A Place To Call Home

Whitespace (a.k.a. 0x20 a.k.a the Space) is a hackerspace in the wonderful city of Ghent, Belgium. It is a physical space run by a group of people dedicated to various aspects of constructive & creative tinkering. This page is an ever growing useful resource of information about who we are, what we do and how you can become a part of all the awesomeness.

Hackers?

something about hackers

Don't worry, the hacker culture is a subculture of individuals who enjoy the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming the limitations of current technologies to achieve novel and clever outcomes. The culture consists of, but is not limited to: computing, networking, programming, music, gaming, electronics, lockpicking, woodworking, robotics, science fiction...

However, the defining characteristic of a hacker is not the activities performed themselves, but the manner in which it is done. A hacker is someone who invents, constructs, learns, shares, trains basic skills and is willing to think outside the box to find a creative solution to a problem.

Note: While we hackers are always aiming to be constructive, there is a group of people who loudly call themselves hackers, but aren't. These are people who get a kick out of breaking into computers for unethical purposes. Unfortunately, some media have been fooled into using the word ‘hacker’ to describe people who are not.

Background

What exactly is a hackerspace?

A short introduction

Things we do..

  • Social evening
    Let's Talk..

    Every Thursday we get together. Not to work on projects, but to enjoy a beer while we talk technology, discuss various topics and share philosophies.. These social evenings (or sometimes social nights) are open for everyone to join, so please do!

  • Hack Sabbath
    Get some stuff done

    Social night on Thursday is fun but not ideal for productivity, so try a holy Sunday for less distractions. For people who want to focus on their own project in company of others, we organize Hack Sabbath on Sunday. Powertools usage is minimized, so we can work by ourselves or quietly brainstorm with others to get new inspiration.

  • Newline
    A new start every year..

    A newline marks the end of a line and moves the cursor to the next one. One could see it as a sign of progress. A newline gives you a whole new line to be filled. To celebrate the space once a year, we organize a "Newline" event, taking place in spring season. We are looking forward to long talks, short talks, hands-on workshops and having an awesome time in our space. Feel like participating? Great! Join a Newline event.

  • Spacebar
    Yes, it's a keyboard reference

    We like to consume beverages in the space.. To prevent a need for payment every time we take something out of the fridge, we created the "Sexy Genderless Bar Entity". This is a touchscreen computer where we add money to accounts, so we can just tap a few buttons to pay for our drinks.

  • Flappers
    Our signature project..

    Once upon a time, our hackerspace got a bunch of classic airport/trainstation flappers (you know, the things that used to take up the infoboards). A few people were intrigued by the mechanism and there was a 140-character combination made that could show tweets from a live feed. This amazing contraption was later sold to a company, but you can still find a 4-character version in the space, currently used to show us who is entering the building.

    Check out a demonstration of the 140-character display here.

  • Spacecontrol
    Whitespace booting..

    Of course, we like to automate things and after some tinkering we are able to control almost every electrical device from one webpage. With that and pizza delivery, it's a beautiful world...

  • Hardware
    For the materialists..

  • Electronics
    Very energizing..

    When a light switch gets boring there is always more to explore. With tools like the infamous Arduino and a little bit of programming you can make your own internet-connected universal remote, or maybe you want to fix an old synthesizer. Learn how to breadboard & solder, use a multimeter or oscilloscope with the resources, knowledge and inspiration we have to offer at Whitespace.

  • Programming
    A hidden art

    Programming is a creative process done by programmers to instruct a computer on how to do a task. Hollywood has helped instill an image of programmers as uber techies who can sit down at a computer and break any password in seconds or make highly tuned warp engines improve performance by 500% with just one tweak. Sadly the reality is far less interesting!

    Very interesting however is the type of programming we do at the hackerspace. Often we combine, change and share code to get computers to do all kinds of stuff. Do you want a big red button that orders a pizza when pressed? Or do you need a digital dj that makes a music playlist for you? That and more is possible through the art of programming.

  • Lockpicking
    Not for the faint of heart

    You can pick your friends. You can pick your beer. But can you pick… a Lock? Join us on a lockpicking evening as we embark on an ancient mechanical adventure to explore the inner workings of a modern lock, first developed by the Mesopotamians and Egyptians over 4000 years ago. Lockpicking is a classic sport in the hacker community. Rather than wanting to break into something, it is a way of appreciating and learning about these mechanisms called locks.

  • Other Events
    Getting active..

    For people wanting to explore new horizons there are events, workshops and talks. With subjects sounding like "Make paintings nerdy", "Android malware in numbers", "Talk about software licensing", "Ubuntu 14.04 Release Party", "Origami Workshop" and "Preserving a heart". But there also are the more normal gatherings called "Movie Night", "Game Night" and "Comedy Evening".

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

  • I want to visit Whitespace

    Nice! You can find our location on the bottom of this page. We recommend coming over on a Thursday evening, when we have our social night. That way you'll have people who can show you around and you won't be bothered by technical projects. In fact you are welcome anytime, but there has to be a member with the key.

  • Why is it called Whitespace?

    We decided to name the space after the location (blekerijstraat/"bleacherstreet"), we're in an old factory which used to be a blekerij, they make things white there, the brainstorm didn't take that long. Bleach, bleak, white... space hence: "whitespace". Why we use "0x20" as an alias is left as an exercise to the reader.

  • Why is this all in English?

    We sometimes have visitors who don't speak Dutch, having everything in English attracts people who are interesting, but might not speak any of the official Belgian languages. This tradition is kept alive here, but don't be scared by that, a lot of people speak something like Dutch in the space.

  • Can I drink/eat there?

    We do have our own bar with all the normal beverages (including Club Mate). People can bring food, but ordering pizza is not uncommon and if you're lucky we may have some instant-type food available.

  • Can I do $thing?

    Yes, unless it will kill little puppies. To be clear, don't break the law, don't break things you don't own and don't endanger people or the space itself. If you have a cool project idea, try to find people interested in joining the project, but don't expect everybody to just jump on it. Everybody has only so much time to spend on cool stuff and people might be busy with other things already. So come over with cool ideas, share your knowledge with others and have a great time.

  • How can I get more involved?

    When just passing by is not enough you can apply for membership at the space. This offers some privileges like a key to the space, access to different systems and our trust. People will have to vouch for you, but if you are nice and constructive that shouldn't be a problem. Members also contribute 20€ a month to the space, so we can pay the rent and other costs of running the space.

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Humans in
whitespace

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Active devices
in whitespace

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Astronauts in
outer space

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Website
visits
Screenshot

Space Pulse

This image learns us something about the activity in the space last week, but we don't know exactly what..

Background Image

“My primary goal of hacking was the intellectual curiosity, the seduction of adventure.”

Blekerijstraat 75, Ghent, Belgium
We're in room 1.21

come alone and make sure
you are not being followed