I just got back from Notacon.  It was a lot of fun.  I was surprised about which talks were interesting to me, and which ones weren’t as interesting as I thought they’d be.  As usual, there was much celebration and drinking, and I walked away feeling as if I’d learned something.  Unfortunately for Notacon, Thotcon ran at the same time.  This left Notacon missing some of the key personalities that some of us had grown accustomed to seeing.  This was still a great time.

One of the most memorable presentations that I saw at Notacon was about a project called PK4A.  This was a project conducted and completed by a hackerspace in Toronto called Site3.  They used this opportunity to talk about installation art of the famable vareity.  This is a fascinating concept.  Basically you can use propane tanks with gas fittings to create fantastic flame art.  They gave an in depth overview of the design of their burning man installation which consisted of a central heart surrounded with veins and arteries that would shoot flames in human touch.  They brought their PK4A project to showcase the principles in that installation at a much smaller scale.  Basically it was a remote controlled torch.  The torch itself was constructed of a propane tank and some gas pipe/fittings.  The activation mechanism was an arduino controlled solenoid.  The solenoid released gas out of the valve at the top of the installation, which was then ignited by the pilot light.  While we didn’t get to see it in flaming action, it was still a cool concept, and the solenoid switch was thoroughly demonstrated.

Prior to now, I was not even aware that fire installation art existed.  I guess that goes to show that I need to spend more time on the internets.  I think I might experiment with this some (probably to the chagrine of my neighbors).

I can’t wait for Notacon 9!!!!!!!!!