HacDC is five years old!

HacDC Opening Night PortraitLongtime active HacDC member and former board member Martin notes that five years ago today is when one of our co-founders announced on our blog that HacDC has “officially organized, filled out the annoying paperwork and found a location in which to conduct our secretly awesome experiments.” It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since that time, and we’re happy to report that our awesome experiments continue! Here are some of the things we’ve done in our half decade of existence:Blue LED

  • held classes and workshops on robotics, AVR microcontrollers, bicycle maintenance, electron tubes, Python, visual communications, LED cubes, Scheme, tea, artificial intelligence, disassembly, and many other topics
  • launched—and retrieved!—five high-altitude balloons, a.k.a. spaceblimps, the latest reaching an altitude of 118,533 ftbye bye, balloon!
  • acquired 501(c)3 nonprofit status, meaning your donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law, so donate now!
  • hosted six rounds of lightning talks
  • formed W3HAC, an ARRL-affiliated, FCC-licensed amateur radio club
  • set up 3D printers, a CNC mill, a lathe, a drill press, and a fully automatic espresso machine :) with plans underway to acquire a laser cutter
  • hatched GrindDC, a weekly “meatup” where biohackers research topics like materials biocompatibility and neurostimulation
  • developed Project Byzantium, a live Linux distribution that delivers easy-to-use, secure, and robust ad-hoc wireless mesh networking

HacDC Group photo from September, 2010 Meeting

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to founders Nick Farr, Andrew Righter, Alli Treman, Eric Michaud, et al for creating HacDC back when U.S. hackerspaces were few and far between. And since then we’ve thrived thanks to the support of countless members and friends who’ve given generously of their time, labor, and money to make HacDC an awesome community. Please consider supporting us so we can be around to foster curiosity and creativity in technology for the next five years.

aaronsw Memorial Hackathon

On Saturday, February 2, 2013 from 11am – 11pm (planned) HacDC will be hosting one of many, self-organized, global hackathons to memorialize the late computer programmer, writer, political organizer, and Internet activist Aaron Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) (Wikipedia article)

Participants will be asked to advance solutions to issues that were near to Aaron’s heart.

Activities for the day will center on furthering work on his repositories, opening access to information belonging in the public domain, developing or contributing to countermeasures to Internet censorship, and exploring code-driven methods to enhance social justice through access to data.

Among the like-minded participating groups will figure HacDC’s resident Project Byzantium and the organizer and team from the District Commons project.

Those interested in participating should register via our MeetUp event.

Those wanting to arrive after 2pm should make note of our telephone number, 202-556-4225, to gain entry as the building will be locked. More location information on our homepage’s sidebar.

Participants are encouraged to bring food and drink and practice good neighborliness. There are a variety of carry out options available around Columbia Heights though some may suit individuals more than others. There may be a group purchase at some point(s) but nothing has been set as of this writing. We’ll update this post as needed.

Related: An event taking place on Capitol Hill, on Monday, 2/4/13, at 7pm, this event memorializes Aaron Swartz and seeks to raise awareness about the urgent changes that are needed in the CFAA. These changes are part of Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s draft “Aaron’s Law” (PDF here).

Mini Maker Un-faire DIY Fair @ MLKJr Library

MLK Library“The Adaptive Services Division of the DC Public Library will host a Mini Maker Un-faire DIY (Do It Yourself) Fair in the Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday, Nov. 18 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The Library is accessible from the Gallery Place and Metro Center subway stops.” More…

HacDC will be among the participating organizations at this event.

Admission is free. Register at http://dcdiyfair2012.eventbrite.com/


We’re closed Monday & Tuesday (at least)

We're closed Monday and Tuesday (at least)Since we’re battening the hatches for Frankenstorm, we’ll be closed Monday (10/29/12) and Tuesday (10/30/12).

On Wednesday we will reassess and post (if possible!!) our availability for the rest of the week depending on the power situation. As usual, if you are a non-member and stop by unannounced, call 202-556-4225 (HACK) to see if anyone’s around to let you in.

Good luck to us all!