Why are Birmingham's Hackers letting FizzPop die?

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Dominic Nottinghack

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Jan 23, 2011, 5:24:11 PM1/23/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
Hackers of Birmingham

Birmingham needs a Hackerspace! I can not believe that in a City with
a population over 1 million people you can't sustain a Hackerspace.
Nottingham Hackspace now has 15 members who pay monthly for it's
upkeep, 103 people on it's meetup.com pages and 40 on it's mailing
list. We've recently run workshops on Arduino, soldering, Rubik's Cube
and lock picking, each of which turned a profit for the space allowing
it to buy more equipment and pay our rent.

You can't just leave this to the same people to do all the work. You
could have an amazing group there... come on we miss you guys!

Dominic from Nottingham Hackspace

Dijit

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Jan 24, 2011, 1:19:01 AM1/24/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
I'd love to join in, I'm very linux based (I like software) and I
think this hackerspace is for more hardware oriented people.

also, the fact that I've not talked to anyone makes me a little shy.

but thanks. :)

Chris Lovell

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Jan 24, 2011, 6:42:24 AM1/24/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
Admittedly, I did attend the first meeting and one a little later, but my initial interest fizzled out a little. I liked the notion of a hackspace, but fizzpop seemed to be more art-oriented than technology. I tried my hand at circuit-bending but it wasn't really my thing.

Dom mentions that Nottingham has done things such as lockpicking and Rubik's Cubes. These concepts do interest me, I will admit.

I think there's life in the old girl yet, but perhaps we need to decentralise ideas & workshops a little. Ant was very much an amazing driving force initially along with a few others, but perhaps the cost of having a few highly-motivated people pushing things forwards was that it meant that most people felt they didn't need to do much. I'll raise my hand in being very guilty of this myself.

I'd certainly like to see some programming-based things being run. Hell, if we get a few ideas floating around I may be willing to help organise some. Having a fun project to work on is always a good motivator, and it'd be good to get some FOSS built in-group, especially if it'd be useful.


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Adrian Godwin

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Jan 24, 2011, 7:07:16 AM1/24/11
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I'm on the sidelines here as I'm involved really with the London and Northampton hackspaces. But it seems to me that their greatest feature is the ability to link disciplines - to allow software-trained people to extend their world into hardware and vice versa. Similarly for arts and sciences.

So if there's plenty of hardware expertise and you're bringing software, you should be a major asset.

-adrian

Noel Welsh

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Jan 24, 2011, 7:25:59 AM1/24/11
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I think the hackerspace is whatever its members make of it.

I really like the idea of the hackerspace. However, I have two young
kids which prevent me easily getting out of the house in the evening.
Not much I can do about that but wait.

N.

On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 6:19 AM, Dijit <dij...@gmail.com> wrote:

Tom Martin

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Jan 24, 2011, 7:35:39 AM1/24/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
Admittedly I didn't go to enough meetups but I don't want this to go
away.

So what do we need to do to get this up and running again? does
someone need to take charge and start organising meetups or do we need
more people turning up or somewhere to hack?

hellocatfood

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Jan 24, 2011, 7:49:34 AM1/24/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
> I think the hackerspace is whatever its members make of it.

Very true statement. Speaking for myself, in response to Stormy, I
think fizzPOP could've seemed more arty 'cause that's where my
interests lie. There's always been the opportunity for others to run
their own more techy workshops, with a few taking up that opportunity
(Theremin Day, Howduino, Drawdio etc)

The main part of all of that is that there needs to be someone to
organise it. As mentioned previously, a lot of the responsibility fell
on me and Nikki with the occasional help of a few others. If people
want to start fizzPOP up again I'm happy to meet up with people to go
through things, but in general the responsibility definitely needs to
be shared amongst a group a dedicated people.

One thing to consider: If fizzPOP were to start up again, what would
it be? Is the aim to gain an actual space that we can access 24/7, do
we opt for having fortnightly/monthly meetings in someone else's space
(as done previously) or some other structure?

Ant

On Jan 24, 12:25 pm, Noel Welsh <noelwe...@gmail.com> wrote:

hellocatfood

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Jan 24, 2011, 7:55:53 AM1/24/11
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> So what do we need to do to get this up and running again? does
> someone need to take charge and start organising meetups or do we need
> more people turning up or somewhere to hack?

All of the above!

If it's something you're willing to take the lead on I can guide you

Ant

Dave Nash

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Jan 24, 2011, 8:11:31 AM1/24/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
I've just sent a message to Birmingham Uni's EECE Society, hopefully they'll circulate it around to their members and drum up some support.
Is anyone in touch with people from Aston/BCU/UCB? Although I appreciate students are unreliable (Already missed lectures today...), hopefully the increased numbers will start something positive.

Dave

Antonio Roberts

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Jan 24, 2011, 8:18:22 AM1/24/11
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Thanks!

I know someone who works at Aston who has offered some for of help,
but it just needs someone to follow up on it. Any takers?

Ant

Noel Welsh

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Jan 24, 2011, 8:24:20 AM1/24/11
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I know people at UoB CS. I'm not sure what use they'll be though; I
know CS has no space to host Fizzpop permanently. If we wanted a room
for a meeting that could be arranged, though.

N.

