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 Whiteboard Chair Rack
Finished Project

Many Hackerspaces learn quickly that space is of a premium value. Besides the usual ideas of making items mobile for a more dynamic space, as well as embracing linear upward construction, one starts becoming more creative. In today’s case, the combination of these two ideas along with even more multipurpose came into play..

One would think that is would be easy to have enough room in a 4,000 + square foot facility. Even at CT Hackerspace, things become tight. One problem that I was wrestling with was chair storage. There are times, usually at events, where we may have 50 or more attendees. At these events, it is easy to justify chairs everywhere to accommodate everyone. The concern focuses on all these chairs in relation to the other 95% of events and other get togethers which average a dozen or so people: What to do with the chairs? Planning ahead, I had purchased stackable chairs which alleviates the overall footprint. But the footprint is still creating dead space …And chairs do get dusty quickly in our workshop environment when not in use.

As a hacker / maker with most of my personal projects being space focused, I took this on as a challenge to best make use of this storage concern. On hand was 18 foot lengths of universal angle iron. A good start to framing. I added some moving dollies on sale from the local Harbor Freight. (If you catch the right sale at $7.99 per dolly, it’s even cheaper than buying the casters separately. Many times when I’m building rolling furniture at the space, I purchase the doilies and completely reuse the entire dolly in casters and extra wood.) A trip to the local Ace Hardware Store and I acquired (nut / bolt / locknut / washer( hardware as well as laminated white paneling and fresh plywood. Mixed together a few leftover quarts of donated paint and I was on my way.

The idea became larger than life when it left my brain and started becoming a reality. Wow, this thing was “gonna be big”. Occasionally I would ask for help from other members in rotating my massive build so I could continue assembly. The Rolling rack required to house all the chairs had a final measurement of 12 feet long, 6 feet high, and a depth of about 2 plus feet to accommodate the chairs internally . After the metal frame was constructed, the plywood added strength and optimally forced a 90 degree squareness in the build. Afterwards, the laminated paneling was added to function as a low cost whiteboard. Lastly, a tarp was ordered online to be fitted along the backside of the whiteboard to keep cover the chairs when not in use to keep them clean a ready for use..

Our new Cart now offered multifunction in one design. (1) Upward Storage, (2)Rolling Storage, (3)Clean Storage in a dusty environment, (4) An additional 4’ x 12’ whiteboard for creative or educational use. (5) An optional moving “wall” divider if needed.


I just received my latest email update from Nation of Makers, and, after stepping back, what the Movers and Shakers (or should I coin the phrase “Makers and Shakers”), in the Maker Movement Can Accomplish. Even the White House was amazed on how effective the maker community has been in bringing about this project.

Below is an excerpt from the Newsletter and I just needed to celebrate it with everyone else:

The end of the Summer also marks the passage of the one year anniversary of the White House Makerspace Summit. This exciting event held last year became the catalyst for the formation of our organization, and as such, it serves as a great marker to reflect on the past year – we have a lot to celebrate!

It has been an incredible year full of inspiring stories, new and exciting events, and a beautiful growth of our maker community. In this past year, Nation of Makers was able to:
Establish itself as a funded non-profit organization
Assemble a Board of Directors and Advisors
Establish representation from each state via our State Ambassadors
Hire an Executive Director
Lead and coordinate the 2017 National Week of Making
Collaborate with multiple public and private organizations to execute meaningful programming, including awarding eleven communities around the United States with funding to host Maker Town Halls
Participate in several regional NoM community meetings
Attend, participate in, and present at numerous external events including SxSWEdu, the Maker Ed Leadership Summit, Make for the Planet, InfoSys Crossroads, PVDFest, NDIA Manufacturing Division Meeting, MForesight, and the March for Science
Begin collating resources for our upcoming resource library
Begin work towards the growth of our organization via a number of active community working groups
Advocate for and provide guidance on maker legislation within the US Congress
Engage with the Congressional Maker Caucus and National Science and Technology Council Interagency Working Group on Making to encourage and support federal policies that support the maker community
Interact with and support maker organizations, rural and urban, large and small, non-profit and for-profit, throughout the United States and internationally

It is so exciting to think about what we will accomplish going forward together! Thanks to your participation and advocacy, Nation of Makers’ potential is unlimited. In the coming months, keep your eyes peeled for new and exciting ways that YOU can specifically get involved in growing our organization and our community – from setting up organizational profiles, re-activating and joining tiger teams (working groups), helping us set up and build our resource library, working with us to plan our annual convening, and advocating for making within your local community and nationally – there continues to be many ways that each one of you can contribute to growing the Nation of Makers. I look forward to working you in the days, weeks, months, and years to come to make our organization a resource for all!

