Hackerspacing: I’m a pain in the butt

Things are looking bright for the hackerspace as of late; no doubt due to the TI attention, we now have the administrators taking us seriously. So serious, in fact, that I was directly called a pain in the rear by the president of our university himself.

I’m still not sure whether or not the hidden subtext is ribbing or endearing, but it’s good nonetheless. Dr Destler seems to support the idea, and after the speech, offered to find a room and support of our first funding option in private conversation.

…which is good, partly. But, we already have a small room, and it’s completely unsuitable for machine tools. Not only is it impossible to reasonably fit a router in there, but it has no power, no ventilation; not even a window that opens! We need a room in booth.

Regarding the first funding option, it’s good that the administration is willing to support a $55k purchase, but in reality, it’s not money well spent. To fit that budget we needed to make some serious cuts, typically by choosing used, single-purpose equipment. Take for example a knee-mill; though useful for its purpose, if we later buy the haas, the bridgeport is $5k wasted. Same goes for the cheap FDM 3d printer if we later buy a stereolithographic printer, or the modela if we get a laser for the router. Simply put: with more money, we can make intrinsically better purchases for the lab. Though more expensive up front, an extra $20,000 now saves us $40,000 in the future.  Not only that, but with tools that are 2x more useful, the hacking gets 10x as good.

The trouble is getting the admins to see that, also.

One thought on “Hackerspacing: I’m a pain in the butt

  1. I personally think you did him a huge favour. Hacker Spaces are in top universities across the world and are only getting more attention. You helped RIT be at the front of the wave rather than the back. :-) I hope you get more of what you are needing!

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