Dublin will soon be home to a permanent space for computer hackers to congregate and get creative. Named Tóg (Irish for build), it will be Ireland’s contribution to the growing international movement of “hackerspaces”.
Sitting in the elegant, if incongruous, surroundings of Dublin’s Westin Hotel and explaining their plans, Tóg’s Jeff Rowe and Robert Fitzsimons emphasise that hacking is about curiosity: the desire to understand how technology works and the creative urge to build and modify gadgets. The only legal issue at stake here is the rather prosaic one of voiding warranties.
Fitzsimons is perfectly comfortable with the word hacker: “I’ll use ‘hacker’ and somebody else will use it, and there’ll be a completely different interpretation,” he says. “My hacking is out in the open. I have the 2600.ie domain – if anybody wants to find out who the hackers in Ireland are, my name is plastered on the site.”
Hacking, Fitzsimons says, is a form of self-education in a fast-moving world: “It’s about learning things about the electronic environment we live in.”
Congratulations, & hack on