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Hardware Hacking Build

NYC Resistor: DIY Hackers Doing Awesome Things 134

HansonMB writes "Founded by a handful of friends who wanted a place to tinker with electronics and meet like-minded hackers for good, NYC Resistor has blossomed into one of the country's most influential hackerspaces. On any given Thursday night, their cozy, cluttered loft workshop is crawling with a diverse crowd of hardcore tinkerers and curious newcomers. Throwing some caution and many user warranties to the wind, they're there to build, refine, break and share everything from toy robots to intricate paper sculpture to open source musical instruments."
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NYC Resistor: DIY Hackers Doing Awesome Things

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  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @11:14AM (#35942486)

    This piece originally aired in January 2010.

    slashdot: always current

    (that's a joke, son)

  • by decipher_saint ( 72686 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @11:22AM (#35942614)

    I'll probably feel the burn for this one but I have lots of karma...

    I understand that people living in large cities may not get the chance to own a house with a spare room or a garage but is it really necessary to badge themselves? By the loose definition here I know a great "hacker" and I've been to an awesome "hackerspace" (he's my dad, and it's his garage).

    At what point did building stuff on your own become something so rare?

    I understand the fun in building something yourself, designing/making something new or just tinkering around with something old or broken and making it work but I just call myself a "regular person".

    I don't know why being creative in the "industrial arts" has gained hipster status...

    • by Whalou ( 721698 )

      I don't know why being creative in the "industrial arts" has gained hipster status...

      Haven't you heard? "Get out of my loft" is the new "Get off my lawn".

    • by cain ( 14472 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @11:27AM (#35942688) Journal

      You may have missed the phrase in the write-up that makes highlights the difference between your father's garage and this place: "...crawling with a diverse crowd..." This is where people who build stuff can meet and talk about building stuff.

      • Well, they're probably more diverse than the crowd that used to come over and talk shop, I will grant you that, but people did come over and talk shop. This was not a rarity.

        Again, I can understand the impetus to do so in an urban setting, I don't understand the self-applied labels though.

        • by cain ( 14472 )

          So they should bill themselves as a place where "regular people" meet? I don't know that anyone would show up. If you're looking for like-minded people, regardless of area, you have to search/find/look for some noun - might as well make it a fun one.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          It's likely that they're no more diverse, as a collection, than the people who came to your dad's garage. This group simply wears a different uniform, that's more hoodie-, black-framed-glasses-, and ironic t-shirt-centric. Like you, my dad had a "hacker space" he called his workshop - a small room in the basement where he kept all his tools, his projects-in-progress, and a few nudie magazines. He called his hacking projects "farting around"; And he probably created more of actual utility than any 3 of t

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Yet there is one universal fact... and it works in hackerspaces or in Car clubs.....

            Typically the old guys always out-do the young snots. For two reasons, and one of them huge...

            1 - old guys know more from experience, sorry kiddies you cant read that one to learn it.
            2 - old guys ALWAYS have more money than the kiddies. This rubs the prima donna kiddies the wrong way bad.

            Ay my car club one of the new snots claims he could build a car faster than any of the old guys. we decided to teach the snotnosed pun

            • Bravo old-timers. You can outspend us. Your skill and aptitude at swiping a credit card is astounding. Give yourselves a pat on the back.

            • I should add that there are a lot of highly skilled old timers who really can beat younger people with skill and experience - look at a lot of the competitors in LeMans or the GRM challenge. But you and your friends who felt good about bringing an assault rifle to a knife fight (and against an opponent with what sounds like a very finely crafted knife) are definitely not them.

            • Since when is 40 old? MTV has a lot to answer for.

              • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

                Since when is 40 old? MTV has a lot to answer for.

                Since the generation whose rallying cry was "don't trust anyone over 30" started qualifying for Medicare?

    • One important detail the article failed to mention is that they also offer classes. Some are free, other are paid (to pay the rent). So I'd consider it a step above one person in their garage. They're at least reaching out to the community.
      • Now see that makes sense, I bet there are a lot of people who'd like to get started tinkering but don't know the basics, that's a great way to link people together.

        I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned in the article.

