In 2001 a group of women going under the name The GenderChangers Academy (GCA) were giving workshops in the ASCII (Amsterdam Subversive Center for Information Interchange ), one of the first hackerspaces in The Netherlands.
Ivana from Croatia heard about it and invited the group to give their workshops in Pula. They agreed and to do this they picked up glasses at a local bar to collect money. With the money they hired a large car and drove to Pula. There they gave presentations on Free Software and the Open Source movement, on how a computer works and on how to make your own website in HTML. One participant had travelled from Athens follow the workshops. At the end of the weekend she asked the group if they wanted to do the same in Greece the next year.
When this was accepted the group thought: we need to give the event a name. After much lateral thinking, brainstorming about the Linux file system and so on, the name Eclectic Tech Carnival aka /ETC was borne.
Many of the Genderchangers had been to HAL (Hackers at Large) in Enschede in 2001. They loved it, but there were very few women at the hackers camp. In fact it was generally difficult to their female friends and family as enthused about GNU and recursive acronyms as they were.
They decided they wanted the /ETC to be similar to HAL but then for women only. Aother difference between the workshops being given and Amsterdam was that the first was ongoing and in one place. The latter was in a place to which the group was invited, and was limited to a short period of time.
Over the years each /ETC got it's own particular character. In the beginning there was an attempt to have a specific theme each year.
The defining characteristics of an /ETC are:
- skill sharing
- with free and open source software
- women* only