Hack the Space

This weekend is our Hack the Space event at our first workspace.  It’s an open day and all are welcome to come along to see the space, help with the last of the clean up and some painting, assembly of the racks (not the medieval kind…. not yet at least) as man hands make light work.

We’ll also have a few things on display, such as the Occulus Rift, 3D printed items, Laser Cut Wood, Raspberry Pi and Arduino’s on display.

We’ll also have a video presentation playing for those who are not quite sure just what a Hackspace is but want to know more.

The Location:  Hack Oldham, Hardcastle Street, Oldham, OL1 1SU

Time:  from 10am onwards.
Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1422667011368243/

Food is being laid on by the lovely people at Tipples and Nibbles
The Workspace - Revealed
The Workspace – Revealed

There is a Car Park outside the Workspace, free parking for 3 hours at weekend, but you MUST have a ticket from the machine to make it valid.

Parking Charges
Parking Charges

Hope to see you all there.

April to May 2015

Just a quick update to let you all know what’s going on over the next few weeks.

Because the Bookmark Festival is on the 25th of April (the last saturday of the month) we will NOT be hosting Hack the Library this month as the space will be in use.  We do however encourge people to go along anyway and enjoy the event in our absense.  This also means no Code Club for April (our apologies for not saying so earlier).

Mr Bloom (from CBBC) will be at the Library too so if you have small children you should take them along.

So what will we be up to then?

Building, tinkering, making and organising.

As most of you wil know we have a few projects on the go that, until very recently, needed a space to build them in and certain equipment to begin construction.  We now have the first, and should shortly be aquiring the second, so its likely that we will be busy.

We are at the Bank Top Tavern again on the 14th (this coming Tuesday) for another general Meet Up to hopefully generate more ideas and community projects for the next few months (as we now have a space, we can get building).

On the 18th of the month we shall be opening the Workspace up proper for an open day, mainly to spruce the place up and decorate (the latter mainly involving putting up shelves).

As always, as we are a community we need suggestions from you all for events and projects to run so if you have an idea, let us know through the contact page.

Hack the Space

New to hacker spaces? you might want to go here first

It’s official, we have our first space!

World domination (starting locally for convenience sake) begins on the 18th of April.  This is NOT an aprils fools.


The workshop used to be a joiners but has never been cleaned of the dust which covers most surfaces, and needs to be cleared before we open officially.  As you can see from the pictures, the space is being used to fix bicycles by the current resident, so we have to wait for him to move out before we can the cleaning in earnest.


We hope to get in some time between the 10th and the 17th to clear the wood dust out before the big event (just so we’re all not breathing it all in as we renovate).  A team of volunteers led by David Soponski (sign up here if you want to volunteer, or view out todo list) will perform this task with masks and a power vacuum and other cleaning gear.


For those who have already volunteered, thank you, we’ll be in touch once we have a confirmed date.

For the opening event, a number of (second hand) hand and power tools have already been donated to get the space up and running.  What we need from you (other than a few helping hands to get it whipped into shape) are ideas and projects to get space used from day 1 (day 3 by the latest, depending on how good we all are at cleaning).


(Note: First and Second Tuesdays are still being held at the Bank Top Tavern.  Though we will have a workshop it will hardly be comfortable for more social activities.)

Until then, get cracking on your projects.

Upcoming Event: Hack the Library March

Just a quick reminder that we will be back at the Library (upper floor) once again for Hack the Library which includes Code Club for kids.

We have a few places left for both the morning and afternoon sessions (about 2 for either session) so if you want to book a place, do it NOW!

All contrubutors are welcome to the event, let us know through Meetups or the Contact page if you want to demonstrate something in particular (just so we can get tables and plugs arranged if needed).

Hope to see you all there.

Upcoming Raspberry Pi Events

A couple of upcoming events curtesy of @teknoteacher 
There are number of opportunities coming up in March that you may already be aware of, but I’m sending you this email in case you have not heard about them and because I feel they may be of interest to you. I realise it would have helped if I’d sent this email to you a month or so before now, but life has been pretty Jam Packed recently with our UK roadshow.
The Raspberry Pi community recently celebrated it’s 3rd birthday, 5 million sales and release of the Pi 2.0 in Cambridge. Not to be outdone, we’re holding our own little festivities in the North West.