        • Indeed. It's too bad that these types of groups don't have the same type of "patronage" that art studios get. If I was a tech mogul I think I'd fund these sort of groups rather than, or in addition to, artists.
        • "Wilbur, this here is a screwdriver. You use it like this to get these durned screws out of the cover. This here gadget is a pick - you can use it to move wires aside, and to scratch at capacitors and stuff. This thingamobob is a soldering iron - NO NO IT'S HOT! Don't grab it by that end! Here, Wilbur, this is ice water, it will make your burns feel a little better until they start hurting again. Look, Wilbur, there's the door, why don't you put yourself on the opposite side of the door from all these

        • They also generally offer equipment that would be less likely in a home setting.
    • by cbiltcliffe ( 186293 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @11:30AM (#35942722) Homepage Journal

      I don't know why being creative in the "industrial arts" has gained hipster status...

      It's either hip, or terrifying, depending on who you talk to.
      That being said, the reason is simple:
      The vast majority of people nowadays have no idea what goes on outside their own job, and a lot of them don't even know what goes on _in_ their own job.

      The days of most people being able to take things apart and fix them themselves are long behind us. What caused this downfall of knowledge, I don't know, but I suspect it has something to do with Fox, American Idle, partisan politics, NIMBY, and excessive litigation.

      Basically, society has been moving in a direction that discourages - or downright criminalizes - tinkering. Most people support this, because it means they don't have to know how things work, and the mental stimulation and exercise that might be required is easier to waste on Fox and American Idle.

      The fact that you can get sued for changing a chip out in your own hardware is simply an extra reason to avoid even finding out how to do it. If you're a clueless idiot with technology, you can't be accused of modifying that technology.

      • by Gr33nJ3ll0 ( 1367543 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @11:38AM (#35942790)
        What caused this downfall of knowledge, I don't know, but I suspect it has something to do with Fox, American Idle, partisan politics, NIMBY, and excessive litigation. That might have an influence, but I think it also comes down to increasing complexity and decreasing ability to actually fix things. Even as few as 20 years ago it was very possible to pull something apart, get a basic understand, and maybe fix it. With everything being shrunk down to a few chips that can't really be altered this has radically changed. You can no longer pull apart your iPod, and expect to be able to fix basic problems with it, since most of the inner workings are on a few chips. If it breaks you ONLY option is to throw it out and buy a new one. Contrast this with an old fashioned tape machine where all the parts were sized to be manipulated by a human. For the most part miniaturization has had huge boons, but it's seriously cut down on the number of things that people can tinker with.
        • by vlm ( 69642 )

          With everything being shrunk down to a few chips that can't really be altered this has radically changed. You can no longer pull apart your iPod, and expect to be able to fix basic problems with it, since most of the inner workings are on a few chips.

          Most of the inner workings that have problems are headphone jacks, batteries, buttons/clickywheels, external case parts, and displays. I've replaced those. I've never heard of the chip inside breaking, although I'm sure someone out there has managed to break one.

          Its easier now because there is really only one electronic part left, sorta, and it never breaks, and the rest is nice large easily manipulated mechanical parts.

          • by josath ( 460165 )
            Completely true. There's still tons of things that can be repaired these days: I've replaced the display in my Palm Treo smartphone, and the touchscreen overlay in my Nintendo DS. I've re-soldered headphone jacks (and then coated in glue to prevent it from breaking again). I've taken my PC video card apart and put a new fan and heatsinks on it.

            And as for making things from scratch, that too is actually becoming easier. You design with free software and have a PCB manufactured in single quantities for $2.5
        • That applies just fine to things like iPods and other miniaturized electronics, but there are plenty of things that can't be miniaturized this way.

          How about your car? Changing a tire is the exact same process it was 30 years ago, but nowadays pretty much nobody does it, whereas 30 years ago people rotated their own tires in their driveway. Same with changing a taillight bulb. If anything, it's even easier on modern cars, because the lights are held in with toolless plastic wingnuts in the trunk, rather t

          • I know my father stopped changing his own oil when it nolonger made sense for him to do so. Basically it was cheaper and easier to pay somebody else to do it. Not sure about the home theater systems, I know lots of people who have hooked up their own, but even those are getting more complex. Original TV-> Buy a Box, done. Now you have to have the TV+VCR/DVD/Blu-Ray+Stereo+Amp+Speakers, etc. It's a lot more complex.
            • One of my stereos that was made in the 70s is a component system with a bunch of inputs and multiple speaker outputs, too. It's also able to be set up to feed to an external EQ. This is also capable of being hooked up to my TV/VCR/DVD, which is no more complex than anything today, other than being 2 channel, rather than 5.1. And if you can't figure out where the speakers go by the labels, you've really got issues.