I am happy to announce our efforts in creating the Nation of Makers.

Bill Saturno

President , Co-founder : CT Hackerspace
Transition team : Nation of Makers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nation of Makers
NoMTransitionGroup@gmail.com

More than 300 organizations come together to launch Nation of Makers
New non-profit organization will ensure that more Americans have access to the spaces, communities, and tools that enable them to make things, not just consume things.

MARYLAND (November 15, 2016) – The grassroots Maker Movement has, and continues to, impact entrepreneurship, education, economic and workforce development, manufacturing, community revitalization and technology inclusion in the U.S. To build upon existing efforts and to continue to grow the coalition of diverse organizations supporting the maker community, we are proud to announce the creation of an independent non-profit called Nation of Makers. The organization will serve and represent a wide variety of spaces, events, and institutions serving makers, including non-profit organizations, museums, libraries, science centers, educational institutions, foundations and for-profit companies.

Nation of Makers is working with leaders from the maker community in all 50 states and has received more than 300 letters of support from hackerspaces, makerspaces, companies, libraries, local government and economic development agencies across the U.S. who have already experienced the positive impact of the Maker Movement locally, and are committed to continuing to foster the growth and inclusivity of the maker community. In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week USA, Nation of Makers celebrates the entrepreneurship represented by the American maker community.

“Giving more Americans the opportunity to make, invent and create is critical to our future,” said Tom Kalil, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “Making can inspire more young people to excel in STEM education, promote entrepreneurship in manufacturing, and empower more people to solve problems in their communities.”

Makers are developing innovative solutions to important local and global problems, creating new products that are produced locally and building vibrant communities where small businesses can thrive. Some examples of the ways these efforts are taking shape include efforts in:

Chicago, IL, where makers from the broader Chicago community are prototyping everything from energy storage devices and wearable electronics to food packaging and furniture at The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago.

Anchorage, AK, where the MAKE Partnership is matching federal dollars to support trainings and workshops hosted by the Anchorage Makerspace that are geared towards manufacturing start-ups and maker entrepreneurs.

Macon, GA, where SparkMacon is empowering entrepreneurs to launch businesses in the broader Macon-Bibb county.

Brookings, SD, where Brookings Economic Development Corporation has opened Brookings Area Makerspace located at South Dakota State University, a shared workshop and creative space open to students, faculty and community members.

Kingsport, TN, where the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce is supporting and celebrating the creation of a new makerspace at the Kingsport Public Library.

Founding Board Members of Nation of Makers include makers Harley DuBois, co-founder of Burning Man, Pamela Jennings, Professor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Winston-Salem State University, Adam Savage, head of Tested.com, and Stephanie Santoso, former White House Senior Advisor for Making.

Nation of Makers will support the full range of organizations that impact makers by encouraging connections, broadly sharing resources, facilitating funding opportunities, engaging in policy development, and advocating for the Maker Movement. The organization will help maker organizations amplify the passion, innovation, creativity, and diversity of the maker community, and maximize both its local and global impact.

For more examples of the amazing ways makers are making a difference in their local communities, please visit the Nation of Makers website at www.nationofmakers.us

MAKERS….

Catch the positive inspiration this short video helps convey from highlights of the National Maker Conference.

If there is one thing that can be said of Google, it is that they play a great chess match. Many moves today are done for the greater chess board position later in the technology game. Some of Google’s pieces in play: Bandwidth at the ready, Google Video & Youtube, Open-Source Android, Voice recognition superiority, semiconductor purchasing. Pieces lost in this round: Cellular bandwidth purchase, and a stuck Google Voice piece. Result: Google repositions it’s mobile strategy with a more encompassed target of appliance-based technologies rather than a just a mobile phone based focus.

