Dana Nelson

I do many things, most of them being for my hackerspace. This blog is supposed to be and say more about All Hands Active and what goes on, and be more of a piece on what anyone’s experience could be like as part of the hackerspace culture, but if one really wants to know more about me specifically, then here it is. Just be warned, I don’t like to brag. I am told my life is more interesting than I think it is.

All Hands Active– Board Member & Member

This is my main focus in life and see myself being a part of this for a very long time. I love the people, the culture, and even the pain and strife is brings. There are trying times, as there is with anything you are emotionally invested in, but with every challenge is a chance for a reward. Those rewards come in all sorts of ways, whether it’s an accomplishment for myself, helping someone else achieve something amazing, or seeing some sort of physical proof of recognition and gratitude. The ups and downs, the balance of chaos and order, and the joy and stress of doing so much at one time, all of this helps me grow as a person and become who I envision myself becoming. There’s always a lot that needs doing and always more room to grow, which is exciting. In the 2 years I’ve been part of this amazing organism, I’ve started to learn how to love being kept on my toes.

Digital Ops– Button Masher Extraordinaire

I am one of the cashiers of Ann Arbor’s video game LAN center and the longest running LAN center in North America. Sharing the same space as AHA, it creates an interesting dynamic that I think other LAN centers, as well as hackerspaces, lack. We can combine the creativity and  fun that comes with video gaming, while taking advantage of the ambition and execution from the hackers and makers. The pairing of the two worlds makes for an eclectic variety of nerds and geeks  in our humble dwellings, always leading to varying opinions, outlooks, and backgrounds. This is one of my favorite aspects of the space, and makes me grateful that I’m in such a diverse environment on a daily basis.

Backyard Brains– Assembly Minion

I put together many products that BYB sells to schools, universities, hobbyists, and amatuer neuroscientists. I’ve been a part of the team since June of 2012 and have loved it ever since. I constantly take pictures of the different things I will be working with on any specific day, and of course instagram them ironically. The people I work with are amazing, easygoing, and fun to be around. One minute dance parties are a common occurrence in both the early hours before the space is open and late at night when most people have gone home while we continue to toil away at the incoming orders. If you’re curious about the more specific things BYB does, check out their website, there’s videos and articles all over that thing, which I continue to re-watch all the time.


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