Chris Lovell

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Jan 24, 2011, 8:26:17 AM1/24/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
PHPWM and I think SBLUG regularly use a place in the Aston Science Park that let meeting rooms get used for that kind of thing, I can get ahold of some contact details if that's needed. They tend to be fairly good rooms (projectors, powerpoints etc...) though I don't know about WiFi access.

Antonio Roberts

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Jan 24, 2011, 8:30:32 AM1/24/11
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> PHPWM and I think SBLUG regularly use a place in the Aston Science Park that
> let meeting rooms get used for that kind of thing, I can get ahold of some
> contact details if that's needed.
When you contact them be sure to ask if they're ok with things like
soldering irons and lots of circuitry around the place.

Ant

Jonty Wareing

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Jan 24, 2011, 10:34:55 AM1/24/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 04:49:34AM -0800, hellocatfood wrote:
> > I think the hackerspace is whatever its members make of it.

I completely agree, if anyone thinks it's "too arty", or "too into
hardware" then it's up to you to organise events that you're interested
in. A hackerspace is a neutral platform for making, learning and
teaching.

I can't get up to Brum very often, but I really want Fizzpop (or
whatever it decides to be called) to succeed. I'm willing to do anything
necessary in order to make it happen, including dragging people up from
London to help teach workshops if need be.

Someone mentioned lockpicking - I know for a fact that if you want a
lockpicking workshop someone will willingly come and give you one. He'd
looked into Fizzpop before, but didn't think anyone would be interested.

If you want to get the group together and excited, why don't you all
come up to Maker Faire in Newcastle? There's going to be a large area
for hacking that's run by all the UK Hackerspaces this year, we're just
going to sit and hack all weekend instead of exhibiting. You should be
there too!

Let me know if there's anything I can do.

--jonty

P.S. We love visitors, if you're ever in London do come and say hi!

Dave Nash

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Jan 24, 2011, 10:47:24 AM1/24/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
I can think of a fair few people who would come to a lockpicking workshop, and not just for nefarious reasons!
I think the key thing at the moment is sorting a venue/venues for these to happen. I never came along to a session, but is the old place available still?

Dave

Chris Lovell

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Jan 24, 2011, 10:50:31 AM1/24/11
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(In case it isn't, I'm currently awaiting a response from Aston Science Park)

I'd certainly be interested in a lockpicking session. It's a fun and interesting concept which I've researched a little myself already.

Richard Wallman

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Jan 24, 2011, 8:10:16 AM1/24/11
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On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 12:25:59PM +0000, Noel Welsh wrote:

> I really like the idea of the hackerspace. However, I have two young
> kids which prevent me easily getting out of the house in the evening.
> Not much I can do about that but wait.

+1 for me as well (except I have three kids)

I've taken on some of the backend web stuff (I co-admin the server, the
site, the wiki and the Facebook page) but I'm not in a position to
handle more of the physical stuff because I can't guarantee to be
available.

We need somewhere to hack, so we can attract people to hacking, so we
can get a regular membership, so we can get somewhere permanent to hack
- and not just on software.

fizzPOP got off to a good start because there was the great combination
of someone willing to offer space, and someone able to make that space
available (as keyholder).

--
Richard Wallman

Sara Farmer

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Jan 24, 2011, 10:54:49 AM1/24/11
to BuildBrighton - the Brighton Hacker Space, birmingham...@googlegroups.com
Hi Birmingham,

I would really hate to see this hackspace go down because it's not
'defined' enough. I'm a Brighton hackspace member myself - and
they've done some really good example of the sort of events that a
small hackspace like yours can put on and make work... robotics
nights, electronic clothing, music <help, Brighton, give these guys a
list of suggestions please!>

I live in New York now, so I can't link you up in person (occasionally
visited both places til I moved over here) but I hope you can get
talking to each other about what's possible.

Keep building!


Sara.

Sara Farmer

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Jan 24, 2011, 10:52:34 AM1/24/11
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Hi Birmingham,

I would really hate to see this hackspace go down because it's not
'defined' enough. I'm a Brighton hackspace member myself - and they've
done some really good example of the sort of events that a small
hackspace like yours can put on and make work... robotics nights,
electronic clothing, music <help, Brighton, give these guys a list of
suggestions please!>

I live in New York now, so I can't link you up in person (occasionally
visited both places til I moved over here) but I hope you can get
talking to each other about what's possible.

Keep building!


Sara.

On 1/24/2011 10:34 AM, Jonty Wareing wrote:

snim2

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Jan 24, 2011, 11:09:27 AM1/24/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
I'm as guilty as everyone else on this score, there were lots of
sessions I really wanted to go to, but other commitments ate up the
time. It seems a lot of people were in the same situation.

So, a suggestion: it would probably be easier for those of us (who
seem to be in the majority) to have somewhere that we can drop into
whenever possible (and hopefully meetup with people) than to borrow a
space every couple of weeks and risk people not being available to
open up and do all the necessary leg work. Also, it's probably easier
for those of us who are very busy at work to contribute a few pounds
every week than to commit to coming along to regular hack sessions.
So, I suggest we find somewhere reasonably central and suitable and
ask people to donate via paypal or something to keep it ticking over.

I have *no idea* how much something like this would cost, but say it
was 100GBP/week that would "only" take 10 of us to contribute 10GBP /
week. Of course, if a few of us can manage to pay the rent, that helps
open the hack space up for people like students who will not be able
to contribute money, but might be able to contribute time.

