WE ARE HAVING A PARTY!
Come on out! Meet your fellow hackers! Check out the space! Enjoy a tasty beverage!
Things get started at 7pm. Feel free to bring a project to show off, something to drink, or some snacks.
We’ll have some snacks and some beer to share.
Hacklab is having a Summer BBQ! Mark your calendars!
Get some sun on that pale Hacker skin, enjoy the lake breeze, and have some fun on Toronto Island! I’ve booked a picnic site on Toronto Island for us on Saturday, June 11. I’ll arrange the necessary gear to provide cooking heat and bring some basic food tems. You can bring your own grillables and drinkables as well, and we can have some hacker gourmet action.
Bring a guest… bring lots of guests. Our permit allows us to have up to 100 people on our site.
There’s tons to do:
- Find the island geocaches!
- Do some hiking!
- Go check out the weird little community on Ward’s Island!
- Fall in the water! Be attacked by geese and swans!
- Check into Foursquare from a boat!
- Bring throwable objects to test and refine the strange built-in human ability to predict a ballistic trajectory well enough to actually snatch a flying object out of the air! It may improve your Angry Birds score!
- Bring your computers and set up an ad-hoc LAN Party! (no generators, please!)
- Build yourself a kite (there are tons of plans on the interweb), attach an Arduino or digital camera, and have some aerial fun!
- Take cool photos of the Toronto skyline!
- Try out the sketchy Centre Island rides and petting zoo!
Date: Saturday, June 11 2011
Time: 2pm – 7pm
Where: Olympic Island, Picnic Site 18
How to get there: Take the Centre Island ferry from the bottom of Bay Street. Our site is about a 5 minute walk from the ferry dock. Just follow the paths to the left and cross the little bridge onto Olympic Island.
What to bring:
- Sunscreen and a Hat
- Tasty beverages (park rules say they must be non-alcholic)
- Lots of water
- Insect repellant
- Things to Grill
- Outdoor Amusements
- Bicycle or in-line skates
If you want to bring your own cooking equipment, it must be charcoal or wood powered.
What NOT to bring, according to the park rules:
- Amplified music or PA system
- Inflatable games, dunk tanks, generators, tents or tarps
- Outside caterers
- Compressed flammable gasses (they are not allowed on the ferry)
- Ballons, decorations, or signage
- Alcoholic beverages
Feel free to contact me if you’d like to help out with organization or logistics… I’d appreciate it!
We had a great turnout at Andrew’s LED workshop. It was attended by regular Hacklab members and some new faces who were visiting the lab for the first time.
Andrew discussed the basics of how semiconductors and diodes behave, and how to calculate the related currents and voltages in the circuit. He showed to drive low-power LEDs simply with a current-limiting resistor, and the limitations of that design. He went on to show a circuit for an active constant-current method of driving high power LEDs, and demonstrated various models in LTSpice.
Thanks to everyone who attended the workshop, and thanks to Andrew for presenting it! Watch this blog (and our @hacklabto Twitter) for notices of future electronics and craft workshops at the Hacklab.
Unfortunately Andrew has to reschedule the LED workshop, so it will NOT be held tomorrow! It will be held on Sunday, August 8 at 14:00 instead. Update your calendars!
Tim Pritlove, founder of the Blinkenlights Project, long term Chaos Computer Club member and Chaos Communication Congress organizer, stopped by Toronto for a visit this week. He gave a presentation at Hacklab Toronto about the Liquid Feedback Project, which is a software package and philosophy being used by the Pirate Party in Germany to facilitate decision making.
Tim presented to a full house of interested Hacklabbers, fielded lots of questions, and sparked some interesting discussion on the nature of democracy. Thanks, Tim!
Tim’s Liquid Feedback Slides.
Many hackers use LEDs in their circuits. On Sunday July 25, 2010 at 2 p.m., Andrew Kilpatrick will be leading a workshop on how to use LEDs! You will learn both the theory and practice to correctly:
- Read an LED datasheet
- Calculate parameters for your circuit
- Drive high-power, super-bright LEDs
- Boost efficiency and brightness without blowing up your LED
Non-members are welcome, but a cash donation to the lab would be appreciated.
Hacklab Toronto is two years old!
It’s been a great two years — lots of projects, memories and friendships. The result of our efforts is a fun, well-equipped and sustainable hackerspace in Toronto!
Come celebrate with us, show off the lab to your friends, or check it out for the first time.
Show up after 7pm, and bring along some drinks or snacks, if you intend to be hungry or thirsty. Check out the sidebar of the blog for information on how to get to the lab.
Read all about it!
Andrew has written a detailed blog post about making the LED sign work.
Check it out.
We’ve started a Hacklab project to bring utility to some surplus LED sign panels that have been hanging around the HackLab! These panels use a high-speed digital serial interface, which has been reverse-engineered by Dan and Andrew. It’s a very complicated and strange system. If you’re interested in digital logic, ask us to explain how it works.
In order to make the panels easy to use for members, we’re going to permanantly mount them on the wall over the stairs. They’re going to be attached to a nice painted piece of plywood (steev!) and wired up to a server. We’re going to do some circuitry to allow the sign’s power to be automatically controlled.
We’re going to interface the LED panels with a host computer using an Arduino. Our previous efforts pushed the limits of the Arduino’s performance, but we were running completely unoptmized code. Hopefully with a few tweaks, and by getting a bit more low level, we can move the serial data fast enough for an adquite scan rate.
The Arduino’s USB Serial interface will be used to interface the sign with the host computer, which will most likely be running BMix with a custom output plugin. BMix is software developed by Andrew, Dan and Jonathan for the Blinkenlights project in Toronto, and is very good at controlling a matrix of lights. It will allow the display to be operated using a standard UDP protocol which already has lots of language support, and will also allow it to be easily shared between a number of users and applications at the lab. There’s even a video game API.
This is the start of the project and the basic design… More information, photographs, and geeky details will be coming as we dig deeper.