Pow-Pow-Power Wheels Racing Series!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.05.21 at 2:49 am | Perma

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.

Hackerspaces on Wired

astera | Posted 2009.03.30 at 12:42 pm | Perma

This morning, our neighbors at WIRED.compublished a really informative and outstanding article about hackerspaces, and NoiseBridge in specific.

wired_frontpage

From the blog post:

DIY Freaks Flock to ‘Hacker Spaces’ Worldwide

NoiseBridge on WIRED

SAN FRANCISCO — R. Miloh Alexander and Seth Schoen are hunched over an old pay phone whose innards are being grafted onto the guts of a Walmart telephone and a voice-over-IP modem.
Right now, the Frankensteinish hybrid looks like a pile of tangled wires. Somewhere in the mess, an alligator clip has popped loose. Schoen frowns.
“We really need to solder these down,” he says.
The two are working on a recent Monday evening at Noisebridge, a collectively operated hacker space in San Francisco. Across the table, Noisebridge member Molly Boynoff is typing on a sticker-covered MacBook, learning to program in Python. Next to her, Noisebridge co-founder Mitch Altman is showing two newcomers how to solder resistors and LEDs onto a circuit board.
“There are zillions of people around the world doing this,” says Altman, referring to the swell of interest in do-it-yourself projects and hacking. “It’s a worldwide community.”
At the center of this community are hacker spaces like Noisebridge, where like-minded geeks gather to work on personal projects, learn from each other and hang out in a nerd-friendly atmosphere. Like artist collectives in the ’60s and ’70s, hacker spaces are springing up all over.
There are now 96 known active hacker spaces worldwide, with 29 in the United States, according to Hackerspaces.org. Another 27 U.S. spaces are in the planning or building stage.
Located in rented studios, lofts or semi-commercial spaces, hacker spaces tend to be loosely organized, governed by consensus, and infused with an almost utopian spirit of cooperation and sharing.
“It’s almost a Fight Club for nerds,” says Nick Bilton of his hacker space, NYC Resistor in Brooklyn, New York. Bilton is an editor in The New York Times R&D lab and a board member of NYC Resistor. Bilton says NYC Resistor has attracted “a pretty wide variety of people, but definitely all geeks. Not Dungeons & Dragons–type geeks, but more professional, working-type geeks.”
For many members, the spaces have become a major focus of their evening and weekend social lives.
Since it was formed last November, Noisebridge has attracted 56 members, who each pay $80 per month (or $40 per month on the “starving hacker rate”) to cover the space’s rent and insurance. In return, they have a place to work on whatever they’re interested in, from vests with embedded sonar proximity sensors to web-optimized database software.
Altman wears a black Dorkbot T-shirt, a black zip-up hoody and olive khakis with large side pockets. His long gray hair features vibrant blue and red stripes, and he’s nearly always smiling. His enthusiasm for hacker spaces is infectious.
“In our society there’s a real dearth of community,” Altman says. “The internet is a way for people to key in to that need, but it’s so inadequate. [At hacker spaces], people get a little taste of that community and they just want more.”

I can most warmly recommend you to read the whole article here!
Congratulations to all parties involved.

And btw: As for today, we know of 101 active hackerspaces, plus 18 uncategorized; besides this, 64 hackerspaces are planned or (17 out of which) currently in building process.
And every time I see a post like this come up, a talk being held, a paper mentioning one of these spaces – every one of these times, more people get interested, and the long list of planned hackerspaces grows a little more.
And this is what makes me so very happy about Dylan Tweney’s article.

Build! Unite! Multiply!
yt, /astera

***

UPDATE!

Apache crashed

As for 02:50 PM EST today, our good old Apache crashed due to the WIRED article’s appearence on the front page of digg.com; shortly after temporarily fixing load issues, the database was brought to its knees.

digg

So, first off: W00T!!!1!!eleven

Secondly: We’re working on it. For the next couple of hours, however, only static html pages generated from the wiki will be served (besides this blog) – until we finalized the wiki optimization.

Again, thanks for all the interest. You people rock.

Hack on,
/astera

Reciprocity

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 & dinner update!

astera | Posted 2009.01.26 at 4:55 am | Perma

Due to our worries about missing a lot of hackerspace updates by doing the conference call on Thu, Feb. 05th as planned (since quite a couple of you hackers might be trapped on a plane on your way to ShmooCon), we decided to reschedule the next call-in to

Sunday, Feb. 01st at 02 pm PST / 05 pm EST / 10 pm UTC / 11 pm CET

Please RSVP by adding your hackerspaces name + handle to the schedule if you are planning to call in & give an update!

As usual, all technical information can be found here.

***

However, our dinner plans on the night before ShmooCon – Thu, Feb 05th, that is – remain unchanged;
please make sure to RSVP via over9000(at)hackerspaces.org or add your name to the referring wikipage, so we save a hackerspaces dinner seat for you.

We hope to be able to update the wiki with more info about events happening at and around ShmooCon shortly – stay tuned ^^

***

Hope to see you there,
/astera

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 hackerspaces.org/blog team! Everyone thanks for reading so far, and expect interesting articles from this man in the coming weeks and months.

-E.

Upcoming: hackerspaces call-in from DC, 05|02|09

astera | Posted 2009.01.08 at 1:28 am | Perma

Laz0rphone

Dear hackers,

we’ll have a small dinner party organized the night before ShmooCon starts – on Feb. 05th, 2009 that is.
Everyone coming to ShmooCon or being around Washington DC that evening and interested in hackerspaces should join in!

Also, we’ll hold the next call-in from there (as we did from c-base – just a little more on time ;)
so please RSVP via over9000 (at) hackerspaces.org, let me know what you think, and if you’ll be able to make it!

Cheers,
/astera

PS: If you want to suggest a new topic for this blog or leave us some feedback, see the Suggestion Box – or mail us via blog (at) hackerspaces.org