Synchronous Hackathons’ ARE GO!

Synchronous Hackathons’ ARE GO!

Every 3rd Weekend of the month starting NOW!

Now a quick history lesson. Back in August of this year a few members of Pumping Station: One decided to put on a event that was an all night project frenzy dubbed Hackathon, now it looks like a number of hackerspaces worldwide have joined into the fray.We are currently calling this the Synchronous Hackathon. Which has become a monthly event on the 3rd weekend of every month. Of the people and hackerspaces currently involved they are providing live video feeds into their spaces to show what is going on for the entire weekend also in a direct effort to cross collaborate on a number of projects.

Now for the longer history lesson. Pumping Station: One didn’t create the Hackathon nor did they start this fire, nor is it a new idea, nor is the wiki article I just linked definitive, but the sentiments are still the same. Come in for a period of time, with a project, and/or the intention to join a project and complete it.

Some projects of course are started can’t be completed in the allotted time but are given a great start which is also great because they are so large. Doesn’t matter though. The point is to DO IT!

What can you expect from the hackathon, I’ll list what we’re doing for the PS:One Hackathon: Feel The Noise Edition Our noisy Hackathon of the month.

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Pecha Kucha – Gumbo Labs Style

What is Pecha Kucha?

What is a Ignite Talk?

To put it simply they are all speed talking sessions, think lightening talks. That’s it, new branding, same old excellent thing for inputing a broad range of information in a short amount of time to people who don’t know anything about a particular field.

So the interesting thing people always ask, is, what is a hacker or hackerspace. Well…. Simon Dorfman from Gumbo Labs explains it really well inside of 5 minutes.

Simon Dorfman’s Pecha Kucha Presentation about Gumbo Labs from Gumbo Labs on Vimeo.

Hackers On A Plane: Deuce – Euro/Merican Boogaloo

So hopefully some of you remember that epic adventure that was HoaP in 2007 which in turned spun up and inspired many a hacker/maker/knitter/chemical mix masters into what is now known as the hackerspace movement threading itself into the North American and now Earth culture.

hackersonaplane2

A lot of people including me were disappointed that we were not able to make it on what is know known as a auspicous trip. Now with a turn of events and where fortune favors the bold, it seems that HoaP is now reborn!

As a phoenix from the ashes, Nick Farr and a few individuals have pulled some strings, made calls, kicked down doors, and overall kicked ass in pulling together HoaP 2 or as I like to call it.

“Hackers On A Plane: Deuce – Euro/Merican Boogaloo”

So here’s the skinny.

Read more “Hackers On A Plane: Deuce – Euro/Merican Boogaloo”

Exotic Liability Meet Hackerspaces

I was recently made aware that our very own Nick Farr did a interview for a new podcast called Exotic Liability.

In the podcast he describes hackerspaces while playing with tigers at the Bronx Zoo in NYC.

From the site.

In this episode:
Tiger enrichment
Hackers on A Plane
Hacker spaces
Survive DC update
Security stereotypes
Denver area events
Boston College is out to get you!

Direct download: Exotic_Liability_6.mp3

-E.

Pow-Pow-Power Wheels Racing Series!

Brought to you by Pumping Station: One

What may seem to be an innocent toy that was bought for children in their youth, or not, by those deprived by their parents. Has found a home for some of the members of Pumping Station: One in Chicago. In very much the style of Bring Your Own Big Wheel in San Francisco that used to run down Lombard Street, and power tool drag racing, the newly formed P-P-PRWS will be creating a multi race series where people will hack, mod, pilfer, and costume these childhood toys to devices that pop wheelies go at least 10-15 mph and might even spit fire.

A scene from last years BYOBW

Right now the first batch of Power Wheels and teams are forming and getting ready for the first race that seems to be at the end of June. Below is the post from the Pumping Station: One site.

POW POW Power Wheels Racing Series

Who wants to mod and race Power Wheels?

All of you? That’s what i thought.

Chicago’s only hackerspace, Pumping Station: One, will be organizing into teams, and having each team mod, race, fix, and continue racing a Power Wheels vehicle through a series of trials and tribulations. For $40, you can have your very own functional Power Wheels, for you and your team (if you’d like to work in a group) to modify and race!