So, to kick things off, I've started a PledgeBank here:
http://www.pledgebank.com/brumhackspace

Feel free to +1 if you feel you can.

s

Andrew

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Jan 24, 2011, 1:42:17 PM1/24/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
Hi,

Sorry to be a bit late posting. I don't think that FizzPop was too
arty, at least not to anyone who went regularly. Also I think that
events and workshops aren't really an issue as they always seemed
quite popular. IMHO the problem was that not enough people went to the
core hack nights, as who wants to spend lots of time organising the
venue, getting keys, updating wikis, tweeting, closing up, taking keys
back, etc, etc for maybe no more than half a dozen people a lot of the
time? Also, a lot of the online activity was about whether FizzPop
would be able to keep going, which might have been a bit of an off-
putter for some?

Even though I really liked the workshop days/evenings, personally the
reason I joined was for the core evening meetups and talking to techie
type people. I'm happy to come along to FizzPop wherever: it needn't
be a proper venue (maybe even a city centre pub on a quiet night when
they're desperate for customers), and it needn't be weekly, and I
wouldn't mind if it was different days each time to allow people with
other commitments to make it occasionally. It wouldn't put me off if
there was just this google group for news/notifications, so for me
there's no need for designating people to do wikis, tweets, etc until
enough people turned up.

My suggestion is to just see if anyone's interested in a monthly pub
hack meetup, try to make it a day when the most number of people would
be free, and just have a chat/hack without anyone needing to feel they
need to organise anything. OK, that might mean soldering irons and
laser weapons would be out of the question, but would that really
matter? If people enjoy it then they can tweet/post if they want, and
maybe that would attract more people?

BTW, I'm *hoping* to go to the Nottingham event in a few weeks. If
anyone else is going and want to catch the train together that would
be fun :)

Andrew.

Richard Wallman

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Jan 24, 2011, 2:25:37 PM1/24/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 08:09:27AM -0800, snim2 wrote:

> So, a suggestion: it would probably be easier for those of us (who
> seem to be in the majority) to have somewhere that we can drop into
> whenever possible

So, a dedicated hackerspace?

> {snip}


> I have *no idea* how much something like this would cost, but say it
> was 100GBP/week that would "only" take 10 of us to contribute 10GBP /
> week.

More like triple that figure - it'll fall short of the monthly rent on
the places I've look at (by almost half in some cases), and then there's
the issues of utilities, business rates, insurance, etc.

There's also the question of the organisation of fizzPOP - someone will
have to sign papers, etc. which would mean a legal responsibility.

I know London Hackspace took a bit of a leap of faith when setting up
their hackerspace (almost breaking even, needing a few more permanent
contributors to remain safe), but they were organised and committed to
doing it.

A permanent hackerspace would introduce different 'levels' of
membership, from the fully paid up (having 24/7 access) to a "drop-in"
price, to make it fair on those with a "full" membership. Would there be
a charge for using equipment? (and how would it be purchased?)

Having a dedicated hackerspace entails a significant financial and
organisational commitment, and until that kind of core membership could
be achieved, fizzPOP is looking at relying on the generosity of hosts
(with or without making a contribution to their costs) and/or looking
for significant sponsorship/donations from organisations.

Anyone know anyone with deep pockets? :)

--
Richard Wallman
(firing up irssi for the first time in ages - #fizzpop or #hackspace on
Freenode)

Aaron Shrimpton

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Jan 24, 2011, 4:02:07 PM1/24/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
Hi Everyone,

It's great to see renewed interest in FizzPOP, I've missed the meetings.

I think in order for it to really take off it needs to have it's own
space and a monthly subscription based membership. I appreciate from
previous discussions there are a whole host of obstacles to be
overcome.

Unfortunately (from a regular FizzPOP attendance point of view) I am
moving to Bristol next month.

Good luck,
Aaron

plai...@gmail.com

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Jan 24, 2011, 4:07:15 PM1/24/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
Would starting back up fortnightly be a good start then?
I'm available every Monday night and I'd be happy to take any responsibilities with unlocking etc. Unfortunately the rest of the week I can't make it because of lacrosse training and matches.

I realise no one knows me, so if anyone wants to suggest a date, I'd be happy to come along to a pub meet-up first.

Dave

Dominic Nottinghack

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Jan 24, 2011, 4:40:56 PM1/24/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
No one needs to feel "guilty" about anything. Birmingham should have a
Hackerspace... there is obviously interest in 1 day you've had 22
comments on this topic and over 400 web views of the googlegroup....
statistics Nottingham Hackspace could only dream of... yet in tiny
little Nottingham....

> >> {snip}
> >> I have *no idea* how much something like this would cost, but say it
> >> was 100GBP/week that would "only" take 10 of us to contribute 10GBP /
> >> week.
>
> > More like triple that figure - it'll fall short of the monthly rent on
> > the places I've look at (by almost half in some cases), and then there's
> > the issues of utilities, business rates, insurance, etc.