Raspberry Jamboree, 20-22nd March (Preston)

There will be a 3 day, 5 event celebration of Raspberry Pi coming up in two weeks with workshops, talks and demonstrations to further your interest in the Raspberry Pi.
It starts with a full day of free CPD for teachers, followed by a Friday evening Family Hack Jam. On Saturday and Sunday there will be a variety of workshops and activities for all levels of experience. There’s a Saturday Social as well in the evening. If you can attend any of these events for even just a short while, we will do our best to accommodate you.
Jam Packed UK website: http://jam-packed.uk
Raspberry Pi team Carrie Anne and James Robinson from the Raspberry Pi Education Team will be attending the Jamboree, as well as Pete Lomas, the technical designer of the Raspberry Pi. We will also have prizes and swag to give away to those attending as well as plenty of ideas and support to get the most out of the Raspberry Pi computer.
Free CPD for teachers 20th March
There are a limited number of places available on Friday 20th March for a free day of CPD for teachers interested in exploring the use of Raspberry Pi in their schools. More details here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/raspberry-jamboree-preston-fri-200315-free-teacher-cpd-tickets-15659296377
Jam Packed UK visits Manchester 
From Friday 27th to Saturday 28th our Jam Packed UK roadshow will be based at Manchester Communicatioons Academy. The Fridaydaytime event is another free CPD event for teachers looking at both GCSE Computing coursework and Raspberry Pi with Key Stage 2 classes. Friday night is another of our popular Family Hack Jam events where teams of all ages and backgrounds compete to win prizes. Then on Saturday 28th March we will be holding another Raspberry Jam event.
Planning a school trip or family outing? While the Friday night Family Hack Jams have already accommodated group visits from schools, groups are also welcome to join our Saturday events too. We would advise age suitability of 7 upwards.

Update: Feb-March

Welcome one and all.

We have a quick announcement for the Tuesday Board games Night for tonight (03 March).  We are moving the event from Area 51 to the Bank Top Tavern (Ignore the location provided by this months Meet-Up notifications).  We are looking for alternate venues for the coming months, but due to the time of day and limited number of suitable locations open at that time, we will likely be using the Bank Top Tavern for the time being.
As to the folks at Area 51, we wish them all the best and hope they can find another location to set up shop.

We’d like to thank everyone who showed up for our Hack the Library event on Saturday, for the parents and kids who showed for the code club, and the many enthusiasts who came along to see what we had on offer (so far, more is being planned and put together).  Over winter the event had few attendees, so it was great to see attendance well up on our first Spring event.

Saturday was an interesting day for everyone involved.  With Code club keeping Andy P busy for almost the entire day, we had Andy H showing off the start of an Iron Man costume in the form of two helmets (One adult, one child).

We also had our recently acquired Occulus Rift up and running for people to try out (and run away from screaming!), terrifying children and teenagers whilst delighting adults of all ages.  We’ll be sure to provide a safe ‘Run Screaming’ corridor for next time (we had a few near impacts this time around).

Dave brought along the first few months segments of his 3D printer subscription, assembling the platter armature with Jake, as well as showing off (literally showing off) the 3D Map and other projects being put together by our amateur 3D artist.

All in all a solid event to kick the new year into touch, heres hoping for many more.

As for tonight we shall be playing board and card games, so come on down and join in the fun.  We should also be discussing the Hack Linux group with a potential organiser to get the group started, so watch this space.

We hope to see you all there.

First Hack Library of 2015

New year, new Hack the Library event.

Today was the first of our code club events, with our very first student able to pick Andys brain almost exclusively as she made her way through a few basic programs.  Remember if you have a child, grandchild, small horde or (shudders) teenagers without anything to do on the 28th of February, sign them up and send them along to the Library to learn how to code.

Big Thank you to Claire Dodd (STEM Ambassador) who came along and helped with the code club.
Storage Preview
Digital Storage.

Sat over by the glass wall overlooking the reception area Dave was busy working away on a 3D project fo the Library itself, along with demonstrating a few computer generated renders created using CAD software and showing off the progress of a Map Building project for another member of the team.

