***The global Hacker Space movement ***
As many of you may know, there is Hacker Space Movement around the world and Tokyo is no exception :)
First off, what is a hackerspace? "Hackerspaces are community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects" according to Hackerspaces.org (information hub of hackerspaces around the world)
If you are interested in hackerspace near your city or if you are a traveler seeking to meet geeks around the world, I really recommend you take a look at the Hackerspaces list which has info on more than 200 hackerspaces around the world. If you want to start your own hackerspace, there is a great wiki with lots of documentations of various hackerspace organizers' experiences.
There is even a tour of hackerspace community visiting hackerspaces in other continents. It's called "Hackers On a Plane" for example on 6/30 - 7/7, a group of hackers from Europe will depart Frankfurt and visit Seattle, on 8/4-8/18 a group of hackers from US will depart NY and visit Europe to join PlumberCon 2009 (8/7-8/9 in Vienna) and HAR 2009 (Hacking At Random, 8/13-8/16 in Vierhouten.)
I always wanted to become a traveler ever since I was a highschool student - to travel around the world, meet and work with interesting people globally :) Using the internet I can work anywhere as long as I have my laptop with me, but I'm sure hackerspace venues and communities around the world will drastically change the way we work, create, learn and collaborate.
This is a very nice slide from a presentation of Hacker Space in KL - quote "HackerSpaces are like YMCAs for geek and nerds".
***HackerSpace movement in Tokyo***
Back in May, we had an event in Tokyo called Tokyo BarCamp which Mitch Altman joined and talked about HackerSpace movement which gave lots of the members inspiration for building a hackerspace in Tokyo. While listening to Mitch's presentation, someone in the audience registered the domain tokyohackerspace.com, which was made into a wiki site on that day and was registered to hackerspaces.org. It hasn't been a month yet but the team has already paid a visit to the existing hackerspace (4nchor5 La6), had a meeting and came up with a venue and proposal for running the hackerspace, made a blog and a twitter account and the next meeting is planned this Tuesday. I'm really amazed by the energy and passion of this community! Oh and the logo was designed by one of the members too. Very cool :D
This hackerspace is still under discussion and there is no venue yet, but if you are planning to come to Japan in the near future, it would be great if you can visit when it's ready, so please keep an eye on the sites before coming to Tokyo :)
I joined the team visiting 4nchor5 La6, the first HackerSpace in Tokyo. There are 4 members who works in the venue as an office space, and they have a huge TV with a comfy sofa.
This is one of the members' desk.
This is the equipment rack.
This is the music room with lots of music related instruments, loads of records and even Tenorion!
They have a kitchen which is full of gadgets :D
This is a video of Daito's (one of the members) project
And he showed us the equipments that were used to make this video:
This is a video of their workshop.
Looks like they are looking for participants for their next workshop :)
You can see more photos from my visit to 4nchor5 Lab here.
If you are interested in visiting them, please contact them and here is the address and map to 4nchor5 La6.
*** Recruit Media Technology Labs ***
Recruit Media Technology Labs is a laboratory built by a publishing company called Recruit. Recruit publishes various magazines, free magazines and lots of websites such as Rikunavi [ja] (job hunting site for students), Tech Lab [ja] (technology information site), isize [ja] (portal site of Recruit) etc. The space is not necessarily a hacker space, but a cool and geeky place in the center of Tokyo (Ginza), I visited them on the day when they were finishing up the last portion of construction. I think they are an excellent venue for hackers to get together and meetup, do events and seminars.
There is an area for "pair programming" near the entrance.
This is going to be a bar area.
There is a stage and a podium up front, and 80 seats all with tables and power, wifi for the audience.
They will be ustreaming the room all the time with 2 cameras- 1 will be shooting the whole room and the other will be shooting the speaker.
2 projectors in the front, 1 screen in the side and 4 screens in the back.
There's also a section with a sofa and even wii fit :D
I'm actually hearing about another group planning on building a hacker space- Tokyo is going to be a fun place for hackers :D