This is the end (of Hackerspace week)

Hackerspaces Logo

It was a week of laughter, of tears; a moment in time of great hopes and sorrows. Yes friends, it was Irish Hackerspace Week, a week of celebration and promotion for all of the Irish hackerspaces: Galway’s 091 Labs, Dublin’s TOG, Belfast’s HackNI, Limerick’s Hackerspace, and Hackerspace Cork.

At the end of the week? It was a success. 091 Labs hosted some very popular events; 091 Labs hosted some very unpopular events too. There were some hard lessons learned in the importance of groundwork, communication and coordination during Friday night’s Synchronous Hackerspace Quiz. There were some even harder lessons in promotion and scheduling to be learned from Saturday’s Poetry Smackdown and Sunday’s PC Repair Day. The Poetry Smackdown unintentionally clashed with a similar event elsewhere in Galway City, the quiz fell afoul of open source technology and today’s repair day suffered from an uncomfortable proximity with Sunday morning.

Incidentally: The Synchronous Hackerspace Quiz? We won – 091 Labs won. Our victory was impulsively declared in a moment of grandiose self-acclamation because of a complete breakdown in communications with the other involved Hackerspaces. We were left in a queasy limbo, adrift in time and space and unable to determine if indeed another hackerspace scored more correct answers than us. A hasty quorum was met in which it was decided to bless our article of self-held belief, a theorem that simply reads “why yes, TOG got pwnd,” as an official 091 Labs doctrine.

We won, hoo-hah!

So far I’ve talked about failures, but we had out great successes: Gerry Kavanagh’s Asterisk VOIP PBX setup demonstration, Joe Desbonnet’s household hacking, yesterday’s Art After Noon (Katie, Vivian, etc. – please contact me so I can correctly give credit) and solar powered-robots workshop by David McKeown all brought the boys to the yard the public in the door. I’ve personally come away educated. 091 Labs has come away the wiser and with several new members (shout-out!). TOG has presumably come away pwnd in the aftermath of the quiz.

To all of the organizers of the various events: Thank you! You were the women and men who made Irish Hackerspaces Week a reality at 091 Labs.

To all of the attendees: Thank you! Come again.

Happy Household Hacking

Blood pressure cuff

Joe Desbonnet is currently giving his great, fascinating talk on hacking household electronics so as to add a PC-compatible output, then taking the resulting data and mining it for valuable information. The specific foci of his talk is adapting an off-the-shelf blood pressure cuff (pictured, above) to take continuous readings at 20-60 preprogrammed minute intervals.

Two words: Fantastic turnout! We have over 20 people here tonight, including a group of new faces that I sincerely hope to see here again.

For information on future 091 Labs events, please feel free to subscribe to our public events calendar!

The tale of the geek and the penguin

Maybe one of the most consistently popular workshops that 091 Labs has been holding to date have been those for Linux beginners. Come in, meet the members, and learn to use Linux while under the supervision of one of our Linux gurus. Although if you wind up with me assisting you, you are expected to stoically endure a certain amount of baleful stares and dark imprecations as I bravely cd and ls my way through your folders.

Linux Ubuntu Linux

The majority of 091 Labs members choose and use Ubuntu Linux for its ease of use and installation, its broad user base – and implied support base, and the depth of its software repositories. In addition to our own personal laptops and workstations, Ubuntu also powers all of the work machines here at the Labs.

091 Labs <3 Ubuntu, in short. In the next few months, we are hopeful of extending our Linux offerings for both Labs members and the public alike. They include:

  • A regular series of beginners Linux workshops with a focus on Ubuntu.
  • Shell accounts for Labs members to learn remote administration on.
  • Advanced Linux courses that will delve into security, advanced command line usage and kernel compilation using enterprise Linux distributions.
  • A local repository of current distributions for members.

Web development talk cancelled

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Richard Conroy has been forced to cancel his talk tonight. In its place, Adrian Avendano will instead be holding a short workshop on the employment of Java in web development.

091 Labs sincerely apologizes for this change of schedule.

Catch 091 Labs on Galway Bay FM, tonight!

Our very own Oisin and Barry will be on Galway Bay FM tonight between 7pm and 8pm as guests on Vinny Brown’s Arts Show, there to talk about our coming Hackerspace Week events and September’s coming photowalk and photography talks.

Tune in to Galway Bay FM from 7pm tonight on 95.8 MHz FM to show your support for 091 Labs!

Updated: Thank you to Katie for a providing a functioning stream link!