REVIEW: HackSpace magazine – The new monthly magazine for the modern maker @HackSpaceMag

Hackspace Header
HackSpace magazine is fantastic. After a busy last couple of months, I wanted to write a bit about the new magazine. I sent off an email to the team at HackSpace after Issue 1 came out, and just like that, boom, another Issue is out, a month flew by. I meant to post this then, they’re really doing this, and this is good.

A monthly magazine is a lot of hard work, tons, every single day. Launching a print version, PDF, app updates, keeping the authors on deadline, the photos coming in, being timely and relevant, is close to impossible. It’s why there aren’t many magazines like HackSpace.

Looking at this as a person-made-out-of-scar-tissue-held-together-with-the-sands-of-time-like-some-mud-structure-with-an-RSS-feed (a.k.a. someone who has worked on editing and publishing a print magazine)… HackSpace seems to have started out with the most critical value for a publisher – “We are what we celebrate.” HackSpace is celebrating the makers; it’s not about corporate sponsors, advertisers (although, counter-intuitively, advertising in HackSpace will likely have high return on spending compared to other publications and sites), it’s not about an event, an online store, conflicting interests by authors, or editorial standard that are ignored.

HackSpace is honest. Launching a new magazine is scary! It’s a team’s soul. It can become a megaphone for a community. It is high risk, and high reward.

Since the magazine is published by Raspberry Pi Press, the publishing imprint of Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd, conspiracy Twitter would expect it to be all about Raspberry Pi. But, no – there’s already a magazine for that, The MagPi “The Official Raspberry Pi magazine” from the Pi Foundation. Like HackSpace, MagPi has DRM-Free PDFs, is Creative-Commons, and is made by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts. The social media landscape is quick to press the button on the fish blender if anything even seems off, HackSpace is amplifying voices and celebrating makers. The whole thing feels good to read, cover-to-cover, issue-to-issue.

The first issue launches with Arduino and has Becky Stern on the cover.

Becky-Stern-Hackspace Interview
Becky was suggested to be on the cover of many, many, magazines by the maker community for years. This is the first time she has made a cover. (Earlier this year, Limor was on the cover of MAKE after 12 years of MAKE making MAKE.) Progress happens, slowly. Sometimes, the arc bends towards the cover a magazine. HackSpace reminds me of MAKE’s potential – sometimes realized, other times not. I cannot help but compare the magazines, and the debut of each. Being part of one (Make) over 10 years ago, and just watching this one from the sidelines, is very exciting.

01 Hackspace

Ben and the HackSpace team are doing an excellent job. Uf you’re in publishing in any form: take notes, adapt and be inspired, or just get annoyed enough to keep up with HackSpace. They seem to want to be copied, much like most of us in open-source! It’s a strength, not a weakness.

02 Hackspace
Above, two mosaics of (Issue #1, Issue #2) to see the content at glance, click them for the gigantic view. Zoom in to see all the pages from each issue. (going to email Becky and see if she wants a poster of Issue #1.)

What HackSpace is working on will have an impact days, months, years and decades to come. They will be delighted, and surprised, at how much it matters. It is a never-ending fuel source of inspiration and joy when you can share people’s project, elevate, uplift, and empower. A kid reading HackSpace #1, #2 now, will be an adult in a matter of a galactic millisecond. This kid will grow up and will one day find one of the people at HackSpace and thank them! I’ve seen this before hundreds of times: an article, a photo, a project, will spark something that turns to a lifelong pursuit.

There are lots of ways to bring engineering and computer science to young and disadvantaged people all around the world. HackSpace is just one of the ways and a good one. The low-cost physical hardware Raspberry Pi is known for was the just the start. Long-term, the words, the images, the videos, the community with various forms of making is what makes it all work. Looking back, the “pivoting” or evolution of Raspberry Pi from a hardware maker to a worldwide educational effort, using all forms of media, celebrating community, is the success story.


Issue 1 (PDF).

