Saturday, 18 June 2011

Geeky Groups near Birmingham UK

I've recently been getting more into meeting like-minded people, which is to say 'geeks'. After years of trying to pretend that I'm not one (in the same way that I tried to pretend my eyesight wasn't failing when I was a kid) I've finally decided to come out.

This new sociability probably started when I visited the c-base hackerspace in Berlin,

where I got horribly drunk and threw up in their loos. It wasn't all my fault though, I didn't pour all that Jager down my own throat. Well, okay, literally speaking I did, but someone kept filling the glass, so I feel there's shared responsiblity.

Anyways, since then I've been to the Nottinghack hackerspace in Nottingham. They did a frankly wonderful lockpicking workshop, and if they ever do another of these and you can go to it, I'd urge you to do so. You'll learn a lot (most of it alarming).

At the time I attended, they were still in the 'old' hackspace, which had two largish rooms, but was already a little crowded. They have since moved to somewhere that looks like:

It's HUGE. I should go and visit again!

Birmingham has been unlucky hackspace-wise, the hackspace there kinda folded, (Birmingham always seems to fail to do things that far smaller conurbations have no problem achieving) but now people are trying to restart it again!

FizzPop is the Birmingham hackerspace. Currently they have no permanent space and are meeting up in bars and what have you, but plans are afoot to get a permanent residence sorted.

Once upon a time, they got to this level:

Let's hope they can get back there again.

If you're a maker or hacker in B'ham, then FizzPop needs your support. They need to get some paying members so they can pay for a proper space, it's one of those chicken-and-egg things.

I guess I should say 'we' rather than 'they', because I'm kinda involved in this, but I live a ways out of Birmingham, so I'm not as involved as all that.

Finally I went to the Birmingham Linux User Group. I wasn't expecting much from this, but was very pleasantly surprised. The session I went to was just three guys standing up and doing a talk about something (one of whom was a FizzPopper that I already knew) but all three did an excellent job.

They record and post these talks, so sometime in the future the one that I attended should appear among them. If they do, you can hear me, I'm the squeaky voice asking obnoxious questions like "Why does a modern database system need something like memcached to support it?" (Imagine this said in the same manner as "What does God need with a starship?"), went down like a lead balloon that one did.

So, anyways, I'll be going to these groups again, and if you're a maker or hacker or geek in B'ham, so should you.

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