Sunday January 2, 2011
A space for tech-minded people
WALKING past workbenches housing electronics projects and soldering irons, Meling Mudin gestures to a room piled high with cables, wires, spare motor parts, and even an old ceiling fan.
“Think of it as a garage,” says the Dell IT security manager.
“We provide the tools and space to make whatever you want; you just show up with your ideas.”
This sums up the basic philosophy behind HackerspaceKL.
Set up in 2009 and located in Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya, HackerspaceKL is one of the hundreds of “hacker spaces” popping up around the globe for the benefit of avid do-it-yourself enthusiasts.
Rather than an enclave for malicious computer geeks, hacker spaces are community-driven workplaces to make things and share ideas.
Having a technological bent tends to be a theme of most hacker spaces around the world, but members’ projects range from building mini-robots, to culinary experiments, to even forays into biotechnology.
Meling explains that mission of HackerspaceKL is to provide a collaborative environment for like-minded people to come together.
“I got the idea for initiating a hacker space here after visiting Metalab in Vienna, Austria — there was a great vibe of ingenuity and creativity at the place.
“Similarly, we want to nurture that sense of exploring ideas, regardless of whether they are practical or not.
“I think if we’re talking about building an innovative society, that’s the kind of mindset you need to have. Who knows, our projects may lead to some great inventions one day!” he says.
HackerspaceKL’s rent and tools are collectively paid for by monthly membership fees, and it also regularly conducts workshops for the public on open source software, electronics and computer security.
Although most of the current members are from the IT sector, the membership is open to anyone who is interested.
“Engineers, students, artists - everyone and anyone is welcome,” says member Earl Marcus.
“Most of our projects and workshops right now revolve around electronics and IT, but you can easily bring your own ideas to the mix.”
For more information on HackerspaceKL, log on to www.hackerspace.my.