If you didn't know Nottingham Hackspace is a dedicated 24hour access
space. We have 2 largish rooms and access to a load of communal areas
where we can run bigger workshops. We pay a rent to our landlords (and
Artist's Organisation) of £100 a month. In addition we offer 5 hours a
month volunteer work keeping the place running. Since we took on a
place we've had more and more interest from new members and we've
started to make arrangements to share our space with the Girl Geek
Dinners and a local meetup sewing group. We'll also be hosting the
Nottingham BarCamp in March. We are going to be arranging public
liability insurance in a month or so (probably £200 a year) and we are
expecting BT to install our broadband any day now (£30 a month).

Our Hackspace is just 10 meters from Nottingham Station (we could hit
it with a Nerf dart from the Hackspace window... I mean it though
security people please note we won't it's just a joke)... now in all
of Birmingham, the Maker City is there no where that a group can meet?
It only takes the desire to go an find the right place. We started
meeting in a free room above a pub...

Jonty at the London Hackspace has already offered to get folk to you
to run a workshop. I'd quite happily come over too! Nottingham
Hackspace plan to take a mini-bus up to the Maker Faire and we'll be
arranging rooms at a backpackers hostel another cheap opportunity to
meet loads and loads of Hackers at the faire.

Good luck guys... and if you need any help from me or Nottingham
Hackspace just ask.

Dominic



On Jan 24, 9:07 pm, plainn...@gmail.com wrote:
> Would starting back up fortnightly be a good start then?
> I'm available every Monday night and I'd be happy to take any responsibilities with unlocking etc. Unfortunately the rest of the week I can't make it because of lacrosse training and matches.
>
> I realise no one knows me, so if anyone wants to suggest a date, I'd be happy to come along to a pub meet-up first.
>
> Dave
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Aaron Shrimpton <aaro...@gmail.com>
> Sender: birmingham...@googlegroups.com
> Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 21:02:07
> To: <birmingham...@googlegroups.com>
> Reply-To: birmingham...@googlegroups.com
> Subject: Re: [birmingham-hack-space] Re: Why are Birmingham's Hackers letting
>  FizzPop die?
>
> Hi Everyone,
>
> It's great to see renewed interest in FizzPOP, I've missed the meetings.
>
> I think in order for it to really take off it needs to have it's own
> space and a monthly subscription based membership. I appreciate from
> previous discussions there are a whole host of obstacles to be
> overcome.
>
> Unfortunately (from a regular FizzPOP attendance point of view) I am
> moving to Bristol next month.
>
> Good luck,
> Aaron
>
> > For more options, visit this group athttp://groups.google.com/group/birmingham-hack-space?hl=en.

Richard Wallman

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Jan 24, 2011, 5:27:53 PM1/24/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 01:40:56PM -0800, Dominic Nottinghack wrote:

> If you didn't know Nottingham Hackspace is a dedicated 24hour access

> space. {snip}

Now *that* would be easily doable, if we could get a similar deal in
Birmingham.

> now in all of Birmingham, the Maker City is there no where that a
> group can meet?

There is, but not that cheaply. Problem is that Birmingham is undergoing
a lot of redevelopment, so all of the nice, central locations are being
bulldozed in favour of shopping malls. And so it goes...

> Jonty at the London Hackspace has already offered to get folk to you

> to run a workshop. {snip}

I don't think it's content that's the problem as much as where to host
it. :)

> Good luck guys... and if you need any help from me or Nottingham
> Hackspace just ask.

Well, your experience to fill out this page would be nice:

http://wiki.fizzpop.org.uk/A_place_of_our_own

:)

--
Richard Wallman

Message has been deleted

plai...@gmail.com

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Jan 24, 2011, 7:10:55 PM1/24/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
That place looks great, I sat through the whole video dreaming of layouts of laser cutters and shopbots!
Have you made an enquiry to see if they have a floor free still?

Dave
-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Oliver <groups.g...@mavit.org.uk>
Sender: birmingham...@googlegroups.com
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 23:28:40
To: <birmingham...@googlegroups.com>
Reply-To: birmingham...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [birmingham-hack-space] Re: Re: Why are Birmingham's Hackers
lettingFizzPop die?

On Mon, 24 Jan 2011, Richard Wallman wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 01:40:56PM -0800, Dominic Nottinghack wrote:
>
>> now in all of Birmingham, the Maker City is there no where that a
>> group can meet?
>
> There is, but not that cheaply. Problem is that Birmingham is undergoing
> a lot of redevelopment, so all of the nice, central locations are being
> bulldozed in favour of shopping malls. And so it goes...

Speaking of shops, We Are Birmingham have two floors upstairs that, last I heard, they didn't really know what to do with. As I understand it, now they've got the shop up and running, they'd like to think about having some vaguely creative groups make use of that space.

Here's Pete Ashton giving the tour: http://wearebham.com/2010/11/the-very-first-look/

--
Peter Oliver

Martin Meredith

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Jan 25, 2011, 4:09:23 AM1/25/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
On 24/01/11 13:30, Antonio Roberts wrote:
>> PHPWM and I think SBLUG regularly use a place in the Aston Science Park that
>> let meeting rooms get used for that kind of thing, I can get ahold of some
>> contact details if that's needed.
> When you contact them be sure to ask if they're ok with things like
> soldering irons and lots of circuitry around the place.
I already spoke to them about this - This is a problem for them.