Martin and Ben discussed all things Python (Linux) including LXML and XPATH, used in super large and information rich databases (sounds fancy, but that description doesn’t do it justice).   It was quite and interesting discussion as it highlighted a few blind spots in our understanding of Linux, which has now spurred us on to arrange a workshop as soon as we can.

And finally (but by no means least) we are entering the Libraries Upcycle Competition.  Call in, pick up one of the books they have on offer (ask at the front desk where they are) and join in.  Competition ends on the 7th of February so you have ONE WEEK….. sorry, TWO WEEKS to get your entries in.


We are currently working to get a few projects in partnership with Oldham Library up and running, so watch this space as these plans develop.

Our event planner and suggestion box is still open for ideas, as is our recruitment page for people to teach a class.  More events will be added to our MeetUps in the comming weeks and months so check back ever week or so for updates.

Until next time.

Building 3d printers at #HackTheLibrary?

There is no doubt that 3d printing is an amazing leap forward in technology and as prices come down and usage goes up I’m sure that more and more people will be doing interesting things like this…

The e-nable project helps pair people with 3d printers and people who are missing limbs and allows them to create simple, affordable  prosthetics that can change peoples lives.

But 3d Printers are expensive…

Typically they are out of the budget of many home users, starting at £500 for the most basic models, but recently there has been an advert on the TV for a weekly magazine that comes with the components to build a 3d printer over 60 issues.

The total cost of the project will be £440, still not exactly pocket change but spread over 60 weeks its reasonable affordable.

Ive decided to build this with my 8 year old son, and thought if anyone else is interested in building one we could work together at the #hackthelibrary events.

If you are interested in building one, or just need some help get in touch or join the discussion on Facebook.

More information : http://www.3dprinter-collection.com/

Tuesdays MeetUp (January)

Our first Meetup of the year came and went with little and few in attendance.  But then given the snap frost, snow and ice, we can hardly blame you.  By the time we all left the ground was quite treacherous and the roads only just drivalbe (rideable in the case of one antendee, hope you got home safe Andy).

Though few in number, we got a fair bit discussed, from Christmas blues, electronic wizardry and sound systems, ideas for inventions, Kickstarter (The good, the bad, the bizarre), as well as more practical matters and future events.

We are happy to announce out monthly WordPress MeetUp is a go, as is Boardgame night to add to our ongoing line up of events.  Details of both can be found on our MeetUps calendar over the next few days, along with a blog post here either Thursday or Friday.

Also, we are open to suggestions for events!

Thats right, we want to hear from you.  We want events and we want to make them relevant to our members, so tell us what you want to see and we’ll do our best to make the events happen (both before and after we get a space up and running).

We know a few people have expressed an interest in learning more about Linux and we are currently looking for some one to teach a basic class and run a local MeetUp to get the ball rolling.  If you or someone you know would like to join such a group (or Teach it), let us know through our Contact Page and we will make arrangements.

In the mean time we hope the new year is treating you well so far and hope to see you all again soon.  Until then, get making.

Welcome to the World of Tomorrow (Due March 2015)

And so we stride into the new year, blinking away the fuge of mid-winter and swelling from the repasts eaten over the Christmas period to ask ourselves ‘What happened to that idea of making a hackspace community again?’

Well fear not gentlefolk, we’re still alive and ready to grab the new year by the Calendar.

First off our scheduled Meetups are still on for the forseable future, so if you wish to meet the group, gather for a chat and discuss projects for the space, then please come along.

Also, our Hack the Library event is still on for the 24th for those with kids who want to get them interested in technology and how off some of the activities we will have available once the space is up and running.

Its been a quiet December on the activities front (understandably so as people spend time with family) but this year we are hoping to get more groups up and running including:

A regular WordPress group.
A Linux Club (Pending more interest and a few knowledgable folk).
A regular Code Club (mainly for kids).
A 3D CAD Workshop (Software Pending).
More talks by professionals on a variety of topics.

Can’t make the Meetups but still have a suggestion for events?  Leave us a comment below or visit out Contact Us page above and get in touch.

In the mean time we hope to see you all in the coming year.

Till then, stay safe and get making.

Community of Creative & Digital, Co-workers & Makers