Category Archives: Communique

International G+ Hangout & Speakers Event: Taipei Hackerspace, Pumping Station: One edition

This is going to be one of the odder events held at Pumping Station: One so far. It’s a 6 hour hangout from 8PM CST to 2AM CST (yes, timezones are crazy!) with people physically located in Taipei, Taiwan; Chicago, USA; San Francisco, USA; Wisconsin, USA, and probably a few other places!

The purpose is to bring people together from all over the world to show the people of Taipei what a hackerspace can do for them, and why it’s so cool that one is coming to their city very soon!

I’m personally giving a talk for a few minutes about how life changing finding hackerspaces can be, and how important their social aspects are. It’s a tall order to talk after the other two speakers, and I hope I can even remotely compare to them. Inter-space social activities like this and so many other things online allow our culture to transfer amazing ideas from far across the globe with so very little friction.

Hackerspaces globe by Joe Walnes
Hackerspaces globe by Joe Walnes

Below is the description by Taipei Hackerspace, the event’s organizer.

First Hackerspace event – (and accidentally Groundhog Day too)

The purpose of this event is to get people interested in joining the first ever hackerspace in Taipei. We will be gauging interest in the hackerspace to help us select a large enough space that we can afford to open. This will also be a chance for the organizers to meet people that can help us find the perfect space. Our goal is to have the space ready for a Hack the Hackerspace event by the time Maker Faire Taiwan arrives in May.


10:00am Doors open
10:30am – 10:50am Speaker: Mitch Altman – The Philosophy of Hackerspaces
10:50am – 11:10am Speaker: Ben Heck – 3D Printing and Hardware Modding
11:10am – 11:30am Speaker: Eric Stein – Creativity in the Hackerspaces
11:30am – 12:00pm Speaker: Open floor – Hackerspace members answer questions
12:00pm – 16:00pm Learning stations open
16:00pm Doors close


Google+ Hangouts
The will be a main G+ Hangout that hackerspaces from around the world can join as a group. This will be displayed on the main screens at the event as well as smaller screen throughout the event. Local people will be able to interact with the members of the hackerspaces. This hangout will also be broadcast On Air.

Learning Stations
Each of the 4 learning stations will have a public G+ Hangout so anyone can join in to learn or teach. Each station will cover one topic that can be completed in about 30 minutes. Each station will have room for 4-6 local participants. The topics will be “Learning to Solder”, “Getting started with Arduino”, “Clothes Hacking”, and an open topic for the last station.


The Speakers

Mitch Altman
[email protected] (PUBLIC)
A co-founder of Noisebridge, a hackerspace in San Francisco, and a pioneer of Virtual reality. Mitch has been featured many time is Make: and many other magazines.

Benjamin Heckendorn
[email protected] (PUBLIC)
Console modder, internet celebrity, pinball enthusiast and designer, host of the Ben Heck Show. There are so many publications about Ben, I can’t even begin to count (Although Google say 3.9M hits!)

Eric Stein
Programmer extraordinaire and insatiable hacker. Eric discovered the hackerspace PumpingStationOne when he was transplanted to Chicago. He immediately took an active role in the community and is now president of the space.

The Organizers
Gergely (Greg) Imreh
[email protected]
Ex-pat living in Taiwan and founder of Taipei Hackerspace. He has been driving the online presence of the group.

Tom Haynes
[email protected] (PUBLIC)
Recently relocated to Taipei from San Francisco. After discovering Gergely through, they joined forces to found the physical space for Taipei Hackerspace.

The Media
Brian Song
Make: Magazine Taiwan

Amber Yan
Editor with Make: Magazine Taiwan

Caroline Hsu
Head of Google Communications, Taiwan

Lan Chang
Google Public Affairs Senior Associate, Taiwan and Hong Kong

Google Taiwan office, Taipei 101, Floor 73
Meeting at Taipei 101 Ground Floor

Of course, don’t go booking plane tickets! That’s what the Internet is for. We’ll be posting the G+ hangout information here, but for the best experience come down to Pumping Station: One for the event, we’ll have the live video up on the projector… and maybe our in-house brewed Pumpkin Ale on tap.

Nitty Gritty

* What: Meet people from all over the world, talk about your projects, and see speeches by Mitch Altman and Ben Heck! You’ve probably heard me talk already, so that’s not the fun part for you.
* Where: Pumping Station: One, 3519 N Elston Chicago IL
* When: Fri Feb 1, 2013 at 8PM to 2AM Saturday (no, you don’t have to stay the whole time!)
* RSVP: not required, but add yourself on Facebook if you like.
* Who: Any member of the public for the first hour and a half (through 9:30PM) and perhaps later, but no guarantees unless I can get someone else to take over hosting the event.

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100+ Members Strong

Photo courtesy Anvica on Flickr

It’s a proud moment for me to announce that Pumping Station: One – just short of the 3rd anniversary when this madcap adventure started – has reached a milestone every culture that counts in base 10 inevitably celebrates: Reaching 100 of something.

That hundred in this case is our combined list of active members. With upwards of 90% of our budget being funded through members like you, it’s easy to see why this calls for celebration. We live or die based on the enthusiasm our community has for us. I recall in the very early planning meetings at Mercury Café we’d talk about the spaces that came before us, namely Noisebridge and their astronomical 100+ members. I thought to myself that we – Chicago – wouldn’t have that problem for a long time with the decentralized and disparate tech community I’d come to know.

It’s the twilight of 2011 now and the phrase “silicon prairie” happens to exist.