There is much speculation being posted recently looking for the reason why Google recently purchased Agnilux. a super secret early stage start-up in the semiconductor sector. Agnilux was founded by members of Palo Alto Semiconductor. These founders left after the purchase of that company by Apple for $278 million in the Spring of 2008. Steve Jobs stated to the New York Times that Apple made the purchase of Palo Alto Semiconductor to promote and manufacture system-on-chips for iPhones and iPods.

Many of the technology pundits say that Google is interested in the Agnilux purchase to assist in possibly creating a new generation of power friendly servers. (A company founded with experts in mobile friendly chips are now focused on making energy efficient server chips? Maybe, but I don’t buy it 100%.) I fail to see Google’s motivation to invest in these types of semiconductor companies to install these (lower powered, energy efficient) chips into their server farms for basically two reasons. Reason one – Efficiency: Isn’t it more efficient to power down a mutli core chip than to ramp up dozens of more energy efficient chips to handle the same job? Reason two – Long term viability: Even if today’s use is not maximizing out the server’s processing power, future data demands will be more, not less. You will have the processing headroom in place to handle the additional demands before you need to do a hardware upgrade. I fail to see the long term ROI being viable on building a server cluster with more underpowered processors in spite of their energy efficient appeal.There’s a reason we use a school bus to transport kids rather than fleets of Yugos.

Google’s recent purchase of Agnilux, along with their purchase of PeakStream (in 2007), starts to position Google with hooks into the real physical world of hardware needed to develop internet appliances. Using the energy efficient Angilux processors coupled with the PeakStream GPU Platform, gives Google a nice position on the technology chessboard. The forward thinking moves of Google will leave them with a nice checkmate position as we continue to play the mobile and set top appliance game, not greener servers

I actually had a few emails and posts asking me about my thoughts on the new Apple iPad. After scouring tech information on the web tonight, here is my initial impression and thoughts:

The Apple iPad will be a new home appliance category that will be hammering out a new niche. It will be interesting to see if the iPad will stunt the growth of the recent explosion of Netbooks, Ebook readers, and Android devices starting to be released onto the public this year. In my home, I see an Apple iPad replacing my “casual laptop” – My older laptop who has a current “second life” of web browsing, email, and video watching while I am on the sofa with the feet up.

While reading the tech stories, here are my notes of interest:

  • The iPad has the Apple elegance and style as we have come to expect.
  • Apple’s Pricing is fairly Aggressive (by Apple Standards)
  • Although sleek and slick, the device is still significantly heavy for its form factor.
  • Screen looks great and smooth video at 1024 x 768. With the purchase of PA Semi last year, now Apple can hide more of it’s Magic in the hardware design. The new A4 chip is guessed to be of ARM architecture, and coupled closely with a nice graphics engine.
  • Even with the A4’s horsepower, Apple decides still to not allow multitasking. My question is: Was that for iPhone Application compatibility, or an overall Apple forward thinking decision that removing multitasking in a handheld is not really a showstopper. (Similar to thier decision in removing CD/DVD drives in the Mac Air)
  • E-book implementation is just as good as the competition that is out there. This had to be a category killer goal from the design stage.
  • No Camera – My guess on this feature omission is two fold: (1)Putting a camera in the device opens up the entire iPad project to include more than the original conceptual design. (2) Adding a camera might have proven to be too much load on the A4 processor to keep what Apple wanted with the user experience. (Adding a camera adds many new processing demands: iChat video conferencing, Live streaming wants, High demands on video capture etc..)
  • The On-Screen Keyboard is “good” but not has as responsive as people hoped. I have never been a fan of onscreen keyboards myself anyway.
  • No built in Flash player confirmed. This could be a disappointment on some people’s web browsing habits. I still have not confirmed if the iPad is HTML5 ready. If the iPad is HTML5 ready, then this flash omission is a forward thinking step anyway. Sorry Adobe!

Besides the Living Room Table Tablet, I see new niches already being carved out for the education market and various medical markets. Students win with a lower cost and lighter weight textbook, combined with an electronic note taking device. Add IM, Video, and Youtube distractions, and it becomes even more appealing to own one. The medical field is already implementing tablet devices, and it can step up to the next level the iPad offers. Apple again is pushing the game market as it did with the iTouch. I see the game interest nominal as best.