Join in, or you will be missing the most epic event in hackerspace history: the Power Wheels Racing Series.

PPPWRS from Jeff Kantarek on Vimeo.

In the event you’ll code microcontrollers for power management, rip out motors from washing machines, fabricate parts, and have a art squad on your team. Sounds like an interesting blend.

-E.

Where Tinkerers Take Control Of Technology

From the recent article in the Washington Post,

At a recent HacDC get-together, Tim Collins displays his latest toy to a visitor. It’s a microcontroller, a $6 mini-computer on a chip smaller than his thumb. “This has more computing capacity than my first computer, which cost thousands of dollars,” he observes.

Microcontrollers are the glue that holds the consumer electronics world together, used in everything from kitchen appliances to cars. These days, the parts are cheap enough so that tech enthusiasts like Collins can afford to play with them as a hobby, but they’re also still complex enough that you might need help if you want to use one to build, say, your own personal robot. And that’s where having access to the collective brains of the HacDC membership comes in handy.

HacDC, based out of a church in Columbia Heights, is a sort of a co-op space for tinkerers, with about 25 members paying monthly dues of $50 to rent out the 600-square-foot space. For the money, members get round-the-clock access to the space and its collection of donated tools. Non-members are also welcome to hang out.

These guys are hackers, perhaps, but not in the bad, steal-your-passwords meaning of the word. Hacking, in the HacDC sense, refers to the act of tearing into the latest technology to build or do something not originally intended by a device’s creators. A couple of years ago, I wrote about a guy who’d figured out how to wirelessly control his Roomba vacuum cleaner with a Nintendo DS. That’s the sort of activity we’re talking about here. Read more “Where Tinkerers Take Control Of Technology”

Reciprocity

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.

Spreading The Good Word

Rose White friend and confederate of the hackerspace movement, recently gave several talks at Etech’09.

The slide deck below is her main presentation from ETech, and even without video it gives a great insight to anyone who has questions about what a hackerspace is.

Collaborative Play

Even though I couldn’t attend ETech as I had planned, Rose gave a excellent presentation that unfortunately wasn’t recorded. Even though it wasn’t recorded we here at hackerspaces.org have seen sone interesting trends on the twitter feeds and the blogs. So all I can say is job well done. More to follow next week.
Cheers,
/E.

Hacking Chicago

Recently the Columbia Chronicle did a profile of Pumping Station: One, the hackerspace I run in Chicago. I don’t have much to say here other than the article puts across the vision of hackerspaces succinctly.

From the article.

While twenty people sat around with their laptops and coffee, Sacha De’Angeli stood up to propose a crucial decree for the group.

“The rule I’d like to propose comes from Bill & Ted,” he said. “Be excellent to each other.”

The motion was voted on and seconded. From then on, the organized group of Chicago hackers would have to “be excellent to each other.” After the meeting was adjourned, the hackers scattered and began individual discussions about topics such as knitting and machinery.

Courtesy KAMIL KRAWCZYK

A new Chicago-based hacker space, called Pumping Station: One (PSOne), is ready to set up shop in the city. Since October, the group has been looking for a building to call home. At press time, the group had written a letter of intent and were waiting for the owner’s approval to move into the space as soon as April. Until they move into a space, the group meets every Tuesday night at The Mercury Cafe, 1505 W. Chicago Ave.The members of PSOne aren’t out to steal money or use their computer skills to overthrow the government. Actually, a few of the members aren’t computer experts at all.

Josh Krueger, a member of PSOne, defines a hacker as “someone who makes something and modifies it and uses it in a way that wasn’t originally intended.” His definition can be applied to just about any medium.

“[A hacker space is] a place where people can go to push the boundaries of their form and art,” said PSOne founder Eric Michaud. “It doesn’t relate just to computers.”

The members of PSOne come from very diverse backgrounds. They’re artists, engineers, programmers, bakers and writers. One of the only qualities that binds all of them together is their desire to create. The creations, however, vary from machines to crafts.

Read more “Hacking Chicago”