In the short time we’ve been around there have been friends made, countless failures (read: learning opportunities) experienced, companies started, companies shuttered, projects built, connections strengthened, children’s toy cars raced, careers re-evaluated and so much more. Each person that’s stepped through our door has had their hand in getting us to this milestone. As we carry on, it’s worth noting our strength exists in the sum of our parts; together we move to realize our common dreams. Being able to see first-hand this experiment in community start as a seed and come to take root is a true privilege and honor.

Thank you all for continually upstaging many of our wildest imaginations.

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President’s Farewell Letter

Today, January 18, 2011, is the last day of my tenure as President of Pumping Station: One, and I’d like to take this opportunity to say to the PS:One 2010 Board of Directors, PS:One members new and old, our community, our friends, and our neighbors:
Thank you.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve your community for the past year as president of the City of Chicago’s hackerspace.  Thank you for the hard work, enthusiasm, and ideas; the good, the bad, and even the crazy ones you contributed to keep us alive this past year.  In 2010 we experienced near-catastrophes, but we also experienced many more triumphs.   Continue reading President’s Farewell Letter

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We’ve Got Something New For You

Sheperd Fairey Unveiling
Photo courtesey cliff1066™

If it’s been a while since you last laid your eyes on the nav bar of our humble website, now would be a good time to reacquaint yourself with it.  We’ve added a Media tab up top that contains all of PS:One’s official video (and soon to be audio as well).

We’ve been quietly recording talks and events over the last year and here is just a small selection of those recordings.  There are additional Guided Tours along with the rest of your favorite PS:One talks still in queue to be edited.

Many people have invested a lot of time and work to bring this content to a broader audience extending our reach into the greater community.   Carl Karsten was integral in showing me a less-cumbersome workflow for shooting and recording audio.  Also, Tim Saylor has scheduled so many great speakers for Guided Tours and made such a great help with production (and even taking over once as of this writing).

Now give your strained eyes a rest from this 20th century concept of “reading” and sit back to enjoy some syndicated PS:One goodness.

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Power Racing Series: Mod Your Childhood Memories

Modified car from last year's PPPRS.
Photo by Anne Petersen.

Adults who missed the thrill of Power Wheels or Little Tikes cars as a child now can go one better: by modifying the battery-powered child-size vehicles and competing at Maker Faire Detroit. Teams of DIY mechanic enthusiasts have been upgrading the small-scale cars far beyond stock performance levels to win prizes and bragging rights.

Among many other activities at Make magazine’s Maker Faire at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, July 31–August 1, the DieHard-sponsored Power Racing Series (PPPRS) will premiere. In its inaugural year the event was internal to PS: One, but this year brings teams together from far beyond the Midwest.

Jim Burke, a Pumping Station: One Director-at-Large and the Director of the PPPRS, said “I want Makers to meet face to face with a common project. Modifying and racing these toys is fun, creative, and challenging.”

This year, with DieHard Platinum batteries and chargers powering the series, nine teams from six different hackerspaces and makerspaces will compete in the three events of PPPRS: a drag race, a road race, and an endurance race. The PPPRS will be a main event at Maker Faire: Detroit, and families are encouraged to attend. We hope to see you there!

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Tuesday Scheduling Change

A quick reminder, we’ve gone back to weekly membership meetings.

That’s right – we’re having full meetings every Tuesday at 8pm.  Board meetings will happen at 7pm.

Quick facts about this change:

  • 300 Seconds of Fame will begin immediately following the membership meeting and will continue as a monthly event on the second Tuesday of every month. Sign up with Anne if you want to have 300 seconds of your very own.
  • This month’s Guided Tour will be the last of the series for the foreseeable future.
  • The extremely fun 5th Tuesday Potlucks will also continue (immediately following the membership meeting).
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An Open Research Network

Click Link for an updated map: Network Map Link

When you connect to the network at Pumping Station: One by plugging in or via wireless, you are joining a very special network.

We’re one of the first networks to join with Agora Link.  Agora is the North American arm of a global Research network that is linking hackerspaces’ internal networks together into one awesome collaborative mesh.   We’re tied in with the ChaosVPN in Germany, and as of this past weekend we have 50 registered end points.  If interested, you can read more here:

What’s the payoff?  First up is a plan to host an international CTF competition using hackerspaces and other labs as the meeting points for teams. So look for more details on that in the near future.

More developments on this will be popping up throughout the next year.

This was co-posted from Matt’s “Openfly” blog post at NYC Resistor

Twitter: @agoralink

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FRED Talk: Dr. Michael Sternberg, Everything you wanted to know about super computers

Dr. Michael Sternberg of Argonne National Laboratory and the Carbon Super Computer will be presenting the talk:

Everything You Wanted To Know About Super Computers But Didn’t know Who to Ask.

If you’ve ever wondered what makes some computer so super, or just wanted to know how to start building your own, this would be the talk to attend, and bring questions. Why should I go with a AMD chipset or not? What’s a beowulf cluster? Why might I want to go with PlayStation 3’s. Plus much much more.

This talk is open to the public, seating is limited so show up early. This presentation will start right after the weekly meeting and is tentatively scheduled start at 8:30pm this Tuesday.

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Museum Security And the Thomas Crown Affair: A Reality Check

In The Laboratory by Henry Alexander

Art museums appear to be impenetrable fortresses after closing time. What is often unknown to the majority of the visiting public is that the majority of these collections are stored and cataloged outside of these main halls. In many cases up to 99% of museums’ collections are stored away never to be seen for decades, if that often.

Over the last 8 months I have researched the difference between movie museum security and the reality of museum security.

Just published is a some of my results in the Journal of Physical Security at Argonne National Laboratory.

You can find the article here.

Or here.

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