Category Archives: Communique

Pumping Station: One welcomes our friends from i3Detroit!

As if we didn’t have enough excitement going on at Pumping Station: One this weekend, with the didgeridoo class and the Come On, Feel The Noise Hackathon, this weekend we will have visitors. A group of people from i3Detroit, the hackerspace in Detroit, will be visiting Pumping Station: One this weekend! They will be arriving Saturday afternoon and heading home on Sunday, so they’ll have plenty of time to explore our space and enjoy our Hackathon.

Remember, the Hackathon is open to the public. So, if you want to not only work on your projects but also enjoy the chance to meet your fellow hackers from the Motor City, make sure to come by the space this weekend!

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Tuesday Night’s Alright

Announcing our brand new Tuesday Night Schedule:

  • 1st Tuesday of the month: Monthly Membership Meeting and Board Meeting
  • 2nd Tuesday of the month: 300 Seconds of Fame
  • 3rd Tuesday of the month: Open House
  • 4th Tuesday of the month: Workshop Day (a longer-format talk)
  • 5th Tuesday of the month (when it exists): PS: One Pot Luck

All events are open to the public, occur at 3354 N. Elston Ave in Chicago (look for the red door) and start around 8pm, and doors always open at 6pm for schmoozing (use the doorbell if you can’t get in). Continue reading Tuesday Night’s Alright

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Closing Thoughts from the 2009 President

Closing Thoughts from the 2009 President

As I step down from my position as president, pass the reins to the 2010 board of directors, and become a normal member again, I want to look back at everything that led to the founding of PS1 and all the work we have done since then. I have had the distinct pleasure and honor of working with a literal army of like-minded and brilliant collaborators to create and work with some amazing organizations over the past few years.

Continue reading Closing Thoughts from the 2009 President

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Memes class at IIA this Thursday!

IMMA_CHARGIN_MAH_LAZER_4Are you charging your lazors? No? Would you like to? Then stop by Illinois Institute of Art this Thursday, November the 19th at 7 o’clock in room 213 for a crash course in internet memes, taught by PS:One members Jim Burke and Eli Skipp. The hour long class will go over what memes are, the history of memes, the origin of the term, and everything else you could ever possibly want to know. Free pizza, free knowledge.

Note: as internet memes are constantly being invented, rising, and falling again into obscurity, this will be the first installment in a series of classes.

Address, times, etc. are listed on the calendar to the right!
(Image via

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PS:One has a New Logo!

Pumping Station: One has adopted a new logo!

Our original logo, designed by Nathan Witt and affectionately known as “Bubbles,” gave us a unique identity right from the start, and we will retire it with honor.

The new logo was developed by Jim Burke with the following ideas in mind:

  • Scalability – The new design can be easily scaled at various sizes, allowing us to use it for projects “as big as a billboard and as small as a postage stamp.”  Graphic designers rejoice!
  • References – Much like our name, Pumping Station: One’s new logo is unique while incorporating a direct tie to our city’s identity.  The new 6-point design was created following the exact dimensions of the Chicago Star on our Municipal Flag.
  • Culture – We want the members of PS:One to feel unified through membership as a whole, but we also love that each individual area of focus appeals to different people.  To that end, we’re developing badges (which will become buttons, stickers, etc) to represent each different area of PS:One, such as the Danger Committee or the Homewreckery.  Each badge will use the basic design, but will be customized to represent the personality of that area so that we can internally identify one another’s skill sets and interests.

With that, we proudly give you “Harbinger.”

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PS:One is now a do-ocracy.

doitPumping Station: One is a do-ocracy. Take, for example, the idea that we needed to disseminate the idea that we need to stop talking and start doing. Eli didn’t talk about it: she grabbed her paint and her paintbrush, and wrote the cardinal rule on our wall for all to see.

The do-ocracy applies to anything in Pumping Station: One. This includes personal projects. This includes group projects. This includes improvements to the space. Nothing in a hackerspace will ever get done unless somebody takes ownership of it and acts to get it done.

This “somebody” is you. Yes, you. Have a project in mind? Just fucking do it.

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Warzone Project


Dear CCCKC and HacDC: It’s on like Donkey Kong.

Pumping Station: One, CCCKC, and HacDC announced at the DEFCON
Podcaster’s Meetup of the creation of the Warzone Project. As you may
know, the CCCKC network has a separate area dedicated to security
research…both attack and defense. This separate section of the network
was created so that members had a sandbox to attack and defend without
worrying about compromising their own or someone else’s systems and
information. The premise is that of assumed risk, neighborliness and
numerous disclaimers to users looking to participate that they should
know exactly what they are doing (or at least getting themselves into)
by connecting to the network.

We were ecstatic when we were contacted by the Astaro corporation who
loved the idea so much, they not only wanted their hardware on the
network but that they wanted to help expand the Project nationwide by
donating appliances to each of us. Each hacker space has their
hardware and over the next few weeks we will be hashing out the
details and putting together the darknet.

Below you will find the press release which was issued by Astaro at DEFCON.

For more information, you should follow the Warzone Project on
Twitter.  (@warzoneproject)

Astaro Corporation (, a leading network security
vendor, today announced that Astaro has donated three Astaro Security
Gateway appliances to the Warzone Project, a joint research venture
between hacker spaces in the United States. The Warzone Project
creates a secure network between hacker spaces around the country for
information security research.

