What is Freeside?

Freeside is a Georgia nonprofit corporation, organized to develop a community of coders, makers, artists, and researchers in order to promote collaboration and community outreach. Learn more »

Building Shelves

It is becoming increasingly evident that one component of a successful hacker space is good storage. The problem is that most shelf systems out there are pretty expensive. After a recent meeting we started brain storming different shelf designs and finally settled on one. Convinced that we could save money by building our own shelves we set out to the local hardware store with a materials list. After rounding up all the needed materials and renting a truck we headed back to Freeside.

We quickly refined a procedure and started building our shelves. We were only able to complete the first four sections of shelves by the end of the day, but we were very proud of our work and we still have enough material to make 8 more shelf units. Many thanks to everyone who helped build shelves and I hope you are able to make it to the next work day!

Here is an album of the build and some pictures of the completed shelves:

A Creative Space

A notable quote from a Freeside member:
If you haven't had the chance to just go to the space and hang out a bit, do it! the place will get your creative juices flowing, I can't explain it but it just a great feeling.. Thanks to all that have put so much hard work into the space..

I think this sentiment sums up the hacker space phenomenon rather well. It is well worth the effort.

Diving into python

Last night we held our first Python night, where I gave an introductory course into Python. We had a strong showing of both members and non-members who were eager to learn, and we were able to hammer through the basics in about an hour.

Next week we'll be doing a quick re-cap of the basics, and continue diving into the depths of the language. Current agenda includes object-oriented programming and handling exceptions. I'm also going to cook up some exercises for attendees to work on so we can flex our editors and interpreters.

If you missed this week's class and are new to the language, the course is essentially a modified version of the (free! online!) book Dive into Python. We covered the first four chapters last night. Feel free to read up, and if you get stuck--bring your questions next week!

Circuit bending workshop


[Reposted from Dan's email]

Just sending out a little update about the Circuit Bending Workshop/Class. We had 9 people attend, 4 non-members, 5 members. We killed 2 toys but managed to salvage parts and useful bits from them. I'm going to make the workshop every other week. So 2 weeks from today (August 26th) we will meet from 7(ish) to 9(ish) to hack and bend circuits. I'm going to order up more kits and parts for the next class as well as hunt for more toys. Please drop me an email if you would like to Sign up for the class and reserve/prepay for a kit. If you happen to have spare toys sitting around your house that you would like to donate please let me know, I'll be happy to come pick them up.

I also want to thank everyone for coming out. I hope you all had a blast.

Second Walk-through

I stopped by the space to drop off some equipment yesterday, and took a minute to do another walk-through video.

Introducing Freeside!

[Cross-posted from the 2009-07-01 entry on my personal blog.]

In January, I asked if anybody in Atlanta was interested in starting a hacker space.

Turns out, many people were indeed interested!

To say I've been pleasantly surprised would be a huge understatement. In a few short months, we've organized a thriving group of more than 50 dues-paying members -- with another 70 on-lookers, judging by the mailing list -- and we have recently signed a lease to make this thing a reality.

We've met just about every Monday night at Manuel's Tavern to organize our effort and discuss specifics.

We spread out across the city to investigate dozens of potential properties for lease. I think we drove the real estate agents a little batty with all of our questions. We were thorough.

We analyzed other hacker spaces, with an eye on the lessons they learned. We made a huge effort to replicate things that went well with the others, and avoid things that did not.

Our wiki became a repository for all of our organizational work. In June, it received an average of 64 unique visits per day. (A nice power of two, no less.)

We have had a lot of fun doing this. We've talked, drank, debated, agreed, disagreed, and altogether have become better friends throughout the whole process.

I'm happy to announce that as of July, 2009, the Freeside Atlanta hacker space has become a reality!

Freeside Lives!

Watch here for exciting news about Freeside, Atlanta's hackerspace.