Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.03.22 at 4:16 am | Perma

This was a recent publication from the CCCKC Blog

CCCKC <3’s PS:One

Mr. E, President of the Chicago Hacker Space, Pumping Station One and jur1st, President of the Cowtown Computer Congress announced on March 7th the formation of an agreement which tightens the bond between regional spaces. We believe that this won’t be the last such agreement as similar organizations continue to come together around the United States.

This reciprocity agreement allows members of both organizations to utilize the facilities of each other’s organizations when in town. At this early stage for both organizations, members who would like access must provide proof that they are members in good standing at the sister organization and will be given full privileges to use networking services, take classes and use the workshop while on the road for business or pleasure.

Expect more announcements of strategic alliances between spaces very soon.

Call-in 2009|03|01

astera | Posted 2009.02.26 at 9:36 pm | Perma

Just a quick reminder:

The next hackerspaces call-in conference will be held this Sunday, March 01st, opening at 02pm PST / 05pm EST / 10pm UTC / 11pm CET.

Please add your name & hackerspace to the schedule if you want to give an update.
Also, we’re still looking for people to join the tech-team that’s working on different solutions for our call-ins silently in the background, so shoot us an e-fail if you wanna help out, or if you’re planning to take care of an audio recording!

All information for dial-in can be found on the general Call-in page!

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 ( and openWRT package available)

*BATMAN : Layer2-based mesh protocol ( 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 (

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. ;)


It’s Alive!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.02.01 at 7:54 am | Perma

Intelligence has been lacking as of current, but we feel that will be rectified in the next few days.

So our friends in Canada from have brought to life a huge array of LED’s for some very groovy graphics.

LED Sign from hypatia on Vimeo.

Now with “Moar Awesomeness”.

moar LED sign awesomeness from hypatia on Vimeo.

This next week we have some interesting presentations at Shmoocon and a very interesting event that we’ll be announcing in the next day for the weekend of Shmoocon.


An Introduction

Brendan | Posted 2009.01.23 at 7:34 pm | Perma

PantheonHello, my name is Brendan McCollam. I’m an American who’s traveling around the world visiting hacker spaces in Europe and South America. I am not a hacker myself, just a general-purpose geek.

I went to school in LA at Pomona College where I studied neuroscience. Afterwards, I received a Thomas J. Watson (yes, that T.J. Watson) Fellowship to travel, visit hackerspaces and meet the hackers who inhabit them.

The Watson Fellowship was established by Thomas Watson’s children in honor of their father. Thomas Watson Jr., in particular, had spent a great deal of time as a young man traveling and felt that it was a very important experience in his personal development. After building IBM into the computer-inventing, holocaust-enabling Linux-supporting behemoth we all know and love, he was basically like, “I have more money than god, what should I do with it? I can either swim in it Scrooge McDuck-style, or I can be awesome and fund cool things.”

He settled on the latter, and the Watson Fellowship was born. The Watson Fellowship is not an academic program, and I’m receiving no degree or academic credit for my travels. Rather, it’s an opportunity for lucky individuals to learn more about the world, themselves and some subject they’re deeply, personally interested in. I chose to study hackers because I’ve always been a computer geek and hackers are the coolest computer geeks there are.

When I tell people I’m traveling to hang out with hackers, I typically get one of two reactions. Either, “That’s awesome!” or “Be careful they don’t steal your credit card number!” Which reaction they have usually reveals quite a bit about that person’s attitude toward computers and technology. Sadly, hackers have been so pilloried in the mainstream media that I even had one person ask me if I was conducting jailhouse interviews (I haven’t done any yet).

I’m almost six months into my travels now, and I’ve been all over Europe to many different hackerspaces and conferences. I’ve been invited to come on here as a guest blogger and share some of my experiences. Going forward, I’m going to be posting photographs and interviews from some of the hacker spaces I visit. If you’re interested to see where I’ve already been and some of the other things I’ve seen on my trip, I’ve been keeping a personal/travel blog since I started last August.


With this we welcome Brendan to the team! Everyone thanks for reading so far, and expect interesting articles from this man in the coming weeks and months.


But Will It Blend!?!?

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.01.22 at 4:07 am | Perma

In my travels around the globe and the tubes I see interesting and entertaining things such as Will It Blend?

Today I got interesting news from an area I didn’t think had any left.  So I get an e-mail out of the blue with people local to me that are as interested in hackerspaces as much as  I am, but they don’t know they even exist until now!

