Hack Night, meet Snack Night

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Last reminder that our first Hack Night is TONIGHT from 5-8:30pm at the new Sierra Commons location at 792 Searls (see Meetup for a map) in Nevada City.

I bought snacks this morning for the healthily inclined and less healthily-inclined alike (carrots and hummus vs chips and popcorn). Come one, come all, bring your friends!

Last thing – we have plenty of street parking on Searls and parking spots in front of our building. If possible, please use that before parking near the rear building – they are another business and we try to be good neighbors. See you tonight!

Reminder: Hack Night on Thursday – 5-8:30pm at new Sierra Commons location

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Reminder, the hack night is coming up on Thursday!

A heads up to check the event page because Sierra Commons has MOVED, so make sure you come to the new location on Searls. Details are here: http://www.meetup.com… – We’ll start at 5pm and go until 8:30pm. Feel free to come and go within that time frame – it’ll just be a casual event where people can work together, talk, etc.

Finally, a few notes on the night:

#1 Hack nights aren’t just for software developers – they’re great for anyone who wants to tinker – hardware developers, jury rigging together components to make something fun, designers, and more. We’d love to see hackers of all stripes show up

#2 I’ll be bringing snacks. Probably no beer (not in the budget right now, sorry – feel free to bring your own), but some drinks and light food.

#3 Could you invite someone else you know? If you know of another developer in the area, could you tell them about Nevada County Hackers? These events get better when we get more people involved.

#4 We’ll probably talk a bit about what people want from the group, then bring it online so that everyone can participate. I’ve heard talk of trying to get some tools together to make an ad-hoc hacker-space of sorts, an open source hackathon, another regular hackathon, more speakers, purely social events, etc. Bring your ideas of what you want to see from this group and we’ll see what we can put together.

Feel free to email or message me with questions and comments. See you Thursday!


Inaugural Hack Night, coming right up

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Hi everyone, you’ll be hearing more about this soon, but we have our inaugural hack night coming up on March 7th. We hope to see you there. More details can currently be found over on Meetup at http://www.meetup.com/Nevada-County-Hackers/events/104254102/

Also, as a sidenote, tomorrow night (Wednesday), Martin Kosina will be speaking at the Tech Talk on Applied Cryptography. Should be interesting, relevant, and fun. See you there

Hackathon: Great Success!

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Last weekend, 30+ hackers converged at Sierra Commons for the first ever Hackathon in Nevada County.  The event was given high ratings by all participants and there is a resounding “YES” for more hackathons in the near future.

Highlights included four incredible lightning talks. The topics included life as an indie game developer, Kickstarter campaigns, Apache configuration, developing for Windows 8, and the uber crowd pleaser presentation on visualizing data with D3.js

D3.js Example

D3.js Example: Zoomable Sunburst using coffee flavor wheel

Participants worked hard, although one hacker said that their Saturday was spent yacking more than hacking.  Some teams formed and built applications together, while some shared knowledge with others while working individually on their own project.  Sierra Commons fueled the event with a pizza dinner, energy drinks, and nosh throughout the event.

The biggest storm of the season did not deter hackers from showing up early on Sunday morning.  Luckily, we did not have to spark up our backup generator, but Comcast Internet was down for the first half of the day.  Participants banded together and created an ad hoc mobile hotspot network with smart phones.  What could have been a disaster for the event turned out to be an opportunity to band together and use creative problem solving.

The official event culminated in a product showcase, where participants had a chance to show off their work and win great prizes.  Up for grabs was an Xbox 360 provided by Microsoft, $150 cash, and one free month at Sierra Commons.  There were nine impressive demos judged by Benji Brown – President Studio B Flat, Matt Harrington -Microsoft Developer Evangelist, and Robert Trent – Executive Director at Sierra Commons.  The judging proved more difficult than expected due to the strength of the entries.  In the end, the Most Marketable category ended in a tie between Steve Ross and the Nevada Union High School Team.  Matt Harrington arranged for an additional Microsoft donation of five Windows phones for the NU team.


