Mailing list FAQ

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This is the mailing list FAQ please read it before posting, if your question is answered here please don't ask again, if you only want to clarify a point it's probably quicker (and easier) to check on IRC. It's also worth checking these pages first:

Q: What are your mailing lists?

A: We generally host them on Google Groups. At the moment we make use of the following mailing lists, this FAQ applies to all of them:

For more, see the list of lists.

Q: I'm a member now, can I get my card added?

A: Yes, once your standing order is received your name will be added to the list of paying subscribers and we'll add you to doorbot so you have access. You will only be added once your name is on the paid list and this can take a few days as standing orders can take a while to process. Once you've paid come along when someone else is in the space and hopefully they'll be able to add you to doorbot, obviously the best time to do this is on a Tuesday but if this is not possible check on IRC or the list.

Q: I'm a member now, how do I get a storage box?

A: You pick it up. In the members storage area there is a pile of empty unmarked boxes, claim one, pick a lid, put your name on it and then put it on a shelf. Congratulations! you now have storage. If you can't find any empty boxes or there is no space for you box ask for help, sometimes the boxes end up hidden or some shelf space can be found. If you use the last bit of reasonable space on the shelving or the last box (or if either one or the other have run out) please email the list so we can order more.

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

A: OK, this isn't an FAQ but it should be, it even has it's 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.

Q: I'm interested in the laser cutter....

A: the Laser cutter is a very delicate and expensive piece of kit, please read the page on it and come to a training session; these are held most Tuesdays at some point within the evening (just ask around) you don't need to book for this, just turn up on a Tuesday and ask. Please don't use the laser cutter until someone has shown you how. If you can't make Tuesday either come along on another evening and ask someone via the list or on IRC to confirm that they can teach you.

Q: Can I cut X on the laser cutter?

A: maybe, check the wiki page. If it's not listed find out if it contains chlorine; some plastics do, if you put them in the laser cutter you will create chlorine gas, which is not good. Materials of an unknown origin should be tested for chlorine.

Q: Can someone run a workshop on X

A: If you want to see a particular workshop add it to the request list. If you can propose what you would like to learn about the topic (eg biohacking: do you want to know about all of it or just making biofuel?), if there is anyone that you know who can teach it (always good to check with them first), how long you want the workshop to be (5 minute lightening talk or 2 day marathon?) and any other information that you have on the topic. In general the more organisation you do the more likely it is that the workshop will happen (see rule 4).

Q: Are people interested in a workshop on X

A: Yes.

Look at our workshops page if you don't believe us; we have over 200 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).

Q: I have X, does the space want it?

A: maybe, in general ask the space but please remember:

  • To first consult the guide on bringing items to the space.
  • We're not a museum, we don't exist to keep stuff just because it's cool (although we wish we could)
  • We're not a storage company, if you just want somewhere to store things then please either keep it at home or expect others to use it at the space (unless it's in your storage box, obviously.)
  • If you're lending/giving equipment: thank you! Remember though that tools will be used (a lot and not always as carefully as you might) so think carefully and make a page for it so people know how to use it and what should be with it (eg manuals, chucks etc). If necessary run a workshop on it.
  • Raw materials: are useful but only those that are actually useful, chunks of chipboard are not useful.
  • Things you're throwing out that others may want: give a shout out on the list but remember we also have a SwapShop for this so post it on there. Additionally make sure you arrange exchange of the item, as "I'll leave it in the space for you" is very vague and will likely end up with it being thrown out and/or hacked try something more like "I'll put it next to my box with your name on it".
  • Computers/computer bits: we have a lot; feel free to offer it on the list/SwapShop in case someone wants it but for the space itself we're probably ok.

Q: How do I unsubscribe

A: why do you want to? If the list is too noisy/busy please see this question. If you actually want to unsubscribe then go to this link and you should be able to unsubscribe. If this, for some reason, doesn't work then google "london hackspace mailing list", click on the "google groups" link then "edit my membership" on the right hand side the click the 'unsubscribe' button on the bottom right.

Q: This list is too noisy!

A: 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.

A: Subscribe to the announce list instead.

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

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

A: 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.

Q: When will my membership subscription clear?

A: Payments can take up to 3 days from the date of your standing order, depending on your bank. Our reconciliation script runs at 5am every day to update the database. Assuming you've got the right reference in your payment, there's nothing to worry about until at least 4 working days after the date of your standing order. If you urgently need access to the space, get hold of someone on IRC and we'll see what we can sort out.

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

A: 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.