What is a hackerspace?

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.02.19 at 11:26 pm | Perma

That is but one of the questions I get whenever I go out and the topic of what I do in my free time comes up.

So recently I had that same question asked but this time, Dave Hoffman of Davemakes.com had brought a video camera.

From Daves’ site
The time has finally come to unveil my secret project. HELLO is a new series of videos about interesting people. This first episode features Eric Michaud, President of Pumping Station: One, a hackerspace opening up in Chicago. I asked him all about what a hackerspace is, and why you should join one.

If you don’t have 15 minutes to spare, check out this quick 90 second preview of the interview.

This is the preview.

Preview of HELLO – Eric Michaud, President of Pumping Station: One from Dave Jacob Hoffman on Vimeo.

I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I do, by doing this blog and building hackerspaces.



First TMPLAB WirelessBattle Mesh – April 11-12th 2009 @ tmplab

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.02.17 at 4:35 pm | Perma

For those that can make it to Paris for this battle of wits and protocols, it sure seems to be a rousing good time.

Here are some of the details.


“We are pleased to announce that the /tmp/lab  will be organizing a Spring Wireless OpenWRT Mesh Contest called “Wireless Battle Mesh” during 2 days (April 11-12th) with the goal of building 3 wireless mesh networks based on embedded hardware running OpenWRT and different concurrent mesh routing protocols.

The targeted architecture will be 3 networks of 25nodes + 1 wireless managment networks (10-20 nodes) to achieve realistic size of nodes number, data traffic, configuration problems. The architecture will be set-up indoor and outdoor around the building of the /tmp/lab.

OpenWRT will be the selected for the BoardSupportPackage running on the different hardware nodes and a core network configuration will be built on Linux servers with user-friendly features such as :
*Captive portal
*Admin portal

Concerning the mesh-protocols, selected targeted protocols are :

*OLSR : IP-based mesh routing platform (http://olsr.org and openWRT package available)

*BATMAN : Layer2-based mesh protocol (http://open-mesh.org) and available as a kernel module for Linux and packaged in OpenWRT

*BABEL : Layer-3 mesh protocol developed by University Paris 6, available for Linux and soon to be packaged for OpenWRT (http://www.pps.jussieu.fr/~jch/software/babel/)

Concerning the hardware node, we are looking for hardware sponsors that could enjoy this “real-case” contest by providing 50-100 nodes……….. More after the jump.


Looks to be quite a good time for packet heads and people with a lot of time with Yagi’s. ;)


Call-in & dinner update!

astera | Posted 2009.01.26 at 4:55 am | Perma

Due to our worries about missing a lot of hackerspace updates by doing the conference call on Thu, Feb. 05th as planned (since quite a couple of you hackers might be trapped on a plane on your way to ShmooCon), we decided to reschedule the next call-in to

Sunday, Feb. 01st at 02 pm PST / 05 pm EST / 10 pm UTC / 11 pm CET

Please RSVP by adding your hackerspaces name + handle to the schedule if you are planning to call in & give an update!

As usual, all technical information can be found here.


However, our dinner plans on the night before ShmooCon – Thu, Feb 05th, that is – remain unchanged;
please make sure to RSVP via over9000(at)hackerspaces.org or add your name to the referring wikipage, so we save a hackerspaces dinner seat for you.

We hope to be able to update the wiki with more info about events happening at and around ShmooCon shortly – stay tuned ^^


Hope to see you there,

We Can Be Happy Underground!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.01.09 at 4:50 am | Perma

We had some forward intelligence as to the devious nature of our friends at the CCCKC in Kansas City, but not so much that they would take it to James Bond villain status!

Kansas City Limestone Quarry by lapettit

Apparently they had some great news and posted it to their site. I won’t steal their thunder too much but just to say, that they have a underground lair now!



A Brave New World

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.01.08 at 12:27 am | Perma

bcc by night. by Bozinsky
bcc by night. by Bozinsky

We look unto the world today in many lenses. Some rose colored, some
tinted sepia, others… quite gray.

The reason I bring this up is that I recently attended the annual Chaos Communication Congress also known this year as 25C3. Here you’ll find a large presence of people holding those lenses in their sharp minds as they go through the gamut of topics such as new attack vectors in Cisco IOS routers, how to create your own rogue Certificate Authority, utilizing arduinos in interesting ways, and of course, quadrocopters.

The topic I’d like to cover here though this year is the representation of hackerspaces.org. At this conference we ran the equivalent of a workshop/embassy that would discuss the ins and outs of a hackerspace what you should expect in costs/equipment/membership role and oh so much more.
There were several events that took place including speed soldering, speed coding, and hackerspace build out workshops. Each covering the basic elements of a hackerspace in a very fun and entertaining way.


A very special note: during the event, over 10 hackerspaces posted an entry in the hackerspaces.org site, and said “Hello World” to the rest of us, showing an interesting increase during the actual hackerspaces panel talk.


With all these wonderful little pieces coming together in a big way at 25C3 I’m happy to say I’m looking through the rose tinted glasses with the wonderful year we had, and can’t wait for HAR2009 where we are planning on having a hackerspace village.

If you missed any of the talks or more specifically to the point the hackerspace panel; I’ve included the links below.

After the jump you’ll find the complete audio/video recordings of the
congress in a few formats…

Conference Recordings

and specifically, the hackerspaces panel:

Hackerspaces Panel