Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hello World!!

Hello World!!

The Katy HackerSpace blog is born! Our goal for this group is to create a HackerSpace in Katy, Texas.

Who is Katy?

Katy is the name of the town we reside in. It is a suburb of the great city of Houston, Texas. Which, coincidentally is home to one GIGANTIC HackerSpace. 

What's a hacker space? asked no one.

A great non question! A HackerSpace is a communal area for all people interested in learning about and sharing their love of technology and science.

Isn't a HackerSpace just another way to say maker?

Again, another insightful, yet not asked question. I don't know the answer to that question. I guess it depends on the space. My goal is to create a place where science and technology are the focus. Clearly creativity and crafts are things that should be celebrated. However, in my experience, techie geeks often get lonely staring at gear and reading science articles by themselves.  So our goal is to create a place where Geeks and Nerds of all levels can come, relax, learn and play.

You said that you were a suburb of Houston, and that Houston has a GIGANTIC HackerSpace already. Doesn't that make your efforts a bit redundant?

Well, in truth, the Houston HackerSpace is really huge and I am told amazing. However, I've never actually been. I've not been there because, traffic in Houston is also Texas BIG and my schedule just doesn't allow me to drive downtown, spend time working on projects, and then drive back.

In my humble opinion, every town should have a HackerSpace. In my case, when I was growing, it was a friend's home. He was one of the first "Digital Hippies" I ever met. An old school ham radio operator, who, after he served in Vietnam, started building some of the first home use computers. He had a terabyte of disc drive space back in the days when the larges consumer hard drives were roughly 6 megs. His computers among his racks of servers he had a trap door that opened to a hidden set of stairs. In his cellar he had a full lap complete with Oscilloscopes and bins and bins of components.  

It seemed like he was always awake and always working on a project and willing to share what he new with others. He was responsible for introducing a lot of people to electronics and computers in a time when it just wasn't that accessible, especially in some of the lower income areas.

Today we are fortunate that the internet, and affordable computing is nearly ubiquitous here in the US. However, with that, perhaps we have lost something. An understanding of how the systems and machines we use work and the science behind it. 

So, my answer is, that having a local, easy to access HackerSpace should be part of every community. I think it is a healthy addition that stimulates analytical and critical thinking skills in a social environment.

Are you making tons of money off of this?

No. I plan on funding this project myself until such time as that is not practical. Then, if we have core members who are committed and enough interest from the local community, we can explore turning this into a formally organized not for profit.

How long will this take?

Well I don't know. I am looking for warehouse / office space for myself. I thought that we could hold meetings there until such time as we out grown them. I am hoping to have secured a location by May of this year. I will pay the rent and utilities and set up work stations and build benches to start with.

How can I help?

Get involved! Go to meetings! Help me find an affordable insulated warehouse! Print out and put up some posters at your local hangout (get permission first) If you have an expertise in a technical profession, but can't make regular meetings, offer to teach a short course in your area of study, of a one night introduction.

If you would like to learn something, make a suggestion. I'll try to track down an expert to give a talk on it. 

In the coming weeks I'll try to post more suggestions, information, guidelines rules and regulations etc..

I am currently reaching out to other successful organizers and reading all I can about starting your own HackerSpace. With your help it I am sure we can create a sustainable HackerSpace for Katy, Texas. 

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