[hackerspaces] Tool marking

Danozano danozano at gmail.com
Thu Apr 22 16:36:14 CEST 2010

 >So I was thinking, there is some stuff in the space that we  
shouldn't hack. Like the wifi robot tank. What are peoples thoughts on  
a small sticker you can put on things you donate/lend/the space buys,  
that denotes that some thing is a hacking tool. I suggest this as  
something like a hammer is obviously a tool and should stay that way,

1. Electro-etching (not electro-engraving) is forever, and easy to do  
with homemade gear.  You would have to grind it off to get it off, and  
I like that.

2. Labels come off tools if they are being used properly -- getting  
dirty with oil and chems, getting banged around in a toolbox, cleaned  
off with gas or solvent at times, etc. Permanent marks or paint are  
lots harder to make fall off.

2a. Pro-tip: Polyester or aluminum labels with very aggressive  
adhesive are available from Seton Nameplate and many other companies.   
For free samples, ask all the industrial marking companies for test  
labels or samples of whatever type you fancy.. I recommend the  
aluminum ones for permanence, see what they have and ask away.  Most  
label shops will gladly pull a few feet of labels of any kind off a  
roll of their overruns or scrap for your sample -- you can overstrike  
the aluminum ones with a typewriter (a what?) or any common nuclear  
scribing punch.

2b. Your local printing paper supplier may also have a liberal sample  
policy. Get some business cards made and get in there, slugger.  SoCal  
users, look for Kirk Paper -- they encourage you to take as many  
samples of authentically cool papers as you want. Sticker stock,  
safety paper, claycoat, krome-kote, all KINDS of great stuff to play  
with and keep in the fun scraps bins.

3. Maybe we use our tools really hard, i don't know what  your tool  
usage is like. Does your stuff get used hard physically, do you do car  
repairs and gunsmithing and toolmaking, forging titanium, what? If you  
only ever use tools to do white-shirted geek stuff and pull molex  
pins, cut resistor leads, labels might be perfect.

4. I would love to foster the mutative process by making fine new  
stickers with UNKNOWN  acronyms and symbols, slightly more urgent in  
appearance than the existing generation of labels, to confound  
people.  FUN! ....like filestorage on DNS, it may not be practical,  
but fun!

 >The QR-codes lets anyone with a camera-phone scan the labels and we  
have a couple of camera-phone that are lying around in the space

5. Are you seasoned QR-code users absolutely thrilled with the way  
those work, and your results? I have only really used QR codes a few  
times, but to me, this seems like a place to use visible  initials for  
personal tools, so they can be read directly by a human.  Do you  
really feel a sense of gain from the QR's? Is the phone handy enough  
and fast enough to get used?

6. Behavioral hack: Train your people find out who something belongs  
to before they change its status permanently as in throw it out, take  
it away, tear it up, be a maker unto it, etc. This has worked best for  
us, I think.  Since we all have phones, it isn't usually hard to get  
to someone that day (or minute) and get an answer.  Teaches us  
antisocial geeks some social skills - how to make a phone call, etc.   
This isn't the wastelands, ask a brother before you hump on a piece of  
unattended gear. This fosters closeness between members.

 > them as a tool, meaning you wouldn't come in to find your line  
following robot was now a flame throwing attack droid!

7. AS IF i wouldn't buy multibeers for the person who upconverted the  
shop's line-following robot into a flame-spewing attack droid.  That's  
a worthy project.

Danozano - shop.23b.org

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