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September 3, 2010 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Hackspaces are open resources for community, group, or solo work on digital media, electronics, robotics, and art installations. Many allow drop-ins, and are run on a voluntary, non-profit basis - there’s likely one near you. Just want to repair something by yourself? iFixit, previously known for their teardowns of Apple products, have launched an open wiki to create manuals on how to repair everything from vehicles to household appliances.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul (22 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
HacDC recently did this cool balloon launch.
posted by exogenous at 2:46 PM on September 3, 2010


Previously, on Metafilter.
posted by kdar at 2:49 PM on September 3, 2010


Last time we discussed the subject, Albuquerque's hackerspace was still in the planning stages. Thanks partially to the attention that MeFi post got, we re-ignited interest in the project and just opened our doors about a month ago.
posted by signalnine at 2:55 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've been interested in this stuff for a while. Really wish there was one where I am (Lubbock, TX) as I live in an apartment and can't exactly keep a table saw and drill press in here.

Cool movement in general. In the world of non-user serviceable products, the skills of repairing and building electronics and similar things have kind of fallen to the wayside. As an engineering student, it's shocking to me how many of the kids in my classes have never done woodworking or picked up a soldering iron. These are the same kind of kids who would have been tinkering with radio kits if they had been born 20 years earlier.

Definitely something that should be encouraged, and I'm glad to see some people still care about it.

(this is the most "get off my lawn" type post I've done, and I'm 21 years old. Go figure)
posted by DMan at 3:08 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of deceased groups on the west coast. What is with this coast and habitual failure to keep up with clubs and societies?
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:19 PM on September 3, 2010


I love the how to repair everything site. It is quite scary how many of my friends throw toasters and other stuff away without even changing the fuse in the plug first to check. Also I just swapped my laptop screen for £100 cheaper than the place I bought it would have charged me, which makes me annoyed for all the people who won't even consider that it might be an easy job.

Electrical stuff is way too cheap these days. On the other hand I'm a skinflint and half my house is only still together through the power of duct tape and wishful thinking.
posted by shinybaum at 3:31 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Noisebridge, the hacker space in San Francisco, has two space programs: the Russians and the Americans.

They also just spawned a new hacker space in the East Bay area, Ace Monster Toys. I'd say things on the west coast are alive and well :)
posted by thalakan at 3:43 PM on September 3, 2010


Oh, and the hacker spaces in the San Francisco Bay Area are sitting on mmm 150 processor cores in datacenters which they're making available for educational and non-profit purposes. For some bizarre reason no one wants to take advantage of them.

I just added another 15 machines last week, too.
posted by thalakan at 3:45 PM on September 3, 2010


signalnine

It looks like you're running in a house, is that right?
posted by madajb at 4:01 PM on September 3, 2010


I've been attempting off and on to get something like this up and running where I am, but have been unable to get folks to commit the financial resources to get a space.

I'm not willing to put myself personally on the hook for rent/electric/etc.
posted by madajb at 4:02 PM on September 3, 2010


I recently joined the London (uk) hackspace, which is awesome. Quite a strong bias toward computers and electronics, but there's other more arty stuff on the rise. They have a well-equipped space and are a very welcoming crowd, well worth checking out if you're in London.
posted by metaBugs at 4:02 PM on September 3, 2010


I really like the idea of the hacker space. However, someone noted in the comments that on the West Coast many clubs die out quickly. I can certainly understand that happening if these are non profit organizations. I am guessing they don't charge for their resources, but maybe some small fees to do so would help pay the overhead? Or maybe that defeats the whole purpose? Would like to see hacker spaces succeed though.
posted by Life_Settlement_Broker at 4:10 PM on September 3, 2010


Metafilter's own davemee and slyrabbit run the Manchester one - and very nice it is too
posted by Jofus at 4:13 PM on September 3, 2010


I really like the idea of the hacker space. However, someone noted in the comments that on the West Coast many clubs die out quickly. I can certainly understand that happening if these are non profit organizations. I am guessing they don't charge for their resources, but maybe some small fees to do so would help pay the overhead? Or maybe that defeats the whole purpose? Would like to see hacker spaces succeed though.
Noisebridge and Ace Monster Toys are funded by members who pay monthly dues. Noisebridge also makes some money from selling sodas. There aren't any other fees.
posted by thalakan at 4:14 PM on September 3, 2010


Ace Monster Toys is just a mile from my house.

But more projects than I can count are already zero miles from my house. sigh.
posted by Zed at 4:59 PM on September 3, 2010


If you participate in a hacker space, you may soon be able to get government funding.
posted by scalefree at 5:17 PM on September 3, 2010


There's a hacker space in my neighborhood here in Seattle. It has all kinds of cool toys, stuff for sale, and seems like it ought to be a great place to hang out. Problem is, I don't really have any good reason to go there. What does one do at such a place that isn't easier to do at home?
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:05 PM on September 3, 2010


I'm on the board of the hackerspace in Hamilton, ON - we're in the middle of a reboot, with a space in a much more accessible (and better, and more supported) location.
posted by clicking the 'Post Comment' button at 7:21 PM on September 3, 2010


It looks like you're running in a house, is that right?

It's a converted house, zoned for commercial use. Works out really nicely in terms of the space being segregated into discrete sections.
posted by signalnine at 7:21 PM on September 3, 2010


There's a hackerspace in Baltimore. I haven't been (I live a couple of hours away), but I'd really like to check it out. Aside from troubleshooting PCs, hardware has always been a mystery to me—and I've always wanted to create some digital art objects.

Geeks make me so happy. I love that this phenomenon exists.
posted by ixohoxi at 7:42 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would love for the citizens of Chicago to get together and push the Park District to allow us to use the few remaining (and amazing) park district wood and metal shops as hacker spaces. They deny it, but I suspect that they are trying hard to phase them out because they are hard to locate on the Park District website and I've heard complaints from the shop stewards that they are rarely promoted. But they are amazing gems in a city where you can't always have a table saw or drill press in your own place. Especially since schools don't teach shop anymore, AND the mayor is all about green initiatives (Repair! Repair!). Here were all the shop locations I could find as of Nov 2007. I don't know if they are all still open.
posted by jeanmari at 11:15 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can't wait to check out some of the Noisebridge events. Thanks to Bora Horza Gobuchul for reminding me of these, now that I've just moved to SF.
posted by ifthe21stcentury at 9:06 PM on September 4, 2010


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