This last Saturday, we had a members (and friends of members) only annual meeting. Normally this is a time for everyone to hang out, eat, drink, and give presentations. Previous years, I give my personal presentation about things I wanted to do, things I failed at, things I succeeded, and things I'll be attempting the coming year. We invited everyone this year to give a similar style presentation and the results were pretty interesting.
A quick review of where we're at. The organization started in September-ish of 2009, where we met in coffee shops around Rochester, to try and come up with whether or not we should make a hackerspace in the area. We came to the conclusion that we wanted to do everything from the ground up, receiving no outside financial help. At the time, we were pretty adamant about not having it called a "Makerspace" because the membership had a much wider range of interests than just making (software development, hardware reverse engineering, network security, radio, art, etc). So our bylaws stated that we will create a space focused on the interests of the members at that time. This gave us a lot of flexibility to interpret what the space would be used for. We received our New York State articles of Incorporation just about January 1st of 2010. From there we have expanded spaces starting out at a meager 200 sq ft temporary space, moving to a 500 sq ft space, and eventually to our current home which is over 1200 sq ft. Our mission statement has been the same since its inception, to provide a space to its members and the community, as well as be an organization that helps individuals developer their skills in science, art, and technology.
As always, we had a wide range of accomplishments from our members. Here are a list of things have been working on recently:
- Reverse engineering Ms. Pac-Man
- Using thermite and tannerite in fun ways
- Take EdX, Coursera, classes together: Cryptography, in-line power supplies, calculus, basic electronics
- Creating a high power antennae with low amounts of money
- Security research using open source intelligence
- Using a Raspberry Pi and home sensors to graph and monitor temperature changes in your fridge
- Artistically building a gigantic light bulb array (without burning down your apartment)
- Converting your Perl scripts over to BASH (as an excuse to hang out with your kid)
- Skip's Adventures in 3D printing
This might give you an idea of the completely different background that our members have, but with the common denominator of expanding and learning more than they do right now.