Author Topic: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.  (Read 2351 times)

Oldbitcollector

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Yes, this site, by it's name "Propellerpowered" is all about projects and conversation surrounding my favourite micro of all time, the Parallax Propeller.  (Hopefully, soon it will also be about how to use the Prop2.)

Nearly ten years ago, I physically relocated the family to Orrville, OH (Home of Smuckers & Folgers Coffee)
I've spent much of my a good deal of my time fixing computers, networks, and helping computer novices by day, then fooling with microcontrollers at night.   Out of this has sprung the yearly Propellerpowered Expo, Propellerpowered shop, and projects.

I've done quite a bit of soul searching over the last few months and have realized that it is counterproductive to allow these two endeavours to be independent of each other.    In the last year, we moved the Propellerpowered Expo from Norwalk, OH to Orrville/Kidron Ohio.    This decision was not only a sound financial move, but also a good way to start bringing technology learning opportunities to the local community.

I talked with a young man at the last expo who begged me to bring more opportunities like this to this area for he and his friends.   NE Ohio is predominantly a "football" area, and Orrvilles' no exception.  Right now, if you are a young person in this area who isn't into sports, there's nothing else for you.   It's time for that to change.

In the next few months, I'll be continuing to merge my "local identity" (Mr. Anderson) with my "online identity" (Neo) by creating a DIY/Hackerspace group in the Orrville area.   (see: http://www.orrtech.us/hackerspace.html)   While the Propeller continues to be the focus of projects, I'm opening the new DIY/Hackerspace group (and this General section) to a variety of microcontrollers and related "geeky" projects. 

Those of you who are in the area are welcome to help in the leadership of this venture.

Jeff

« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 08:12:39 PM by Oldbitcollector »

Granz

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2013, 09:10:30 PM »

In the next few months, I'll be continuing to merge my "local identity" (Mr. Anderson) with my "online identity" (Neo) ...
Jeff

I saw that in the movie - it did not end well for Mr. Anderson.  You might just want to keep that in mind, Jeff.  :P

Granz

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2013, 09:13:22 PM »
...

I talked with a young man at the last expo who begged me to bring more opportunities like this to this area for he and his friends.   NE Ohio is predominantly a "football" area, and Orrvilles' no exception.  Right now, if you are a young person in this area who isn't into sports, there's nothing else for you.   It's time for that to change.

In the next few months, I'll be continuing to merge my "local identity" (Mr. Anderson) with my "online identity" (Neo) by creating a DIY/Hackerspace group in the Orrville area.   (see: http://www.orrtech.us/hackerspace.html)   While the Propeller continues to be the focus of projects, I'm opening the new DIY/Hackerspace group (and this General section) to a variety of microcontrollers and related "geeky" projects. 

Those of you who are in the area are welcome to help in the leadership of this venture.

Jeff

This looks like it has many possibilities.  I'm not exactly one "who is in the area," but I hope that I can help contribute.  Helping my next-door neighbors build up interest in the field in which I sell my products, will probably help me to build my business.  Let me know if you can think of any ways in which I can help; and I'll do the same.

Oldbitcollector

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 11:02:21 PM »
I saw that in the movie - it did not end well for Mr. Anderson.  You might just want to keep that in mind, Jeff.  :P

Ah, you didn't watch the last movie... :)

You are welcome to participate as much or as little as it suits you.   I know you are working toward some similar goals in your neck of the woods.   Anything I can do to help, don't hesitate to ask.

Jeff

Granz

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2013, 02:11:02 AM »
I saw that in the movie - it did not end well for Mr. Anderson.  You might just want to keep that in mind, Jeff.  :P

Ah, you didn't watch the last movie... :)

You are welcome to participate as much or as little as it suits you.   I know you are working toward some similar goals in your neck of the woods.   Anything I can do to help, don't hesitate to ask.

Jeff

I did see the last movie, just didn't care for anything past the first one (and thus don't remember a whole lot.)

Thanks for the offer - I believe that coopetition, rather than competition, is good for business growth.  That is the idea of coopetitors continually working to provide the best product to their customers, thus raising the level of both sets of products, as well as the customer's satisfaction.  (Yeah, yeah, I know, I live in a dream world.)

I think that this may have come from my time in the military: Jeff, you are the squadron Commanding Officer (CO) for the Propeller Powered Sqdn, Chris is the CO of the Savage///Circuits Sqdn and I am the CO of Granzeier Consulting Sqdn.  We each provide our own way of supporting the mission (providing the best products that our customers can get.)  Even though we each run our own squadron in our own way, the mission is best served when we provide support for each other's squadrons.  (Does that make any sense, or are y'all just nodding at what you think are appropriate times? :P)

Anyway, that is why I like to put effort into my colleague's sites.  I believe that working together, we can both build our income (like I said, sort of like different squadrons of the same Air Force.)  However, I do want to keep in mind that PP is your squadron, and not interfere with your command. That is why I try to check with you on so much (although, as I get to know you better, I can make better judgements about your likes - don't hesitate to stop me if I over-reach, though.)