Martin Meredith

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Jan 25, 2011, 4:24:11 AM1/25/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
On 25/01/11 00:10, plai...@gmail.com wrote:
> That place looks great, I sat through the whole video dreaming of layouts of laser cutters and shopbots!
> Have you made an enquiry to see if they have a floor free still?
+1

This place looks awesome (though - I think that the top floor looks
uberest for a hackspace.

Unless anyone's made contact, does anyone have any objections to me
making contact?

Noel Welsh

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Jan 25, 2011, 4:28:54 AM1/25/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
Do it do it do it do it do it do it. Ask for permission later.

N.

Martin Meredith

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Jan 25, 2011, 4:50:15 AM1/25/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
On 25/01/11 09:28, Noel Welsh wrote:
> Do it do it do it do it do it do it. Ask for permission later.
I've sent an email to Pete Ashton

Dominic Nottinghack

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Jan 25, 2011, 8:20:41 AM1/25/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
I'd suggest small steps... see if you can use it once a week (pay a
small amount), then see if they'll let you keep a lockable cupboard
there with equipment in it. When they learn to trust you and know
you're not going to burn the place down you can increase your time
there.... eventually offer to rent the place for access... small
steps! If it's unused at the moment and they aren't fighting
prospective tenants off with a stick then make a low offer. Try to
think of other things to offer that may be mutually beneficial.

For instance at "The Art Org" where the Nottingham Hackspace is they
like the idea of their studio tenants being able to use our
woodworking tools (when we have them) we're also setting up WiFi that
we'll let some of the tenants use at a fixed cost. Additionally (as I
think I already mentioned) we do volunteer work for them (supposed to
be 5 hours a month though we do slightly more sometimes) for instance
we re-wired their Tea-Bar (we have competent people among us) and
earlier this month the landlord was very worried about a council
inspection and wanted up to replace a number of cracked light fittings
and sockets (we did this with in 72 hours of being asked).

There are lots of things that aren't money. When you do get a place,
try to get somewhere you can make your own mark on. Make it LOOK like
a Hackerspace. That way when you take photos and video etc everyone
gets what it's about really quickly. Remember YOU are all welcome to
visit us in Nottingham. We have a FREE to anyone Open Hacknight every
Wednesday from 6:30pm (it's £20 return on the train from New Street).

What I propose is that any FULL PAYING MEMBER of a future physical
Birmingham Hackspace also has gratis entry to Nottingham Hackspace as
long as the favour is returned (and not abused) by both parties!

You might find the Nottingham Hackspace FAQ interesting....

http://nottinghack.org.uk/?page_id=195

Dominic
Nottingham Hackspace

spideytim

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Jan 25, 2011, 12:19:55 PM1/25/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
I really like the idea of FizzPop and am guilty of only attending a
few events and meetings.

I am not a techy - but would really like to be able to use techy stuff
to add interesting new dimensions to various (more mechanical)
projects of my own. I attended FizzPop in the hope to find some
opportunities to learn more about arduino type applications.
However I think I had my confidence knocked when after attending the
Mitch Altman event (which was great fun) and choosing to have a go at
creating the cube LED project. Mechanically I was confident (and
competent) at building the matrix of LEDs, but when it came to
programming it - it appeared to be a complete nightmare for me. I
took it along to a FizzPop session and a couple of people there pretty
well concluded for me that I was never going to get it going!.... so
it sits dormant on my desk as a reminder that I will never be good
enough to code even a most simple of project.
I was disappointed to have been discouraged.
Perhaps the problem for me was that I needed some intensive support
from someone, but of course everyone is busy with their own projects.
And so maybe the issue with lack of attendance at FizzPop is the fact
that newcomers find it difficult to get started, and experts are
already doing thier stuff in their own sheds

If I won the lottery, I could give up work and then have a diary that
enabled me to commit to regular meetings (I'd also buy a lock up
workshop that we could all use as a permanent lab for bigger ongoing
projects ;-)
I hope I can get back to experimenting sometime soon
Tim :-)

On Jan 23, 10:24 pm, Dominic Nottinghack <nottingh...@googlemail.com>
wrote:
> Hackers of Birmingham
>
> Birmingham needs a Hackerspace! I can not believe that in a City with
> a population over 1 million people you can't sustain a Hackerspace.
> Nottingham Hackspace now has 15 members who pay monthly for it's
> upkeep, 103 people on it's meetup.com pages and 40 on it's mailing
> list. We've recently run workshops on Arduino, soldering, Rubik's Cube
> and lock picking, each of which turned a profit for the space allowing
> it to buy more equipment and pay our rent.
>
> You can't just leave this to the same people to do all the work. You
> could have an amazing group there... come on we miss you guys!
>
> Dominic from Nottingham Hackspace

Andrew Thomas

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Jan 25, 2011, 1:02:15 PM1/25/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
Hi Tim,

It's a shame your starting out with arduinos didn't work out too well. The main thing to remember is that even the experts have had dramatic failures. That means you're already past step one on the road to expertism :)

Basically I'm trying to say I hope you don't give up as it seems a lot easier when you're a little way up the learning curve. Maybe start with one led at first, and try not to blow them by wiring the wrong polarity like I did when I first started ;)

Good luck.

Andrew.

