For those of you not familiar with the original use of the term, a "hacker" is NOT someone that breaks into computers. A "hacker" is someone that "hacks together" cool stuff using their knowledge and passion. A "hack" is often rough around the edges (though not always), but implies a work done by an individual that is generally in the realm of the "secret lab" or "mad scientist".
Well, guess what? Those Mad Scientists are more numerous than you might ever suspect. What's more is that they don't tend to hide out in secret lairs, but instead share knowledge, experience and good times with one another in open, inviting places known as HACKERSPACES!
A "hackerspace" is a workshop/meeting space/toolshop/library/etc in which people with a passion for "hacking out" a better world through knowledge, conviction and sweat come together to work, learn and share.
Best of all? They're ALWAYS looking for other people to join them in this adventure.
Several hackerspaces are coming to Maker Faire: NC to show you some of the amazing things they're doing -- and to ask YOU to join the adventure!
We have Alamance Makers Guild (Burlington), Splat Space (Durham), Hackerspace Charlotte (umm... Charlotte) and Fablocker (Winston-Salem). They EACH have an amazing assortment of people and stuff to share with you! These folks welcome everyone regardless of race, religion, gender, national origin -- all that matters is having a desire to build a better, cooler world with your own hands. TALK TO THEM! They need YOU to help them make the world AWESOME!
I'd also like to give a special shout out to TechShop RDU. They are one of Maker Faire: NC's sponsors and one of the reasons I rekindled my own love of hacking our way to a better world. TechShop is a membership-based workshop with an UNBELIEVABLE array of tools (think laser cutters, 3D printers, and giant CNC routers -- ShopBots and plasma cutters -- as well as full woodworking and metalworking shops) for members to use. If it wasn't for TechShop, I wouldn't have met almost ANY of the great folks that make Maker Faire: NC happen. I think most of us met there. If you are in the Research Triangle area, you owe it to yourself to pay them a visit. It's where I built my living room table (on a ShopBot), learned to use a laser cutter (in a class taught by our own MF:NC director, Jon Danforth), and my whole family learned to weld!
So... a very personal thank you to all Hackerspaces for making the world more awesome and especially to TechShop for their contributions to Maker Faire: NC and to my own life! Many, many thanks!
(Kevin, Maker Coordinator for Maker Faire: NC 2012).