Mailing List Clichés

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Below is a list of topics which come up on the Mailing list with high frequency. BEFORE YOU POST for the first time, you may want to take a glance over this list.

I want to visit or Tuesdays, what's the deal?

You are welcome to visit when ever you want. That being said we can't guarantee that anyone will be there other than during our weekly Tuesday meeting. These meetings are social in nature (although hacking does occur) and open to all. If you want it there will be someone giving tours and introductions to the space. These meetings kick off around 6pm and finish late.

If you want to come along at another time a good first stop is IRC to find out if anyone is around (there usually is) or you can check on the list, in general though Tuesdays are best.

Just Tuesdays? I'm busy on Tuesdays

The space is run by its members, and it's possible that no one will be there to let you in. There's also a chance anyone present will be too busy to give a tour or show you the ropes. In the past this has lead to people feeling lost and unwelcome, for this reason we highly encourage you come along to our Tuesday social night where there are proper introductions.

I am interested in the laser cutter

The Laser cutter is a very delicate and expensive piece of kit, please read the page on it and sign up to a training session; to sign up for training please subscribe to the mailing list and _wait_ for a signup sheet to be posted.

Please feel free to ask about training sessions if we see a particular demand we will do our best to respond to it.

Please note, we will not:

  • Run private training
  • Start a waiting list
  • Allow more than 5 people at a training session
  • Post sign up sheets earlier
  • Allow use of the lasercutter even if you have been trained elsewhere without taking our training

Training is run for the benefit of the machine and the community, not the individual wanting training, as we have a larger duty of care to the membership.

Is the laser cutter working yet?

It should ideally require no human response to answer this very popular question. You have three automated options to find out the status:

If it is out of order, the maintainers will be working on a fix as soon as is possible, there are also some times lead times involved in getting unexpected replacement parts. When the laser cutter is working the list will be told, until that point please be patient.

When will the laser cutter be working again?

The Hackspace is not a laser cutting service, and the maintainers keep the laser cutter working on a best-effort basis. This already involves a huge time commitment, and repairs will be done as soon as reasonably possible, so please don't ask for an estimate. If new parts are required, it could be a matter of weeks, but don't expect the list to be kept up-to-date with progress until it's back in service.

If you need a laser cutting service in London, check out our our suppliers page.

Can I cut X on the laser cutter?

Maybe, check the wiki page. If it's not listed find out if it contains chlorine. Materials of an unknown origin should be tested for chlorine.. This is to prevent damage to the optics.

This list is too noisy!

Sorry, the mailing list is very busy (currently at 1,200+ posts per month.) Obviously this can be a lot to keep up with so remember there are alternatives to the 'fire hose' approach: going to 'edit my membership' in google groups you can change to a digest mode, or use the google groups forum view to see the items as more coherent threads.

Subscribe to the announce list instead.

If you use gmail, you can stop receiving emails for threads that you aren't interested in. More Actions->Mute.

Look at what options your email client has for filtering emails out into multiple inboxes,. It's a really useful feature to organise you incoming email, not just for splitting out the hackspace list.

Hey, I've just discovered the most amazing site/want to share my homepage/found something funny

The mailing list is not reddit: please search the archives to see whether it's been posted before. If so, please consider whether you're bringing something new to the discussion before posting. You might be better off posting it in IRC or on the Suppliers or Library page, or perhaps adding to the next News article.

I want to tell people about an upcoming event/see who's coming

Unless it's tomorrow, it's best to add it to the Other Events page, and then link people to it. If it's a big event some time in the future, you might even want to create a dedicated page for it, like CCC Camp 2011. Again, IRC can be a great way to gauge interest.

Hey, why don't we use a forum?

Forums tend to encourage long and impenetrable threads and "ME TOO"s. A web interface requires deliberate visiting (so forums die out quickly), an email gateway makes things hard to follow (posts can be edited), and a dual interface encourages a disconnect between people using email and visiting on the web. They also require multiple levels of moderation, and an overhead keeping threads and boards organised.

I want to share my politics/religious opinion/philosophy

No chance. This is a discussion group for topics immediately relevant to London Hackspace: please take your discussions to another forum. Some questions may be relevant, but please think carefully before posting (ask on IRC if you're not sure).

I want people to sign my petition

Please don't ask the list: it's not a free way of lobbying a large number of people. Your post will be treated as spam, and you will find your account put on moderation very quickly.

Top posting is the way, why are people so awkward here?

Any modern client will hide the quoted text, whether you top-post, bottom-post or reply in-line, so almost nobody cares. Even fewer people care about debating it on the list, so please don't.

Are people interested in a workshop on X


Look at our workshops page if you don't believe us; we have over 600 members who are interested in pretty much everything under the sun. It will be easier to organise if you can mail the list with a few dates when you can do it; what you plan to cover; how long you'd like to do it for and any equipment that people will need (how much it will cost). See also the guide called Planning an event

I'm working on awesome project X, can you help with...? or help me make Facebook V 2.0...or...I'm a student looking for X for project Y...

Short answer: probably.

Longer answer. This can be a bit of a tricky question, especially if you've just joined us as it can all too often come across as a bid for free labour. Here are some simple tips to make sure you get a helpful response:

  1. Have a good idea of what you want to make. We all want to make Facebook 2.0 but it's a rare person who actually has a good reason to make it (Facebook is already Facebook, you need to make something new).
  2. Please, please, please do at least a little bit of research before asking; present this in your email so we know you're serious. If a member can answer you question or, from 30s on google, ask a question you can't answer (to do with the project) you need to do more research. At least be able to answer the 6 W's: Who, What, Where, Why, When & How (often 'how much').
  3. Finally this sort of question will always be better received if you've made an effort to get to know a few people before hand, either by logging into the IRC channel or coming to an open evening and had a chat with them, you'll probably get better advice and support this way as well (mainly because you'll get pointed at experts).

I have [large item X] can I store it at the space?

OK, this isn't an FAQ but it should be, it even has its own page and there is no default answer. The reason we request that you ask this is that the space is already very full (both with tools and projects). Large items eat into our already limited space and any large items that you want to bring in MUST be discussed on the mailing list.

Anything that you want to store at the space which wont fit in your box must be OK'd on the list first.

Can you help me hack Yahoo/Hotmail accounts? How do I use Backtrack? How do I become hacker?

We're not that kind of hacker group. Some of our members are interested in it and some do it as a living but we do other things as well.

Can I borrow a tool?

We're not a tool lending library - we collect tools together so that people can use them in the space. We often only have one of any item, and removing that from the space would mean people who turn up planning to use it will have have wasted their time. Occasionally, we may make an exception, but any request to borrow rare equipment will need to be made on the list well in advance.

If you need to work on a project, you should bring the project into the space. If the tool is for work around the house, you probably want to get your own from B&Q or similar. If you make a request on the list, please explain why these two options are not open to you.