Space Turtles – Nevada Union High School Technology and Business Club

The game is being developed for mobile devices.  Space Turtles is a fun shooter game involving cute animals and geometric shapes.

Please Remind Me – Steve Ross

This web-based application helps teachers remind students of homework assignments, and more.  Reminders are sent to students and their parents via text messages.


Deal Finder-Matt Vanderpol

This mobile app uses geolocation to determine the user’s location.  Deal Finder users can search by business type and see money saving offers from businesses down the street and around the corner.

People’s Choice

Chatterbox- Team Chatterbox (Abe Meissler, Kyle Spaulding, and Josh Levine)

The web application lets users search for news and events that interest them most.  The website combs local blogs and other sources to return targeted local results.  The interface design makes it easy to navigate and the chat box allows users to talk with other people interested in the topic searched.

The demos also included the following projects.

  • Daniel Levy – Humandalas
    Facilitates meaningful interactions with the people around you
  • Steve Nicholson – Letter Press Solver
    Mobile app that helps you discover solutions for the popular Letter Press game
  • Nick SantosUSGS Flow Data API Python Wrapper
    Pulls data from the USGS database to analyze river flows
  • Matt Harrington – Nevada County Ned
    Windows 8 game that has a miner pick-axing his way towards a dirty hippie zombie

Recaps of the presentations and demos are at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/129989/events/1707870

Connect with the growing group of developers at http://www.meetup.com/Nevada-County-Hackers/

or contact [email protected] for more information on how to get invovled.

Day 1 Down: Begins again tomorrow at 8am

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Thanks to everyone for a great day 1. I probably did more yacking than hacking, but it was quite a fun day and a great way to meet other developers in the region.

As a quick note, the lightning talks are available as a single video at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/129989/events/1707870. Still, the livestream isn’t completely done yet – it will be back for the demos tomorrow starting at 4pm (same link).

Looking forward to seeing you all for day two. Doors open at 8am tomorrow.

We’re live! Hackathon is Go

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Hi everyone, it’s game day! If you want to stream the talks (or the hackathon itself), you can pick the stream up at:


Once again, so it’s not missed, that’s


Unfortunately, we no longer have a Livestream Premium account, so you’ll be forced to create an account with them to view the hackathon. I’m sorry about that. We’ll also monitor the contact form on this site if you have any troubles.

Let’s get hacking!

Network Online, Ready for the Hackathon

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The Bunny RouterYesterday evening, No Problem installed the network for the hackathon, a speedy piece of Wireless-N equipment that I’ve started calling the Bunny Router. It’s a powerful little device that is apparently capable of handling incredibly heavy loads to large numbers of locations. Works great so far (running off of it right now).

This is just one of the final pieces to put in place for tomorrow’s hackathon. Feel free to contact us if you need any information. We’re up to 35 (and counting) attendees, so we should have a great showing of capable developers – and a lively competition for the prizes.

Registration is still open, so if you haven’t signed up, make sure to reserve your spot now. For the rest of you, I’ll see you tomorrow! If you’re coming from the valley floor, be prepared for heavier rain up here – should be fun. Thanks again to No Problem for  getting the network running smoothly. They’ll be on hand all weekend to make sure that everything keeps going.

Can’t make the Lightning Talks? Catch the Live Stream

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So, you get excited about that really cool talk by Nelson Minar on Visualizing Data with D3.JS, only to find that you can’t show up until later. Well, I have good news for you. We’ll be live streaming the Nevada City Hackathon Lightning talks, and possibly other portions of the event, right here on nevadacityhackathon.com. Woo hoo! Tune in Saturday morning for more details.

Still, if you can show up, we’d love to have you. The roster now includes developers of all stripes and the event is looking like a lot of fun. See you Saturday.


Nevada City Hackathon is this weekend, December 1st and 2nd

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Just a friendly reminder. Getting excited to see all of you there. Thanks again to our awesome sponsors for making this event possible and providing some cool contest prizes. If you haven’t yet signed up, registration is still open and we encourage you to register in advance because we may run out of seats.

If you need a place to stay or a carpool to Nevada City, use our contact form to let us know and we’ll see if we can help you find something.

See you Saturday!