Robert Hunt

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Jan 25, 2011, 5:53:20 PM1/25/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
We defiantly need to get fizzPOP back up and running, I made it along
to pretty much every one since moving back to Birmingham in March 2010
so I was really disappointed when we were no longer able to sustain
it. I am moving to the city centre within a couple of weeks so I would
love to get involved in anything that is happening to try and get
something up and running again. I now have a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D
printer which I would love to bring along and get people involved with
if we can find a space.

-Rob

On Jan 25, 6:02 pm, Andrew Thomas <portablecomput...@googlemail.com>
wrote:
> Hi Tim,
>
> It's a shame your starting out with arduinos didn't work out too well. The main thing to remember is that even the experts have had dramatic failures. That means you're already past step one on the road to expertism :)
>
> Basically I'm trying to say I hope you don't give up as it seems a lot easier when you're a little way up the learning curve. Maybe start with one led at first, and try not to blow them by wiring the wrong polarity like I did when I first started ;)
>
> Good luck.
>
> Andrew.
>

Dave Nash

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Jan 25, 2011, 6:27:02 PM1/25/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
'I now have a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer which I would love to bring along and get people involved with if we can find a space.'
Now we HAVE to do this.

Dave

Colum Paget

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Jan 26, 2011, 11:15:03 AM1/26/11
to Birmingham Hack Space

> What I propose is that any FULL PAYING MEMBER of a future physical
> Birmingham Hackspace also has gratis entry to Nottingham Hackspace as
> long as the favour is returned (and not abused) by both parties!

I'd buy that for a dollar!

Colum

Colum Paget

unread,
Jan 26, 2011, 11:36:40 AM1/26/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
I've just joined, after I went to Nottinghack (hiya Dominic btw,
thanks for the great lockpicking tutorial) and they told me about
FizzPop. I want to say, I've got no problem with it being arty, I like
arty. If I'd known it existed I would have gone to it, arty or not,
and I think that might point us to where the problem with Fizz Pop has
been!

Me, I'm another Software geek, 'C' programming under linux, and I'm
kinda a writer too (if any of you are signed up to 'Daily Science
Fiction' you'll be seeing me soon). I'm a terrible 'maker' though, my
biggest hardware achievement is putting up shelves, so I'm eager to
pick people's brains and learn how to do this 'hardwarey' stuff.

So, what needs doing to resurrect FizzPop? If we've got a plan, I
should be able to contribute something to it?

Colum

On Jan 25, 11:27 pm, Dave Nash <plainn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 'I now have a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer which I would love to bring
> along and get people involved with if we can find a space.'
> Now we HAVE to do this.
>
> Dave
>
> > birmingham-hack-...@googlegroups.com<birmingham-hack-space%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com>
> > .
> > > > For more options, visit this group athttp://
> > groups.google.com/group/birmingham-hack-space?hl=en.
>
> > --
> > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> > "Birmingham Hack Space" group.
> > To post to this group, send email to
> > birmingham...@googlegroups.com.
> > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> > birmingham-hack-...@googlegroups.com<birmingham-hack-space%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com>
> > .

Colum Paget

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Jan 26, 2011, 11:45:50 AM1/26/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
Personally I'd be up for art-oriented. I'd also be up for technology
oriented. Most of all I'd be up for forcing these two strands to cross-
breed and CREATE A RACE OF ATOMIC ARTTECH HYBRIDS TO CONQUER THE
EARTH!

I wonder if the first thing that people should do might be to all get
together somewhere, (pub?) and throw some ideas around?

Colum

On Jan 24, 11:42 am, Chris Lovell <stor...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Admittedly, I did attend the first meeting and one a little later, but my
> initial interest fizzled out a little. I liked the notion of a hackspace,
> but fizzpop seemed to be more art-oriented than technology. I tried my hand
> at circuit-bending but it wasn't really my thing.
>
> Dom mentions that Nottingham has done things such as lockpicking and Rubik's
> Cubes. These concepts do interest me, I will admit.
>
> I think there's life in the old girl yet, but perhaps we need to
> decentralise ideas & workshops a little. Ant was very much an amazing
> driving force initially along with a few others, but perhaps the cost of
> having a few highly-motivated people pushing things forwards was that it
> meant that most people felt they didn't need to do much. I'll raise my hand
> in being very guilty of this myself.
>
> I'd certainly like to see some programming-based things being run. Hell, if
> we get a few ideas floating around I may be willing to help organise some.
> Having a fun project to work on is always a good motivator, and it'd be good
> to get some FOSS built in-group, especially if it'd be useful.
>
> On 24 January 2011 06:19, Dijit <dij...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I'd love to join in, I'm very linux based (I like software) and I
> > think this hackerspace is for more hardware oriented people.
>
> > also, the fact that I've not talked to anyone makes me a little shy.
>
> > but thanks. :)

Colum Paget

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Jan 26, 2011, 11:50:49 AM1/26/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
I would contribute 10 GDP a week, maybe even 20!
But.. that would only pay for the rent. What about tea/coffee costs?

Colum

Sarah Mount

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Jan 26, 2011, 11:52:54 AM1/26/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
Hi guess we need to find some clearer prices and do the sums. My
estimate was based on a quick Google search which turned up some shop
space.

Anyway, welcome Colum. I am in AWE of your ability to put up shelves.
Self-assembly is about my DIY limit!

