Member Meeting Minutes for November 4, 2009

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  • Recap of classes, Hacky Halloween, etc.
  • Door update
  • Results of the Arts Council business class
  • Broadley Donations
  • Making decisions about incorporation status, financials, rent, etc.
  • Nominations for vacant council position
  • Planning for Mobile Art && Code
  • Marek - SCARA Robot Arms
  • Marek - Rossums ( and HackPGH classes

Minutes by Agenda Topic

Attendees: Derrick, Gwen, Forest, Doug, Matt S., Amy, Carpenter Josh, Jon, Matt M., Bonnie, Jim, Marek, Lori, Marty

Recap of classes, Hacky Halloween, etc.

  • Class recap
    • Lori's iMovie class was awesome!
  • Hacky Halloween
    • We made money!
    • We'll have to do it again
    • One new member as a result
  • Ham radio study sessions
    • Four new licenses earned
    • Several license upgrades earned
  • Matt M. served as emissary to i3detroit
    • Their space is awesome
    • They're open and peopled every day of the week
    • They have about 15 members
    • Their membership dues are expensive (~$100)
    • Most of their equipment is member-donated
    • They have a working member-contributed door system

Door update

  • Marty has the door system almost ready to go
    • It's his top priority
    • The enclosure is outstanding
    • Art & Code may delay this somewhat
    • Matt will create and distribute RFID tags as necessary

Results of the Arts Council business class

  • Lori, Marty, and Matt attended the event
    • "How to start an arts business"
    • Didn't have much to do with arts: more how to start a business in Pennsylvania
    • Class was recapped
  • Summary: "there's no good way to start a business for what we do"
    • There isn't a lot of precedent
    • It's hard to cover the things we want to do
  • We're balancing several things:
    • Liability (specifically the council in the event of injury)
    • Expenses (we want to keep the place running)
    • Paperwork (we want to minimize bureaucracy and make awesome things instead)
    • Income (there are a lot of opportunities depending on the decisions we make)
  • Recommendation:
    • Focus on simple entity
    • Balance cost and liability
    • In the future, pursue nonprofit or slice the organization in two
  • LLC gives us:
    • Liability coverage we need
    • Minimal expenditures
    • Easy insurability
    • Minimal recurring cost
    • Minimal paperwork
  • This'll be put to a big vote before pulling the trigger
    • Council may start on the paperwork now

Making decisions about incorporation status, financials, rent, etc.

  • Rent is paid
  • Lease is signed
  • Transition talk with landlord occurred last night (Nick -> Marty, etc)
    • Landlord is looking to turn the building into a business incubator
    • This may take the form of a 501(c)(3)
    • There may be backing
    • Don't know what this means for HackPittsburgh
  • Landlord may be willing to help with electricity
  • More talks are forthcoming
  • Options were discussed
  • We need to get our own insurance
    • We're covered in part on the landlord's business policy
    • We need to start getting some of this stuff in writing
  • VOTE: The membership is requested to authorize the council to pursue LLC incorporation status in the short term, with the understanding that a final vote with 30 days prior notice will be required before entering the organization into any binding incorporation status.
    • Motion passes unanimously, with no abstentions

Broadley Donations

  • Origin of the donations was discussed
  • We're in a cataloging and testing phase
  • Volunteer hour opportunities to catalog equipment will be available
  • Some of this stuff is dangerous; if you don't know what it is, don't mess with it
    • It will straight-up keeeeeel you
  • Thank-you notes, photos, stories are appreciated

Nominations for vacant council position

  • Nick has stepped down
  • Nominations were opened for filling the position
    • Matt nominates Andy
    • Josh nominates Matt M.
    • Marty nominates Josh, Josh respectfully declines
  • If you are a nominee, please send a bio to info@ describing yourself and why you're interested in a council position
  • Voting will occur on November 15th
    • Additional nominees will be accepted
    • Email voting will be accepted

Planning for Mobile Art && Code

  • Volunteer drivers are filled
  • Opportunities are available for "champions" during the event
  • We're listed in the flyer
  • Friday night at the shop will be a big night, please get down here and show the colors!!!
    • We've been contacted by some hackerspaces that will be in town and want to see the space
  • Flyers and t-shirts are available for distribution and wearing if you'd like to help out

Marek - Rossums ( and HackPGH classes

  • Marek belongs to a robotics/art group
  • Some opportunities for overlap exist
    • Marek will cross-pollinate classes and workshops
    • Robotic and kinetic art is of special interest
    • Arduino classes are of special interest
  • Some opportunities to show pieces in a gallery setting may exist

Marek - SCARA Robot Arms

  • Marek has become custodian of two robots from CMU's Manipulation Lab
    • One works, one can be gutted for parts
    • The ADEPT is a pick and place robot, 4 DOF
      • Manuals, controllers, etcetera are available
      • It is available to come to the shop
      • Three phase power is required
      • It may take up some space
      • It would be available for hacking and projects

Open Discussions

  • Jon proposed a Python study group

Action Items

  • Nothing specific