The iPad creates a new niche. When you don’t need a laptop, but when you are looking to do more than a smartphone can easily handle. It’s your large screen, high performance iPhone / iTouch with some Netbook horsepower.

Page Two, Newspaper Decline.

For good or for bad, the declining popularity of the newspaper is falling below it's critical mass of viability. Readership levels are dropping and so goes the rest of the business. Beware that there is a larger issue than the newspaper being an irrelevant media for the dynamic, interactive, interconnected "Generation X-Box" (thanks to John C. For that label). There is a fundamental reorganization of our social makeup underway. Because the next generation is interconnected and wired on a worldwide scale, the concept and current definition of "community" is now evolving. The idea of "Local" is no longer as important (or as relevant) as it was in the past. Physical location plays less of a factor to the makeup of one's community.

I remember around the late 1970s and early 80s as BBS's were starting to loose my ("local") interest , I started logging into my Compuserve Account and joining "Special Interest Groups", or "SIGs". The idea was simple: Using the latest technology, connect with people with whom you had similar interests. Communicate to people and open dialogs with those whom you would have never engaged in conversation due to the lack of physical proximity. AOL also had similar SIG manifestations in the 1990s.

The SIG today is more than a return of an old concept . It is one of the first clear signs of how social interaction will be rearranged on a fundamental level. SIGS have always existed in one form or another (clubs, groups, organizations,etc). Most organizations were challenged to remain viable if there was a lack of their common interest in a certain physical proximity. The internet makes this proximity issue irrelevant. Locality no longer a factor . The Specialized Interest has usurped the local interest in today's world. Get ready for the change. Generation X-Box already has and has embraced it.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

The status of Geek has become generally accepted by the masses of today. Has the general public had a change in heart? Nope. What has happened so that the once negatively ridiculed class is now so widely adopted? What gives?

Its all in the perspective. It's not that geeks have become cooler, its that the cool kids are now a little "geekier". Welcome to the club, kids. Its not always this easy.

The persona of a geek is usually one who is technically savvy but has limited social skills. The geek lifestyle which many times revolves around more technical pursuits naturally creates a lack in social interaction. In today's information age, many more people have become exposed to and use computers as well as other new technology. Baby Boomers have learned how to use it, Gen Xers have adopted to it. Generation X-Box have had this technology as part of everyday living their whole lives.

As technology weaves in as part of our wired and always connected life, we are all becoming more technically savvy as well as a little more socially removed. We know more people virtually around the world than on our street. We isolate ourselves in our own homes from one another with our own interests and entertainment. We even text and twitter more than ever before. Welcome to the world of the geek.

I plan on looking at some deeper social impacts in future postings.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Web 2.0: Blogs. MySpace. Facebook. Twitter. Flickr. Wikis. Digg. Social Networking. Sharable Content. Why is this mechanism so successful? The answer lies deeper than the ability to be “social” or to “create communities”.

One factor of Web 2.0 success is the ability of companies to be able to commercially exploit the “me”: What the “me” is doing. What the “me” thinks of things. What the “me” contributes to the conversation. In fact, by the mere action of me publishing this blog entry, my “me” is guilty of participation as well. Thank you, Blogger.

Let’s look at Egoism – Bouts of selfishness can be seen as an attempt by the ego craving to gain attention by others; An attempt to place value for their own welfare or advantage at the expense of those around them. In most circles of society in years past, such behavior was seen as a violation of certain rules of etiquette or courtesy. New Web 2.0 social mediums allow for new social rules and behavior to be created and accepted. This revised and new set of acceptable behavior are governed and promoted by those who create the new medium.

Intentionally or not, this is what has happened: Society has created this Web 2.0 (commercially successful) vehicle that feeds the ego of every participant and, at the same time, allows the process to be a socially acceptable behavior. What Ego could refuse the opportunity to spread its own self opinion to the WORLD without the fear of it being considered bad-mannered?

Now that the critical mass of the technological evolution in our society has arrived, and that computer technology has become part of everyday life to most people, new methods of communicating with each other can be developed and implemented. The new social web 2.0 portals that are created usually have success based on their popularity. Is it not surprising that creating a mechanism of an ego feeding machine to the masses would be successful? The more one feeds (or exploits) the “me”, the more successful that Web 2.0 franchise will be