The first issue of HackSpace magazine is here! Join us as we explore thinking machines, build a trebuchet, learn how Arduino changed the world, see how far we can overclock a Raspberry Pi using liquid nitrogen, and much more…

  • Everything you wanted to know about duct tape
  • Build your own Christmas decorations
  • The best DIY portable games consoles
  • Cold-smoke your dinner
  • and much more!


Issue 2 (PDF).

In HackSpace magazine issue two, we dive into the world of 3D printing, learn how Bristol Hackspace is helping Braille become more accessible, create the best looking goggles around, and uncover the art of the conference badge.

  • Press your own cheese
  • Design a customised Arduino
  • Laser-cut an LED clock
  • Make your own knife
  • and much more!

Limor and I are talking to the team about cool ideas we can do with HackSpace in the future.

Subscriptions are available here. There is an iOS app as well.

From the about page:

HackSpace magazine is packed with projects for fixers and tinkerers of all abilities. We’ll teach you new techniques and give you refreshers on familiar ones, from 3D printing, laser cutting, and woodworking to electronics and Internet of Things. HackSpace will inspire you to dream bigger and build better.

HackSpace magazine operates under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported licence (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). This means you are welcome to share and adapt the content of the magazine as long as you follow the licence terms.

HackSpace magazine is published by Raspberry Pi Press, the publishing imprint of Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd. Like the purchase of any other official Raspberry Pi product, buying HackSpace magazine helps the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s charitable mission to put the power of computing in the hands of people all over the world. Every penny made by RPTL goes towards the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s charitable mission.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that aims to put the power of computing into the hands of people all over the world. It provides low-cost computers that people use to learn and have fun. It develops free resources to help learners, trains teachers to support them, runs networks of programming clubs for children, and provides education and outreach programmes to help more people use digital technology to get things done.

As a matter of disclosure, Limor is on the Raspberry Pi Foundation board (does not get paid), she/we did not know what this magazine would be. The first time we saw it was when everyone else did, we had nothing to do with it. Adafruit, Limor, and myself are not compensated in any way for writing this review; we just like the magazine! I am writing about it from what resembles a bed with devices suspended above it, I’m trying out Dragon Anywhere because I can’t move from trading in sleep for spreadsheets for 3 months (it was worth it, I think?)

Instead of just clicking LIKE or a Re-Tweet, I wanted to tell the team and anyone reading this that I think I’ve been around to understand just some of what went into HackSpace. Being written out of versions of history, being underestimated, has its advantages (no pressure to repeat successes, or get blamed for a past, current, or future failure).

So here it goes: I’m a million years old; author #2 at Engadget after Peter Rojas left Gizmodo to start Engadget. Founded the Engadget podcast, wrote/co-authored a few books over the years. Founder of Hackaday (and designed the logo), Senior Editor at Popular Science on the HOW 2.0 section, pre-MAKE Magazine. Author/editor at 2600 (did a cover, and ran the FREE KEVIN efforts and some of the 2600 online stuff along with the digital live version of Off The Hook). Limor and I now write a column for 2600 called “CITIZEN ENGINEER). Senior Editor at MAKE Magazine (online), worked on the MAKE Magazine videos, social, podcasts, worked with the original Maker Faire team, worked on MakerShed, worked on MAKE online advertising, Senior Editor at CRAFT (online), run the Adafruit blog, videos, live shows, with Limor & the team now … worked with probably 1,000 authors/video/content makers and designers, over the last 20 years, including being a Director at Creative Agency Fallon, subsidiary of Publicis.

I will not naively assume that sometimes I think I know all of what goes into publishing. It’s more than one person can comprehend or do alone: it’s a form of art, society, and time travel like no other. I do know for sure what often does not go into publishing and when values are jettisoned, and when publications lose their voice, and their cause. HackSpace #1, #2, demonstrates their commitment to makers.

Good work HackSpace, from a fan. Subscribed!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

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