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Report, October 5th 2010

  • September saw the birth of our very own MegaBench of Workingness, which also stimulated the purchase of a Craigslist toolchest and the start of a decent set of hand tools.
  • We got some business cards in, in preparation for Barcamp Rochester later this month. Feel free to take a handful and spread them around town.
  • I also started making an Interlock branded tablecloth for use at Barcamp / FOSScon / RSS and that sort of thing.
  • The door #1 sign arrived, and is installed. I feel the next version needs to light up somehow (Open/Closed sort of thing), and perhaps have a wireless buzzer to summon the basement dwellers.
  • I installed the door reed switch, so we can possibly query the door status and show open/closed on the web site, or via irc bots and the like.

Report, September 7th 2010

Students are back! The past two weeks have seen some really busy open nights, starting with some prep work for the Processing/Arduino class, then the class itself. Beyond that we've just had lots of other enthusiastic newcomers saying hello, signing up to be members, and contributing a lot of brainpower to some niches we had previously failed to fill (ROBOTS). Some other events of note:

  • JustBill is now a General class Amateur radio operator, meaning he can be uppity and lord over most of the other hams in the group.
  • iFixit sent us some bit driver sets (54 piece, 26 piece), gratis. Please do be vigilant in returning all bits when you're done, so we don't end up with two 0-piece sets.
  • We received our first discounted adafruit order. I made a decent spreadsheet to track orders and calculate discounts and shipping charges, which I should probably open up to all for direct input next time we want to order. General observation is that the discount is usually about 10% until you get up into quantities of ten. The structure suggests it will be most useful for purchasing lots of kits for a workshop.
  • T-shirts arrived. If you haven't picked up your pre-ordered shirt, do it soon, before the Beardicus gets testy. More shirts are available, ten bucks for members, fifteen for "others."
  • I failed to build the workbench thus far, but will be in tomorrow or Sunday morning (early) to do it while the space is deserted.
  • We've had two Processing/Arduino classes thus far. Despite some projection issues, and seismic events from the gym upstairs, I think it's going well. I plan to chat with the gym owner a bit to figure out better scheduling options, or anything else we can possibly do to minimize disturbances.
  • Wouxon order will likely go out sometime this month. If you want anything, we'll blab about it on the list and make a wiki page shortly.
  • A sign for door #1 is currently in production, hopefully to be received and installed by the end of the month.

Report, August 3rd 2010

Since we last met, we've had a few rather well attended open nights, with quite a few new non-member folks stopping in to check out the place. It seems the summer lull I had expected was more like an early-summer-only lull, and I have the feeling that activity is back on the upswing.

Last month we had a successful antenna-making workshop during make night, thanks to our large contingent of hammy members. I think there continues to be an infinite amount of ham radio activities we could do, and I'm happy that our space is exploring one of the original "hardware hacker" activities (now I just need to get active myself).

The iButton door system is nearing completion. The custom board was soldered and installed, and the wires for the strike plate and reader were removed from the sloppy breadboard and crimped into proper rj-11 plugs. I've made progress getting the ethernet shield to talk to the world, and now we're just waiting on an LDAP server and some minimal support scripts to get that working.

Just today I overloaded my roof rack with lumber from my friendly local big box home improvement store. The goal is to turn it into a workbench, roughly based on these instructions. Obviously it will be two of those 8ft benches bolted together. If that's not heavy and sturdy enough, we may want to attach it to the wall in some fashion. I'll try to work on all this... "soon".

T-shirts were ordered, and supposedly produced. All of the different colors held things up slightly, and I didn't make it in to pick them up today. We will have them by Thursday with any luck.

Report, June 1st 2010

Nothing has changed since our last meeting. Everyone go to sleep.


As per my email to the list a few weeks ago, we are now running under the assumption that I (beardicus) am the new President, and Wayne is the new Treasurer. Alan and Ashley have abandoned us for North Carolina, so that they may work for The Man. I'm really sad to see them go, and also really thankful for all the hard work they did in helping to start Interlock up.