              BTW, who has a VCR, DVD, and Blue Ray player?

            • by treeves ( 963993 )

              I still change my own oil. I know I don't save much money by doing it, but at least I know what oil and filter is getting used.

          • There's also various cities that have passed regulations about grey-water, that then means you can't clean your car in the driveway anymore.

            Apartment complexes that strictly disallow you to do car-repairs in the parking-lot.

            Office buildings and strip-malls that do the same thing (even if there is an AutoZone/whatever in that mall).

            I've been accosted before for taking 5 minutes to change out a burned headlight bulb... b/c I was doing it at an office park waiting for my flatmate to get out of work.

            • There's also various cities that have passed regulations about grey-water, that then means you can't clean your car in the driveway anymore.

              Are you serious? That's the most moronic thing I've ever heard. I've never heard of it before now, so I don't think anybody around me has such a law. And it's not like rainwater is going to be so clean after pouring from your dirty car.

              There's an idea: Spray your car with soap before a big thunderstorm hits, then just let it rain.

              • You have to keep up appearances, and send the right message to your customers. Breaking away the layer of glitz and convenience to reveal the actual "gritty" technology that underlies everything is obscene. Stuff should be beautiful and Just Work (TM), or it's thrown into the trash for wasting your time. Because you Deserve It! (TM).
              • There's also various cities that have passed regulations about grey-water, that then means you can't clean your car in the driveway anymore.

                Are you serious? That's the most moronic thing I've ever heard..

                There are places were the rainwater collection system drains directly into the lake.

          • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

            "Hooking up a home entertainment system? It's a bunch of cables that go from one component to the next. How is this any harder than it ever was? 30 years ago, people would buy all the components, and spend an hour or two connecting everything up, and be proud of how it all worked when they were finished. Now, they'll call some big box home theater idiots, have them connect it all, and be proud of how much money they spent doing it."

            It's because people today are more stupid than the idiots from big box trend

          • I don't think it's accurate to say, "Nobody does this anymore." I've been a member on a number of on-line Internet forums where people would share knowledge about working on various cars and motorcycles. There was a very active community for people who owned DSM's (Diamond-Star Motors, i.e., Mitsubishi Eclipse/Eagle Talon/Plymouth Laser). Likewise the Honda Goldwing Forum [] (SFW, despite the name), the Honda Nighthawk Forum [] and Suzuki V-Strom Forum [] have been essential in helping me work on the va
            • With jokers like that are you sure they even changed the oil? Another good reason why I change my own. It's cheaper and I'm certain that it gets done correctly.
        • You _can_ modify these objects (man I really hate the word "tinker" for some reason) but you need to do it through software these days instead. I'd argue that being able to add functionality to your phone equally rivals or surpasses being able to pull apart your tape recorder in the past. The real enemy of the "tinkerer" (ugh) are walled gardens and OS level locked down devices that prevent the owner from doing whatever they want with the item (and all the BS laws that prevent you from sharing insights wh

          • Oh, sure, but compare the COMPLEXITY of the act. Old school tape player: Screw driver a bit of time Android Phone: Computer, cable, software, understanding of Java, Android SDK, Software development, Android OS, etc. The bar has been seriously raised.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I call it "The Death of Heathkit."

        • And the clueless technical neophytes have no idea what the heck Heathkit is, so the phrase is as meaningless to them as 2N3904.

          Reminds me of a Popular Science article from around 1981, where a guy built his own hovercraft. Overcame a bunch of design issues, and eventually came up with a great design. What has PS devolved to now? "Look at this great product from this great company!" Sure, it's a little more indepth than blatant advertising, but not much.

          That's a great phrase, though. I'll have to rememb

          • Oh come on now guys. This is observer bias.

