Project Byzantium ported to the Raspberry Pi!

Project Byzantium logoThe dev team for HacDC’s awesome, incubated Project Byzantium (PB) has ported their “ad-hoc mesh networking for the zombie apocalypse” platform to the Raspberry Pi. As the 1st milestone of their recent ISC grant award, they’ve started a parallel repository for ByzPi, their PB port for ARM, currently for Raspbian:

We opted to use Raspbian because it seems to be the more popular of the two [commonly installed Raspberry Pi Linux distributions]. Also, the packaging process for Debian was better understood than that for Arch Linux by the Project Byzantium team. We’re in a rapid development cycle so we wanted to hit the ground running and accomplish as much as possible in the available time before the first milestone.

Congratulations to The Doctor, Ben the Pyrate, and haxwithaxe!

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.

HacDC’s Project Byzantium wins InformSec grant

Project Byzantium pomegranate logoWe’re proud to share the news that HacDC’s Project Byzantium has won a grant from the Information Security Coalition to continue research and development for the next six calendar months! Project Byzantium is an effort to develop Byzantium Linux, a live distribution of Linux for rapidly and easily constructing ad-hoc wireless mesh networks during emergencies. This distribution aims to assist relief efforts by providing flexible networking infrastructure and services. Byzantium developers will be putting the grant money toward additional equipment on which to test and debug Byzantium Linux as well as hardware to experiment with integrating Byzantium Linux into amateur radio-related data communications networks. The project’s final milestone will be v0.4 of Byzantium Linux “somewhen in August of 2013.” Congratulations to our Project Byzantium team!

In related news, Project Byzantium was a recent runner up for an Access Innovation Award, a set of grants to accelerate projects working in several problem spaces including making networks resilient to blackouts. The team traveled to New York City for the awards ceremony in December 2012 and report that they were honored to have been selected as finalists.

UPDATE: Byzantium Linux v0.3a is out!

HacDC’s commitment to diversity and a harassment-free environment

The HacDC membership is proud to announce our adoption of two new policies reinforcing our commitment to providing a welcoming, safe environment. In drafting these policies we drew heavily from Dreamwidth StudiosDiversity Statement and the example conference anti-harassment policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers.

Diversity Statement

We welcome you.

We welcome people of any gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, ability level, neurotype, religion, elder status, family structure, culture, subculture, political opinion, identity, and self-identification.

As a U.S.- and District of Columbia-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization we’re obliged to follow applicable laws, but we’re serious about knowing and protecting your rights when it comes to free expression and privacy.

We support maximum freedom of creative expression, and only restrict that when we must for the safety and sanity of other folks. We think creativity is one of the greatest accomplishments of the human mind, and we want to enable that creativity in everyone from pro to amateur. We think neurodiversity is a feature, not a bug. We believe in being inclusive, welcoming, and supportive of anyone who comes to us with good faith and the desire to build a community.

Anti-Harassment Policy

HacDC is dedicated to being a harassment-free hackerspace for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of members or visitors in any form.

Harassment includes but is not limited to offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention; or violation of any applicable laws. Members and visitors asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a member or visitor engages in harassing behavior, the board of directors or event organizer may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the space or event with no refund. Members violating these rules may be subject to termination of their HacDC membership. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the board of directors or the event organizer immediately.

Members of the board of directors and event organizers will happily help members and visitors contact building security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe and prevent harassment for the duration of their visit at HacDC. We value your attendance.

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Building security guard hours: Monday – Thursday 6pm – 10pm; Saturday 9am – 2pm
DC emergency services: 911
National sexual assault hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673)
DC Rape Crisis Center: 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7273)
DC Yellow Cab: 202-TAXICAB (202-829-4222)
Howard University Hospital: 202-865-6100 / 2041 Georgia Avenue NW
GWU Hospital: 202-715-4000 / 900 23rd Street NW

We expect members and visitors to follow these rules at all HacDC-organized events, in the space itself, and in our online spaces including mailing lists and the official IRC channel.

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