Sarah

> --
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> For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/birmingham-hack-space?hl=en.
>
>

--
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Colum Paget

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Jan 26, 2011, 12:01:09 PM1/26/11
to Birmingham Hack Space


> Anyway, welcome Colum. I am in AWE of your ability to put up shelves.
> Self-assembly is about my DIY limit!

You assembled yourself?! Holy ****, I'm in awe of that! I had to have
outside help.

Colum


Colum Paget

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Jan 26, 2011, 12:15:28 PM1/26/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
I found this:

http://birmingham.gumtree.com/birmingham/56/67641856.html

But it's in cotteridge

Colum

Noel Welsh

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Jan 27, 2011, 5:03:54 AM1/27/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
I think the Created in Birmingham shop is the best option at the
moment. Has a good location, which is one of the most important
things, ad I expect we wouldn't be charged much. I'd wait for Pete
Ashton to get back to us before we look at alternatives.

N.

Dominic Nottinghack

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Jan 27, 2011, 7:14:40 AM1/27/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
I'd say your almost certainly better off doing a sub-let where you
don't have to worry too much about overheads and rates. The fewer
outgoings that are involved then the less like a corporation you'll
have to be. Your going to need 2 or 3 people who are provisional
organisers though. I'd strongly recommend having a meetup in a pub. If
you can find a sub-let that will let you pay cash and isn't worried
about a bank account then you can get started very very quickly. The
way we started was that 4 or 5 of us agreed to pay the rent on our
space and we built members from there. Bank accounts etc came later.

One thing that took us ages to sort out (and by all accounts Leeds had
a similar problem) was getting the bank account setup. We use Natwest
and we approached them as a "club/society" they wanted a couple of
named people (CEO and Secretary) and information on the nature of the
business. Don't get hung up on this and make it into a big deal. I've
seen some of the hackspaces holding endless "board meetings" to elect
a CEO and they spend all their time doing the corporation side of
things. That is so unimportant compared to actually getting started.
For the banks we (Nottingham Hackspace) call ourselves a Tool Library
& Community Interest Group, tool library is useful as it's quickly
understood by most people where as Hackspace will draw a blank look.

In Nottingham on average for studio space you pay £1 to £3 per square
foot. Check round all the artist and co-worker spaces and find out
what sort of prices they have. We are lucky and pay much less than the
going rate for our space so it's always worth making a cheeky offer.

The "We are Birmingham" shop looks amazing. I'd say that the 1st floor
room is more than big enough to get started with. At the beginning you
only really need a store room you can lock and (perhaps a shared) area
you can hack in. You wont have enough people at first to use the area
daily. Members at Nottingham Hackspace CAN use the Hackspace any time
they want... however for the most part everyone only turns up when we
have the OPEN night or a workshop running.

We're still planning to take a mini-bus up to Maker Faire on Friday
11th March 2011 leaving from the Hackspace about 14:00 hours. Please
let me know if your interested in getting a seat on that bus. You'll
need to arrange your own accommodation. We'll be back in Nottingham on
Sunday night.

Dominic
> > Colum- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

hellocatfood

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Jan 30, 2011, 7:19:32 PM1/30/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
> I've sent an email to Pete Ashton
Has a response about the We Are Birmingham shop been received?

Also, volunteers are needed to take over the web admin side of
fizzPOP. Currently this includes:
Moderating messages on this list
Maintaining and updating the website
Updating the Facebook and Twitter accounts (if you decide to keep
them)

Any takers?

Ant

On Jan 25, 9:50 am, Martin Meredith <m...@ubuntu.com> wrote:

Colum Paget

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Jan 30, 2011, 8:27:48 PM1/30/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
This might make me sound dim, but could you give a little more info on
what's involved in these?

Colum

Chris Lovell

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Jan 31, 2011, 2:26:02 AM1/31/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
*raises hand*

I'd be willing to assist. All stuff I've had to deal with before.

Richard Wallman

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Jan 31, 2011, 3:51:08 AM1/31/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 04:19:32PM -0800, hellocatfood wrote:
> Also, volunteers are needed to take over the web admin side of
> fizzPOP. Currently this includes:
> Moderating messages on this list
> Maintaining and updating the website
> Updating the Facebook and Twitter accounts (if you decide to keep
> them)
>
> Any takers?

Well, the website and Facebook are already in hand - not sure who has
access to the Twitter account or the Google Group. In for a penny, in
for a pound - I can help with these as well.

--
Richard Wallman

hellocatfood

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Jan 31, 2011, 3:52:30 AM1/31/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
> This might make me sound dim, but could you give a little more info on
> what's involved in these?
I wrote a brief call for help for some of the duties awhile back:
http://www.fizzpop.org.uk/blog/can-you-help-fizzpop-with-marketing/

In addition to those there needs to be a person/people to
- Approve and moderate messages on the mailing list: Currently the
first post by any new member is moderated as a way to prevent spam
- Organise hack sessions: Our old hosts, Friction Arts, may still be
keen to host fizzPOP in their building. All you need to do is give
them a call http://www.frictionarts.com/contact-us/ .
- Announce hack sessions: This is done mainly on the website in this
format: http://www.fizzpop.org.uk/hacksessions/hack-session-wednesday-21st-july/
However, if know a better way of announcing it go for it! Events have
also been added to the Facebook page manually (there's no way to do it
automatically) and are posted to whatever mailing lists might be
interested (2600, Birmingham LUG, Perlmongers etc)
- Get social! Whenever a new blog post is made the titles and
description are automatically cross-posted to Facebook and Twitter but
it's always good to have more social interaction on these things.
Just use them to motivate people and spread the word about fizzPOP
- Handle enquiries: This just involves responding to people through
the main fizzPOP email account (and Twitter and Facebook)
- Maintain the website: The website is running on Wordpress with 22
active plugins.You'll need to update these manually as you can only
access the server via sftp.
- Domain registration: The fizzPOP.org.uk domain name is set to expire
in April. Someone needs to pay for it.

