by claire

Electronic component jewelry & art from trash

April 20, 2014 in Uncategorized by claire

We had many visitors try out IG’s creative re-use projects at the Spring Into Action event at the Johnson Art Museum. Electronic component jewelry was very popular, and some new styles were invented, including a lovely charm bracelet and dangling earrings out of resistors and capacitors. Suspending fragments of plastic detritus in glass vials of hand sanitizer proved to be a surprisingly absorbing and interesting project for kids and adults. As a bonus, some happy young women got to take home dried death head’s cockroaches and spider skins. A good time was had by all!

Spring into Action with IG and the Johnson Museum of Art

April 10, 2014 in News by Jennifer Colt



This Saturday we’ll be at the Johnson Art Museum for their Spring into Action family event!

In our activity, inspired by Mark Dion, you will imagine that you are a future archaeologist, excavating artifacts from this time period. You discover enormous piles of plastic fragments and broken electronic waste, and learn about the environmental challenges faced by people in the year 2014. Your job is to preserve a few of these objects by arranging them, suspended in hand sanitizer, in a display vial.  You will create a museum label about how these objects were used, and what life was like during this time period. What do you think that people 200 or 1,000 years in the future will think of all of the plastic that we throw away? What will they think about our use of electronics?  Or perhaps they don’t know what these objects were used for… what might they guess?

Women’s Arduino Meetup

April 1, 2014 in News by Jennifer Colt

arduino toys

Arduino toys!


Our first Women’s Arduino Meetup is this Thursday, April 3, at 5pm. Please join us!

Arduino info:

by claire

Reverse Engineering for Everyone: Demystifying the Black Boxes of Everyday Technology

March 30, 2014 in News by claire

After learning the nitty gritty of how computers communicate over networks, participants watched a demo of WireShark and played a game with Cameron using Nmap.

After learning the nitty gritty of how computers communicate over networks, participants watched a demo of WireShark and played a game with Cameron using Nmap.

Cameron Finucane hosted the first meeting of a very broad, participant-driven workshop held at 6pm on Monday evenings at Ithaca Generator. The workshop series aims to increase awareness of issues relating to the social and political effects of technology by shedding light on the inner workings of the “black boxes” in our lives. Participants will explore commonly-used technologies through directed play and experimentation, with an emphasis on implicit assumptions, failure cases, and other shortcomings. Learn to become a more empowered user of technology!

An introduction

March 30, 2014 in News by Jennifer Colt

If you’re looking for an introduction to Ithaca Generator, this video – recut from our Lazerthon campaign video – is a nice start. If you have any questions about IG you can always email us at

Spring classes announced!

March 16, 2014 in News by Jennifer Colt

Our spring classes are now available for enrollment! Please check them out:

Play-testing at game night

March 9, 2014 in events by Jennifer Colt

It seems like only a little over a week since the last Game Night, and now it’s a little less than a week until the next one. I guess that’s how bi-weekly Game Nights work.

We have something special planned for this game night, so I hope that a lot of folks can show up. John Reeser is teaching a class on game design, and he’s asked his students to bring their prototype games to the Game Night for play-testing and critique. The challenge was to take a game which sucks, and using principles of game design, alter them to suck less.

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A Game Promoting Full-Group Participation

March 7, 2014 in Electronics, Projects by Xanthe Matychak


 image: Paul and Vic passing a virtual ball, a light, using IR transmitters and receivers

A handful of us at IG are developing a game for Ithaca Festival.  The project started with the question “What makes us feel like we matter?” One of the answers we agreed on was “listening and being heard.” So we are developing a game we think promotes that value. In the game four people represent a group working on a common goal, and the game presumes that when all members of the team are heard they create a better outcome than if one or two dominate the discussion.

The game employs a couple of simple rules and uses some electronic tools to facilitate them. Each group member holds in his hand a device that lights up when he “has the floor” and goes off when he passes it to the next participant, whose device lights up and she then “has the floor.” So the task of the group is to keep the light moving. In addition, the device’s infrared transmitters and sensors are somewhat finicky, which requires the members to focus and talk to one another to transfer the light successfully. If the light is held by one person for longer than ten seconds, it goes off and no points are scored (that stricture is under review).

A team can score points in one of two ways:

  1. by passing the light eight times without it going out, one point (rewarding competence);
  2. by passing the light equally among all of the team members, two points (rewarding diverse participation).

In the process of developing this game, we have observed ourselves becoming more conscious of the participation dynamics of our own team.

We’d love to hear your stories too. What are some obstacles you’ve experienced related to being heard or listening within a team? What are some of methods you use that you’ve found to be successful?


related reading:

First monthly housekeeping gathering!

March 5, 2014 in News by Jennifer Colt

This Saturday 3/8/2014 from 11:00a – 3:00p all who are willing and able are encouraged to attend the first monthly Generator Housekeeping Day. Come on down for some or all of it as your schedule permits. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Lazerthon update!

January 30, 2014 in News by Jennifer Colt

The Lazerthon reached its funding goal earlier this morning. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported it. The campaign continues and we’ve created some stretch goals to give you an idea how additional funds will be spent. Funds raised in addition to the initial goal will be used for:

  • Upgrading to a 90W laser
  • Improved ventilation
  • Lens options
  • An extended warranty
  • Educational scholarships

We believe the laser cutter will be an important asset for our community’s tool set. Meeting these additional goals will help us put the laser cutter to even better use!