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Pokemon go

Pokemon go is location-based,augmented reality game developed by niantic for iOS and android devices. In the game,players use the smart device's gps and camera to capture,battle and train virtual creatures called pokemon,who appear on the screen as if they are in same real world location as the same player.

Hillhacks Songbook

Do you sing, play guitar, drum, or otherwise love to make music? It seems that a lot of hillhackers do.

Let's share our favorite song so we can play them together during hillhacks. Tink is putting together a PDF songbook so we can practice and perform.

Submit your favorite song here by May 10:

HillHacks Code Camp 2015

CodeCamp ! Freeman Murray will be conducting an informal code camp at hillhacks this year from May 7 - 31. We encourage people to come and develop their web and mobile programming skills. Freeman'll give guidance to people who are wondering what to study next and have regular office hours where someone makes themselves available to answer questions people have.

This will also help people prepare for CodeForIndia Fellowships

Sign Up Today!

Interested in coming to hillhacks for the unconference, school programs, or conference? Register now to save your space and pay later.

In fact, pricing hasn't been confirmed yet, but last year it ranged from 500 - 2500 INR per day including food and lodging. Concessions available, so please contact us for more information.

s'hacks podcast

For the second time this podcast happened after a conversation that happened very spontaneously over coffee at the Swiss Cafe on lighthouse beach. We noted down our ideas on tissue paper, borrowed yuvi's mobile phone, and headed straight for the beach!

sva and cherry chat about hillhacks, s'hacks and lots of ideas for hacking by the beach next year!



You can find out more about SISP here: and

The “Kovalam Ezhuthu Kalari” website is below:


Day 1 summary [Silver's dream]

Silver and Sva saw a bus on the street. Silver recognized the bus, even though he was seeing it for the first time. It was appearing quite extra-ordinary: puffed up like a football, colorful and toy like, the bus had no passengers. He waved to the driver and asked “Where are the students?” The driver told him “The students are in your premises!?” Then there were four pairs of rythmic, assertive, yet polite knocks on the door. It was Haseeb. He had a look of urgency and surprise. He said in his Maharashtrian accent “Ayush Bhai! the students have arrived!(What the hell are you doing sleeping for so long?” Still perplexed by sudden shift of the worlds and the bus having just arrived, Silver blurted “Already arrived??” He asked Haseeb “What time is it?”. It was 16 minutes to 10. “4 hours of sleep” Silver mused. But now, Hillhacks team had to move in the nick of time! Silver asked Haseeb “Ok, ask the students to clear the tables from the studio and make themselves comfortable”

hillhacks Day 1 - Childrens' Workshop at Woodwhistler with Circuit Stickers

Day 1 of hillhacks started off quickly. I was with Jie, Alisha, and Amna from MIT Media Lab and we went to WoodWhistlers school in the forest of Naddi in Upper Dharamsala. Manisha is the founder of the school and it's just recently started in March of this year. She's an amazing woman who was a former teacher at Tibetan Children's Village and started the school because she wasn't satisfied with the education that her son was getting at the public schools. Her school is a progressive school and she's unafraid to try new things if she thinks the children will benefit. I brought the girls from medialab there a day early to meet with Manisha and discuss the materials that would be taught and she loved the idea. The school is on the side of a mountain with an amazing view of the Himalayas and requires a 15 minute hike to get there. Its beautifully secluded and the children are surrounded by nature and beauty.


10th August was the 10th anniversay of OpenStreetMap- The Free Wiki World Map. OSM is An openly licensed map of the world being created by volunteers using local knowledge, GPS tracks and donated sources. And on this day, some of us Rakkarites went around the village mapping the place. Arun Ganesh (also known as @planemad) led the way and we were able to get some work done-

hillhacks Workshop Tools Part 2: Repair Culture

Last time, I wrote about the journey to supply workshop sets of PCs for hillhacks. One of the outcomes of doing that was that many of the PCs had to be opened up and modified in order to make them usable for the event. A big reason to keep all the PCs identical is because it makes maintenance much easier. If parts break, they can be scavenged from other PCs rather than having to be special ordered. Also, people maintaining the PCs can go very deep into understanding the inner workings of one PC so that more specific repairs can be made on the laptops to increase the usable life. This wouldn't be possible if all the PCs were different.

As we discussed the PC procurement over the mailing list, we gradually started thinking about repair culture and how it's an important skill to have in remote areas and developing countries. This also got me thinking about how in developed countries, repair culture is almost nonexistent. Over the past decades, there's been so many strides in marketing and mass production that repair culture has been replaced with consumer culture and the mentality of disposability.

