What am I holding?
You're probably holding one of the MHacks 9 Hacker Boards given out at the hardware workshop! You can confirm by checking the picture to make sure that's really it.
Now that you've confirmed you've got one - or even if you don't - you're probably a) itching to find out what it is, and b) to get started hacking with it!
What sort of things can I build?"
Here are some sweet hacks people have made with the WiFi + microprocessor on the MHacks 9 Hacker Board, the ESP8266:
We've put up two different tutorials for working with the Hacker Boards. First, there's a basic app that covers everything that's required for an Arduino app that can run on the Hacker Boards, using the onboard RGB LEDs. Then, there's a tutorial covering the basics of using WiFi on the ESP8266 board that is on the Hacker Boards. Then, we have a bunch of resources for ways to use the ESP8266, including a link to a resource for using it as a web server!
What about the MHacks: Refactor and MHacks 8 Hacker Boards?
The MHacks: Refactor and MHacks 8 Hacker Boards are the same as the MHacks 9 Hacker Boards, except that the Refactor boards are purple, and the MHacks 8 and 9 boards are black. The color is determined by a layer on the board called the "soldermask", which helps machines place and solder components on the board, and can be one of a variety of colors. All of this documentation will apply to them too!
How did this happen?
This project has been over a year in the making, having survived many different changes in fundamental goals, people on the team, and budget cuts. Originally inspired by the awesome BoilerMake 2014 Badges
, we've brought a similar idea to MHacks
: a beginner-friendly, interesting piece of hardware available to everyone attending the event. It was first at MHacks: Refactor, then MHacks 8, and is returning to MHacks 9.