Regular Member Meeting 2015 03 10

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Revision as of 11:38, 19 March 2015 by (talk) (→‎Treasurer's Report: travis)
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Time and Location

March 10, 2015
Called to order at 20:02 by Celeste
Members present: Celeste, Enrique, Don, Ben, Matt H., Julia, Evan, Jamie,
Members remote: Hunter (Gary Sparkes)
Others present: James, Andrew C3EDB
Quorum 12
Quorum met? N

Approval of Previous Meeting's Minutes

Regular Member Meeting 2014 12 09


  • Dan Barlow - Taking the initiative to setup CNC Mill dedicated computer disk backup.
  • haxwithaxe - Making NAS server storage available.
  • Julia Longtin - Thursday event, 3D printing related.
  • Kevin Cole - Notifying other HacDC members of the LulzBot giveaway.
  • Evan - Hosting the Raspberry Jam!
  • Don and Enrique for helping make the Raspberry Jam happen.

Director Reports

President's Report

  • To help keep the space clean, IN ADDITION TO THROWING AWAY YOUR OWN TRASH, please throw away one thing you see that is obviously trash or has no value every time you leave. If the trash is full, tie it up and replace the trash bag. There is a box of trash bags by the sink. If you have random crap laying around that looks like trash but isn't, make sure it is put away or clearly labeled.
  • TTG has gotten a lot of good feedback: Looking for a sponsor to help organize a monthly Table Top Gaming day (picking a date, encouraging members to participate, bringing games, herding cats, etc.)

Vice President's Report

Bunch of things have been done, more are in progress. Please be patient, and tolerate the resources presently being deployed.

  • We WON a LulzBot in the recent giveaway!
  • WYSE terminals now have two USB flashdrive images. DSL works well for GUI (eg. kiosk) or simple SSH (eg. fileserver) uses. Knoppix offers kernel 2.6, which can be used to chainload full-scale distributions (eg. Debian) for more advanced servers (eg. Apache, Lighttpd, MySQL, Email, IMAP, etc). Relatively cheap, sporting x86 CPUs, and offering audio ports, these can be useful as 'embedded' computers.
  • Configuration kiosk (WYSE terminal based) will be provided for the NetPLC based RFID system in progress. NetPLC would have been ready for delivery today, but local IT issues kept me busy yesterday.
  • First instance of mirage335OS (precompiled Gentoo/Funtoo image with custom software) installed to a modern ThinkPad. Intended to host our Epson Stylus Pro 4800 2D printer, allowing large-format printouts at low cost (compared to >$20/job Kinkos pricing).
  • AutoSSH through Shimmer tested successfully. Will be used to remotely administrate and backup important computers, preventing recurrence of the sort of file-corruption incident which struck our CNC Mill recently.
  • RostockMax 3D printer back online. Some wires are corroding, and will be replaced with a dedicated PCB.

Treasurer's Report

  • Please Forgive My absence. I am on I-95N by the time you see this. Probably in South Carolina. Also, please forgive the external links. I have a terrible internet connection and will upload them directly when i return to DC

Notes: Thanks to everyone tat has converted to Dwolla. ~25% of membership has converted To the rest of you, Please either convert to Dwola or Re-subscribe your paypal memberships @$60. This is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. Special Thanks to Teaching For Change for a $175 Donation as a result of ITechGeek's helping them with their phone lines Thanks Again to Dan Barlow for his solitary work on the aluminum milling which netted the final $300 donation from Transcend Robotics Project KitBuild has been reinstated $339.88 has been donated by Lee and earmarked for HARC. i will be initiating a complete transfer of funds from Dwolla to BB&T and a Partial transfund from PayPal to BB&T in March

There is nothing significant to report in the financials so they are presented without comment. if you have any questions about this months financials Please email Subject: March Financials and i will keep an eye out and get back to you.

Project Awesome

(Added 3/19 to correct clerical error) $93.25 was incorrectly assigned as a donation and expense to project supplies when that transaction should have been assigned to expansion. There is no impact on the balances.

Secretary's Report

Not so much a Secretary's report, but we had about 40 participants the first HacDC Raspberry Jam organized by Evan last month. We received very positive feedback during and after the event. Several people asked how often we host these events and would be interested in future events. We also did an OK job at promoting HacDC with a short presentation at the start of the event and put up a HacDC info/donation slide after the formal presentations ended. Perhaps we could end the formal presentation section of such events with some kind of brief "If you liked this event, please support HacDC!" appeal to encourage membership, donations and attendance at future events. Thanks to Evan for putting the event together and Don for setting up a lot of equipment and everyone who promoted the event online and offline.

Director-at-Large Reports


  • Was at Radio USA and spoke about HacDC.
  • Will introduce a grant writer to HacDC in April.
  • Will attend classes on grants.
  • HARC has some new members.
  • HARC has been active with contests.


  • We have been meeting in an informal capacity with Christine to formulate a development strategy for HacDC.
  • We have been making some progress on identifying our stake holders and developing personas to better understand them.

Project Awesome Reports

Project LASER

  • Dan has been busy, so no change.


