Hackerspaces – The Beginning (the book)

Bre | Posted 2011.08.31 at 5:34 pm | Perma

In December of 2008, a group of hackers was sitting on the floor with faces aglow with laptop light cruising the internet and skyping friends in and listening to death metal.

It was 12 days before 25c3. Astera and I had a conversation that went something like this:

B: There should be a book.
A: Yes, there should.
B: We have 12 days.
A: We can do it.

The twelve days we had was until CCC started. We figured we would have it done by then. We contacted all the hackers we knew around the world and put the word out. We expected to get about a half a page of writing from each space. We reckoned that it would be a 25 page pamphlet. We also reckoned that it be easy for folks to write up a little summary within a few days of what it was like to get their hackerspace started and get back to us.

Within a week we had been scorched by a flame war, gotten a lot of both written and photographic material submitted and it seemed likely that the book would happen. Then the submissions kept coming… and coming. The hackerspaces around the world told each other about the project and many groups sent some writing in describing the beginning of their hackerspace. Word had even gotten round to groups that didn’t have a space yet and they were sending us descriptions of their pre-beginnings too!

The 12 days came and went and still the submissions kept coming. After a few months submissions had trailed off and Astera came to NYC and began designing the book. She’s a pro and it shows. This book looks beautiful because she took the material and somehow made it fit together aesthetically, not a trivial task. Jens Ohlig jumped into the process last year to help push the editing process forward. Remember, in our minds it was going to be a project that would take less than two weeks and it turned into something epic. It’s been a long wait and I hope you’ll think that it’s worth it.

Download HackerSpaces: The Beginning!

This book documents where the hackerspace movement was in December of 2008. In that way it’s a bit of a time capsule. It’s not an exhaustive book, but we hope there are enough stories in here to show that all your excuses for not starting up a hackerspace are invalid. Each group faced down their own dragons to bring their hackerspace into existence including  floods, rats, and drama. If they can do it, so can you.

We did this because we wanted it to exist and so it is a reward in itself. If you feel moved and want to support hackerspaces, we suggest contributing to the Wau Holland fund which helps make awesome things happen for hackerspaces. We would also like to thank everyone who submitted photographs and writing, this is your book.

After these years, the book is finally free in the world as a pdf. Download it, read it, and share it. We’re open to the idea of making it into a real physical book and if you’re interested in making that happen, let us know.

Build, Unite, Multiply!

21 comments

  1. Would be great to get an epub version, it’d be more friendly for ereader devices

    joop, August 31, 2011
  2. Great idea, so appropriate to have it a free download, too! Snagging it now…

    Andrew Schrock, September 1, 2011
  3. [...] hackerspaces | flux | Hackerspaces – The Beginning (the book) [...]

  4. Could you publish it in HTML? Or in plain PDF instead of ZIP?

    That would help to read the book without going otuside of the browser.

    Thanks in advance,

    zoobab, September 1, 2011
  5. [...] Hackerspaces – The Beginning (the book). This book documents where the hackerspace movement was in December of 2008. In that way it’s a bit of a time capsule. It’s not an exhaustive book, but we hope there are enough stories in here to show that all your excuses for not starting up a hackerspace are invalid. Each group faced down their own dragons to bring their hackerspace into existence including  floods, rats, and drama. If they can do it, so can you. [...]

  6. Going for it :)

    Vikash, September 2, 2011
  7. Hi, I’ve uploaded this excellent book to the Internet Archive and it can be found on this page with an online reader, as well as Kindle, Epub and other forms. Thanks for making such a great book, folks!

    Jason Scott, September 3, 2011
  8. Thanks for this!

    It would make a sexy physical book!
    I don’t pretend to have the means or connections to make that happen, but I just was to put it out there that there would be a market for the book. even if it is just those of us from hackerspaces. ;)

    CrashCart, September 3, 2011
  9. I’ve used lulu.com before, print-on-demand. Might be a good start. If there turns out to be much interest you can always pull it and publish it separately.

    Lio, September 3, 2011
  10. HackerSpaces: The Beginning!…

    Bre Pettis, Astera Schneeweisz, and Jens Ohlig wrote a book which documents where the hackerspace movement was in December of 2008. In that way it’s a bit of a time capsule. Download The Beginning….

    flipdot.org, September 4, 2011
  11. [...] une histoire qui a commencé du temps des BBS, ces ancêtres des forums de discussion, que raconte Hackerspaces, the beginning [en] : un e-book de plus de 100 pages de textes et d’images sur les hackerspaces, espaces [...]

  12. [...] Histoire de la contre-culture des hackers – Hackerspaces [...]

  13. [...] une histoire qui a commencé du temps des BBS, ces ancêtres des forums de discussion, que raconte Hackerspaces, the beginning [en] : un e-book de plus de 100 pages de textes et d’images sur les hackerspaces, espaces [...]

  14. [...] hackerspaces | flux | Hackerspaces – The Beginning (the book) Source: blog.hackerspaces.org [...]

  15. [...] Shared Hackerspaces – The Beginning (the book). [...]

  16. [...] hackerspaces | flux | Hackerspaces – The Beginning (the book) [...]

  17. [...] 2008年,在创客空间世界那是很久很久之前了,Bre Pettis, Astera Schneeweisz, 和 Jens Ohlig向全世界的创客们透露他们想写一本关于创客空间的书,并且向各个创客空间索求一些资料。没想到创客空间中引起了巨大反响,关于各自创客空间的无数的文字和图片资料源源不断的寄给他们,甚至很多仅仅是在筹备阶段。最终诞生了这本书:创客空间-起源。 这本书记录了直到2008年12月为止的创客空间运动的发展。因此它有点像时代文物储藏器,而并不是一本关于创客空间的详细说明的书。我们希望提供足够多的故事,鼓励那些想成为创客的人们,让他们知道以各种理由放弃成立创客空间是站不住脚的。每个创个空间组织从成立到生存都会遇到各种困难和戏剧性的事情。如果他们能够成功,你也可以。 [...]

  18. [...] going through Hackerspaces- The Beginning (book) I came across this. It initially appeared in Phrack-Magazine. As it is published in a [...]

  19. [...] Astera Schneeweisz, and Jens Ohlig solicited entries from hackers around the world to create a book about hackerspaces. They’ve finally put it out! This book documents where the hackerspace movement was in [...]

  20. [...] aux HackerSpacex ces laboratoires communautaires ouvert, alors il vous faut absolument lire Hackerspaces – The Beginning.  Ce livre document commencé en 2008 par le groupe 25c3 retrace les débuts de différents [...]

  21. Any chance of getting a new download for this? tried to download and it said it was no longer found on the server.

    v3n0m1t3, February 13, 2014

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