Allow me to introduce the BlueServ Team; A group of  Chicago  high school students with a penchant for remote control and home automation. For those that need complete control in your life when you either need to blend an iPhone on demand, or make a really good smoothie but remotely your all set.

I was equally surprised that they haven’t heard of Roboexotica.  I wouldn’t hold it against them though, they are in the US and are under 21. To conclude, I foresee some fierce competition coming from the Midwest in the next few years pertaining to the international cocktail robotics circuit and back ally gin joint cocktail fights.


I’ll be listing code and plans as they come in.

Notacon Ahoy!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.01.20 at 3:38 am | Perma

A highly interesting hacker conference that has been taking place for the last few years in Cleaveland, Ohio has been gaining traction since day one as one of the most talked about and need to be attended conference in and around the East side of the United States. Notacon, not like FooCamp or BarCamp is a con yes, but not in the way most know it. It’s a combination Art, Demoscene, Computer Security, Ham Radio fest to put it lightly.

At Notacon you very well might find people playing with model train sets working to pass nibbles of information in the Anything But Ethernet Competition.


Or you may find a little friendly competition in a Hackerspace fight!


And yes we can haz parties!


But you need to know where to look. ;)

Look forward to Hackerspaces from all over having a presence this year in Cleaveland, Ohio at the dates of Arpil 16th – 19th


Tags :         

Benjamin Franklin’s B-Day! With The Hacktory.

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.01.17 at 9:17 pm | Perma


Inventor, hacker, political maven Benjamin Franklin, an oldschool hacker if there ever was one, is having his 302nd birthday celebrated by no other than The Hacktory.


Today is Ben Franklin’s Birthday, and (if he were still alive) he’d be 302 by now. That would be one old hacker. Ben is in a lot of ways the prototype of the modern hacker/maker, and it’s worth the time to read up on him bit, and think “wow. That dude did a LOT of stuff.”

He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass ‘armonica’. He formed both the first public lending library in America…

If you’re in the Philadelphia area and want to party like it’s 1776, here are the details.


A Message From The Shadow Government Prime Minister of PS:One

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.01.14 at 11:47 pm | Perma

*cough* What I meant to say was that Paul Mantz, the soon to be Vice President of Chicago based Pumping Station: One today wrote a wonderful blog post detailing the events surrounding the start and current status of PS: One.

An excerpt:

Since Eric, myself, and a few others started drumming up interest, we’ve come along way.  We drummed up an excellent name from a friend of mine at Verecundia; Pumping Station: One.  We’ve started to visit other similar groups, and look at now defunct groups (Dorkbot Chicago, I’m looking at you), garnishing interest.  Things started to take shape, and here we are.  Our evangelistic efforts have now placed our pledged initial membership  group to over 20 people.  This is not far from the target sustainability level necessary to keep the place afloat by membership fees.  We’ve registered as a non-profit organization in Illinois and gotten our IRS numbers in order.  We’re investigating spaces and soon we’ll have our financials set up, collecting membership dues, and vote on our bylaws.  And most importantly, we’re learning & creating.  In essence, we’re not far from having a grass-roots, non-profit, self-sustaining art & technology collective in the span of six months.

I invite anyone in the Chicago area, or anyone who may be passing through, to follow the progress of  Pumping Station: One.  We’ve got a lot planned, and we’re always looking for new members to contribute ideas.

For the original post.

From our last meeting.


Photo by -E.

In the next week we’ll be signing in our bylaws, having our first elections, taking our first membership dues, with  $2400 already coming in as donations to bootstrap the space. All in all it’s looking pretty good. Hope this is a inspiration to many others.


Editors Note: I am one of the founding members of the group.

Willoughby & Baltic Presents: Make: television Screening!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.01.13 at 7:44 pm | Perma


Our awesome friends at Willoughby & Baltic (Makers, Crafters, and Hackerspace), have recieved copies of the new Make:television series, and they are debuting it tonight at their space.


If you don’t know the work of Willoughby & Baltic heres a photo list after the jump.

Here’s one of the episodes of Make: Television so you know what to expect.

And here’s what to expect including the details for the evening. It starts at 7pm so you have plenty of time to change the location of your lodge meeting, date, diner, social Wii gathering, and everything else!


P.S. If any hackerspace also wants to have a screening of Make:television. Mosey on over to this link and the details to do it are there.