[Noisebridge-discuss] The door situation is not working.

Jake jake at spaz.org
Sun Apr 7 09:39:10 UTC 2013

On Sat, 6 Apr 2013, Danny O'Brien wrote:
> Yeah, I think that the DOOR button is actually broken or *something*,
> and that's what's annoying people right now.
> Jake you know the door system better than anyone at this point -- is
> there something that could be (sporadically or not) preventing the DOOR
> button from working?

I am going to assume someone disabled it.  They should have made an 
announcement or something on the list.  I made announcements several times 
that i was going to do it and was met with approval, but i never got 
around to it.  I think it's a good idea and we should get used to it.

> There seems to be a bunch of things like timers hanging off the door 
> system downstairs. Could they be causing problems?

the stuff downstairs has nothing to do with the door button.  There is a 
conventional 24-hour light timer for the lights that are supposed to 
illuminate people outside the gate at night (so we can see them on the 
camera) and a 12v power adaptor for the camera.  There is also a 12v 
adaptor that goes nowhere, for the hard drive that used to be there and is 
gone now.  The DOOR button wiring and buzzer wiring is all put away like 
it was before Noisebridge arrived.

> Is there anyway we can simplify what we already have without causing 
> problems to your future plans?

This is not about my plans.  Noisebridge is a collective activity and we 
should discuss things together.  Anyone interested in working on 
infrastructure should communicate with other people who are interested for 
maximum effect.  I can try to answer any questions if they are asked of 

> Asked what? I know I'm probably being stupid, but after all these months

Here's where i initially suggested it:

Here are some people who liked it:

here's what YOU said about it on 17 January of this year:


I also announced it at a meeting, and everyone thought it was great:


> I'm sure not entirely sure what the plan is. I *think* it's this:
> 1) Door code to get in. Door code available to... who? Not sure. People
> who mail doorcodes at noisebridge.net (not a real email address)? People
> who come to Meeting? Probably the latter.

I have been providing codes to people who email me and tell me enough 
about themselves that I think they belong at noisebridge.  You can do the 
same.  Someone should create the email address doorcodes at noisebridge so 
that myself and others with the ability to add codes can share the labor 
of giving people codes.  I don't want a million people emailing me at my 
private email address for codes.  We should share the work.

But yes, some infrastructure for code distribution would be appropriate.

I do NOT think we should make it so that anyone with a code can just 
create more codes.  That is not reasonable.  We need to have a flow of 
codes out from the people who help make noisebridge happen, and maintain 
control of that flow of access.

> 2) Buzzer works to let people in, but you have to either go and press
> the DOOR button or... type a code? Typing a code means that you've
> agreed to greet people?

I don't know what you mean my buzzer.  There is a "doorbell" which makes 
an annoying noise.  I want to adjust it so that when it is rung, a light 
begins blinking inside the space (near the door) and the "doorbell" sound 
is muted to a lower volume when pressed, until either the electric latch 
opens the door or a few minutes expire.

If someone uses their code to open the door for someone else I presume 
they will make sure the person they let in belongs at noisebridge.  At 
least more so than with the current setup where anyone can just push the 
door button.

> 3) Keys still work. DOOR button will still work.

the keys have always worked and will continue to work.  The DOOR button 
has been disabled in favour of using codes, either at the keypad near the 
intercom or on ones Android app, or from a webpage on ones' PC.

> Does that sound right? Are there extra stages in the future?

the flamethrowers are being cobbled together but we need bigger solenoid 
valves, the ones we have keep getting stuck open.

> Incidentally, I asked Jake if I could give door codes to everyone who is 
> subscribing to Pay Noisebridge. He said yes -- I think it's a good idea. 
> Do other people think that's a good idea?

I think that if people can operate email and have made a commitment to 
support noisebridge to the tune of $10 per month they should definitely be 
able to have a code.  Those people are likely capable of a reasonable 
conversation and are presumably willing to come to a meeting to discuss 
things if their behavior ever descends toward sleeping in the space or 
other unpleasantries.  It's a low bar i'm setting, but it's better than 
propping the door open, which is effectively what we've been doing.

> Yeah, but the problem is that lots of people like coming to visit us. 
> Almost none of them are bad people. The bad people will (and have) 
> worked out ways of getting keys or codes, or whatever.

I think it's great that people come to visit.  I look forward to the day 
when MORE NOISEBRIDGE PEOPLE hang out at noisebridge, having a good time, 
rather than being repelled by its occupation by people from "the street".

When MORE NOISEBRIDGE PEOPLE hang out at noisebridge, visitors ringing the 
doorbell will NOT be ignored but instead NOISEBRIDGE PEOPLE will rush to 
the camera and intercom to see who is there, and welcome them in with a 
proper introduction.  If whoever is there can't be bothered to say hello 
through the intercom, or is recognized by one of the several NOISEBRIDGE 
PEOPLE as a sleeper or stealer or just known to be not interesting enough 
to buzz in, those people will talk about it and perhaps tell the person 
that Noisebridge isn't here right now so they can't come in.