            There are literally thousands of people doing fun / dangerous / odd things with screwdrivers, soldering irons, plasma cutters, welders and JTAG programmers. Not too many people making hovercraft either now or in the past and that's why it was on the cover of Pop Mechanics. Yeah it's different - there are so many neat things to play with that I tend to run in circles around various projects. You can build thousands of little weird electronic things with PicBa
            • There are literally thousands of people doing fun / dangerous / odd things with screwdrivers, soldering irons, plasma cutters, welders and JTAG programmers.

              And there are over six and a half billion people in the world. Thousands is nothing.

              • I didn't realize it was a popularity contest. If you're after social affirmation, go watch 'American Idol'. Most of 'us' are happy being social outcasts.
                • My point is that 50 years ago, virtually everyone either could, or had a family member who could change oil, spark plugs, air filters, light bulbs, etc, on their car. Nowadays you'd be lucky if you could find 2 on the same residential street.

                  It's a similar situation with any device, gizmo, technology, or what have you. Hell, even home repairs. People call in the electrician nowadays to change a broken light switch. WTF?

                  That's why the USA/Canada is going to get overtaken by China and India. Because we'r

                  • Perhaps it comes from living in a relatively rural area, but the number of people who enjoy tinkering and fixing are pretty abundant. The only things that have changed are necessity and cost; people have more money and they don't need a whole lot. When you find an area where cost is high (or incomes are low) and necessity (or at least want) is also high, you'll see people pulling small miracles out of their rear ends.

      • I went to a lecture last week by Martin Rees, the UK's Astronomer Royal. (It's an honorary title, he doesn't just hold a telescope for the queen, he's a top level astrophysicist/cosmologist too). During the Q&A at the end he was bemoaning the fact that kids no longer have toys they can tinker with and take apart. His example was a transistor radio, and equally I remember getting a cassette walkman for my ninth birthday. Within a few hours it was in bits on my desk, and I'd worked out that if you giv
      • by rcamans ( 252182 )

        That's American Idol, you insensitive clod.

      • by rcamans ( 252182 )

        You do not have to do something to be accused of doing it. You do not have to know how to do something to be accused of doing it. Look at the grandmothers who are being accused of downloading stolen or illegal mp3s.
        They may be clueless, but that does not make them idiots, you insensitive clod.
        I actually do not know how to get illegal mp3s off the web. And I am neither clueless or an idiot. I am just not that interested in listening to some musicians other than listening to my favorite music station on my co

    • Collaboration (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @11:34AM (#35942766)

      The key to this "movement" is, I think, the collaborative aspect. I too grew up with a handy dad, with garage full of woodworking and metal working tools, and a darkroom in the basement and a jewelry studio in the attic. He was always making one thing or another, repairing appliances and vehicles, teaching his four boys how to use the equipment safely, etc., but at the end of the day, it was just us tinkering around the house.

      We had some nice tools, but with just my dad's income, we wouldn't have been able to afford a laser cutter or a shopbot or any of the modern design tools that are found in the larger-scale hackerspaces. Also, the pool of creativity was limited to just us. Hackerspaces have room for thinkers, dreamers _and_ makers.

      I still have my own tools (not as extensive as my dad's setup), I build and repair electronics at home, but I'm also an active member of The Columbus Idea Foundry [] where I mix and mingle with metal artists and artisans, and get shared access to tools I could never afford on my own or never take full advantage of even if I did own them.

      As for why being creative has gained hipster status - I think you can look at the trend in education for that - with all the emphasis on standardized testing and the denigration of teachers as a profession, who learns how to do this stuff in school anymore? If you've spent your whole life as a consumer, connecting with the "producers" becomes an event.

      • That makes a lot of sense, wish I could mod you up :)

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        I can make things with a turret lathe and a Milling machine that are better than the stuff that comes out of a laser cutter. The laser cutter is for the Lazy or undereducated tinkerer that does not want to learn how to mill metal or delrin themselves to make the products. They want it instant. Dont bog me down with education, I want 50,000 foot hacking.

        They have their place, but my robot hand machined from aluminum will kick the arse of your laser cut one.

      • I've always thought a great business would be a complete machine shop and wood working shop, along with a small supplies type place. Rent a work space and equipment (and someone who knows how to use it) on a per-hour basis. Lots of projects can be done in a few hours, if you have the tools to do it. Heck, I've got a few that I need to do but the equipment to do one project would make it a $5000 job ...

