Monthly Archives: April 2012

“Making A Hackerspace” OC KHCTF Mon. April 30

J. Kent HastingsKarl Hess
Technology Forum

On a Fifth Monday in a Month

April 30, 2012

Pre-meeting: 6:00 p.m.
Dinner 7:00 p.m.
Announcements: 7:45 p.m. Howard Hinman,
Master of Ceremonies

Presentation: 8:00 p.m.
J. Kent Hastings:
“Making A Hackerspace”

Questions: 8:45 p.m. Q&A via written cards for at least the first round of questions.
Close by 9:30 p.m.

Location: Asian Buffet (Oriental buffet)
23552 El Toro Rd., Lake Forest, CA 92630
At Raymond, behind a bank, near the public (gov’t) library branch.

View Larger Map
Tel: (949) 206-9988 – Fax: (949) 206-9098

Howard Hinman of Orange County, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the event and will offer a Toast to the evening’s festivities.

J. Kent Hastings is a writer, video editor, audio and film producer, computer programmer, agorist and ham radio hobbyist.

Hastings wrote about privacy and security in his “Techtics” column for SEK3’s Tactics of the Movement of the Libertarian Left during the 1980s. Kent also wrote an article about these subjects for the first issue of Agorist Quarterly, published in 1995, titled “The Information Underground Railroad.” He also co-authored, with best-selling writer Brad Linaweaver, an alternate history novel published in 2004 titled Anarquia, which features some interesting technology in its version of the Spanish Civil War.

Kent has returned to an early interest in tinkering with homebrew electronic gear, partly because he finds it fun, and also thanks to a number of emergency scenarios discussed at prior meetings here.

Kent is an active member of a Los Angeles based hackerspace called CRASH Space. Hackerspaces have workshops with tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, milling machines and in this case, electronics gear like oscilloscopes, signal generators, and spectrum analyzers. Many members are already proficient using CAD software to design 3D printed physical objects or create custom printed circuit boards for their microcontroller (usually Arduino) projects.

CRASH Space has a full complement of electronics, mechanical, and microcontroller makers as well as a few licensed ham radio operators. There are professionals working at space companies, instructors in university tech departments, and entrepreneurs building prototypes. Members have competed in the Discovery Science Channel’s Unchained Reaction show. The season finale will include “Team Fail, Fail, Fail, Win.”

This hackerspace has operated for a couple of years and seen growth in the number of members, which is fueling further growth. At the latest member’s meeting we discussed the upcoming 501c3 non-profit status and looked at preliminary growth projections in the number of members and the amount of revenue.

As government budgets reach the breaking point, universities turn down student applications for lack of funding, and internships at companies during this employment slump aren’t picking up the slack, the only alternative for those wanting upgraded skills is to hang around friendly, enthusiastic competent makers who can teach things and maybe learn something in return.

Some timeless wisdom from a 2008 presentation by HacDC’s Nick Farr:

For the first round of questions, audience members are asked to submit their questions in writing to the Master of Ceremonies, so that they may be presented to the speaker most effectively.

Cost is dinner (approximately 15.00 FRNS) plus a 5.00 room charge per attendee. (Cash only for the room charge please.) MasterCard and Visa accepted by the restaurant. Beer and wine available at an additional charge.

Good food. Some vegetarian dishes available.

For this meeting, leave a reservation message with the subject “OC KHCTF” on the web at or email:

If you have additional questions contact Kent Hastings toll free at 1.877.867-8209 or leave a voice mail message.

The next fifth Monday in a month is July 30, 2012. Howard Hinman will give a talk then, titled “Housing in a Time of No Money:Government Restrictions and the Oppression of the Homeless and the Environment.”

Resilient Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization. Its mission is to support a resilient community, including respect for personal rights and responsibilities.

For information about this event (other than reservations) and/or future events, please contact Howard Hinman, Director of Communications, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Legal Researcher, at (714) 244-2291. His email is:

Buckets of Life of Death

A Modern Honey Bucket.
I heard about food grade storage buckets and alcohol fermentation and distillation in buckets on The Survival Podcast, and got to thinking about The Bucket List after a recent memorial service.

You can kick the can down the road and achieve eternal youth, but not if you mistakenly kick the bucket.

Then I thought about how many of life’s needs can be met by the use of buckets until the final kick-off, including personal waste as reported in this Anchorage Daily News story, “Honey buckets remain a sanitation concern in Bethel.”

I found that story from Bethel, Alaska by chance. One resident, Tim Meyers, grows fresh vegetables in the permafrost there, and according to Mark Dowie, using heat from composting in a greenhouse. More info is linked from my post at PermaKent, “Better Than The Best Idea.”

The Meyers Farm website tells the story and has a link to an audio interview on the Press page.

Rainwater can be captured in buckets, and plants grown in them when full of soil and allowing for drainage.

There are even “bucketponics” combinations of fish and plants able to feed the fish and the fish in return able to feed and fertilize the plants. Only sun and water agitation and filtration might be needed to keep the system going. And perhaps some added compost as fish and plants are consumed.

Buckets might catch the wind or serve as part of a water wheel generator. A bucket brigade can deliver a steady amount of water if no hose or pressure is available to fight a fire.

Other writers on the web have explored the multiple uses of the typical 5-gallon bucket, including Wikipedia, “Buckets–Types and Uses.”

Other uses include as a musical instrument, seat, and trash can.

Congress Tells FCC to Remove EmComm Impediments

I received an ARRL legislative alert email with some good news for ham radio operators like me and perhaps not so great news for property owners who want antenna restrictions.

Congress has directed the FCC to conduct a study of the uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio Service communications in emergencies and disaster relief. The FCC was directed to identify

“impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service communications, such as the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use restrictions on residential antenna installations.” Finally, the study is to make “recommendations regarding the removal of such impediments.”