> The accepted cultural fix for this is to encourage people to greet and
> check out people. But I agree that locking new people out is not a great
> side-effect of trying to encourage this.

If there is nobody at noisebridge with a code willing to let new people 
in, or willing to go down the steps to let people in, then it's not a good 
time for those people to get a good impression of noisebridge, don't you 
agree?  I would rather they fail to enter at 2am on a friday night and 
instead come back saturday afternoon when hackers are up and hanging out 
and eager to give them a tour.  Also if those people get on IRC someone 
can remotely let them in if they have a code.

the fact is, our extreme open-door policy has allowed too many people 
whose habits and presence discourages our core membership demographic from 
wanting to be at noisebridge.  That is a problem worth solving.

>> 5. There is a switch on the intercom to turn off the doorbell, if it
>> is annoying you and you don't feel like answering the door.  Please
>> turn it back on when you leave.
> I don't think anyone understands all of those switches. I don't.

there is only one switch and it is very clearly labeled.  In english!

>> 6. I will be adding an automatic mute for the doorbell, which turns
>> on a blinking light over the door and reduces the volume of the
>> doorbell until someone buzzes the door or a few minutes pass.  Or
>> you could do it.
> Why is this a good idea? This just seems to be stopping people who buzz
> from coming in, based on how grumpy at inconveniences people are inside.
> We should maximise the convienience for new people *and* for people
> inside. Punishing either of these people to handle bad people seems to
> be the wrong incentive system.

If the people in the space are not letting people in who are outside, 
either because they don't have a code or because they are grumpy, or more 
likely because it's 2AM and they don't want anyone without a code coming 
in, it's better to soften the sound of the doorbell and supplement it with 
a gently blinking reminder light for a few minutes don't you think?

Otherwise people in the space are more likely to flip the DOORBELL SILENT 
switch (which I did not install but i did label) and forget to flip it 
back.  I think gentle softening of the doorbell for a few minutes when 
it's clearly being ignored is a good idea.

> I'm pretty sure that a large number of what problems we have come from 
> regular or second-time visitors, not newcomers.

I agree that people who abuse noisebridge have usually been there a few 
times before, but I also think that those people tend to NOT have a code.
And part of the reason they don't have a code is because if they tried to 
get one, which they wouldn't bother trying, they would be refused.

>> In short, if someone is in the building they are already our 
>> (Noisebridge's) responsibility.
> I follow the mailing list, and I still don't really understand this
> either. What are the scenarios where someone gets buzzed in, but we
> don't let them in through the door, thus causing them to wander the
> building, terrifying the residents? Under what situations would this not
> already happen, but would be fixed by any of the variants of the system
> you're proposing?

I have already written too many times the same post about how bad it would 
be if you tried to put a lock at the top of the steps.  By the time 
someone ascends the steps and is standing on the other side of the door 
looking at you, if you refuse to let them in you're going to just piss 
them off until the next person coming up the stairs has to get in, and 
then they assault you.

Or they will just learn to take up the elevator instead, further wearing 
away the last scraps of rust holding that thing together.  I honestly 
think this issue is so absurd and dead that I don't want to even address 
it anymore and I would almost rather see what happens if people try it.

If people are not welcome inside noisebridge, the proper place to lock 
them out is at the sidewalk.  I am not going to argue this point anymore.

> I know you talk a lot about your system, Jake, but I *really* don't
> understand it. Everytime you explain it to me, I just have more
> questions. And I know it's annoying for you, but I don't think I'm the
> only one, if only because you regularly have to write emails like this
> to people who don't get what's going on.

I don't have a system.  Noisebridge has a system, with various parts. 
Most of it is well documented.  I know about much of it.  If you have a 
particular question for me just ask it instead of writing a big paragraph 
accusing me of being a secret holder.

> I would absolutely love you to just write out the whole thing, finally 
> and once and for all, and let everyone critique and improve the plan.

I don't know what you want me to write out.  2169 mission has a metal gate 
keeping people out from the street.  You can open it with a key, or a BART 
card, or you can activate an electrical solenoid by triggering a computer 
called minotaur.

you can cause minotaur to open the gate either by typing a valid code into 
the payphone outside the gate, or into a keypad upstairs above the 
intercom.  Or you can put a code into the android app.  Or there's a 
webpage i think.  There is a DOOR button but it apparently doesn't work 
anymore, which I think is good.

i don't understand why you're suddenly acting like noisebridge operates on 
a deterministic systemized rulemaking process and you're demanding that I 
explain to you how it works.


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