        Of course, the killer here besides start up costs to equip would be the insurance. Of course, firing ra

        • by vlm ( 69642 )

          I've always thought a great business would be a complete machine shop and wood working shop, along with a small supplies type place.

          in other words "techshop"



          The biggest problem is most likely material and distance. Can I haul around my material including the finished project easily? And can you find a place that is centrally located yet has good enough roads to get there in less than an hour of drivetime?

          • Thanks. However, I'm 3000 miles away in N Florida, and I'll never go back to California again now that my grandparents are dead and I don't need to go have dinner with them a few times per year.

        • by Builder ( 103701 )

          I tried to start a business like that in London and failed. Our business plan called for about 200 sq foot of space (including the cafe, safe storage, benches, entrance, etc.) and 1 person to be on site at any time at or around minimum wage. The idea was to have wood and metal areas, as well as an electronics area with different lighting and bench setups. We would also rent tools (plan called to partner with someone like HSS or B&Q).

          The plan was to be open from 06:00 (to catch the before work crowd) to

        • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

          You're looking for a business like TechShop.

        • In the US, you'd have to watch regulatory and liability issues, which could doom the business. A few decades ago, I had a friend connected with a dulcimer shop. They wanted to let customers work on the machines, and couldn't manage to get it working under OSHA regs.

          Moreover, when you're renting you kind of have to put a value on your time. I heard of a place that would rent out equipped garage bays to people who wanted to do their own work. Unfortunately, the cost of renting the bay for an amateur to

    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      I don't know why being creative in the "industrial arts" has gained hipster status...

      Conspicuous display of money and spare time. The idea is cool, but around where I live, the cost to join a local hackerspace is about 1/4 an apartment rent per month (which makes sense if about ten people rent a medium size industrial building) and the closest one is 30 miles from my house. There's another one thats pretty big thats only 60 miles away.

      Given $100/month to spend on hobbies, I tend to spend it at home on tools and gadgets. And being 30 miles away means I have to invest around an hour of win

    • by sherriw ( 794536 )

      At what point did building stuff on your own become something so rare?

      Really, you haven't noticed the throw it away don't fix it trend? Finding people who can actually fix or make mechanical and electronic things is becoming very hard indeed.

    • by Splab ( 574204 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @11:59AM (#35943052)

      As someone else pointed out, the difference between your dads garage and a hackerspace is the latter is crawling with all sorts of people tinkering and often willing to help you with projects.

      Local one in Copenhagen is called labitat ( [] ), they've build their own 3D printers for instance, first one was build with wood in the shop and from there on everyone who wants to can print the parts for their own. They have some *really* cool machines there and you will find someone tinkering there almost around the clock.

    • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

      Fine. What's your address? Slashdot is coming over tonight.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      "At what point did building stuff on your own become something so rare?"

      It started in the 80's, about the time Cable TV became common. The general IQ of humanity has been dropping steadily ever since.

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "At what point did building stuff on your own become something so rare?"

      Around the mid-90s.

    • I feel exactly the same. It's a lot easier to be motivated in a group though (not neccessarily from chatting and wasting time, but in a motivation and feedback kind of way) and if these places could spawn actual collaboration that'd be nice. But frankly, I'd be (happily) surprised if that actually occured.

      People having very narrow/relatively unusual areas of interest (like security, in my case) might also be a factor, as would sheer difference in level of competence and the addition of people without a "te
    • by fan777 ( 932195 )
      I don't see anything pretentious about it. They call themselves 'hackers' as opposed to painters or writers or photographers. NYC Resistor offers a shared communal workspace, I suspect the label is necessary to inform prospective participants of their modus operandi. On a side note, is it such a bad thing for creativity in the "industrial arts" to be popular? Save the judgement for the hipsters.
    • I know what you mean. It's like the way "creative" now seems to be a noun meaning "unemployed 20-something in a coffee shop with a macbook pro bought by daddy".
    • Any one been outside the city and into the countryside lately? Stuff like this happens all the time, like modifying a old 5-axis CNC machine to be a coffee maker, picking the beans and roasting the coffee. Or the self running car (than goes the length of the farm driveway) or a football-sized field of synchronized LEDs.

      This city stuff is more social than hacking/creative.

