You should start a hackerspace, TODAY! – part 1

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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?

 

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TOGETHER event

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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/

Mozilla Webmaker and Webvistas community go to public libraries

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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!

Open Source and Research – talk, review

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Two weeks ago – 27/11/2012 – , along with two great FOSS contributors shared a session in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece regarding “Open Source and Research“.

The event was organized by the society of the post graduate department of physics and math of the Aristotle University.

Kostas Koudaras –  OpenSUSE contributor – explained the differences between free source and open source and elaborated on the movement/culture of Free Source software. In addition he explained the philosophy of contributing upstream and generally what do you achieve by contributing in FOSS projects.

Salih Elim – Open Source strategist at ErgoQ –  presented where free/open source applies in day life such as routers, cars, software etc. Later on the audience got amazed by a slide he shared with companies who use and support open source such as redhat, mozilla, google, toyota, ibm, nasa etc. In the end Salih, presented some open source projects which were a products of academic research and explained why should the community of an academic research project has to use, adopt and produce open source software/hardware.

In the last part of the session I – Fedora Project contributor, Mozilla –  presented the benefits of working/creating inside a community especially if that is an open source one. I tried to motivate people to join active FOSS communities or great their own, finding people with common interested. I shared a list with the most active Greek communities such as the Fedora’s Project, Mozilla’s,OpenSUSE’s and explained them why these communities rock, what do we achieve by contributing in these projects and invited them to join us!  I am pretty sure that people understood that through open source communities they can build the future of the open software/hardware as other foundation and foss companies (Red Hat, Mozilla) did in the past.

It was a successful event considering the fact that we had around 75 people, an 30′ session with discussing and answering to questions after the event and a lot of feedback.

I want to thank Thanos Pavloudis from the society of the post graduate department of physics and math (from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), who organized this event, made it happen and want to organize more events regarding Open Source.

Some more photos from the event can be found in my picasa web album.

Till the next time, keep hacking the world 😉

 

 

 

Thessaloniki’s Python meeting v0.1

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Last week we stepped out from the Greek Python mailing list in order go meet and get know each other.

Despite the awful weather and the cold, we managed to meet 10 people (BEAT THAT ATHENS – with two female people), know each other and discuss geeky staff.

It was a great meeting and we decided to meet again and why not organize and event.

More info are going to be published soon.

 

 

The UnConference 2012 – awesomeness review

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In 14 of November in Thessaloniki took place the first UnConference.

The UnConference was the highlight of a three day festival around Thessaloniki’s public children libraries. The hole festival organized by the non profit company FutureLibrary.gr which intends to change the idea of children libraries by making over almost every children library in Greece.

The UnConference had four awesome keynotes by FutureLibrary.gr, Library 10, Google and Mozilla. The audience came from all over the country and we estimate that they were 250-300 people out there. They where related to children libraries and public libraries in general.

From the FutureLibrary.gr, the man who inspired the renovation of the children libraries presented his vision and the results. The 4 renovated libraries are amazing introducing an innovative type of library equipped with bleeding edge technology such as computers, interactive screens, smart furniture and much more.

Kari Lämsä from Library 10″ introduced us his idea on how a library should be. Collaboration spaces, adjective tables and chairs special meeting rooms and music breaks in the noon were some highlights of his talks.

Simon Morisson and Dionisis Kolotsas from Google, presented us a new project on digitizing books, posters, paintings and creating a web museum free to explore, search and interact.

Chloe on stage

Last but not least, Chloe Varelidi from Mozilla Project presented the Webamaker project and some great tools such as Popcorn, Thimble and X-Ray goggles. She explained how important is the webmaker project especially for children which teach them how to hack the web! In addition she presented some live demos of Thimble and X-Ray Goggles and as a result the – after sessions – workshop was crowed!

After the keynotes each project had it’s own workshop where the attendances had the opportunity to hands on, discuss and brainstorm.

Along with Chloe we run a workshop titled: “Build your own website with an easy way”. After a warming up thumb war game the workshop was on! Due to the internet lack we could run a proper hands on – workshop – thimble but we challenged people to hack on paper. The attendances spitted in 7 teams where they had to come up with at least 3 ideas of sites for children. Then they had to choose at least 2 of them and designed them on paper.

In the end every team had to present their ideas and challenge themselves by implementing them in Thimble.

Chloe’s webmaker workshop

The workshop was successful due the fact that the number of attendances was high, people enjoyed and in the end I saw a lot of enthusiast and “ready to hack the web” faces.

After the workshops in the main room there were some lighting talks regarding some cool projects such as library on grass, children sleepover in libraries and a lot experience from Future Library’s volunteers.

Themis on stage presenting collaboration

Another lighting talk was about Mozilla Hive in Athens by Konstantina and Themis which is going to boot during the spring of 2013. Their approach to the audience regarding collaboration was pretty awesome. They distributed colored papers to everyone and provide them instructions on how to create a really solid construction by joining the papers together.

Bottom line, it was a successful event for the organizers, the people who traveled across the country and especially for Mozilla foundation and webmakers!

At last Dimitris Protopsaltou presented FutureLibrary.gr’s plans for the 2013 and how they are going to renovate almost every(!) public children library in Greece.

We want to thank the FutureLibrary.gr, especially Dimitris Protopsaltou and Despina Mitropoulou for the organization and the volunteers who made it happen!

You can check my photos from the event at the Picasa web album here.

Organization committee and volunteers

Python meeting in Thessaloniki

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Αυτή την Κυριακή 2 Δεκεμβρίου και ώρα 19:00 στο καφέ Άλφα, μαζευόμαστε όλοι οι φίλοι της Python.

Αρχάριοι και μη, φίλοι και γνωστοί, σε όσους μας αρέσει και παίζουμε με την Python, βγαίνουμε από τις mailing list, αφήνουμε τα λάπτοπ σπίτι και μαζευόμαστε να γνωριστούμε, να συζητήσουμε και να οργανωθούμε. 😉

Απαραίτητη προϋπόθεση το geek t-shirt μας και η καλή μας διάθεση!

Τα λέμε εκεί!