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Geeks to meet and greet, talk and trade on Sunday


The Hawaii Geek Meet is what happens when diverse, technology-oriented groups combine, including the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, the Emergency Amateur Radio Club and, sprinkled liberally with the LEGO Enthusiasts Association of Hawaii and the Pacific Outpost of the 501st Legion (you know, the Storm Troopers).

Online and IRL (in real life) community-builder Ryan Ozawa is a point-person behind the annual event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Magic Island (picnic area 40). It makes sense, then, that users of the online community he created at also would participate.

Part of the excitement around this year’s meet is the formation of a Hono­lulu chapter of the International Game Developers Association.

Anticipation might be somewhat tempered by a half-marathon on Sunday, affecting parking.

The geeky groups gather each year and bring potluck or their own lunches and network around stuff they know, learn stuff they didn’t know before they parked their cars and form a greater appreciation of tech life in Hawaii.

Organizers of Hono­lulu Startup Weekend, a 54-hour event focused on building a Web or mobile application that could be the foundation of a plausible business, will be there, as will hackers group HiCapacity; the Aquaculture Hub; and Burt Lum’s Byte­marks group. Just in time for new iPad2 owners, HiPad, the Hawaii iPad Users Group, will be pres­ent to share experiences with the devices, talk about popular apps and more.

It’s not all Web developers, computers and oscilloscopes, though.

Team Hawaii, college folk participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011, will attend, as will the Costumers Guild of Hawaii — possibly helpful for folks struggling with costumes for the upcoming annual Kawaii Kon April 29 through May 1 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Please note that all these geeky-and-proud-of-it organizations have been mentioned in a single column without mention of a pocket protector.



Hawaii Public Radio Inc. met its Challenge 2011 goal of $831,000 yesterday, a day ahead of schedule.

Before and amidst the semiannual Hawaii Public Radio pledge drive that began April 6, the nonprofit organization launched two new full-power radio stations on Maui. KIPM-FM 89.7 in Wai­kapu signed on just before the drive, and KIPH-FM 88.3 in Hana signed on at the end of last week.

Hana is “terrain-shielded,” said President and General Manager Michael Titterton, leading to HPR’s decision to devote efforts toward reaching the remote community.

Both new stations rebroadcast Hono­lulu’s KIPO-FM 89.3 and reflect the HPR mission to get the signals of KIPO and Hono­lulu flagship KHPR-FM 88.1 to a statewide audience. KHPR is rebroadcast on KKUA-FM 90.7 Wai­luku and KANO-FM 91.1 Hilo.

That the stations get the signals out further gets the fundraising message to a larger pool of potential donors but also has the effect of increasing the cost of the stations’ content, since HPR pays for much of its programming based on audience size as measured by Arbitron, Titterton said.

The $831,000 raised during the drive will keep the stations operating for six months.


Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by email at

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