Meet C-P: the hacker with a hacker facility that facilitates other hackers with their hacking. C-P’s new place, called “Unallocated Space,” in Severn, Maryland. Member Who knows what will come out of Unallocated Space with all of its cords and motherboards and boxes? C-P and the other members don’t know and they don’t care. But one thing is for certain: the sky is the limit.
This is not your every day, run-of-the-mill hacker. This is C-P: the hacker with the world-record mohawk at DefCon. And this is C-P: the hacker with a hacker facility that facilitates other hackers with their hacking. About his background, C-P explains. “I was always into engineering growing up, didn’t call it hacking back then though. I used terms I knew. ‘Inventor’ was how I described my self as a child.”
Childhood heroes? “Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, its a bit cheesy but they inspired me then,” he says. His interests today are all tech-centric. He goes to “hacker cons” but his focus is his new facility which he has named “Unallocated Space.”
The 1,640 square feet space is located in Severn, Maryland. It has high ceilings, a loft, 2 bathrooms, a roll-up garage door, and ample parking. They’ve been open since November 13th 2010, thanks to a successful online Kickstarter campaign that helped them raise money for their much needed loft. How fitting that they used online technology to get the final resources they needed.
C-P explains what motivated him.
I moved out to the east coast a little over a year ago, from Southern California. After over 6 months of not doing much, I began to hear about NullSpace, a new space that was being started back in LA, by friends of mine. “Shit,” I thought. “I just left there.” And since I couldn’t help with the space in LA, I decided to start one where I lived, an area which seemed to me to really need it.
C-P describes it as a very “Field of Dreams” moment. While he didn’t know many people in the area, as soon as he put feelers out for it, he describes the response as instantaneous and remarkable. A hacker named KingTuna, however, was slightly skeptical at first.
Unallocated Space was a dream that its founder C-P had. In the beginning I thought it was not going to happen. Now it is, and the people at the space have dreams and do not stop till they are done. This is what draws me to the space on a usual basis. It is the ability to go there with something that seems impossible and, with the will of the participants, make something that is better then you could have initially imagined.
The response from Unallocated Space participants, or members, has been incredible. “People really seem to enjoy the space and want to find ways to help make it better,” C-P explains. “With each new person that spends time in the space, some aspect of the space is changed or modified, adding that person’s own idea of what makes it a good environment.”
“I’m constantly finding little things, like a new sticker, or new whiteboard drawings, or *something* that bring a smile to my face. For instance, today, I came to the space and found 30 or so empty mini-fridge liquor bottles strung together by some old cable, hanging from some shelves. Someone added a bit of their own style to space the day before…”
It feels like home, everyone is very laid back, it’s lots of fun and nothing is a bad idea… If you can dream it and motivate people you join you, you can do it. Every one is welcome and seems to feel involved within moments of getting there.
What drew me to become a keyholder of Unallocated Space is that hacking is important. A hacker mentality instills in people the desire to think past accepted solutions and limitations. New ideas and fresh ways of looking at technology (or any subject area really) are more important than ever before. Anyone can hack regardless of where they come from and what they currently know, it just takes desire, opportunity and the right environment. Unallocated Space provides a place for these things to happen. Hackerspaces are truly home to some of the finest thinkers and technologists I have ever met.
To the average guy or girl, a garage-looking facility full of whiteboards, cables, wires, and hard drives is hardly a place to call home away from home. Nor is it a posh place to hang out after work. But for hackers, a hacker space is more than just a place full of geek gear. It’s a place where ideas are born, shared, and brought to life by the teamwork of the members – the genius brotherhood. When one person’s skill level is weak, another can step in. They learn from each other, help each other, share stories, and innovate together.
Unallocated Space is like the Harvard Club, in a way, in that it is a place of intellectual bonding and connection sharing, but without all the frills. And it’s far more fundamental. The Harvard Club may promote relationships that facilitate high-end business deals like “The Social Network” movie portrays, but these days, it’s the guys in the garage creating digital breakthroughs in their free time that the boys in the Harvard Club need to build a business around. Or to give their business a competitive edge.
It’s a rare businessman that gets rich without relying on the efforts of some guy in the garage.
Who knows what will come out of Unallocated Space with all of its cords and motherboards and boxes? The members there don’t know and they don’t care. There’s no Suit telling them what piece of code has to be written before they go home at 5. They’re just a bunch of like-minded people with a cause bigger than themselves, hanging out to create and hack and brainstorm and strategize and innovate without limits.
Innovation without limits. Sounds like something Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein would be proud of.
* Note: Technorazzi always refers to hackers by their handles (hacker names), unless they specifically give us permission to use their real names.