Hacker spaces are community-operated physical spaces where people meet
and collaborate on all forms of technology, culture and crafts in new
and interesting ways. Members are encouraged to share research and
discoveries and use what they learn to help educate others.

Astaro donated three Astaro Secuirty Gateway appliances to this
initaitve as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to educating the
technology community about network security. The Astaro Security
Gateways will be used to interconnect and build the Warzone
infrastructure. Additionaly, the Astaro Security Gateways will provide
insight into where traffic comes from and will help the Warzone
hackers identify potential vulnerabilities and develop attack

“When we began organizing the Warzone Project we knew we needed a
trusted security product for the program be successful,” said Bill
Swearingen (hevnsnt) of the Cowtown Computer Congress. “We approached
Astaro to sponsor our events by donating the appliances because the
Astaro Security Gateway offers reliable Intrusion Protection System
that was ideal for testing the effectiveness of real-world attacks,
and for helping us to develop security standards.”

There is a common misconception that people who identify as hackers
are criminals or engaged in other unethical activities.

“Hacker spaces and the Warzone project are helping to combat the
negative image hackers have acquired by demonstrating that most
hackers are not engaged in criminal activity and are more interested
in finding and sharing information; including possible network
vulnerabilities,” said David Rogers, Vice President, Americas, Astaro
Corporation. “Astaro is proud to be a part of initiatives like the
Hackerspace Warzone project because they will help network
administrators and security vendors create more secure environments.”

The Warzone project will entail a secure “darknet” connecting hacker
spaces from around the country, creating a sandbox environment for
both offensive and defensive research. The first hacker spaces to
participate are the Cowtown Computer Congress in Kansas City and
Pumping Station: One in Chicago.

The Cowtown Computer Congress (CCCKC) is a not for profit technology
cooperative founded to advance technology of all kinds. They are a
member supported organization providing technology classes, workshops
and services to the public free of charge. CCCKC brings together some
of the finest minds in midwest to collaborate on research and projects
for other local groups. Through their affiliate program, CCCKC gives
assistance to specialized technology user groups by providing them
with a facility to hold meetings and work on projects of their own.
CCCKC’s Underground Lab is located 85 feet below the surface of the
earth at 31st Street and Southwest Trafficway in Kansas City,
[email protected]

Pumping Station: One, NFP, is a space to facilitate creativity in and
through the merging of art, technology, and culture. Members enjoy a
diverse community of peers to collaborate with, classes and workshops
on subjects from electronics and programming to welding and home beer
brewing, and 24-hour access to a huge variety of tools, equipment, and
resources for just about any project imaginable. Pumping Station: One
is located at 3354 N. Elston Ave in Chicago, Illinois. To learn more,
visit, or contact
[email protected]. This is an Illinois Not-For-Profit

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Memorial Day Weekend

Pumping Station: One did Memorial Day weekend right in true hackerspace fashion.  A couple members got their hands on a welder for Chicago’s first annual Power Wheels Racing Series and fixed up a trashed scooter with a sweet new handle bar. One of our members graciously donated a mostly functional Commodore 128 that Nicky has already got playing some tunes.  Hopefully she’ll have an exhibit up for Geek Prom on June 13th showcasing her new found computer orchestrating!

The highlight of the weekend was the epic amount of food.  There was a Bacon Explosion, grilled pineapple, hand fried hot wings, reeses and rolo brownies and more that I can’t even remember.  I’d just like to add a quick thanks to everyone who brough food, those who cooked, cleaned and made this happen.  Lets start making up more holidays just for the sake of grilling!

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Cat’s Out of the Bag

Carl_eyesQ: What has 4 legs, glowing eyes, and guards our hackerspace?

A: Our newest addition to the ever evolving workshop, Carl!  If you want to know what’s going on at PS:One this very moment, this is the cat to go through.  You can reach him by following him on his twitter stream here:  Work is ongoing to further automate his updates including a motion detector that we’ve already acquired.

Continue reading Cat’s Out of the Bag

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Pumping Station: One is setting down roots!

Good news, everyone!  We’ve finally managed to acquire a place of our own.  Thanks to everyone who has helped so far!

It’s hard saying goodbye to the Mercury Cafe, but now we have the keys to our own space, where soon we will be building, breaking, and reconstructing to our hearts’ content and in full compliance with zoning laws.  We have a few more details to iron out before we can start a complete roll-out into the space, but we’re still accepting help.  Anyone have a few spare tools?

The new space is at 3354 N. Elston.  We have about 2200 sq. ft. in a warehouse that’s been recently renovated, with no current tenants other than the landlord himself, who’s a pretty cool guy.  In addition to that, we will have communal access to the front lounge & waiting room, the very spacious garage, a kitchen, and shower facilities for when the dust settles.  Our members are planning the design and layout with many ideas in mind, so if you have something to contribute, join the mailing list and have your voice heard!

For those of you as excited as we are, please attend the first meeting at 7pm this Tuesday, April 21st.  Meetings are always free and open to the public, and we enjoy seeing new faces.  We also won’t have the benefit of a kitchen behind us to keep us in food & drink, so bring something noshable if you’re feeling generous.  And of course, keep an eyes peeled for news regarding a move-in party!

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