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.


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.

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But Will It Blend!?!?

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.