This week’s interesting Kickstarter campaign is for Kano: A computer anyone can make. Kano is based on a Raspberry Pi, which is a single-board computer running Linux.

The Raspberry Pi is important because the primary purpose of it is to get kids interested in computing again. Too many kids today are using tablets, and smart phones, and iPods where consuming is taking a precedent over creating.

Without sounding too old, when I first used a computer back in 1980, you turned it on, and it looked something like this:

Apple ProDOS

When you turn on a Raspberry Pi, it looks like this:


30 years ago just seeing a computer in your own home was a pretty exciting thing… and getting it to actually do something was even more of a thrill! The Raspberry Pi is not the easiest computer to get up and running, but this is where the Kano fills in the gaps.

While a Raspberry Pi is cheap, at about $35, you’ll still need a power supply, a USB cable, a keyboard, mouse, an SD card (with an operating system on it) and either an Ethernet cable or a WiFi adapter. All those things add up and bring the cost up a bit, but for a beginner, they also make things more difficult, as you’re either scrounging up all the parts you need, or ordering items from multiple sources.

Kano solves many of the problems of having a fully functional computer using a Raspberry Pi. I really like this line from the Kano folks: “Kano is for anyone who wants to start creating with technology – not just consuming it.” And they’re going with a well-tested method: making things easier.

Oh, and since launching they’ve already raised over six times their original goal of $100,000. This could be a big one!

November 25, 2013 · Posted by in design, marketing, misc  


We recently filmed a music video for Shealeigh. Her song “Be Kind” addresses the issue of bullying, and encourages kids to stand up to bullies. We filmed it at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, and I can’t confirm this, but we may be the first film crew to fly a drone inside the theater!

“Be Kind” appears on This Time Tomorrow, a compilation of songs from various artists supporting the This Time Tomorrow Foundation. (You can get it from Amazon.)

Shealeigh was great to work with, and it was awesome to see so many of her fans come out to support her and appear in the video. We’re hoping to have the editing done and maybe even throw a little premier party sometime in the beginning of December.

You can check out more photos on Facebook.

The Riverside Theater

Shealeigh an Cory

November 20, 2013 · Posted by in music, video  

We are pleased to announce the addition of Account Executive Jodi Everts to the z2 team! With more than six years of experience in marketing and project management, Jodi has worked on both the agency and corporate side of the business, which better allows her to provide insight into client expectations and to anticipate their needs.

A graduate of University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee with a degree in journalism and mass communication, Jodi most recently worked for Lindsay, Stone & Briggs in Madison on both business-to-business and business-to-consumer accounts. Prior to that, she served as a marketing strategist for Meriter Hospital for nearly three years.

Jodi lives with her husband, Chad, in Lake Mills. In her free time she likes to read and run—in fact, she just completed her third half marathon a few weeks ago. She also enjoys traveling and has been to Ireland three times. (And, yes, she has kissed the Blarney Stone—the true secret to her marketing success.)

November 15, 2013 · Posted by in z2 news  

We’ve talked before about the new breed of desktop tools beyond the desktop printer, things like desktop cutters, 3D printers, and laser cutters, and we’ve even mentioned how we’ve used 3D printed camera mounts for our own work, but of the tools previously mentioned, none of them let you easily bend wire. I know that sounds strange, and you may be asking why in the world you would want to bend wire? Well, like any good tool, the answer lies in the creative mind.

Pensa, a design and invention firm in New York, posted about their DIWire Bender on the how-to site Instructables in January 2013. Less than a year later they’re launching it as a product via Kickstarter.

At the time of this post, the Kickstarter has been live for about two days, and they’ll be hitting their funding goal of $100,000 very soon. And if that’s not enough, they also won $10,000 from Engadget’s Insert Coin competition.

Will there be a wire bending machine on your desktop in the future?

November 13, 2013 · Posted by in art, misc  

Club z2 - X

Well, we did it again! Not only did we have “another Club z2″ but with this being the celebration of 10 years in business, it was only fitting we had this shindig in our new (permanent!) home.

Besides the always great food and drink at Club z2, we also had some fine entertainment from The Toys, Ian and The Dream, and our very own ZyFy. (We even raised some money for the This Time Tomorrow Foundation.)

Club z2 - X

We thought some of our previous parties were big, but after all was said and done, the number of people through the door, the amount of food consumed, and the quantity of drinks served, we’re positive that this was the biggest yet!

Club z2 - X

The photo booth was a big hit this year as well. You may have already been tagged on Facebook. (And hey, if you haven’t LIKED us on Facebook yet, what are you waiting for!?)

We’d like to shout out a BIG thanks to all our staff, helpers, clients, vendors, friends, family, and anyone else that joined us for the evening. Oh, and if you grabbed a candle on the way out, you have Industries for the Blind to thank for that. (As for the martini shakers, we etched the logo onto them all by ourselves. There were only 300 of them!)

November 12, 2013 · Posted by in event  

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