FAQ

Questions relating to what Hatch is and does.

Hatch is first and foremost a community of people interested in tehnology, the Internet and the free exchange of ideas, knowledge and know-how.

We promote free collaboration between individuals and organizations in tehnological, artistic and social projects.

We maintain a hackerspace (also a makerspace) in Bucharest.

We organize meetups, courses and demos in order to facilitate transfer of knowledge and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

A hackerspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace or hackspace) is a community-operated workspace where people with common interests, often in computers, machining, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialize and collaborate.

Yes, no, not really. While there is a distinction between the terms, the difference has become almost irrelevant during the last years.

Historically, spaces that focused more on software and computers were considered hackerspaces, while the ones that focused on arts, crafts and hardware (electronics, microcontrollers, etc.) were considered makerspace.

Also, there was(/is) a tendency for spaces in Europe to identify themselves more as hackerspaces rather than makerspaces. Currently the difference is almost null, as most spaces cater to both types of interests.

Yes, hackers, but probably not in the sense you know.

The first recorded reference to hackers in the computer sense is made in 1963 in The Tech (MIT Student Magazine). The modern, computer-related use of the term is considered likely rooted in the goings on at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the 1960s, long before computers became common; the word "hack" was local slang which had a large number of related meanings.

One was a simple, but often inelegant, solution to a problem.

It also meant any clever prank perpetrated by MIT students; logically the perpetrator was a hacker. To this day the terms hack and hacker are used in several ways at MIT, without necessarily referring to computers.

1. Our definition: Someone who enjoys having detailed knowledge of the system(s) he or she uses, as oppossed to the bare minimum necessary to use them and who learns by experimention and exploration.

2. 'It is hard to write a simple definition of something as varied as hacking, but I think what these activities have in common is playfulness, cleverness, and exploration. Thus, hacking means exploring the limits of what is possible, in a spirit of playful cleverness. Activities that display playful cleverness have "hack value".' (Richard Stallman: On Hacking)

You should probably thank these hackers (amongst many others) for their contributions (without which you probably wouldn't be enjoying your Android phone, your Linux PC or you shinny Macbook): Steve Wozniak (Apple), Linus Torvalds (Linux), Richard Stallman (GNU/Free Software)

This is the original meaning of the word "hacker" and this is the meaning that we use.

We prefer to refer to activities of bypassing computer security (whether authorized or not) as "Cracking". And by extension to the people that engage in such activities as "Crackers".

We feel it more adequatly describes the activity (similar to "safe cracker").

Yeah, well that's really not what we are about.

While we have members that can do all those things and more, the point of the space is that they get to work on their own projects, not that they get a second job or freelance projects.

That being said, if you need help or advice and are willing to do the work yourself, send us an email and chances are someone will help or, at least, point you in the right direction (we are nice like that). Or even better, drop by one of our Open Days or "Say Hello" meetups.

No, it just means that we don't consider fixing someone's laptop a project.

If you are a person, company or NGO and would like to collaborate on a social, tehnological or artistic project, then you should write us an email at sal@hackerspace.ro.

The project proposal will be forwarded to all members and brought up at the first meeting after that. If there is enough interest to put together a project team, then it's a GO, if not, sorry, try again next time.

All things that have to do with legal aspects.

Hatch Hackerspace is organized as a non-profit association (NGO), by the legal name of Asociatia 'Hatch Atelier'.

In Romania, "No".

In the rest of the world, to the best of our knowledge, "No"* (*not counting "freedom loving" places like the Hermit Kingdom).

On Mars, ask Matt Damon.

Questions relating to members and membership.

Currently engineers, programmers, sys admins, artists and designers.

Become a member to have:

- a place where to work on your projects

- access to equipment that is otherwise hard to obtain individually

- to learn and/or teach others

- to meet new and interesting people

- just to support a good idea

Members have full access to the space and all equipment and materials in it, receive their own key, a shelf spot and have voting rights.

Voting and participation in meetings are NOT mandatory, however, they are highly recommended, if you have the time. Or at the very least, following the updates and offering feedback from time to time, would be greatly appreciated, as it helps the core team better understand the needs and wants of the members.

In the end, voting is a right, not an obligation. It is up to you to exercise this right or not.

Yes, we have a tryout period of 2 months and it's mandatory, which means, you become a full member of the space after two months of membership (get your key and member card). During this time access will be a limited to times when a full member is present.

This is to make sure the space is a good fit for you and viceversa and that you get proper instructions on the correct use of the equipment (where it applies).

Welcome to Hatch !

Ok, that was a bit premature. You can (if you haven't already):
1. Sign up and follow us on our Meetup Page
2. Write us an email saying you want to join at sal@hackerspace.ro or drop by one of our Open Days or Say Hello meetings.
3. Pay your first membership
4. Wait 2 months ...
5. Congratulations ! You are a full member of Hatch Hackerspace with all the bells and whitsles !

Our current membership fee is 50 RON per month.

It is our goal to maintain a space that is accessible to almost anyone, so we will do our absolute to keep the costs to this level.

That being said, the point of the membership is to cover most ongoing expenses (~80%) of the space in order to maintain self-sustainability and decisional independence.

So that means membership fees should mostly cover rent, electricity, plumbing, internet costs and so on.

If anything is left over, members decide where it goes.

Sorry, but no. The membership fees cover ongoing expenses. Without covering those there is no space, hence forth no place to put your donation.

Any donation you bring is just You being Excellent.

No. Firstly, we don't kick people out, we politely ask them to leave.

Secondly, we also have a 2 month "grace" period, meaning if you can't pay you get two months extension before your membership is suspended. But do try to pay on time.

Currently, NO.

If we find some sponsorship options and stabilize our costs and income, we may consider some sort of volunteer vs membership system.

Currently, NO.

If we find some sponsorship options and stabilize our costs and income, we may consider some sort of volunteer vs membership system.

All sorts. It really depends on what the volunteers want to present or teach about.

For a list of current and planned future courses check out the Courses section on our landing page.

We like to say: "Course are free for all and you pay by your heart", meaning courses are donation-based and no donation is too small or too big.

On one hand, free access to information and tehnology is a core principle of Hatch and we don't want financial difficulties to become a barrier for anyone's education, but on the other, organizing courses involves varying degrees of effort and could also involve wear and tear on our equipment, so that is why we maintain a donation-based system.

We are also looking for people or organization willing to Adopt a Course (sponsor a course). Sponsored courses will be absolutely free.

All our courses, presentations and events are announced on our Meetup page.

You can register an account and join the group or login directly with your Facebook or Google account. You will receive automatic updates everytime a course or event is announced.

No, you don't have to be a member to host a course.

Write us an email and tells us about the course.

The only restrictions are:

- it has to respect our Guidelines

- it has to include a real world application or demo (if possible)

- it has to maintain the donation-based system

No, it's not an absolute ban. We will, maybe, reconsider this policy as soon as any Romanian University makes a "Ethical Cracking" (a.k.a. "Ethical Hacking") specialization or master's degree.

Yes, if by that you mean courses relating to securing your devices, maintaining or improving privacy online, using encryption and so on.

Questions relating to projects.

That's a broad (and frequently asked) question. We will try to answer that in a few ways:

By type (organizational):
- Infrastructure - Any project that has the end result of building equipment or software infrastructure for the space.
- External - Any project done in collaboration with or for a different organization or person.
- Internal - A project that a member or group of members do in their own free time.

By area:
- Artistic
-

Yes, your skills and creativity. Also the Law.

Make any project as long as it is not dangerous, illegal, takes up half the space or is outright offensive.

If the project is an infrastructure project then maybe, otherwise most likely no. Resources are limited.