BUILDS BugTracker

buildscc | 06 Jul 2011 | | projects


I want a project issue tracker


We do projects! We need someway to track progress and more importantly to track issues. We are distributed and many times multiple people work on a project. A bugtracker can be perfectly utilized for this purpose.


Up for consideration:



Another option is Trac.

Trac is another great tool. However it is a bit bloated and a hefty install. It has its own wiki which just adds unneeded overhead when we already have one.


  • Install Mantis on a BUILDS server
  • Add links to Mantis on Builds homepage
  • Post update to BUILDS homepage about new feature
  • Send e-mail about new feature


  • John-Nicholas Furst (Project Leader)

CNC Drawbot

buildscc | 14 Apr 2011 | | projects


The original idea was to make a mechanized etch-a-sketch. However, this has no progressed into making a laser-etching device.


4/13/2011 Ordered new steppers from adafruit, as our were not precise enough :(

The College of Engineering has approved funding for the project, we are waiting on the funds to be transferred to acm/sao accounts. Jeff has order a few parts and we are waiting for the transfer to go through before ordering the rest.

03/05/2011 - Software is ~95% complete, steps through and lights a debug LED. most parts ordered. still requires interfacing with the laser, a way to attach the steppers to etch a sketch, and final fabrication of an enclosure.

//code documented -jeff

current code can be found here

graphical QT wrapper for PC_Side scripts can be found here


If you want to join this project, email Jeffrey Crowell (Can Be Found on the BU Directory)


The laser that will most likely be used will be a 650nm, 250mW red diode laser (250mW “Cute” laser from O-Like) that will have the capacity to etch into wood and/or dark plastics. The laser will be focused to get a resolution approximately equal to the resolution of a motorized etch and sketch

CNC Element

Stepper motors are controlled by the arduino (currently jeff’s arduino uno(2010)) Code for this is on the github. These are (eventually going to be) connected to the dials on the etch-a-sketch. Thus we can control the position of the laser. The laser on/off (is going to be) controlled by the arduino setting a transistor to high/low


Here is a copy of the Proposal that Jeff and Samir submitted to the college of Engineering for funding and was approved

Included is a detailed list of parts that we intend to purchase

LED Cube

buildscc | 22 Feb 2011 | | projects

Looking to make a programmable LED Cube similar to this.

Progress so Far

Have ordered 1000 LEDs from a retailer in China. Waiting for package to arrive.

Meeting Minutes for 2011-02-16

buildscc | 16 Feb 2011 | | meeting-minutes


John-Nicholas Furst and Kyle Brogle

  • To everyone who came to the Microsoft hackathon, you’re awesome.
    • To all those interested, BUILDS may be acquiring a Kinect for computer vision purposes.
    • Robbie’s Improvement to Gutenbach
      • Gutenbach now ( scrobbling, screen blanking)

Valerie Young

  • Musical Stairs
    • Rusty has conquered the mounting problem via the extensive use of zip-ties
    • Software implementation now works (everybody say thanks to John!)

Kyle Brogle

  • LED Cube
    • The LEDs have been shipped and should arrive within the week.

Russell Shomberg

  • BUILDS building extravaganza
    • This saturday at noon, Rusty et al will be hosting a carpentry workshop
    • Great way to get acquainted with the power tools


  • Derpnet
    • Server goes in git today or tomorrow, but no meeting this week

Kyle Brogle

  • Updating the BUILDS website
    • If you’re interested in helping update the website and make BUILDS proud and happy contact John or Kyle

Danny Cooper

  • Ferrous fluids
    • Primary progress is currently blocking on the acquisition of materials

Monica Gribouski

  • Multitouch Table
    • Meeting tomorrow, will be discussing camera and projector choices


  • Meetings will be set at mondays 5:00pm

Chris Woodall

  • Hack an Orchestra
    • First meeting sunday at 3pm
    • Bring ideas/videos. We may start creating a parts list for our first project if we have time.

Meeting ended 6:50pm

Meeting Minutes for 2011-02-09

buildscc | 09 Feb 2011 | | meeting-minutes


Kyle Brogle

  • Microsoft hackathon THIS weekend (fri @6pm)
    • bring some project ideas!
  • New Speakers!
    • do NOT turn them up when classes are running.
  • Lincoln Labs CTF
    • Tim Leek (Cybersystems and security group)
    • Open to the boston community
    • Web application security capture the flag game
    • will be run in April…stay tuned for updates!

BUILDS Electronic Orchestra

  • Email, or contact Chris.


  • Musical Stairs Update
    • Blocking on improved software on John’s end
    • Home depot run this saturday

Kyle Brogle

  • Diaspora Server
    • “distributed open source “facebook equivalent””
    • Still buggy; the plan is to set up a server and try to help by contributing patches.

Drawbot Project

  • Still blocking on proposal acceptance

Russell Shomberg

  • Carpentry Extravaganza!
    • great way to learn to power-tool, contact Rusty

John-Nicholas Furst

  • New email lists
    • BUILDS project lists (great place to discuss project ideas)
    • BUILDS announce lists (great place for announcements, e.g. the room is on fire)

meeting ended 6:53pm


buildscc | 07 Feb 2011 | | projects

What is Derpnet?

Derpnet is intended to create a free and open source, secure, private method of communication. As communication is our primary goal, we will implement an IRC setup and increase security and privacy from there.

As our goals are different than those of a standard IRC setup, so too will our implementation differ in a few important ways. These include:

  • encouraging the use of proxies and Tor (with the exception of Freenode, most networks today block such activity); the server will have a .onion address
  • increased use of SSL and OTR security, in places like private messaging
  • non-standard NickServ implementation, requiring all users who wish to join channels or message others be registered (as a derivative, we will be establishing an extremely secure mail server as well), as well as reserving “blocks” of nicks rather than a single nick

Other aspects of the traditional IRC will be implemented normally (for example, the channel-oriented setup, etc.). To accompany the IRC setup, Derpnet will also maintain a webpage (full of things like what it is, how to register, etc.) in the OpenNIC space (and possibly also in the normal webspace).

Why Derpnet?

The Derpnet project exists to fill the vacuum of secure, open source group communication. Currently the only such implementation is face-to-face conversation and while the release policy on that source may be debated the point is that it is rather inconvenient. The IRC protocol is an existing framework that allows for a variety of clients already implemented to be used with no additional modification.

Why C++?

C++ is a compiled language (which allows for fast execution) without being interpreted (I am looking at you right now, Java). In addition, its similarity to C allows it to be approachable by many programmers (unlike the other languages we wanted to use, Haskell and ATS).

Why git?

Due to our association with BUILDS, we are able to make use of BUILDS hosting. This requires us to use git, which although some view as more difficult to use, is functional and adequate for our current needs. Currently commits are restricted to project members. Our git repository is publicly accessible at for those interested in following along.

Who are we looking for?

  • programmers who are willing to write code to be released under an open source license (probably GPL or similar)
  • anyone who makes frequent use of IRC or is willing to do so to test
  • anyone else who is willing to help in whatever way they can

Who are we?

The leader of this project is currently Robbie Harwood, who can be reached at rharwood at bu dot edu. Additionally, until our own server is operational, we will occupy channel #derpnet on foonetic.

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