Meeting Notes 2008 01 15

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Meeting at 40 Ringold at 7 PM PST; food provided by adi.


  • Discussion of 24C3
  • How do we cover the rent?
  • What tools and capabilities are on tap for the space?


We had about 15 people at the meeting. (I don't think anybody counted or took pictures.) The food was a success (although there was about 1.5 entrees too much food). Several people were attending their first Noisebridge meeting.

The discussion focused on two major areas:

  • project ideas and inspirations from other hacker spaces and events
  • plans and ideas about 40 Ringold

We spent about 45 minutes (in several chunks) talking over people's ideas, plans, aspirations, and inspirations. The following ended up in my notes; unfortunately, I don't have attributions for most of them.

  • food hacking -- 90 micron vacuum sieve (Mark Powell?)
  • ham radio (antenna mast)
  • circuit design and building
  • blimp building
  • photography dark room
  • helicopters

One interesting phrase that was new to me is "Hacker Embassy". I think this nicely sums up one aspect of what we hope Noisebridge can be -- a public face for hackers to the greater community, and also a focal point for the Bay Area hacker community to interact with other hacker communities around the world.

Bill Pollock gave a status update on the building. He has hired an architect. They are in the planning phase; there seems to be a fair amount of flux around what work is going to be done in the near future. As I understand it, Bill's priority is to get any structural work done ASAP so that No Starch can move in without the disruption of ongoing structural work in the building.

Structural work may include

  • foundation work, any needed seismic improvements, water mitigation (sounds like this may be less of an issue than previously thought)
  • expanding the upstairs to the full building footprint (or nearly)

Nonstructural construction may include

  • improving the patio / rear staircase
  • roof deck (on the part not expanded over)
  • new roof (on pitched portion, and/or on flat portion)
  • skylights

Interior renovation may include

  • make downstairs toilet functional
  • redo floors throughout
  • demo some interior walls to open up space
  • redo upstairs kitchen
  • redo upstairs bathroom
  • new windows for improved thermal, sound

Note that no specific work has been decided upon (well, the toilet is pretty much a lock, I suspect); practicality, price, and timeframe all need to be evaluated.

Bill expressed some concern over the idea of having a significant amount of "stuff" in the upstairs space, given that there is a good chance of significant disruptive construction in the not-too-distant future. (For example, an electronics workbench in the room where a skylight is being installed is going to get covered in construction dust; furniture such as couches or bookshelves would need to be moved in order for new flooring to be installed, and so on.) The primary concern as I understand it is that "stuff" will impede progress on construction; it might be possible to mitigate this concern if Noisebridge members commit to moving "stuff" as necessary (between rooms, to downstairs, garage storage, etc) on short notice.

The timeframe for this work, of course, depends on what work is being done, and there are external dependencies (on contractors, permits, materials delivery, weather, etc). It seems safe to say that if structural work is decided upon, it won't be completed in less than three months.

After some discussion the meeting broke up early and mostly adjourned to the EFF birthday party.