Unfortunately, not everyone likes to lead or to actually, you know, do things.
If you want it to be serious, I think the trick is to get people to sign up to show cool stuff ahead of time, and advertise what people will be presenting.
If you'd like, I can help you organize (not that I have experience with that kind of things). I'd imagine we can find a place, issue a call for presentations, see how many responses there are, then make a site with the list of speakers.
* hackerspaces: http://hackerspaces.org/
* 2600 meetings: http://www.2600.com/meetings/
* Dorkbot: http://dorkbot.org/
I was unlucky that I was not there when "home brew computer club" formed. Dammit I missed the golden age. I regret that.I really do.
I was looking for a place for me to fit in. A guy with the hacker gene. Grown so carefully in me thanks to all those hackers lived & left their experiences behind, on text files or whatever media. A guy who has lot of things to learn but struggling to find people who are willing to make another hacker with their knowledge & skills, like the real hackers who lived on this planet some times back.
I was looking for the right place. Right place for me to grow. I went there, I came here. No where is perfect. Maybe that's the way it is. Since the time is changed, the hackers of new days has to build their own world like a kid building a lego castle with pieces picked from HERE & THERE.
Why is this so?
In NYC the guys doing physical computing are all "new media artists" from Pratt or Parsons. They are doing their projects with the hopes of getting a gallery show or maybe some contract work making a blinky display for a Macy's holiday window. The levels of desperation and competitiveness surrounding this activity are much higher in NYC than places where Arduino hacking is just considered an obscure hobby.
In contrast, in SF/Silicon Valley the people doing physical computing hacks are all well-paid engineers or programmers during the day and the arduino-artsy stuff is just a hobby. Nobody makes any money off of it and they are happy to share tips. Also, everyone in Silicon Valley already knows that you just buy everything from Digikey. ;)
I’ve actually built a huge number of circuits, read tons of books and learned how to program a PIC basic stamp. I fucking love this shit.
I had to do my own research and found that, no, these guys get some of their shit from the NYU Computer Store on 242 Greene St near Washington Square Park. It’s obvious since everyone in NYC uses Arduinos and this store has most of the parts I’ve seen them use. That store has an entire section that’s dedicated to hardware hacking gear, including parts, kits, tons of Arduino components, full stamps, everything.
There is much more context and information in the original article. Zed recognized the parts, really did just want to know where the parts came from, and was interested to learn of the parts shop.
I love the idea behind FU and wish there were more open hacking groups around where people could attend, even if only to watch and listen to others. I don't necessarily have a ton of time for hacking stuff, but if I could spend an hour or two every week looking over someone's shoulder while they make something, or listen to someone explain their crazy ideas and then have open discussions as a group, I think it would help everyone explore new ideas and opinions.
If not for my ridiculous schedule (working at a start-up), I'd be more inclined to get such a group going myself.
So I drifted away and terminated subscription, and I guess many others did the same (and have had that impression confirmed from a couple of private emails).
The nerd club at my college was hugely slanted towards roleplaying and anime, so I felt sort of like an outsider caring mainly for computers and video games. An electronics nerd would have zero fun, but then again, it was a liberal arts college, so what do you expect?
Tom Igoe, the author, co-wrote "Physical Computing" with Dan O'Sullivan, which is a book used in NYU's ITP for teaching artists and other non-engineers about electronics, microcontroller programming, mechanical devices, etc. So that should give you an idea of the expectations the book has from the reader, if you haven't done any electronics you will still enjoy it and, better yet, learn quite a bit from it.
I also suggest you check out his site http://tigoe.net/pcomp/ as it contains tutorials, syllabi from his classes at NYU's ITP, and other resources.
Reminds me of Fight Club.
Can't wait for Project Mayhem.
Someone please explain to me how MBAs show up at geek meetups of any description. I would think stuff would be way too oriented away from money for them to show up. Maybe I'm just crassly stereotyping too much.
Having an MBA doesn't make you a bad person. It's just that MBAs more than many other degrees will attract a high proportion of the "make money and intimidate people" crowd. That's not exclusive. I know computer scientists who are equally clueless about what they do, but who think this degree will make them rich.
You're both over-stereotyping and under-stereotyping.
In both cases, they're showing up because "geek gatherings" are a place to find geeks. The over/under concerns why they want to find geeks.
And, geeks can be, and often are, extremely money-grubbing. The snotty addendum is that they're just not very good at it and/or are too concerned about whether someone else will make a buck to make one themselves.
edit: nevermind, demallien's solution is superior, in that it prevents accidental clickage.