Latest member news 14 July 2016

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Dear all,

Here is another round-up of news from Makespace. Please note especially the members' meeting on Thursday 21 July. This will be an important opportunity to hear from the board and make your views heard on a variety of subjects. It will also take the place of the normal monthly social for July. Please come along if you are free!

Members' meeting

As announced last month there will be a members' meeting next Thursday, 21 July, at 7.30. This will be both an opportunity to meet fellow members and discuss Makespace (and eat pizza). There will be a presentation by the the board on Makespace's organisation and finances, and discussion of any subjects anyone would like to raise. Some probable subjects for discussion:

  • Exec: the board would like to breathe new life into the idea of a Makespace 'Exec', of members who volunteer to take on part of the running of Makespace. We'd like to establish clearer individual exec responsibilities and budgets.
  • Wood lathe: There have been repeated calls on the mailing list for interest in the wood lathe but no-one has come forward to get it commissioned, working, users trained up, etc; there does not seem to be much interest in it. This meeting could decide to get rid of the wood lathe to make space for other equipment.
  • Dark room: Our lease is being renewed and we have been offered the small space adjacent to the classroom. Some members have offered to use it or part of it to set up a dark room - come and discuss or hear more.
  • Bank account: It would be good to open a bank account for community money (such as cash from the honesty boxes for the kitchen and lasercutters). This probably won't need much discussion but we need a formal meeting decision to show to a bank.

If you have anything you'd like added to an agenda please get in touch.

Forthcoming events

First Aid

Our First Aid supremo Jenny Molloy is running an introduction to First Aid on 1 August. This is not an offical training course so there is no certificate, but Jenny is an experienced First Aid trainer and it will be good to have more members who know a bit about First Aid if the need arises. If the course is popular, Jenny has offered to run another session.

Hacklab courses

Hacklab are running short courses over the summer (some of them in Makespace) for people aged 8-16. The courses cover various aspects of making and coding, and you can sign up for one or two days or a week. There's a 10% discount for Makespace members if you use the code MAKESPACE10. See.

SME Growth Challenge

The Cambridge Judge Business School is running this programme to develop the management capability of small and medium-size enterprises. It will run in September and the deadline for applying is 1 August.

Recent events

Megaprocessor talk

James Newman gave a well-attended talk on the Megaprocessor - the microprocessor he has been building from scratch out of hand-soldered transistors. If you missed it (or even if you didn't) you can see some pictures and more info at


Another entertaining recent talk was a Dorkbot meeting showcasing various projects on the intersection of art, design, science and engineering - including a digital zoetrope and a robot artist. For future events follow @dorkbotcam on Twitter.

Waste wood etc

Diana and I and a few others have thrown away the huge pile of rubbish in the corner by the back door. If you have rubbish, do not leave it there - please throw it away. The main bins are just outside the back door - wood goes in the 'General waste' bins.

We used to have an arrangement with a company that would make regular collections of waste wood which they could recycle, but they went out of business some time ago.

Internet connectivity

Thanks to heroic efforts by Adrian, Lee, and others, we hope that the problems with internet connectvity are mostly a thing of the past. There are now two reliable WiFi access points, one in the classroom and one in the main space. Both have 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels - you can connect using the generic 'Makespace' network name, or use 'Makespace-2G' or 'Makespace-5G' if you are finding one channel better for any reason. There are also improvements planned to enable easier access to the printers, etc. See Adrian's full message on the Google group.

There are still some problems with the cable modem, which are being addressed. The networking equipment has been partly moved down from its high cupboard, so it can be worked on more easily when needed, and we are exploring the possibility of a single button "Internet, repair yourself!" fix as well as an auto-failover to a secondary internet connection. Meantime do shout if you have any problems.