2013/03/29

DHMN Has A Makerspace!

Three cheers for Willems Marketing!!!

Thanks to their enthusiasm for a makerspace and flexibility in working with the currently-small roster of DHMN members who've said they'll pay to have access to a makerspace, the Distributed Hacker/Maker Network now has its first dedicated facility at 120 N. Morrison Street in beautiful downtown Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The space is in the basement of the Willems Marketing building, with Willems being located on the second floor of the building and the first floor soon to be the site of The Avenue HQ coworking facility. (If you're interested in getting in on the ground floor, both literally and figuratively, of a cool coworking space, go to The Avenue HQ website and contact them through that means, or drop me an email, bwaldron [att] gmail {dott} com, and I'll connect you with the guys developing the coworking space.)

The DHMN makerspace on Morrison Street is only half a block off the east end of College Avenue in downtown Appleton. This means it's very close (short walking distance) to restaurants, coffee shops, the YMCA, Lawrence University, the Appleton Library, the bus station and lots of other cool and useful companies and organizations.

The makerspace is small and won't be able to accommodate large noisy tools like table saws, but it's a start. We'll be able to use more tools than we could in the Harmony Cafe conference room (the DHMN Morrison Makerspace is only a block away from Harmony...), and we have exclusive 24/7 access to the space. So we can leave tools, supplies and projects there and don't need to lug them back and forth from home every time we want to work on something.

Mike P shot a nice video of the space recently if you want to do the virtual tour thing.

The space is not yet ready for occupancy due to a few minor repairs and upgrades. On April 11, Jason K is meeting with Mike V and Time Warner to work out the details of the 35 Mbps x 5 Mbps internet access that Willems Marketing is providing for the makerspace. An electrician rewired the 120 V outlets in the main workspace today. The workspace outlets had all been on a single 20 amp circuit, and he rewired it so the outlets will be on three separate 20 amp circuits. Much better for all the laptops, Linux boxes and small tools we'll be using when there's an enthusiastic crowd of makers convened in the space, having fun while they're "Making Art, Creating Tech, Inspiring Community." The covering on the back wall of the main workspace is being redone next week to repair water damaged materials (happened last year during heavy rains, I think; we might consider setting up some type of moisture sensor to monitor for future water infiltration). Once the back wall work is done, we can meet in the space if we want, but there won't be Internet access until some time in mid-April. Jason K, I'm sure, will let us know when the room will have connectivity once Time Warner tells him their timing.

Lots of ideas and needs to bring up about the space, discuss and get group decisions on. There will inevitably be growing pains and lots of conflicting plans and visions for the future of the space, so we need to listen to each other's suggestions respectfully, think about both short term and long term use of the space and take our time with any votes or decisions about permanent or semi-permanent actions or policies regarding the new DHMN makerspace. "Have fun" and "be excellent to each other" are two of the primary policies of the group!

Exciting Times for the DHMN!

p.s. -- If you haven't joined the DHMN as a paying member yet, please consider doing so. Just go to the DHMN website Membership page and sign up through PayPal now...

*****

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