For hillhacks, we started discussing hands on workshops to promote repair culture and decided the best course of action would be to teach people how to perform simple repairs on mobile devices. Today, mobile devices are a central device that performs multiple functions and just about everyone has. Learning how to repair them opens up some interesting possibilities. Once someone knows how to repair a phone, they can increase the usable life of the phone, purchase better phones in bad condition and restore them to a usable condition, or even start a business repairing phones or selling refurbished phones that were bought on the cheap. And of course, one of the best consequences of promoting repair culture is a reduction in electronic waste. Everybody wins!…except manufacturers, I guess.

hillhacks Workshop Tools Part 1: Scavenging for PCs

From the time we first conceived of hillhacks, the goal was to have something tangible where people can learn and do rather than just sitting in a chair absorbing words. We all agreed that a focus on hands on workshops was essential so I've been spending the last ten months putting together tools so that people can actually get their hands dirty and do something.

One of the most important sets of tools I had the good fortune of finding was a large stash of cheap, identical PCs. This happened early and it was a stroke of luck that I stumbled on them. I spend a lot of time in Akihabara in Tokyo and one of my favorite things to do is browse the junk bins for old or broken equipment that people no longer want. One of my favorite shops is called PC-Net which sells used PCs. In the back of the shop, they have a bunch of boxes for computers that they deem un-sellable. These PCs are either too old, in poor condition, or have something obviously wrong with them.

My friend told me that PC-Net had recently got a new shipment of junk laptops and they were all identical for about $25/each. I rushed over to PC-Net and I immediately realized the value of this find. Having a workshop set of identical laptops is a holy grail and allows workshops to be run smoothly with much fewer unknowns since software compatibility issues can pretty much be removed from the equation. This leads to much more efficiently run workshops where the time can be focused on learning rather than troubleshooting. Also, we could keep this set of laptops in Dharamsala where they can be checked out by the community for other workshops or events. Having a community-owned workshop set of identical laptops would be huge win for everyone.

The laptops were used Lenovo Thinkpad X61 notebook PCs with a Core2Duo processor. They came without RAM, HDD, or power supplies, though so that was one hurdle. The second hurdle was that they came in an unusable condition. Each of the PCs were likely liquidated from some company that was getting rid of all their old laptops. They came with the BIOS and boot password protected by the former IT admin and nobody at the shop knew the password. Since they essentially could not get past the boot login screen, they were considered junk. However everything else was functional and I could verify that the LCDs and keyboards worked properly.

Hillhacks is hiring an Intern!

  • The idea of hillhacks is about people contributing.**

The only skill really needed is a passion for the idea. Learn more about what the idea is by browsing around this website, reading what is written there and listening to the podcast in the blog.

  • What will I learn?**

You'll learn how to use free and open source tools in carrying out a series of workshops and a conference including planning, organizing and conducting the events. Attending and preparing the workshops and talks will help you better understand all the topics being explored during the hillhacks. While being central to the event, this opportunity will help you interact with various hackers and makers in India and abroad.

  • I like it!**

Think twice: We will only cover basic expenses like food and lodging. You will not “earn” anything money-wise. But you will live in the beautiful foothills of the Himalaya surrounded by people who love technology, and “earn” a lot of contacts and friends.

  • But I am not a “Hacker”!?**

As some part of your contribution could be communication e.g. with possible speakers and partners, don't hesitate to apply if you feel connected to the idea without being a technologist, “hacker” or “maker” directly. Also e.g. design skills would be very useful. Our definition of “hack” is very broad, so you might be a hacker even without seeing it at this point of time. Again: Passion needs to be there, everything else you'll learn on site.

  • Great! When do I start?**

You can start end of July / beginning August, and you can be with us till October / November. Please apply as soon as you can, we might close this offer soon. Please send us a resume and some words on why you'd be the very best person to have for this job. Be spontaneous! That's the way the world goes!

  • Contact:**

mail at hillhacks dot in
If you have any questions you can also write an email there, even better use the mailinglist or ask in the the IRC-Channel.


This Podcast happened very spontaneously with the support and the help of some wonderful professional equipment of the Hackerspace CCC Munich. Thank you!

Upasna and sva are talking about hillhacks, hacking and making, India, the community and lots other things:



(less bandwidth)

Actually the idea was to make a short introduction what hillhacks is about. Our apologies that it isn't that short, but we still like it! :p

  • Update:** Upasna also made an entry in her blog, there you can see a list of topics we talked about as well as this picture here:

Hello World

This is our first blog entry… Let's see whats happening!

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