Hardware Hacking and Post-Colonial Computing

This week:

  • soldering
  • hardware hacking
  • class work on projects
  • post-colonial computing


Soldering: what is it?

Soldering is a process to join two metal items together, usually electric components. We do this by melting a low temporature filler metal between the two components, and allowing the filler metal to cool into a solid material. This forms a permanent bond between them. The soldering iron is a heater to heat up our filler metal. We can consider the filler metal to act as a kind of metallic glue that connects the component parts together and allows contuctivity between them.

In addition to soldering there are solderless breadboards which allow you to make test circuits in a temporary fashion.



  • Soldering iron
  • Solder (there’s lead in it. Wash your hands. Avoid smoke fumes)
  • components or wires you want to solder together
  • Fan (optional but a good idea)
  • A soldering station/base (optional, but it’s easier to hold the soldering iron when not in use and can adjust temperature)
  • 3rd hand (optional, a base with clips to hold components while soldering them)

Beginner - How-To Solder video


  1. Mount the component to the board
  2. Heat the joint with the tip of the iron
  3. Apply solder to the joint
  4. Cut off remaining solder

How To Solder tutorial on Instructables


Applied too much solder? Use a desoldering braid. Heat the solder then use the braid to suck up excess solder.


Postcolonial Computing: A Tactical Survey

The authors suggest that postcolonial science studies can do more than expand answers to questions already posed; it can generate different questions and different ways of looking at the world. To illustrate, the authors draw on existing histories and anthropologies and critical theories of colonial and postcolonial technoscience. To move forward together, rather than remaining mired in regretful contemplation of past biases, the authors offer some analytical and practical suggestions. In reading hegemonic forms of postcolonial computing, this article offers tactics for rereading, rewriting, or reimagining those scripts. –Postcolonial Computing: A Tactical Survey

Weekly log of work toward final project

  • what did you do today?
  • photo documentation (which can include screenshots)
  • where have you been stuck? what have you tried?
  • write up any tutorials you followed and include step by step notes. (1. 2. 3….)
  • what are your next steps between this class and next week?