More than one member of the Hackaday team has significant involvement in a hackspace, as member, director, or even founder. We talk about hackspaces quite rarely on these pages though, not because we don’t have anything to say on the matter but because even when we write in general terms our fellow members invariably think it’s all about them rather than the hackspace world at large.
For once I’m going to break the silence, and not only talk about hackspaces, but talk about my own hackspace in specific terms. Because, fellow Oxford Hackspace members, this isn’t about you personally though I’m using our home to illustrate a point. The topic is a thorny issue that must affect all spaces, that of donations of physical items. People want to help their hackspace, they have a pile of what they consider to be good stuff, and when they’re having a clear-out they make a donation. But, as we all know, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and vice-versa. Continue reading “The Complex Issue Of Hackspace Donations”
If I can offer one piece of advice to the Hackaday readership, it is this: Never, ever, be the sole member of your hackerspace’s board that owns a large station wagon, unless you relish the thought of packing an entire hacker camp village into your vehicle and transporting it halfway across the country in the blazing August heat.
I’ve done my laundry, aired my tent, and just sorted the contents of a brace of Tesco bags into several categories: rubbish, food, camping gear and interesting stuff. As I write this, yesterday was teardown day for Electromagnetic Field 2016, an event that bills itself as “a non-profit UK camping festival for those with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things: hackers, artists, geeks, crafters, scientists, and engineers”, and this is a personal account of the event from the point of view of both being part of the Oxford Hackspace village and of waving the flag for Hackaday and Tindie.
Continue reading “EMF Camp 2016, A Personal Review”
It’s frustrating, the reluctance of some of my fellow hackspace members to put the cordless drill battery back in the charger after use. As this is being written I’ve just coaxed enough energy from the drill to make a few holes in a piece of PVC pipe that will form part of an improvised flagpole, and upon that pole will hang Hackaday’s Jolly Wrencher flag at this weekend’s EMF Camp. We’re sharing a village with Oxford Hackspace, and as both your Hackaday scribe and an OxHack member the last week has been a little busy.
In theory it’s a simple enough process, getting a hackspace and all its assorted accoutrements down to Guildford. Three or four members’ cars will be loaded to the gunwales and will set off in good time to have everything under way without still desperately getting ready when the fun begins. In practice it’s been a procession of narrowly averted disasters, from the gazebo someone bought at auction turning out to have five walls and no roof, to the large ball that forms an essential part of one of the projects OxHack will be featuring being a buy-while-stocks-last remaindered product from last years Argos catalogue that only certain stores seem to still have.
We’ll be on the border between camping areas A and B, next to our friends from the Netherlands. I’m told that this location was requested due to likely proximity to a source of stroopwafels. If you come along on Friday between 6 and 8 PM we’re holding the Tindie bring-a-hack event, at which we’ll be inviting attendees to bring along their hacks to share with the masses. All projects are welcome, but if you have a Hackaday Prize entry, a Hackaday.io project or a Tindie item we’d especially love to see you. My colleague Jasmine assures me that there will be a limited amount of Hackaday and Tindie swag on offer.
If you’re going down to EMF Camp this weekend then please drop by and have a chat if you’re passing our village. Otherwise you’ll probably encounter us on our travels as we try to seek out the interesting projects and hacks to feature on these pages. We hope the British weather doesn’t deliver any unpleasant surprises, and may all your projects work when you demonstrate them in front of the masses!
Jenny List is a director of Oxford Hackspace when she is not writing for Hackaday.