Living organisms, a secret room and a chair – Part 1

It may sound like an odd combination, living organisms, a secret room and a chair, but we promise you there’s an interesting explanation. Cue The Edge’s Science Catalyst, Dr Peter Musk. We spent some time in the lab with Peter this month exploring fungi, algae and kombucha. But, what’s so special about these living organisms and …

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Recycled computers as Scratch! arcade machines — Pt 5

With our arcade machine functioning, the next step was to clone this working ‘master’ machine and turn it into a bootable liveCD (USB in our case). This handy procedure is used to make your own portable operating system so you can take your customised desktop with you. In our case it would provide an OS …

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Recycled computers as Scratch! arcade machines — Pt 4

To recap, our hope of a simple web menu driven interface for our Scratch! arcade machine had crashed and burned. No matter what we tried we couldn’t convert the game to javascript, which was the only way we could get a stand-alone offline scratch player working. Our graphic designer came to the rescue, using another …

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Recycled computers as Scratch! arcade machines — Pt 3

So we have a concept for our arcade machine interface. A web-base menu that launches a stand-alone javascript version of our games, and launches full screen video file playback. While the web capable did their web things, I started to look at the rest of the software stack. The system would have to boot off …

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Recycled computers as Scratch! arcade machines — Pt 2

Scratch! is made for the web. It is used mainly as an online content authoring system, with easy sharing and collaboration built-in. So we’re trying to get Scratch! to do two unnatural things, run offline and run as a player only, disabling or hiding edit functionality. Step number one was to get Scratch! running offline …

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Recycled computers as Scratch! arcade machines — Pt 1

DIY arcade machines is something we’ve done before here at The Edge, in the past we’ve run MAME on a  Raspberry Pi to create an compact all in one solution. This time around the machines were intended to showcase games made by participants in a workshop, as well as playback a video. This rules out …

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Trust me, I’m a hacker.

Trust me, I’m a hacker. The first thought I had when asked about setting up a lab to hack life as we know it was: (as you would expect) cool! How much fun would that be! Soon followed by a second thought: I wonder if The Edge has enough insurance to cover me if something …

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I was 13…

I love horror movies. I remember Channel 10 used to show one every Saturday night at midnight. I would wait til my parents went to bed, then sneak down to the lounge room and watch them with the volume way down (so no one would hear). My face was so close to the screen I …

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Ozploitation: Unknown Australian Horror

Everyone’s favourite contemporary horror director, Quentin Tarantino, is a long-time fan of Australian blood curdling films. However, these movies are often snubbed in favour of a more mainstream film history, an approach that Tarantino has labelled as ‘Aussieploitation’. Australian director Mark Hartley later cleaned up Tarantino’s phrase to the simplified ‘Ozploitation’. So why are Aussies …

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Who’s reaping the rewards of Halloween?

Here in the land down under, Halloween seems like a particularly American indulgence, not to mention a mighty blow to wallets everywhere. While the tradition grows every year in Oz, our Yankee buddies are definitely outspending us on the Halloween front. In 2013 more than 150,000 million Americans celebrated Halloween and spent $7 billion at …

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