Random learnings and other thoughts from an unashamed geek

Calling All Southampton Hackers!

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City of Southampton

Before we start, just to be clear - this is not for crackers (people who illegally break in to computer systems) but for hackers (people who modify the software or hardware of their computer system including building, rebuilding, modifying and creating software and electronic hardware either to make it better, faster, give added features or to make it do something it was never intended to do).

UPDATE: we have a google group: http://groups.google.com/group/southackton

I’m intending on setting up a “Hackerspace” in Southampton targeted around software programming (for fun) and hardware hacking (e.g. robotics). I anticipate that people would attend the hackerspace either with their own personal projects (such as controlling their television using a Wii remote), or looking to join in on a cool project. The idea is that we can all share knowledge and help each other out in a fun and innovative environment .

I am provisionally calling this project SoutHACKton, though I expect (hope!) a better name will surface once more people are interested! If you or anyone you know is interested, please contact me via email (my name at benjiegillam.com) or by leaving a comment on this post. The ultimate goal would be having an “office” somewhere in Southampton where members can drop in any time (within reason) and get to work on their project/just hang out with fellow hackers. If you work from home you could even work form the Hackerspace directly - it wouldn’t be so lonely! I am, however, expecting that we would run it as a “club” until we have enough interested members to make it feasible. Whether this club be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or bi-monthly is a matter for interested persons to discuss - get in contact and let me know what you think!

As you may know if you read this blog (doubtful!), I am a great fan of open source, and have been a dedicated GNU/Linux user for almost 10 years now, so Linux users would be cool to have as they tend to be interested in tweaking hardware/software, however everyone would be welcome independent of their choice of operating system.

Yes, that’s right - even Windows users! Further, there is no required skill level. I’m happy to have people attend who want to acheive something (e.g. making a webcam recognise who is sat at the PC and change the computers background to a related picture/have their favourite teddy walk towards them) but have no idea how to go about it, so long as they are patient and willing to learn! I hope you’re interested - let me know!

UPDATE: if you’re interested, sign up to our google group: http://groups.google.com/group/southackton.