Hacker/Makerspace Meeting in Review
November's meeting took place on the Union College campus, in the inexplicably difficult-to-find Olin Center.
I guestimate about 40Exactly 33 people attended, and four presentations took place.
First, Jorel Lalicki, RPI undergraduate and creator of the successful PILED Kickstarter project gave a presentation on the ins and outs of open source hardware and software development and the benefits and pitfalls of using Kickstarter. He also demonstrated his PILED programmable lighting device, and some simple control software for it.
Next, John Rieffel gave a talk on 3-D printing, its possibilities, and available technologies. He then demonstrated the makerbot 3-d printer, and handed out samples to the group for examination.
Then, Tom Tongue presented an overview of the Raspberry Pi computer (they're so cute!) (and cheap!) (I mean *really* cheap...). He showed us one of his Raspberries, and demonstrated a couple of his configurations for it (hint: the OS lives on an SD card, so you can swap them like game cartridges!).
Finally, Craig Cantello, president of the Edison Tech Center in Schenectady, spoke to the group about the possibility of creating a maker/hackerspace at the center, and described the type of opportunities that are available. He is enthusiastic about creating a common-use makerspace at the center with volunteer effort, and would welcome our participation. Amazingly, at the end of this talk, he invited members of the group to return to the center with him after the meeting to look at the potential space! Several members took him up on that offer, and we expect a report soon...
Tom distributed a survey to the attendees, to help figure out what they really want out of the group, and spoke briefly about some ideas for organization, and determined that the group wants to hold events like this one at least monthly. After the meeting, lots of discussions took place, and there was a great deal of enthusiasm expressed.
It was an amazing experience, and demonstrated that there are both solid interest and realistic opportunities for a makerspace/community in the Capital District!
[Addendum 2012.11.29 17:33]
Kevin posted photos of the Tech Center to our meetup group!