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Updated On: Tuesday, March 28 2017
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Hacker Spaces Offer More Than Sum of Their Tools

Content by: Voice of America

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA —

“Hackers,” whether they’re Wikileaks or malicious computer coders, have a bad reputation. But there are also hackers who are simply trying to create a more user-friendly world. Think of them as New Age do-it-yourselfers.

And they have playgrounds where they do their hacking.

Hacker Safe Spaces

Tinkerers around the world are starting to come together at so-called hacker spaces, to share tools and camaraderie. These hacker spaces include a member-financed club in a warehouse in Oakland, California called Ace Monster Toys.

Jose’s full time work is as an architect, but in his spare time, he hangs out at Ace Monster Toys so he can use big “toys” like a buzz saw.

He hacks guitars out of old wood, including one created entirely from triangular scraps of highly-prized purple heartwood that a carpenter had thrown away after completing a project.

Different rooms, different tech

Rachel McCrafty, an artist, designer, and maker whose real name is Rachel Sadd, runs Ace Monster Toys. She says Jose’s work represents the heart of what they do here.

“That he made something epically beautiful out of trash," she says, “that’s the essence, to me, of hacking.”

Hacker Spaces Offer More Than the Sum of Their Tools