Over the past couple of months, Hacklab has been having conversations with the Toronto Public Library, especially people at the Toronto Reference Library and the Digital Design Studio. A lot of us LOVE the TPL, it’s one of the largest public library systems in North America, and I personally get a lot of use from it – probably a new book every 2 weeks or so, through their hold system, which wonderfully moves the book from whichever of the 98 branches it’s current at to your branch :-).
A few weeks ago, about a dozen employees of the library visited hacklab for a tour of our space. You can read their wonderful hacklab blog post where they talk about the visit. They peppered us with questions about our 3D printer, the workshops that we run, the philosophy and operation of the space, etc. A good time was had by all!
More recently, they invited us to tour the Toronto Reference Library, one of the largest branches of the Toronto Public Library. You can see a few of the shots I took here: Toronto Reference Library Flickr Set. Sadly of course I don’t have any photos of the awesome view from the transparent elevators! We got to see a lot of the behind-the-scenes places in the library, including the printing room, the preservation and digitization area, and an archival area. We also saw some of their computer classroom areas, the really nifty TD Gallery, currently showing a Sherlock Holmes exhibit (including very cool Sherlock Holmes chess set!), and the all-glass study pods.
They are interested in having some kind of “makerspace” area in at least one of the branches, and so they are touring lots of related things in and around Toronto. Hacklab was pleased to help them out, and if you think this is something the Toronto Public Library should do, I’m sure they’d love to hear your support!
Hacklab was featured on the InnerSPACE show last week, check out the awesome 3.5 minute video they made!
About a month ago, hacklab purchased a new USB Microscope: 2 megapixel, 200x magnification, 8 LEDs. The idea is to be able to use it to inspect circuit boards, to see how awesome our solder jobs are, etc. But of course in practice we quickly turned the device on anything and everything in the space! It’s super fun to project the live magnification video on our projector and just rove around the room. I took a set of pictures from one of the first play sessions with the device, and it shows how cool the device is. I think my favorite discovery was how organic the eink screens on the Nook are, I didn’t expect anything like what we found!
Hacklab will be having an open house party tomorrow night, Saturday April 13th, 2012, from 7pm onward. If you’ve always wanted to check out the space but can’t make our Tuesday open house nights, this is your big chance! Open to the public, come one come all! Direction to the space are on our <a href=”http://hacklab.to/location/”>location</a> page, look for the black door! BYOB.
We’ve booked another fun month of workshops:
Monday April 9th 6-9pm: Stitch and Bitch
Sen and Jammies are planning on holding a Stitch ‘n Bitch on April 9th @ 6PM. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means we will be having a ‘fabric hacking’ meet-up for sewers, stitchers, fabric-spinners, knitters and all other forms of fabric hacking. Sewing is one of the oldest forms of making and hacking in all of human-kind, so we figured it’d be a great idea to introduce it to Hacklab in a more official way.
Bring your gear or ask someone to share theirs with you! This is a general event and not a tutorial. We’re hoping a good number of people can show up to just talk about and exchange tips on fabric hacking.
This is an open event for Hacklab members and anyone who is interested. :)
Monday April 16: no workshop, members meeting!
Monday April 23 7-9pm: Sculpting Workshop. You must RSVP to attend:
Come learn sculpting from Avinash Hedge, Sculptor. See his work at http://aysculpture.deviantart.com/. He makes amazing superhero sculptures for comic book companies and private clients, and he’s promised to show a small group of hacklabbers his techniques! Workshop will consist of: 20-30 minutes of explanation and demo by Avinash, followed by at least an hour of hands-on work with clay. You will make your own sculpture! Avinash will also answer any and all questions about sculpting!
Monday April 30th 7-9pm: Arduino Total Beginners Workshop
Arduino Beginners Workshop. For total beginners. All are welcome, no RSVP required. Eric will show you how to get started with Arduino, the super-friendly microcontroller platform that even artists love. We’ll cover getting the software installed and going, hooking up the Arduino, and a little bit of basic programming, via explanation of the Examples. You too can cut and paste your way to a working project! You’ll need to bring your own Arduino (any kind will do) and a laptop on which you can install software. Also please bring any cables required to attach your Arduino to your laptop – typically this means an A to B USB cable. If you do not have an Arduino, you can purchase one at Creatron, only a few blocks away from hacklab at 255 College Street.
Monday May 7th 7-9pm: Soldering Workshop #8. You must RSVP to attend:
Want to learn how circuits are assembled? We’ll show you how to solder, the process of using a hot iron to place parts permanently unto circuit boards. Many easy to assemble and cool kits to choose from:
- Stefan’s hacklab blinky ($5)
- TV-be-Gone remote control kit ($20)
- Drawdio ($20)
- MiniPOV Kit ($20)
- Solder: Time watch kit ($30)
Instruction is free, though donation to hacklab is encouraged, of course! If you have your own project or kit, feel free to bring that instead! The instructor is knowledgeable about circuit design, layout and troubleshooting as well, so bring your questions :-)
Apparently I forgot to post this up when I made it, which probably explains why there are still five tickets left! If you want to learn how to solder and you’re still available tomorrow, Monday March 12th, here’s your chance!
Hacklab will once again be hosting Gamfternoon tomorrow, Sunday January 21st, from 2pm onward (sessions typically wrap up by 6pm). We’ll be playing board games like Dominion, Settlers of Catan, Laser Chess, Go, etc. Come and play games with us! Members of the public are welcome to come and play – you do not have to be a member to get in.
This event repeats every two weeks, so we’ll also be playing on Feb 5th, Feb 19th, March 4th, etc. Check our calendar to confirm dates beyond that.
Hacklab is pleased to announce more workshops for February: a learn how to solder workshop on Monday Feb 6th (RVSP at eventbrite), and an Arduino workshop on Monday Feb 20th. The soldering workshop will be taught by Sen of Strich Labs, and the Arduino workshop will be taught by Alaina. More details about Arduino workshop to follow as the date gets closer.
All workshops are open to the public (you do not have to be a member of hacklab to attend) and happen from 7pm to 9pm.
Due to overwhelming demand for our basic electronics class, we’ve created an eventbrite RSVP: Hacklab Electronics Class. Dates remain the same – three Mondays in a row, starting on Jan 16th. If you’d like to come, sign up and start prepping your questions!