Look at all the.. Oh.

Books! So many Books!


Look at all the.. Oh.

Look at all the books!

Tony McCormick has donated a veritable treasure trove of books and other goods to Brainsilo! If you’re a fan of reading material, there are some amazing, relevant books here, some of which haven’t even reached final draft yet! These books will be available in the space for the foreseeable future for all your textbooky learning needs!

See you Thursday!

BrainSilo can now accept tax-deductible donations!


Thanks to the School Factory, Inc., a 501(c)3 tax-exempt corporation that acts as a fiscal sponsor for hacker and maker spaces, BrainSilo is now able to accept tax-deductible donations!

More information and updates on this will be coming soon – also, remember that membership fees are never tax deductible.

CSI Digital donations

Lots of new toys thanks to CSI Digital


CSI Digital donations

CSI Digital donated a whole bunch of IPTV set top boxes as well as some miscellaneous networking and computer gear yesterday. If you’ve ever wanted to play with IPTV, now’s your chance. These are mostly SoC STB devices, about half with HDMI, and half with just SD RCA or Component output. At least some run Linux already, so should be easy to play with…

See you tonight for the open house – depending on other projects, we may try to roll out an in house IPTV VoD server that these STBs can use.


Free event: Book Scanning this Saturday, April 7th, 10AM-12PM



This Saturday starting at 10AM at Brainsilo (2119 N. Kerby Ave. Suite C-2 – Portland, OR 97227), the Paper Upgrade Project (paperupgrade.org), a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational public charity, is hosting a small and informal book scanning session. Feel free to bring a book or two, and, time permitting, we’ll scan it for you for free or show you how to do so. Priority goes to registered PDX students, then to the general public.

We’ll also be showcasing our latest opensource E-book conversion software (DIY EBook Creator 0.0.8). In addition, your donations (including software you write to improve our Ebook Creator) may be tax deductible (please check with your accountant), just like Goodwill or FreeGeek.

Making the space more accessible to the public – an Idea.


Hey all – I’d appreciate feedback on this, especially from current members, and those who aren’t members because they can’t afford it.

I spent the last week in San Francisco, with most of every night hanging out at Noisebridge, talking to people there. Out of all that conversation, an idea came up – how about opening up the space in the same way Noisebridge has?

Essentially, let anyone with some form of “key” (hell, if physical, let’s share the same pin pattern as NB, that’d be cool, right?) use the space – and keys are given out to those who seem like they should have them. Any keyholder can give another person a key. The benefits
of membership would be changed to include a locker or dedicated shelf, having the right to vote or otherwise have a say in the space, and priority on scheduling events/using equipment.

What we’re doing right now doesn’t work that well – I’m still covering a large chunk of the monthly rent myself, and the space is empty most the time. This change would possibly lose us some current members dues, but perhaps would increase participation and through that, donations. There are obvious disadvantages, in that we may have to deal with some abuse of the space, but that can be dealt with through more cameras and a bit more diligence in monitoring it.

This isn’t anything that is happening now, and nothing would change until current memberships that were pre-paid have expired. I *really* want feedback and discussion on this, so please don’t hold back.

- Loki

BrainSilo Stickers v2.0

New Stickers!


We did a small run of stickers, and there are some sitting down at the space for taking/sharing. We’ve only printed 100 of them this time around, but we can always get more…

This was just a design I whipped up real fast, so if you have a better design, please share with the rest of the class – and maybe we’ll print some.

Thanks to No Limit Stickers for the custom cutting – they’re local, cheap, fast, and do an awesome job!

dev boards

More Development Boards


Thanks to Jonathan at Reach Technology for dropping off a large box of new (for us) development boards to play with. Included in the box he brought are two OMAP3 boards, a quantity of Netburner modules, some Rabbit boards, and a whole slew of other things. We love new toys!

These are of course available for you to play with in the silo – anytime if you’re a member, or Thursday nights for the general public – and if you have a cool project that needs one of these boards, let us know!

As a reminder, if you have old dev kits or unique hackable electronics laying around that you don’t want, BrainSilo would love to take them off your hands, and let people see what they can do with them. Even better, if you work for a company that throws away “defective” or surplus boards or parts, talk to us about how we might be able to acquire some of them!


Workshop Jan 29th: Building a High Speed DIY Book Scanner


WHEN: Sunday, January 29, 2012 from 11am–4pm at the BrainSilo Hackerspace.

Wish you could study faster, search through all your books in seconds like Google does (even when unavailable on Google), and get digital editions of those books currently unavailable through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles’ or other online providers? Come learn how!

The Paper Upgrade Project (http://www.paperupgrade.org) will teach you to build your own high-speed (2000 pages per hour) book scanner from inexpensive parts! Daniel Reetz, the hardware guru who started the DIY book scanning project, will lead the discussion and assembly. We will donate one of the assembled scanners to Portland State University’s Disability Resource Center (DRC). Any donations to our organization are tax free.

The Paper Upgrade Project, a 501(c)(3) IRS tax exempt public charity, is sponsoring this event (below for details).

NOTE: We are looking for volunteers! Contact us info@paperupgrade.org

Blog Post: http://goo.gl/TQG0b
Calagator Event: http://goo.gl/OPpJ3
Facebook Event: http://goo.gl/Ulgkm

Pocketfactory.org Crew giving a 3d Demo Day!


It’s last minute, but the Pocketfactory.org crew is coming through Portland on Friday, January 13th, and they want to give a 3d printing and scanning demo.

With 3 MakerBots, an UP!, some kinects, and a bunch of other fun 3d printing and scanning equipment, the crew wants to talk to anyone interested in 3d tech. Wether you’ve never seen a printer, or have your own, you’re invited!

Come on down to BrainSilo Friday, January 13th from 6pm till 9pm, and have fun chatting about 3d technology, and ways to make money using it. We are located at 2119 N. Kerby Ave. Suite C-2 – Portland, OR 97227 (look for our banner on a staircase in the alley).

Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/291040307610368/


College of Lockpicking @ Backspace on Wednesday, November 30th


GET YOUR TICKET NOW: http://collegeoflockpicking.eventbrite.com
(and don’t foget to use the BrainSilo discount code, see below)

You can pick your friends.
You can pick your beer.
But can you pick… a Lock?

Join the College of Lockpicking on Wednesday, November 30th, from 7-9pm, as we embark on an ancient mechanical adventure to explore the inner workings of a modern lock, first developed by the Mesopotamians and Egyptians over 4000 years ago. Led by lockpickers Eric Michaud and Jamie Schwettmann, this workshop will cover – soup to nuts – everything you need to know about how common locks work… and how to pick them open.

Whether you’re a complete novice curious to find out what pin-tumbler really means, a homeowner protecting your family’s treasures, or a veteran lockpicker with questions about advanced locks and techniques, this event is for  you! With 2 solid hours of history, mechanical diagrams (“lock pr0n”), and hands-on lockpicking instruction… first we’ll open your minds, and then we’ll open some locks!

To properly learn this ancient art, you’ll need the proper tools.  By registering for a ticket with a lockpick set, this guarantees you a seat at the workshop, and reserves – all for you – a brand-new 10-piece custom lockpick set by Southern Specialties, hand-picked by Eric and Jamie to maximize utility for beginners and locksport enthusiasts alike, and offered for only $30.

If you already have some picks you’re itching to practice with, you can bring them along, and your workshop cost is only $40!

BONUS:  BrainSilo members get $20 off a ticket! (Visit the BrainSilo or the member mailing list to get the discount code)  AND… we will contribute to BrainSilo a percentage of ticket sales equal to the number of BrainSilo members and friends in attendence!  How cool is that?! :)

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