  • I'll stick with the garage / blog approach. I don't want to watch you drink Mountain Dew; you don't want to hear my constant stream of F-bombs.
    • by Builder ( 103701 )

      It's nice that you have so much money or time that you can afford a house with a garage. I don't, so spaces like this are useful to me.

  • I was just trying to rile you up with the subject line there. Don't worry, I'm sure it's just a transparent generational thing.

    I heard folks in their 40s saying their teenage kids aren't creative anymore, that the web and games and shows we made were so entertaining they had no reason to be self-creative.

    I really wanna figure they're just wrong, that they dont know how creative their kids secretly are. Maybe as I've entered my 30s now, I've gotten it together mentally enough to actually pull some 'hacks' off, see some things through to completion. Maybe I glorify my teens and early 20s and I never really got anything done at all. Maybe we all spend those years discovering tools for the toolbox, and that in itself was discovery and accomplishment.

    But there's no such group I am aware of in Boondock, NH. I see that photo of geeks sharing a table, eating poptarts to stay shiny, drinking 'dew, and probably having a hearty laugh at mundane details. And I just lust for such a thing, available only by the numbers a huge city can push. I probably should live in a city to have geek friends I can actually smell. The 'net does a fine job hiding the aroma, but alas also the arcane body language and general vibe of sharing meatspace.


    • by Toze ( 1668155 )

      I live in a tiny hole of a town, 60K people. I'm used to 1M. But, I've connected with a group of real low-tech hacker types that build things in a guy's garage/workshop. It's heavily SCA influenced, so there's a lot of recreation/sport armour, but there's also potato cannons, sculptures, bells, and we're slowly putting together an honest to god small cannon. I picked up blacksmithing and I'm edging my way (hah) into knives and casting this summer. It might be unique to this town, but there's also a sort of

    • I bet you could find all kinds of people who build things outside your area of expertise in "Boondock, NH" - carpenters, mechanics, metal workers, artists, sculptors, painters.

      Of course if your criteria is that the creativity be limited to "making an array of LEDs flash with an Arduino program", you might be out of luck. But if you want to tinker, and build, and learn new skills, I bet you could find a lot of people building things and making things right in your town, and you could probably pick up some i

      • There's also the issue of having at least a bit of overlap in skill sets and interests. Sure the "car guy" knows a lot about fixing cars up in various ways but his skills are not only highly domain specific (he doesn't have general knowledge about the things he does, he just knows the applications of the knowledge that are relevant to cars) but he also completely lacks interest in other things. Robotics? Boring. Video games? Does it have cars? No? Boring. Programming? What, like TV? Oh... Boring..

        That's not

        • Certainly, it's *easier* to find people when you have a large population to draw from, that was never in question.

          Your characterization of mechanics as people who are completely unlikely to have common interests with you says more about why it's difficult to meet people than the fact that you live in a "small town" of 60,000 people. I listed a bunch of different "creative" types, and in that context, I thought it would be obvious that when I say mechanics, I'm talking about people who build and work with m

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For the best hacker to see if they are really that good in hacking into some things and making money hit me up


  • How long before the DMCA takedown notice arrives at the loft for all the unauthorized use?

  • Central Jersey RESISTOR group from 1970s in the Princeton, NJ area - []

    • Hacker Dojo isn'[t a "hacker space". It's more like an incubator for startups. I've taken a machine learning class there, where we did homework from the Stanford class and were taught by a quant from Blackstone Capital. During the day, there are people working quietly with laptops, and a few people rent offices there. It's more like a Starbucks. They have a surface-mount workstation, microscope and all, but I've never seen it used.

      TechShop in Menlo Park is more like a hacker space. Most of the members h

  • I have to wonder if the US security organs or the MAFIAA (is writing both now redundant?) occasionally attempt undercover work in such 'dens of inequity'.
  • How'd they get David Tennant to attend?
  • I love the idea of a hackerspaces, and I'd love to visit one on a regular basis, but the closest one is about a 90 minute drive (according to this [] link).

    So I've been considering starting one (there would probably be plenty of interest in the region I live in - Albany, NY-ish), only I have no idea where to start - I've never been to one, and I'm not sure how much money I might lose in the process.

    Do any /.ers know anything about starting a hackerspace? What kind of equipment should I get first? How muc

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.