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    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Establishment of a Hacker Space in Portland, Maine?

    After reviewing presentations from hacker conferences and Make Magazine about setting up a Hacker Space, 4-5 of us are setting out to establish one in Portland, preferably in the Old Port part of the city near the waterfront, arts district, great coffee shops and restaurants. The down-side to that location is the cost. We could get some warehouse space with no plumbing and little heat in an abandoned factory in Biddeford or Westbrook, but if we can manage the Old Port's steeper rent, I think we'll get more people interested and have more of the public wandering in. The offer to “ us at Hacker Space in an abandoned warehouse near the trash incinerator in Biddeford,” doesn't quite have the same attraction as, “ us on Exchange Street, 3 doors down from JavaNet Coffee and 4 doors down from the Fuji Japanese Restaurant with great sushi.”

    The space I saw yesterday would be perfect being that it's in the Old Port near the Javanet coffee shop and the Fuji Japanese restaurant. The entrance had an attractive lobby and an elevator and the office had a huge common area with a skylight and big kitchenette surrounded by 4 offices, 3 of which look out on Exchange street. A patent attorney and I both want separate offices for our companies and Hacker Space wants a locking office for their expensive and/or difficult to operate machinery. That would leave one office to be sublet. If the owner of the building is okay with 3 on the lease and will take what we can afford, it would be a perfect location for Hacker Space, my company, and my friend's patent law firm.

    We're having a Hacker Space info. meeting in conjunction with the meeting at the Maine Mall this Friday evening, so we'll see if we have enough people interested in founding the project.


    Dave said...

    So... what's the cost? :)

    Tiffany Strauchs Rad said...

    We'd like to start out with $50./month per person. Some people have said that they'd like to join Hacker Space later after we have cool tools like a plasma cutter and a 3D printer, but if we cannot get enough people initially to get going, those cool tools aren't going to get built.

    Al Truism said...

    What is the status of this? I've only just arrived in Portland from Chicago, and am excited to see how recent(ish) this initiative was/ is. Is there going to be a September meeting at the food court? I would love to get involved out here.

    Tiffany Strauchs Rad said...

    Please join us at the next 2600 meeting. We're meeting outside the food court at the Maine Mall at 5 PM on the first Friday of Sept. If raining, we'll meet at the tables just inside the food court. Attendees will probably be wearing 2600 or hacker-related t-shirts.
    I hope k@t6 from USM will join us, too!
    Great to hear you just moved here from Chicago. That's a great city! I spent a summer out there.