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?

 

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/

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!

Open Source and Research – talk, review

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

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

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

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!

 

 

 

Session on “How can Open Source apply in research”

Το κείμενο ακολουθεί και στα Ελληνικά.

Next Tuesday along with other two great FOSS contributors we are having a session regarding “Open Source and research” in the Aristoteleio University of Thessaloniki.

The audience is going to be pre and post graduate students from different schools of the University.

In general we want to prove that open source philosophy/software  is a more efficient and can help in all kind of problems. From the personal side of life till the academic one. We want to present a lot of FOSS projects which are used in academic research, well known project which were a result of academic research and generally the idea that Free/Open Source software is the future (pre/post/ graduate – research).

Finally we want to provide them FOSS product solutions and generally empower them to use Free/Open Source software in their personal and academic life. As a Fedora Project contributor and a Mozilla Rep I am going to present them Fedora and Mozilla products which will cover all their basic needs in personal and professional life.

More details are going to be published after the session.

See you there!

In Greek

Την επόμενη Τρίτη το απόγευμα στο Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης μαζί με δύο εξαιρετικούς συνομιλητές θα μιλήσουμε για το ελύθερο/ανοιχτό λογισμικό στην έρευνα.

Το κοινό θα αποτελείται από προπτυχιακούς και μεταπτυχιακούς φοιτητές από διάφορες σχολές του Πανεπιστημίου. Στόχος μας είναι να εισάγουμε το κοινό στη φιλοσοφία του ΕΛ/ΛΑΚ, τις χρήσεις που έχει στην καθημερινή μας ζωή και πως θα μπορούσε να χρησιμοποιηθεί στην Πανεπιστημιακή έρευνα. Μέσα από παραδείγματα χρήσης ΕΛ/ΛΑΚ στην έρευνα θα προσπαθήσουμε να αποδείξουμε ότι τόσο η αποδοχή και εφαρμογή της φιλοσοφίας του, όσο και η χρήση διάφορων project είναι ένα αναγκαίο, αναπόφευκτο αλλά εξαιρετικά χρήσιμο γεγονός.

Τέλος θα προσπαθήσουμε να παρακινήσουμε ακόμα περισσότερο τους φοιτητές να χρησιμοποιούν προϊόντα ΕΛ/ΛΑΚ τόσο στην καθημερινή τους ζωή, όσο και στην ακαδημαϊκή τους. Σαν μέλος και άνθρωπος που συνεισφέρει στο Fedora Project και Mozilla, θα παρουσιάσω τόσο τη δομή και λειτουργία των κοινοτήτων τους, όσο και τα προϊόντα ΕΛ/ΛΑΚ που μπορούν να χρησιμοποιήσουν στην καθημερινή και ακαδημαϊκή τους ζωή.

 

Σας περιμένουμε λοιπόν σε αυτό το ταξίδι της έρευνας την Τετάρτη στις 18:30 στην αίθουσα Α31 του κτηρίου της Φυσικομαθηματικής σχολής του ΑΠΘ.

 

 

Software Freedom Day 2012 and Fedora 18 Translation Sprint

This is a little bit late blog post but I would like to share my excitement about this year’s events.

Tomorrow around 12:00 in noon we are going to run a Fedora 18 Translation Sprint in Athens and Thessaloniki too.

In Athens, hackerspace.gr is going to host celebrations for Software Freedom Day including a presentation for Fedora Localization and the Translation Sprint.

In Thessaloniki we are going to gather in starbucks for a Fedora Coffee having the opportunity to translate in parallel with the other Fedorians in Athens.

For those who can’t join neither in Athens or Thessaloniki, they can join in the #fedora-el channel on Freenode server on IRC. From there instructions are going to be provided to join the Translation Sprint as well.

Happy Software Freedom Day, happy hacking and happy translations as well.

 

 

Fedora 13 Thessaloniki Release Party – Review

This is a really late blog post.

I have wrote this blogpost 1 month before but I kept it in draft to make some future corrections and I totally forgot it!

Saturday the 12 of June was the celebration day here in Greece. A celebration day for the brand new Fedora 13.

In Athens and Thessaloniki a party was set up with many attendances, a lot of discussion, music, beer, cake and a lot of Fedora 13 installations. Pierros on his post has already gave you an idea about the feel of the event in Athens.

In Thessaloniki the atmosphere was pretty much the same. We were ~15 people, talking about Fedora 13’s new features, the Greek community (past and future), eating our tasteful cake and generally having a great time. Unfortunately we didn’t had new Fedora lovers outside our community but we had our youngest and greatest contributors. 🙂

The difference in Greek’s release party than other parties/events was that the 2 parties (Athens, Thessaloniki)  were talking place the extract same time. That’s why there was a video call between them creating an atmosphere of one big release event. During the parties we were posting the spirit of the events on twitter through tweets and pictures.

The video call and generally the idea of live broadcasting (through twitter) was successful so we are thinking apply them in future events.

We would like to invest more on the idea of the video call and general broadcasting an event through different ways such as twitter, video broadcast and many more. We will get back soon with a lot of details and ideas.

Till then, happy hacking! 🙂

For those who haven’t download Fedora 13 yet, get it right now from Fedora’s download page.