HackPittsburgh, Meet Pumping Station 1

PSOne - Main Shop

PSOne - Main Shop

Hack Pittsburgh recently sent an ambassador to the hackerspace of Chicago: Pumping Station: One, and it was a blast.  I got to meet the founder Eric Michaud, along with a bunch of great people who were hanging around hacking away.

So, here’s the down-low. They started in October of 2008, and now they’ve got a pretty big membership (though I don’t remember the number), and they’re located about 3 miles northwest of city center.

I also found out some of the things they’ve been up to or are planning, and should provide some ideas for our own club (do I see some hackerspace memes developing here?):

  • Geek Prom, which is basically a mix between a costume party and a science fair.
  • “FRED” Talks – similar to TED Talks, but on a budget – I’d love to get some people like Tom Igoe (who was in Pgh. recently).
  • They have a mascot Carrrl – who’s there for emotional support.
  • They do flyering on campuses to promote themselves (we need to start this ASAP).
  • They also meet once a week – which must make things go faster ::cough::
  • Their members also get to propose and vote on new initiative at the same meeting – we should see if we can streamline our process at all.
Mitch Altman's PSOne "FRED Talk"

Mitch Altman's PSOne "FRED Talk"

At the meeting I attended, there was a FRED talk by none-other than Mitch Altman: inventor of the TV-B-Gone, and I was pumped to actually be able to purchase one from the source – good stuff. His presentation was great, and it gets me excited to bring people like this into our own space.

All in all, it’s great to be able to visit these spaces and form bonds between hackers from far away lands… – okay it’s 8 hours.

Signing off – Nick

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