Historical Hackers: Ctesibius Tells Time

People are obsessed with the time and the weather. We’ve talked about the weather since we were all cave dwellers hunting with spears. But the time is a different matter. Sure, people always had the idea of the passage of time. The sun rising and setting gives a natural sense of days, but daylight and dark periods vary by the time of year and to get an accurate and linear representation of time turns out to be rather difficult. That is unless you are a Greek engineer living in Alexandria around 250 BC.

Legend has it that and engineer working in his father’s barbershop led him to discover not only the first working clock, but also the pipe organ, launching the field of pneumatics in the process. That engineer was named Ctesibius and while his story is mostly forgotten, it shows he has a place as a historical hacker.

You might think there were timekeeping devices before 250 BC, and that’s sort of true. However, the devices before Ctesibius had many limitations. For example, a sundial can tell time, but only if the sun is shining. At night or during a storm it is worthless.

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Hackerspace Intro: Hackerspace.gr In Athens Greece

This is a fitting video to be the first of our Hackerspace introductions.  After our call for hackerspace tours yesterday, [Nikos] emailed us to let us know that their hackerspace already had a video ready. While this is more of a general video, explaining the idea behind hackerspaces, we do get to see a little bit of what is going on there. You can catch the video after the break (english subtitled), or head on over to their site to see what is going on at Hackerspace.gr in Athens Greece.

Though this video is very well made, yours doesn’t have to be. We don’t care if you are filming in your basement with 2 other members, showing off a couple projects, we want to see it! If you’re making a video for us, remember that we already know what a hackerspace is, so show us what you are doing!

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