Class Costs and Planning

Part of running a hackerspace is doing classes, events and workshops. Classes generally involved a teacher (and TA) and slides or a presentation. Workshops and Events are different from classes, and aren’t covered here. It’s sometimes hard to set rates and costs for classes, and it’s a tricky thing to make classes easy and affordable, but to make enough to support the space, and give people giving the class satisfaction of doing something worth the scratch.

I’ve heard some advice from different spaces on how to plan classes and costs, and (for me) one of the toughest parts was coming up with a decent cost for classes. My personal guidelines for the ‘don’t-expect-to-make-money’ classes (take it or leave it) is below. I use this for my own classes and events, and find it useful. If you also do classes or events, feel free to give us feedback on how you price yours, either by leaving a comment on the weblog, or updating the page on our wiki with your guidelines.
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Teh Art of Electronics (sic,TM)

To paraphrase the course description for MIT’s Practical Electronics Open Course Ware:

“You can build most any damn thing if you understand a few basic electronics concepts and follow a few basic rules”

“Teh Art of Electronics” (sic,TM) is about teaching you those concepts and rules.  Each class will present basic electronics material and conclude with a lab period where you’ll build actual, working devices in order to learn practical fabrication and debugging skills, while reinforcing your intuitive understanding of the course material.

The course will be based loosely on MIT’s “Practical Electronics” course.  By the end, you should be able to design and build your own circuits (up to a surprising level of complexity) and the world of electronic design will be substantially demystified.

We recommend that you purchase a copy of “The Art of Electronics”, by Horowitz and Hill, but it’s not mandatory.  We’ll furnish all components, reading materials, tutelage etc. that you need to perform the coursework and the corresponding labs.

We are currently planning five Sunday sessions, 1 PM to 4 PM, starting April 4.   See “Intro to Electronics” in the Hive 76 Calendar for preliminary, session-by-session details on course content.

Tickets here

Linux Install Class Sunday March 28


Click here for updated class info!

For people curious about Linux and looking for a friendly environment to give it a go, we’re offering a Linux Install class. We’ll go over what Linux is, why open source software is Kind Of A Big Deal, and help get new users up and running. The class is woman-friendly, but open to all. Instructors are Maggie Avener, Technical and Training Organizer at Prometheus Radio Project, and Stephanie Alarcon, sysadmin for UPenn and Hive76 hanger-on, with help from other Hive76 Linux enthusiasts. Cost is free to $30, sliding scale/pay what you can. It’s all happening on Sunday, March 28, 2010, 10am – 3pm. We’ll post a syllabus soon. Any questions, feel free to write to .

Philadelphia DIY Skatepark Revolution!

Map of Future Philadelphia Skatespots

As some of you may know, I spent a good deal of time last year helping to build Pop’s Skate Space in Fishtown. This project took an unused portion of a playground in a not-so-great neighborhood and turned it into a safe place for kids and grownups alike to participate in a fun sport for anyone! The most amazing aspect of this project is that all of the work was done by volunteers from the neighborhood, and all over Philadelphia. Since I been recently laid off, and also very new to the area at the time, having this project just falling into my lap was a like a miracle, and it was one of the best summers of my life. Coming from the software/cubicle world, I’m always eager to work on real, physical projects and while working on this project, I learned some amazing new skills, like working with concrete, laying brick/block, and even some metalworking. I also met some really awesome people and hung out in the sun all day. I really don’t know what more I could ask for from a new city.

But, wait! There’s more! It looks like the people who helped push that project to fruition have set the bar even higher this year by identifying six potential sites for future skate-spot development. One of those sites is literally right around the corner from Hive76. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community AND promote the DIY movement in totally new, awesome way! If you would like to be involved in anyway, feel free to contact me personally (adamk at hive76 dot org!), or get in touch with one of the guys over at Franklin’s Paine Skate Park Fund, Exit Philadelphia, or Pop’s Skatepark. Thanks to Haveboard for getting the word out on this! HACK SKATE ON!

Intro to EAGLE PCB Workshop + Guitar Effects Study Group

This coming Monday (March 1st), at our regularly scheduled Guitar Effects Study Group, we will be running an Introduction to EAGLE PCB workshop. This is the first half of a two-part series of workshops, with the second class focusing on printing and etching your own PCBs at home. The workshop will provide you with the knowledge necessary to create your own PCB designs in EAGLE that you could then use to make your own boards at home! The workshop will run from 8:00pm until around 10:00pm, depending on how in-depth we get. Be sure to bring your own computer (Mac/Linux/Windows) if you can, and as always, we accept payment in the form of snacks. We would appreciate a $5 donation for this workshop, but there will be a free option if you need it.

Also, we will be testing our new ticket system with this event, so please let us know if you have any issues registering. Please register for your class in our store.

Ignite Philly 5!

Have a short attention span? Like to get excited about things? Like to know what awesomeness is taking place right under your feet while enjoying a tasty local beer? Well, you’re in luck, because…

It’s that time again!

Ignite Philly will be making it’s fifth come around next week on Tuesday, March 2nd. Tickets are available for purchase at the low, low cost of $5, and I suggest you pick some up because these events fill up fast! (proceeds benefit an Ignite Philly alum, TBD)

From the Ignite Philly website

“Ignite Philly is part of a worldwide network that entertains and educates people in short 5 minute bursts. Ignite Philly is the local group, and is our way to highlight great ideas coming to life here in Philadelphia.

Each presenter is on stage for  a total of 5 minutes (20 slides, at 15 seconds each slide). These talks are a ’spark’ if you will, they are lightening fast and leave people with a new idea to mull over and talk about.”

So buy your tickets, and head on over to Johnny Brenda’s next Tuesday!

Doors open at 6PM and the speakers begin at 7.

Class Requests

Hive76 is gearing up to talk about classes over the next few days, and figure out exactly what we want to offer for classes. This post is an Open Thread to give us feedback on class ideas. (‘Open Thread’ means there isn’t much to say in the post, but we would like people to give us input in the comments.)

Classes we’ll probably do:

  • Makerbot
  • Python (easy and complex)
  • Guitar Effects Pedals
  • Basic Microcontrollers
  • how to teach a class

Classes we’ll try to do (but could use some help):

  • Blender 3D
  • Basic server wrangling
  • Fabrication with several fab machines

Do you have other class ideas for us? Do you want to teach a class here (for free, or for some extra scratch?) Leave us a comment, join the mailing list, or just email us your ideas.