You should start a hackerspace, TODAY! – part 1

Six months ago, along with some crazy friends we started discussing the idea of creating a hackerspace in my hometown, Thessaloniki.

After a lot of planning where more people joined, we managed to build from SCRATCH, the Tech Ministry – Thessaloniki’s Hackerspace. “The how” I am going to describe it with details in another post.

Since day 1, a lot of people were mocking us because we were dedicating a lot of money and effort in transforming an empty basement into a hackerspace. These people believed that we should – somehow – get our money back instead of “wasting” them for an empty space. Today – after 2 months and after a lot of effort, the space is almost complete and fully equipped so I would like to share with you how I am planning to get the earnings of my investment.

Today I had the opportunity to spend more than 14 hours in the space with some brilliant people working on a variety of projects.

  • We worked and managed to transform our outdoor into an RFID featured door (had to hack the door’s metal case in order to install the electric strike).
  • Brainstormed on techniques for transforming solar energy into electric energy and aquaponics.
  • Brainstormed on upcoming events and planned 2 new ones.
  • Had a short docker hands-on session.
  • Learned more about apache’s configuration.
  • Worked on installing, configuring and using owncloud’s API.

It’s 1:55am (woke up at 7:30am) and after this exhausting day I am still FULL of energy, writing this blogpost and ready to continue working on my favorite projects!

Can you now understand why I am so passionate and thrilled about this place? Because anyone can do amazing things without any previous experience, by simply spending his time with some brilliant people. This is the earning of my investment, gaining experience on doing amazing stuff with amazing people!

Have I also told you that a hackerspace is not only a space but it is actually a community? Yes! More on part 2. ;-)

So what’s your excuse for not joining a hackerspace or starting one?

 

What a Fedora winter!

Hello readers! It’s been a long time since my last post. Apologies for that but I was working on an online IDE for Arduino with the rest of the Codebender team.

However I think it’s time to share with you some of my “adventures” inside the amazing Fedora world!

OSOL Conference Szeged

In November I was invited by the Hungarian community to attend their yearly national FOSS conference named OSOL Szeged 2014.

It was an amazing experience since I had the opportunity to meet in person the awesome local Fedora community and have a presentation to OSOL event on the upcoming Fedora products. Thank you Levex for organizing the presence of the Fedora Project in OSOL Szeged

It was one of the moments where I really enjoyed my presentation since I received a lot questions and had some interesting discussions. And when you have a lot of questions you know that the topic of your talk was interesting and the audience was actually listening to you.

The feedback I received on our decision for dramatically changing the Fedora operating system and creating three different but more innovative products was really positive and encouraging.

One of the highlights of the event and my whole trip was the energy of the Fedora Hungarian community. I consider them as one of the most active FOSS (not only in Fedora) communities in Europe who focus on actual contributions and not only on running events.

During my stay I had the opportunity to brainstorm with Gergely and Zoltan on how to sustain large and highly active FOSS communities. We also discussed the agenda of the upcoming Fedora Ambassadors EMEA meeting in Germany where I represented both Greece and Hungary since non of the Hungary community members was able to attend.

Last but not least I want to thank Gergely for having me in his home and make me feel like part of his beautiful family! Honestly this is something that cannot be described with words.

FAD Rheinland 2014

FAD are the initials for the Fedora Activity day, a day dedicated to the Fedora project. Actually in Leverkusen we had two days with activities dedicated on the Ambassador program with people joining from almost all the Fedora European communities.

After the introductions and presenting the current status of each community we reviewed in detail all the important events in the EMEA region for the year 2015. As a result we could be more accurate on our yearly budget. We decided to focus on events with certain audience and more technical topics where we believe the audience of our three products (Workstation, Cloud, Server) exists.

Swag production was in the agenda (as always ;) ) and we reviewed some of the existing or new ideas on producing swag. However I am sorry but I can’t share more with you, it’s a surprise!

One of the highlights of the event was the conference call with our new Fedora project leader Matthew Miller who walked on the same path for focusing on specific and more technical events where we can engage more active contributors with Fedora.

I left the event with a lot of pleasant memories and thoughts since I spent a weekend with my Fedora friends. I was really happy seeing old and good friends and meeting new ones, people who joined the Fedora Project recently and they are already active and contributing in their area of expertise.

