Mecha armor, you say? You know, I can weld.
May 10, 2008 11:52 AM   Subscribe

PugetSoundFilter: We're relocating to Kitsap County, from Philadelphia, in a month. I need to find the other hackers and tinkerers. Help me build a new network.

I'm going to be working from home: writing science fiction, and hacking contract software. But, I want to bounce around between acquaintances' projects. I'd like to help somebody build a website one week, and a hovercraft the next. Then I'd like to spend a month running the sound board for a musical. Then help a software startup do their prototypes. I'd like some of these projects to pay, but mainly I just want to be intrigued.

So, I'm looking for groups, organizations, and activities in the Puget Sound area that are likely to be filled with geeky artists, hackers, tinkerers, malcontents, gear heads, and the like. Ideally, such organizations and groups would have creative productivity as the central focus, but I'll also take those which are just likely to be full of nerds. We're living in Kitsap, so stuff on that side of the water would be ideal; but, have car, will travel.

How's the dorkbot chapter? Are there co-op garages, or machine shops? New media artists' collectives?

Bonus point: good RPG gaming groups?
posted by Netzapper to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: (Victoria, BC, just across from Port Angeles)
posted by KokuRyu at 11:57 AM on May 10, 2008

I don't know the answer to your question, but I'm down for some crazy projects, and I'm in Kitsap county. I don't have any qualifications other than that.

I've been thinking of building a reflux still and making some vodka. I need a better location than my house, though. I live on a military installation.
posted by ctmf at 12:01 PM on May 10, 2008

where are you going to be living? because most of Kitsap county is rural. alot of the techie types in kitsap county live on Bainbridge Island, because of the short ferry ride to downtown Seattle. Bremerton is a generally a hole, although there are parts that aren't too bad. Port Orchard is a nice town. the population centers of Kitsap county, with the exception of Bainbridge Island, are almost totally dedicated to servicing the 2 navy bases, one in Bremerton and the other farther north (Bangor).

KokuRyu: it's about a 2 hour drive from Bremerton to P.A.

you might be better off looking on the other side of the sound for this sort of thing. The ferry ride from Bremerton is about an hour and from Bainbridge is about 1/2 hour.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:12 PM on May 10, 2008

Response by poster: We're going to be living basically in Indianola, which is like five minutes from Kingston. Getting to Seattle-side is easy, aside from the heavy ferry fares. I do know the geography pretty well, having spent lots of summers up there. I've just never had any cause to really meet people up there, especially to work with.

Please don't take my geographic wishes as constraints, merely as a preference.
posted by Netzapper at 12:16 PM on May 10, 2008

Best answer: The Seattle dorkbot group isn't as active as in many cities but it's fun. There's a seattle TechShop POP but I haven't looked into them at all — I don't know if they have much of a community or are just about access to equipment.

There are lots of little groups which are basically a few individuals who might or might not mind outsiders showing up from time to time: Hackerbot Labs, e.g., or a zillion little Burning Man groups or Fremont arts people (or Port Angeles arts people — I live in Seattle). I find it frustrating that there seems to be relatively little cross-pollination or overall sense of community between such groups. Maybe it's the famous social insularity of people in this corner of the country, or maybe it's just me.
posted by hattifattener at 1:08 PM on May 10, 2008

Best answer: Oh hey, there's also Saturday House, which I heard about a little while ago but forgot to track down until now; and Bill Beatty's Weird Science meetings, which are usually more about shooting the breeze but often include building widgets or at least show-and-tell. With a narrower focus (more traditionally engineery/techy), there's the Seattle Robotics Society, which I've drifted away from since they moved to Renton (I'm so provincial...) but was pretty active last I checked.

This is all very Seattle-focused, since I'm a Seattlite and I don't like driving long distances to get places. I'm sure there are interesting groups on the peninsula too— probably not very organized either; again a case of knowing people. Maybe you could find like-minded people through e.g. the Port Townsend Kinetic Sculpture Races.
posted by hattifattener at 2:37 PM on May 10, 2008

head down to olympia and check out evergreen state college. lots of weirdos and freaks and all manner of malcontents. i'm sure you'll stumble on some very interesting projects.
posted by nadawi at 3:29 AM on May 11, 2008

If you want to run sound for any plays/musicals/dance productions, call the organizations that put them on and offer yourself up. It's great fun, but not a great way to meet geeks and hackers though.
posted by yohko at 11:32 AM on May 11, 2008

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