Hacking USB Keyboards
Materials Fee $12
Day/Time: Saturday, April 22 2:30 PM (90 minutes)
Location: Workshop PavilionA hacked keyboard has innumerable uses. You can use it to easily design a game that puts Dance Dance Revolution to shame. You can make that pesky old typewriter in the basement USB compatible. With a little ingenuity, it can be used to send yourself a text message every time Jimmy leaves the toilet seat up or Grandma leaves her chair. Musicians, VJs and performance artists will love creating their own effects pedals for Max MSP. More practical people can even use it to create the poor man's ultimate home security system.
This is a workshop on how to hack a USB keyboard for people of any skill level. Keyboard hacking is an easy and effective way to send basic control data from electronic projects to a computer without being bothered by pesky serial communication. The workshop will first cover basic keyboard design. Once participants have a rudimentary understanding of how a keyboard works, they will be shown how to identify which "pins" on the circuit are associated with the corresponding keys on the keyboard. After that, techniques will be covered for attaching and soldering multiple wires to a device usually specifically designed not to be soldered to at all. Finally there will be a short demonstration of possible applications for this new tool.
There will be a $12 fee for a USB keyboard. It is recommended that people bring their own hot glue gun and/or soldering iron if possible. As well, it would be helpful, but not necessary, to bring a laptop computer.
Related site: http://www.randywritesletters.com/portfolio/
Personal Bio: In the course of twenty-three revolutions of the Earth around the Sun, Randy Sarafan has managed to create quite a stir. He has been endowed with an over-active imagination and an ingenuity that can only be described as troubling. Randy has been engaged in activities that range from building robots to writing novels; from redefining the paperclip to driving forklifts. He is a tried and true jack-of-all-trades. His works are an amalgamation of crayon drawings, improvised weaponry, hippie poetry, the mundane, spaghetti westerns, unpopular culture and a well-fermented cynicism. In spite of coming across as “unassuming, inconspicuous and a tad bit forgettable,” Randy Sarafan is an interstellar wrecking ball of immeasurable destruction. He has a BFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design. A portfolio can be found here: http://www.randywritesletters.com/portfolio/