setup screen. It did not find our network right away and I didn’t pursue further. No box but seems to be in reasonable condition.

2 - Terasic brand dev kit - model Altera DE0-nano. Don’t know much about this but it comes with everything that came in the box originally. Driver CD, “Altera complete design suite”, USB cable, proto board with a nice acrylic cover and anti-static bag. Super clean.

​3 - Macbook Pro - sticker says “works, needs hard drive” so there ya have it. Not sure what year, looks like maybe a 2013? Anyway the serial number is on the back if you care to look up specs.

Finally, and most large, number 4 - A case of 48 “Engage10” ten-inch USB touch screen displays compatible with Windows or Linux (Raspi) Seriously a lot of dispays. They are brand new but do not include the batteries or the original WUSB dongle for PC. They do work fine as wired monitors for a Rpi by connecting a USB cable. Slight hackinng required but no bigs. 1024x600 I think.

This last item was a donation fro the kind folks at Blooming Labs in Bloomington IL who were passing through and decided to donate them. I guess they got a LOT. There is a lot more information about these and getting them to work at:

Cool little items, the feller who brought them by said that they were using them to make smart mirrors and other stuff like that.

All of these items are up for grabs! Use them to make something cool! I’m thinking that the Mac might be a good candidate for a shop computer for mac folks if we set up inkscape etc.? Open to other suggestions. The screens are in a box which I’m putting under a table in the front for the time being until we can decide something to do with them. take one or take a few. USB male-male and power adapter included. The other stuff is in a cubby in the front room - far left, second from the top.

Hack on, makers! Just, uh, please don’t steal that mac and sell it on craigslist. Or if you do, maybe donate the proceeds?


A couple of notes on these items. The Chumby is a little bit dated, bug it’s still a really cool little device. If you’ve heard of Bunnie Huang, that is a product for which he is well-known. Iirc, he did some cool stuff with the Chumby to, um, circumvent, DCMA stuff in HDMI. You can read a lot more about that here.

The dev board is for a Altera Cyclone IV FPGA, complete with the USB blaster programmer on the same board. That is a nice board and if we can think of a cool application, it’s certainly capable of a great deal more than blinking an LED. We have a wiki page that @abe and I whipped up some time ago on getting started with FPGAs, some of it being a little Xylinx-specific, but we could update it with Altera IDE instructions too. Anyway, it could be fun if we could dream up a project that was a good fit (think ‘needs lots of pins and precise timing’).

Re: the Macbook, someone should hit up Scott McCasland to see if he has a HDD to spare, as he kind of does Mac repair for a living.

Re: the touchscreens, could be well suited to use as a digital guestbook / kiosk / photo booth in conjunction with a Rapsberry Pi. Or even as a component in unicorn project of a keyless entry system.

Lots of fun possibilities here!


A pretty significant portion of the FPGA projects on hackaday come from Cornell - and students of one Bruce Land.

Thought that was an interesting coincidence.