The bylaws don't go into super-detail about how transitions and elections work, but they do give outgoing officers the opportunity to appoint their successor in case there are not multiple candidates. I didn't hear anybody step forward on the mailing list, but fully acknowledge that time was short, and the list isn't the pinnacle of announcement technology. Given this, if there are other candidates for these positions, please make your intentions known within the next week or two, so that we could have elections at next month's meeting. Otherwise, we will continue in our new roles, and fill the other empty positions (Secretary, and a Director-at-Large) in July.

The transition to some new "management" has given us a good opportunity to look over our procedures regarding paying bills and keeping membership info and money info up to date. We've got some more to do in these areas, but progress is being made.

Some other accomplishments and events this past month:

  • The Lightning Talks at Coworking Rochester were quite fun and successful. We had an offer to do them at the Innovation Center soon, so we'll look into coordinating that with Remy
  • Rowan's amateur radio class have already produced some newly licensed ham technicians (Ben and Bill), with more to follow. We had an offer from HackPGH (Pittsburgh) to get in touch with them over the airtubes, so we may want to coordinate that.
  • Waffles and Nerd films at Scifi Sunday last weekend
  • The Doorduino board came back from BatchPCB today. We need a few more components from Sparkfun, and then we'll have a less jangly door circuit, finally.
  • We've received our Boxes of Junk from American Science and Surplus. Some brainstorming has been done based on their contents, but we should probably schedule some more thinking-time to come up with a solid plan (Due date is August 1st)

Report, May 4th 2010

The past month, there's been a lot of member driven improvement of the space - the networking team's continual improvement of Interlock's LAN, and Mark's acquisition of lockers are a just a couple.

We had our first Scifi Sunday, where we showed up at 9am, watched Real Genius and Wargames, and ate pancakes. Brian has a list of potential moviefilms on the Wiki. DARYL anyone?

Also, Andrei, parts-fund proprietor and resident Make guru, bought a box of lots of useful parts and 5 arduino kits using donations and his own money. Andrei will be heading home for the summer soon, we'll miss him! Thanks Andrei!

Goings on:

  • Rowan will be hosting an Amateur Radio licensing class
  • We'll be cohosting Rochester Lightning Talks with Coworking Rochester, scheduled for May 14th 7-9pm
  • Interlock is participating in the Box of Junk challenge with other hackerspaces and organizations

Report, April 6th 2010

Over the past few months we've seen an incredible growth in activity, mindshare, and membership of Interlock. This success can be owed directly to our members. We also owe a large part of our success to our positive relationships with organizations like RIT's Innovation Center, LUGOR, CSH, the Python Meetup Ubuntu Loco, and others.

Over the past few months, we have:

  • Hosted the Python Meetup
  • Helped support, via the direct contribution of jross, BarCamp Roc. We all owe him many thanks.
  • Built, tested, and installed our iButton entry system
  • Procured, via donations, a large amount of valuable tools and equipment, to include networking equipment and electronics tools and parts
  • Hosted a series of successful weekly and monthly events, including Make/Programming night, 2600/1300 security meetings, and Linux Workshop.
  • Haggled with Frontier, installed, configured, and did whatever it took to get us decent Internets in the space. This was no small feat, but thanks to the hard work of a few we now have an awesome network setup.
  • Held two Lightning Talk events, both of which were a blast
  • Represented ourselves strongly at BarCamp, putting faces and mindset to our name. BarCamp was terrific.
  • Kept our doors open on First Fridays, and made many acquaintances, friends, and allies in our building
  • Learned to solder
  • Consumed possibly hundreds of Genny Bocks

The outlook for Interlock is very, very bright. As we work now to further equip our space, and begin work on more involved personal and group projects, it will be important for us to keep in mind we are a part of a larger and exciting community. It is this community, and how we fit in it, that brings us not only membership but also makes us a real Not for Profit.

We're bettering Rochester one workshop, meeting, soldering iron, and mate at a time. So let's continue being excellent eachother, do what we do, and enjoy ourselves. We've created something amazing, and this is only the very beginning.