Until the next time my Fedora friends.

MozCoffee Thessaloniki #3

Η κοινότητα του Mozilla σας εύχεται καλή χρονιά με ένα από τα ενδιαφέροντα Mozilla Coffee στην πόλη της Θεσσαλονίκης.

Τα λέμε λοιπόν το ερχόμενο Σάββατο στις 12 το μεσημέρι στον χώρο του Coho.

Θα συζητήσουμε τις τελευταίες εξελίξεις γύρω από το Firefox OS στα πλαίσια των ανακοινώσεων της φετινή CES 2015. Επίσης θα μιλήσουμε για τον Firefox Developer Edition. Ένας Firefox απευθυνόμενος κυρίως σε Web developers! Θα αναλύσουμε τα μοναδικά Firefox developer tools με τα οποία είναι εξοπλισμένος και κάνουν την καθημερινότητα του εκάστοτε web developer ευκολότερη.

Τέλος θα δούμε πόσο εύκολο είναι να βοηθήσεις και εσύ στην μετάφραση του Firefox στα ελληνικά καθώς και το πως να συνεισφέρεις στη νέα υπηρεσία τοποθεσίας: Mozilla Location Service.

Η συμμετοχή είναι δωρεάν και οι παρουσιάσεις αφορούν αρχάριους αλλά και προχωρημένους.

Σας περιμένουμε! Μην ξεχάσετε να κάνετε attend στο facebook event μας ;)

Mozilla Greece

MozCoffee Thessaloniki #2

Σας καλούμε στο δεύτερο MozCoffee της κοινότητας του Mozilla στη Θεσσαλονίκη.
Πρόκειται  για μία χαλαρή συνάντηση και συζήτηση γύρω από όλες τις  τελευταίες εξελίξεις του Project. Δεν θα λείπουν συζητήσεις σχετικά με το  Firefox OS, τα τελευταία features του Firefox καθώς και ο σχεδιασμός των δράσεων της κοινότητας μας στα πλαίσια του παγκόσμιου MakerParty που  λαμβάνει χώρα όλο το καλοκαίρι και μέχρι τα τέλη Σεπτέμβρη.
 
Σας  περιμένουμε λοιπόν την Τετάρτη 30 Ιουλίου στις 18:00 το απόγευμα στο  καφέ Tre Marie επί της οδού εθνικής αμύνης στο κέντρο της Θεσσαλονίκης.
Εάν δε μπορέσετε να παρευρεθείτε, stay tuned στα social media προφίλ μας (Twitter, Facebook) καθώς και στην mailing list μας.

Mozilla Greece

Εδώ και μερικές μέρες και έπειτα από ένα πρόβλημα που εντοπίσαμε στη υποδομή, βρισκόμαστε στο στάδιο της επίλυσης και ανασχεδιασμού της κεντρικής ιστοσελίδας μας.

Για αυτόν ακρίβως το λόγο μέσα από αυτό το blogpost θέλω να αναφέρω όλους τους τρόπους επικοινωνίας και συμμετοχής στην ομάδα μας.

Μπορείτε να επικοινωνήσετε μαζί μας κάνoντας εγγραφή στην κεντρική mailing list μέσο της οποίας οργανωνόμαστε, να μας στείλετε ένα tweet ή και να μας μιλήσετε στο Facebook. Για εσάς που ενδιαφέρεστε περισσότερο για το Firefox OS, υπάρχει μία ξεχωριστή σελίδα στο Facebook για τη διάδοση αυτού.

Τέλος μπορείτε να δείτε όλα τα επερχόμενα event τα οποία oργανώνει ή συμμετέχει η ελληνική κοινότητα στην εξής σελίδα.

Αν θέλετε να βοηθήσετε ή να συμμετέχετε ενεργά δεν έχετε πάρα να μας στείλετε ένα email ή να συμπληρώσετε την αντίστοιχη φόρμα ενδιαφέροντος στην κεντρική σελίδα του Mozilla.

Και μην ξεχνάτε,

Blaze your own path.