"Staff Sergeant Granzeier Looks at Business Through the Eyes of a Vet" - my next book??? ;D
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 02:36:38 AM by Granz »

Oldbitcollector

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 12:27:35 PM »
Commanding Officer (CO), Jeff Ledger here.   Looking forward to the new book!

Here's a copy of the Flyer we are distributing in Orrville soon.

http://www.orrtech.us/diy_hackerspace.pdf

Jeff

trodoss

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2013, 09:18:59 AM »
Sounds really great!

I found the same sort of thing to be true in my area (technology opportunities are rare).  I ended up helping with 4-H robotics.  It was exciting to see the kids get their first opportunity to go to the "big leagues" (state competition at the state fair) this year, if for nothing else to find out "hey, we are not alone!"

It is great to connect locally, nationally, and internationally, and Jeff has had that virtual "reach." 

I find the biggest struggle I have had with some of the older kids is overcoming "Can't."  When teaching martial arts a long time ago I picked up the phrase "Can't is a bad word--don't use it!"  In the Propeller community, it is oftentimes something that spurs someone into action--but that is a generational thing (us older guys take it as a challenge when someone says it can't be done).  Building self-confidence by starting with small, and getting those little "personal victories" that they can build on are extremely important.

Also, I find that peer's enthusiasm is infectious and really they (not me) make the best instructors ;)  I am just there to make sure they stay safe and answer any of the tough questions.

 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 09:54:39 AM by trodoss »

Granz

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2013, 08:33:56 AM »
...While the Propeller continues to be the focus of projects, I'm opening the new DIY/Hackerspace group (and this General section) to a variety of microcontrollers and related "geeky" projects. 
...

Jeff

Jeff, you may be interested in Hack-A-Day's desire to help Hackerspaces - take a look at: http://hackaday.com/2013/10/07/hackaday-hackerspace-henchmen-equals-free-stuff-for-you/

Granz

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2013, 06:09:45 PM »
Jeff,

One more item that caught my eye.  Take a look at this article (again, from H-A-D - http://hackaday.com/2013/10/10/cuba-a-diy-society/) about how Cuba depended upon hackers (makers) to keep the national economy going.

You may be able to use this in some of your advertising.  If you are looking for funding, you could also use this to show how important the hacker/maker spirit can be to an economy.  (Gee, and you just thought that you were doing this for fun, huh?  ;D)

Granz

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2013, 06:04:49 PM »
It seems that H-A-D is running a lot of hackerspace articles now-a-days (or maybe I just notice them more since this thread.)

In the article on Adventures in Hackerspacing: Freeside Atlanta, Part I (http://hackaday.com/2013/10/14/adventures-in-hackerspacing-freeside-atlanta-part-i/,) they mention an article on the step by step procedure for setting up a hackerspace (https://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/11/12/how-to-start-a-hackerspace/.)

It looks like a pretty good list (so far, really just getting started here, but it makes me want to start one of my own.)

The second step includes visiting other hackerspaces.  I was thinking, HackPittsburgh has a visitor's night on most Fridays (http://www.hackpittsburgh.org/visit).  If you would like, I will take leave (after the new year, Marilyn's surgery is pretty much killing off my leave) and we can go take a look together.

trodoss

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 12:58:43 PM »
Just ran across this on Adafruit's site.  Looks like it could be of some use:

How to Start A Hackerspace

KD8COO

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 06:10:51 PM »
They missed the biggest things:  Don't try to start one in a "family" city where everyone has their own shop in their garage already.  :-)

Toledo has tried and failed multiple times.  Seems to come down to the fact that pretty much all the hardware hackers in town have families and their own shops...  People in those situations won't pay money to have to go 15 minutes+ away to do things that they can do right at home.

Seems to play real well in "college" cities though.  Ann Arbor has a booming maker scene.  Everybody is crammed into apartments where there's no room to have their own shop.  :-)

Granz

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Re: Embracing the "other" micros & local community at the same time.
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 03:26:54 PM »
...
The second step includes visiting other hackerspaces.  I was thinking, HackPittsburgh has a visitor's night on most Fridays (http://www.hackpittsburgh.org/visit).  If you would like, I will take leave (after the new year, Marilyn's surgery is pretty much killing off my leave) and we can go take a look together.

Are you interested in going for a visit of HackPittsburgh?  If so, I will contact someone from there and arrange a visit time.

Let me know.