Monthly Archives: November 2012

Happy Hacks-Giving!

Part of being a hackerspace that is located right off of a major college campus includes being almost completely quiet during the holidays. Everyone is out of town visiting family, leaving only the townies and solitude-loving members of our community to populate the space. As one of these kinds of people, I can imagine the space looks a lot like two or three people gaming for the entire day and maybe one or two doing their normal projects and Maker awesomeness.

For the first time since I have had my hackerspace family, I am away from them for the holidays. My partner and myself are currently in the mountains with my family, where wildlife in the backyard is no big deal and there are no stop signs on the streets in the nearest town. This is the opposite of city life, and makes me wonder where the parallels lie.

Not only did we simply join together as friends and family and enjoy a delicious meal and tell stories, but we held a pie competition where the winner got to launch the losing pie from a make-shift catapult made from rope and tension between two trees. A few hours were spent trying to make a simple version of a ballista, but all attempts to make it usable were unsuccessful. With a creative mind, those few hours and a failed project were replaced by 10 minutes and some rope.

The Maker Revolution is an interesting concept to me. It promotes people programming, hacking, and learning to do more with technology and resources around them to advance their own lives and help their community. The other side of it is a return to the times of long ago, when we made our own clothes, grew our own food, and built our own homes. It’s nice to think that I’m part of something new and exciting, but in all reality, it’s a weird looking Tron-Garden hybrid. We never really stopped doing these things, but at some point, they became so much of an inconvenience to do ourselves, so we pay a gigantic corporate stranger to do it for us. 

I get it, we don’t have enough time anymore. We have jobs to be at, places to drive to, and show to watch. My question is, why can’t people have more productive hobbies? 


Arduino on rye please

So here I am, at the Electronics Lunch workshop on the U of M campus, about to mess with some Ardiuno. Upon my arrival and introduction, the prospect of working together and doing workshops was made clear that it should be pursued. I told Connor about how we’re working on after school programs and doing a lot of outreach with other organizations, and apparently he wants us to run some workshops down here on campus.

It’s becoming more clear to me that there are quite a few places around Ann Arbor that want to work with us, and not many people who know exactly what we can offer. I now know why Xander was always talking about how we should go out in the community and talk to people. I may have more thoughts on this later, but just had to get the thought out.

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