Archive for June, 2009

Liverpool Meeting 17th June 2009

June 22, 2009

Last Wednesday saw our best hackspace meeting yet.  Our largest turnout (even with a couple more people sending their apologies), in the new location at Mello Mello, and there were even Arduinos connected up to computers.

I got as far as downloading the new Ethernet library and firing up the Arduino IDE, but then got side-tracked into chatting about hardware and finding out about the hacking activities that some of the other attendees had been getting up to.  Before long the staff were making “closing up” motions, so we called the “official” meeting to an end – and a couple of us retired to The Peacock round the corner to continue chatting over a beer.

Most of the evening was spent pretty informally, just getting to know each other and catching up, but we had a couple of minutes of more formal updates on how things are progressing.  Asa updated us on his early-stage work towards a Manchester hackspace (hopefully more on that soon when he has more to share), and I did likewise on the possible spaces for a permanent Liverpool hackspace.  Mello Mello seems a reasonable first step for holding meetings, and whilst the group is finding its feet I’m not rushing to find a full-time space.  However, even without really trying, there are a number of possibilites presenting themselves: Venya is hoping to get a new space for The Kazimier to use as a workshop, so we may be able to use part of that for a hackspace; and Scott from Bad Format is keen to kit out their new bar with lots of interesting hardware and might have some spare workshop room.  I should be able to report back more at the next meeting.

And the next meeting was the main other point discussed.  Following discussion on the mailing list, we debated whether or not to move the meetings to Tuesday evening rather than Wednesday.  On balance we decided that Tuesday fitted in better with people, with the only problem being that from time to time it would coincide with GeekUp Liverpool.  When that happens we decided to just merge the two meetings (as there’s a fair crossover between the groups already) and as luck would have it, the next meeting will be the first to clash.  So the next Liverpool Hackspace meeting will be a joint meeting with GeekUp Liverpool at 3345 Parr Street on Tuesday 30th June 2009 (and then we’ll be back to Mello Mello for the 14th July)

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First Stockport Hackspace Meeting Announced

June 11, 2009

Following the discussions about the possibility of using Broadstone Mill in Stockport as a hackspace venue, the idea takes a step nearer to reality with the first hackspace meeting in Stockport.

The initial meeting will be just next-door to the mill at the Grey Horse Public House on Wednesday 24 June at 7pm.  Manchester people should note that although this is in the Stockport postcode area, it’s nearer the centre of Manchester than Didsbury is – you don’t have to venture outside the M60! 😉

The meeting will discuss the concept of hackspaces, our possible location (Broadstone Mill – the building next door) and much more (hopefully)!

If you’re intending to come, please show your interest on the Upcoming page for the event.

A New Venue for Liverpool Meetings

June 8, 2009
The interior of Mello Mello in Liverpool

The interior of Mello Mello in Liverpool

As mentioned in the last meeting report, there’s been some discussion about a more suitable location for the Liverpool Hackspace meetings and Mello Mello has been mentioned more than once as a candidate.

The topic came up again in the bar after the recent Howduino hackday when I was discussing the hackspace with Venya, Howduino attendee and local artist using Arduinos to make cool theatrical masterpieces as part of The Kazimier.

Venya works upstairs in the Mello Mello building, and so scoped out whether we could hold the fortnightly meetings there.  They’re quite happy to host us, preferably on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening (which fits in perfectly) and so I popped down for a quick tour.  The photo on the left is taken from the stage end of the cafe looking down towards the cafe counter (which is through the doorway at the far end, where there’s even more seating).

The cafe has a friendly, relaxed vibe, and the old dining table seating would be perfect for spreading out projects.  There are also plenty of power sockets, free WiFi (I’m told, my N95 didn’t spot any on a quick search) and some of the best coffee I’ve tasted since returning from Italy.

It’s definitely much better than the bar at FACT, so I think we should start holding the meetings here and see how things go.  I’ll bring my 3G dongle in case there’s no other option for Internet access, and an extension cable could be handy for sharing out power.

Mello Mello is on the corner of Slater Street and Parr Street, so just down the road from FACT.  See the Mello Mello website for full address and map.