  • Still waiting on a box from California


  • Alberto is still alive and plans to do more classes to teach people soldering and Processing.


  • Authorized purchase of some 3D printer filament.
  • New WSM1 soldering iron tips have arrived. Please use the needle tip specifically for surface-mount work.
  • Requested purchase of hobbed bolts for the Rostock Max.


  • Authorized purchase of Wheels for OpticalTableRobot. AFAIK, the vendor has not been able to ship them yet.


  • Preparing for Field Day in June.
    • Possibly going to Hains Point.
    • Weekend of June 28th
  • Our radio is in the repair shop getting fixed.
  • Jamie has brought one in to use in the mean time.

Member Reports


Would like to create an inventory of equipment at HacDC. Would like to get volunteers to help with the work, and is seeking permission to compensate them with membership or something else.

Old Business

New Business

Proposal for “Planning and Development” Committee Submitted by Phil Stewart, February 24th, 2015

To Vote Upon: The following proposal to form this committee that will report to the board and to membership, by which vote the committee's work will be authorized with the mandate of the membership.


I propose the creation of a “Planning and Development” Committee to create a coherent package of proposals geared towards refocusing HacDC’s priorities and aligning its activities and expenditures with its primary goals and purposes.


Recent discussions of our budget have highlighted the need for a renewal of purpose at HacDC. A number of proposals have been offered: to put together a fund-raising document, to fix one or another by-law, to re-assess the content of our 501c3 application (or otherwise notify the IRS of a planned change to our activities).

The budget concerns we need to address arise from the convergence of twin trends: a rise in rent over the last few years and a flattening of growth in membership subscriptions (our principle source of revenue). As members have left the area, or founded their own hackerspaces in DC’s suburbs, HacDC has not attracted new members at a similar rate. This most likely has multiple causes, but is at least partially linked to some changes in the direction and scope of our activities—acquiring equipment vs. offering programs, for example—paired with some less pleasant consequences of our light-handed approach to group governance: disorganization, a messy shop, incivility in our email discussions. With fewer members, fewer activities can be carried on, recursively impacting our capacity to attract and retain members. These interacting forces form a coordinated system. To solve them, we need to formulate a coordinated response.


To this end I propose that a limited-term committee be formed to create a coherent package of proposals that looks at our activities, expenditures, funding sources, by-laws, organizational operations, and anything else it deems to be relevant to get us back on track as a nonprofit organization serving the greater good of our community. For the purpose of this proposal, I am calling this the “Planning and Development Committee” (PDC).

The PDC should be composed of a mix of volunteers, board members (one or more), and people recruited by the board for their particular skills and experience relevant to this committee’s work. It should also actively consult with members who may not have the time to serve but whose input is needed. While the PDC should report to the board, its progress and findings should be fully communicated to the membership at large. The PDC is not conceived as a permanent committee. Once its proposals have been delivered and accepted / rejected / acted upon, the PDC will be dissolved and its useful functions reassigned to officers, the board, or standing committees.

The PDC should as part of its duties undertake the following:

• The PDC’s first task should be to find out what is working and what isn’t for HacDC. I have in mind a poll or survey of members, former members, and would-be members (e.g. who participate on Blabber). It may also be useful to survey or interview visitors to the space, and members or directors of other hackerspaces. Such a survey could be conducted online (at a site such as SurveyMonkey).

• As importantly, the PDC (or a separate subcommittee if appropriate) should explore ways to improve revenues, including grants, fees for workshops and events, dues increases—whatever will work, consistent with our mission. This may include entering in consultations with outside experts.

• The PDC should formulate a proposal to create several task-specific standing committees within HacDC as a way to address the club’s ongoing needs and activities. Standing committees would allow for focused attention to ongoing concerns while providing for continuity across terms of the board and the changing commitments of club

• The PDC should develop and present a coherent communication strategy for HacDC to ensure all potential donors, granting organizations, and the public at large are presented a consistent, accurate, and positive portrayal of what we do. Included in this task would be to create procedures and a reporting structure for HacDC to document its own activities (e.g. annual reports).

• The PDC should re-examine avenues for recruitment and retention of members, as well as assessing members’ satisfaction and future needs.

• The PDC should assess, report upon, and make proposals as needed for the suitable enhancement of the strong educational component of HacDC’s mission.

A PDC report including recommendations would be delivered to the board in a timely manner, with all action items requiring a vote at a subsequent regular members’ meeting. Interim reports would recur at intervals to be decided by the board.

Again, it is my feeling that we need to look at the big picture and develop a coordinated set of plans in response to our current fiscal and organizational challenges. Friendly amendments in the spirit of this proposal are welcome and invited.

A proposal that the SEM and the Museum should be made official HacDC Projects will be submitted for consideration at the next meeting. A proposal to change the HacDC storage and disposition policy will be submitted for consideration at the next meeting.

New Members

  • Andrew

Found out about HacDC through a Maker Faire. Joined through HARC, interested in Amateur radio. Works as a scientist, pharmacology. Has a PhD.

  • James

Came by and has been working on 3D printers with Julia and Mirage. Works as a Sys Admin for a small company.

Both approved


Adjourned at 9:01 by Celeste