This may sound like a lot of things, but it's easy after the first few
times. If several people take charge of it it becomes a lot easier!

Is more clarification still needed? I can meet with those interested
on IRC if necessary.

Ant

Colum Paget

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Jan 31, 2011, 4:51:53 AM1/31/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
I'd be happy to help with moderating the list. That only requires me
to have a web-browser for google-groups, right?

I'd rather stay clear of anything involving facebook and twitter, this
will make me sound like a weirdo in this day and age, but these sites
seem to draw people in and cause them to release more and more
information about themselves, and they're also tremendous time-wasters
from what I can see. I took TV out of my life because I was just
wasting all my time watching crap, I don't want to just re-insert
twitter into the resulting gap!

I could maintain the website too, I'm used to dealing with sftp and
apache (I assume it is apache?)

Incidentally, when/if we get the hackspace up, will there be any need
for onsite computers? I'm sure everyone has a collection of old
computers but... well... I've got a collection of old computers, and
many of them would be very suitable (I think) for some kind of
'fileserver' or other role at a hackspace. Or maybe we don't need
that, I'm just throwing it out there in case it's useful.

Dominic Nottinghack

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Jan 31, 2011, 7:14:21 AM1/31/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
It might be best to assign rolls at some sort of physical get
together? Is anyone stepping forward as dogsbody... I mean leader?

Dominic
> >http://groups.google.com/group/birmingham-hack-space?hl=en.- Hide quoted text -

Chris Lovell

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Jan 31, 2011, 7:31:02 AM1/31/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
I've been speaking to Ant about taking on a few things (domain etc...), if noone else is stepping up to bat then I'd be willing to do what I can.

Not sure my ugly mug is exactly a good 'face' for the group but still, your call ;)

Think we definitely need to have a meetup at some point to get things moving again though. Anyone got a favourite pub with wifi?

Chris Lovell

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Jan 31, 2011, 7:34:49 AM1/31/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
A case of typing before brain can catch up >.>

i recall we had a few meetings at The Bull in the city centre (http://www.thebull-pricestreet.com/) - I can enquire about getting a bit of space there if folk are happy with that?

G Bulmer

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Feb 1, 2011, 8:33:50 PM2/1/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
spideytim

I am very sorry you had such a bad Arduino experience.
If I put you off, I apologise, though I honestly don't remember anyone
asking me for any help.
I have a 'how to multiplex LEDs' project which I run through whenever
asked.
I pretty much went along to fizzPop specifically to help people, and
chat to Andrew, Ant and Nikki :-)

GB

Antonio Roberts

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Feb 1, 2011, 8:35:48 PM2/1/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
> I pretty much went along to fizzPop specifically to help people, and
> chat to Andrew, Ant and Nikki :-)
I very much miss our chats, especially now as I'm getting a lot more
into my Arduino and programming!

Here's hoping it all picks back up soon

Ant

G Bulmer

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Feb 1, 2011, 8:59:55 PM2/1/11
to Birmingham Hack Space
Ant, I miss our chats too! (Have you played with the C/flex source of
the SVG-jitterer. I may rewrite in JavaScript :-)

My interest is 'outreach' - mainly trying to get folks to understand
and experiment with Microcontrollers+Electronics+Programming (the holy
trinity?)

I've been doing this in schools, universities, and even an Amateur
Radio Society (in Stratford upon Avon)
mainly doing Arduino-inspired stuff. More recently I've been mastering
Eagle PCB design (making my own ARM microcontroller and sensor
boards).

I'm still interested to run or support events. So, if there is a
regular meeting, where folks might want to come along for some help,
I'd be very happy to pop over from Coventry when I'm available.

(If anyone is going I'll be a the DEV8D event later this month,
running some of their Arduino workshops.)

GB

BTW - I am really a SoftE

On Feb 2, 1:35 am, Antonio Roberts <anto...@hellocatfood.com> wrote:
> > I pretty much went along to fizzPop specifically to help people, and
> > chat to Andrew, Ant and Nikki :-)
>
> I very much miss our chats, especially now as I'm getting a lot more
> into my Arduino and programming!
>
> Here's hoping it all picks back up soon
>
> Ant
>

Antonio Roberts

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Feb 2, 2011, 10:59:52 AM2/2/11
to birmingham...@googlegroups.com
> Ant, I miss our chats too! (Have you played with the C/flex source of
> the SVG-jitterer. I may rewrite in JavaScript :-)
Haven't done so yet. I'm mostly focussing on achieving similar effects
using Processing. So far results are looking good
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hellocatfood/5367992065/. It's using the
geomerative library and isn't necessarily the same effect as what the
C jitter script.

Ant

Andrew Thomas

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Feb 2, 2011, 6:17:18 PM2/2/11