Hackerspace CADR: Made Using Secret Technology


    Good day, habrasociety.

    In Nizhny Novgorod, hackerspace CADR will soon open its doors - the first in the city, although not the first in Russia.

    The name CADR is formed from two basic operations of the Lisp language - car and cdr, the operation cadr returns the second element of the list passed to it. In the hackerspace, we plan to actively use secret alien technology and apply the hacker approach for training, study, creation and communication.

    But first, what is hackerspace?

    What is a hacker space?

    Hackerspace (English hackerspace ) is a physical place (unlike virtual space) for creativity and work, for the exchange of knowledge, experience and communication between people with similar interests. As a rule, hackerspace provide, in addition to the physical place itself, an interesting community, the necessary equipment, infrastructure and, of course, a creative atmosphere.

    Most hackerspace are technically oriented - there is no problem finding a twisted pair cable, a free computer, a soldering iron, electronic breadcrumbs, the necessary technical literature or getting help from a person who has a black belt on Git-Fu, Bash-Fu, Emacs-Fu and other combat IT arts. This distinguishes hackerspace from various "anti-cafes" and, especially, from ordinary cafes.

    At the same time, hackerspace carry out not only IT events. For example, Noisebridge has a full-fledged kitchen and at one time regularly held cooking classes with the practice of compiling the ingredients into various dishes. Many hackerspace have zones not only for working with the head, but also for working “hands” - where you can saw, drill, plan and polish.

    In addition, the creative atmosphere prevailing in hackerspace helps a person to open up and create - this is an extremely important point, since people are often in situations that do not contribute to the creative development of the individual.

    However, there is a well-established but incorrect opinion in the media that a “hacker" is a computer villain. Therefore, we must restore justice and define the meaning of the word "hacker."

    Who is a hacker?

    The image of a hacker is far from the image that is disseminated by the media - where the term "hacker" is used as a synonym for "cracker" in conversations about computer crimes. In fact, hacking is a solution to problems in a non-standard way, the desire to understand the essence of things in order to more effectively use them and improve them.

    The most appropriate definition of the differences between hackers and crackers, in our opinion, is from Eric Raymond, a famous hacker. He says the following:
    The main difference between crackers and hackers is that hackers create things, and crackers break them.

    There are different ideas about what can be considered hacking. Richard Stallman, revered in the free software community as an outstanding hacker, defines hacking as playful cleverness, exploring the limits of what is possible.

    The status of hackers in Russia

    In Russia, hackerspace is in almost every major city - Neuron in Moscow, HackSpace-Spb in St. Petersburg, etc. According to the reports, one can see an almost identical way of hackerspace development - first someone comes up with the idea of ​​“creating the same thing”, then the authors grow up with like-minded people - meetings are organized, discussion and opening take place.

    This wave did not go around Nizhny Novgorod - the CADR hacker space was formed in April 2013, but the typical way could not be repeated right away: it was difficult to find a sufficient number of people interested in creating a hacker space. The community was too small - this led to the forced termination of the lease after a year due to unprofitability. Only after one and a half years we managed to form a sufficient community to try again.

    To coordinate the movement of hackerspace in the world, the site hackerspaces.org operates, which not only maintains a list of active hackerspace, but also contains a lot of useful documentation (mainly in English) on organizing hackerspace and solving problems that arise in the process. One of the recommendations from the site is that at least 4 people are needed to start real work on organizing the hackerspace, and at least 10 people are required to start.


    The best way to draw attention to the community is to demonstrate its work. For this, several internal projects were invented, with the “Just For Fun” type of implementation.

    The first project was the cadrobot IRC bot , which we posted on our IRC channel (irc: //chat.freenode.net/##cadr). They decided to take a finished bot as a basis, the only condition was that it should be written in Scheme - firstly, the name of the hacker is obligatory, and secondly we could finish it to the desired state if something suddenly weren’t enough . Soon, we taught the bot to record IRC channel logs, which are now readable .

    The next idea asking for implementation was the “Indicator” project. The indicator is an LED panel controlled by Arduino. Of course, the Arduino and the panel are controlled through a daemon written in Scheme. There is a working prototype , later we want to connect it with a kadrobot. By the way, the project is named after the eponymous character of the famous Soviet cartoon "The Secret of the Third Planet", which gave us an idea.

    Current status

    A couple of months ago, a preliminary agreement was reached on providing premises for the needs of the hackerspace to the Nizhny Novgorod Radio Engineering College (NRTK), which showed interest in the activity of the hackerspace participants. The condition for cooperation was the absence of commercial activity. Those. participants do not pay to visit the hackerspace, but also do not implement commercial projects.

    We plan to raise funds for the needs of hackers on a voluntary basis.

    Due to the school’s work schedule, access to hackers in the evening and night is not possible, and on weekends it is limited. This narrows the audience, but in our opinion is not a big obstacle at this stage.

    Now we are preparing the premises, importing equipment, preparing for the official opening, which we will write about separately.

    Co-author of the article - Artem Poptsov

    This article is available under the CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 license , as well as the contents of the hacker space site.

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