TOGETHER event

Θεσσαλονίκη 2014,

μία πόλη γεμάτη νέους ανθρώπους παθιασμένος με την τεχνολογία, προγραμματιστές και makers. Ανήσυχοι άνθρωποι που δεν κάθονται με τίποτα στα αυγά τους προσπαθώντας να λύσουν όσα περισσότερα προβλήματα βλέπουν γύρω τους. Και όταν δεν υπάρχουν προβλήματα κατεβάζουν νέες και φρέσκες ιδέες γύρω από την τεχνολογία.

Τις περισσότερες φορές όμως όλοι αυτοί οι άνθρωποι ενεργούν αυτόνομα ή σε μικρές ομάδες/κοινότητες. So lets GET TOGHETHER.

Όλοι αυτοί οι άνθρωποι λοιπόν βρισκόμαστε την ερχόμενη Τετάρτη 30/4 στο Νέο Δημαρχιακό μέγαρο προκειμένου να γνωριστούμε, να ανταλλάξουμε γνώσεις, απόψεις, ιδέες και να δημιουργήσουμε συνέργειες.

Μαζευόμαστε λοιπόν στις 18:30 όπου 13 ενεργές κοινότητες της πόλης θα μας παρουσιάσουν την ταυτότητα και τις δράσεις τους. Έπειτα θα ακολουθήσει το καθιερωμένο networking όπου καλούμαστε όλοι να αλληλεπιδράσουμε με τις κοινότητες που μας ενδιαφέρουν ή και να δημιουργήσουμε τη δική μας!

Οι κοινότητες που θα παρουσιάσουν είναι οι εξής: SKGTech, MAKE DIY, Arduino, Ruby, Java, iOS, Mozilla, Google Developers Group, Behance, Agile, Social Media, Open Thessaloniki, Open Coffee.

Σας περιμένουμε όλους.

Περισσότερες πληροφορίες στο http://skgtech.io/together/

Introduction to Firefox OS – Create your first Open Web App Workshop

This workshop will walk you through  the most exciting new platform in mobile, Firefox OS.

You will have the opportunity to take a look under the hood of Firefox OS, the web technologies adopted and how open web applications work. In addition we are going to build our own first open web application using HTML5, Javascript and CSS using Firefox’s innovative developer tools.

Join us the upcoming Tuesday 29/4 at 13:00 at the International Hellenic University.

Registrations at: http://bit.ly/1epbDJ5

Location directions

#MozWeekend Albania 2014

This weekend I had the pleasure to experience the first Mozilla Weekend event in Tirana, Albania. They were two days dedicate to Mozilla, it’s products, the community and of course the Open Web.

It was my first time in Tirana and the first time I was meeting the Albanian community in general. From the early beginnings, when Elio Qoshi first contacted me and invited me to the event I was able to see his passion. After I had the chance to meet the rest of the Albanian community I have to say that they all share the same passion. The passion of doing great things, the passion for knowledge and of course sharing their knowledge with other people as well. Let me try to describe the Albanian community with 3 words: passion, professionalism and hard working people.

So yes, the #MozWeekend was a blast! The event was well organized in an amazing venue with a great content. The attendant had the chance to learn about Mozilla’s vision about the open web, some of our amazing products such as Firefox, Firefox OS, developer tools and conquer the knowledge on how to create his first Open Web Application. And after creating his first Open Web Application he learned how Mozilla can help him on how to turn his idea to a product or a startup by signing up to WebFWD. He also leaned how is it to be part of an amazing community such as Mozilla’s, how to join and how can he help on keeping the web open and accessible for everyone.

I am really glad that I was part of the MozWeekend in Tirana because I saw the impact of the event in the attendees. I saw people’s hunger for writing Open Web Apps and contributing to our mission. It was really amazing!
Thank you #MozWeekend, thank you #MozAlb!
Hope to see you soon

Here is my Flickr album of the event

and my presentations files from the three sessions I run.

  1. Mozilla Persona and Lightbeam
  2. Introduction to Firefox OS
  3. Mozilla WebFWD

Do you want to learn Python and Django?

A couple of weeks ago someone asked me on facebook for guides and tutorials on how to learn Python.

When I was looking for resources for my self some years ago I ended up buying the Learning Python from O’Really which I found really poor. I spend some hours reading the first 100 pages and learning only for variables in Python.

I wanted something more advanced, more fast learning, so I bought the Python Cookbook from O’Really as well. Yes (!) that was the book that I was looking for but still.

So then after a conversation we had with my good friend Diego he proposed me to read a tutorial regarding Django.

That was it! The Django Book was the best resource so far for learning Django and Python. The book is diving you in to Python and Django from the first 5′ minutes but with a great explanatory way. As a result you can set up your own Django instance in the first hour understanding every step on the way.

Other really helpful resources regarding Python for beginners as proposed from the Greek Python community can be found in the following links:

And for my Greek friends there an awesome guide for developing games in Python written by my friend Manolis.

Other resources proposed from readers, comments, social media.

So don’t be afraid and DIVE in to Python or Django!

If you are aware of more Python and Django resources for beginners don’t hesitate to leave a comment in order to update the blogpost.

 

 

Mozilla Webmaker and Webvistas community go to public libraries

Photo by Thalia Papoutsaki

I am really happy to announce you a series of workshops regarding the web in our lives.

Mozilla’s and Webvistas‘ communities are co-organizing along with the municipality of Thessaloniki a series of workshops in the central public library of the city.

Our meeting is around every second Wednesday at 6pm in the first floor of Thessaloniki’s central public library. You can check the map here for directions.

Below you can find a detailed schedule of our workshops:

  • 1.    16/10 2013 – Christos Bacharakis, Mozilla – Create your own videos simple, easy and fast using the popcorn tool.
  • 2.     30/10 2013 – Giannis Kaskamanidis, Psychologist – The web and the children. Pros and cos of the usage of the internet
  • 3.     13/11 2013 – Maria Filipopoulou, Mathematician  – Scratch 2.0: Programming while playing or playing while programming?
  • 4.     4/12 2013 – Christos Bacharakis, Mozilla – Create your own web page in HTML using thimble. First part.
  • 5.     11/12 2013 – Christos Bacharakis, Mozilla – Create your own web page in HTML using thimble. Second part.
  • 6.     18/12 2013 – Dimitris Alvanos, lawyer – Online transactions
  • 7.     8/1 2014 – Despoina Drivakou, Psychologist – Social interaction on the web
  • 8.     22/1 2014 – Christos Bacharakis, Mozilla – Create your first  Open Web Application.

 

Ανακοίνωση και στα Ελληνικά από την κοινότητα των Webvistas.

Το πρόγραμμα και στα ελληνικά – the schedule in Greek

  • 1.    Τετάρτη16 Οκτωβρίου 2013 – Χρήστος Μπαχαράκης Mozilla – Δημιουργώντας βίντεο εύκολα, γρήγορα και απλά.
  • 2.    Τετάρτη 30 Οκτωβρίου 2013 – Γιάννης Κασκαμανίδης Ψυχολόγος – Διαδίκτυο και ανήλικοι: θετικές και αρνητικές συνέπειες της χρήσης του.
  • 3.    Τετάρτη 13 Νοεμβρίου 2013 – Μαρία Φιλιπποπούλου  Μαθηματικός – Scratch 2.0: Προγραμματίζω παίζοντας ή παίζω προγραμματίζοντας;
  • 4.    Τετάρτη 4 Δεκεμβρίου 2013 – Χρήστος Μπαχαράκης Mozilla – Μαθαίνοντας να φτιάχνουμε ιστοσελίδες σε HTML μέρος 1ο.
  • 5.    Τετάρτη 11 Δεκεμβρίου 2013 – Χρήστος Μπαχαράκης Mozilla – Μαθαίνοντας να φτιάχνουμε ιστοσελίδες σε HTML και CSS μέρος 2ο.
  • 6.    Τετάρτη 18 Δεκεμβρίου 2013 – Δημήτρης Αλβανός  Δικηγόρος – Διαδικτυακές τραπεζικές συναλλαγές.
  • 7.    Τετάρτη 8 Ιανουαρίου 2014 – Δέσποινα Δριβάκου  Ψυχολόγος – Κοινωνική διάδραση στο διαδίκτυο
  • 8.    Τετάρτη 22 Ιανουαρίου 2014 – Χρήστος Μπαχαράκης Mozilla – Μαθαίνοντας να γράφουμε ανοιχτές διαδικτυακές εφαρμογές – Open Web Applications.

Τα λέμε εκεί! – See you there!