Author Archive

Plover Hackathon

by on Oct.13, 2010, under Uncategorized

This Saturday (October 16th) Fumon, Rob, and I are going to hack on Plover at the lab from noon until around 5PM. Plover is the just-released Open Source steno program, which (with much practice) lets you type 300 WPM!

We’ll be focusing on two things:

  • brainstorming about open hardware ideas for chording keyboards including a soft-circuit one. Have sewing machine, laser, and Makerbot, will prototype!
  • working on the GUI portion of the app – adding the ability to switch between custom steno dictionaries and edit them

Skills that will be useful and put to use:

  • hardware hacking
  • sewing
  • python (the code is BEAUTIFUL, incidentally)
  • gnome universal access
  • GTK GUIs
  • linguistics

Come on out and help build Plover!  We’ll also be posting updates in #plover on freenode, which you can access through a browser here.


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Unpatched Tuesdays – our open house night

by on Jul.04, 2010, under Unpatched Tuesdays

Every Tuesday, from around 6pm until late, the lab opens up our front door to members of the public. We’re specifically excited about folks who want to show off projects they have made or are working on, want to ask for help with making something awesome, or want to help out on other folks’ projects. Bringing a laptop along to just chill out with other geeks is also welcome.

There’s no minimal skill level required to participate, and we do our best to be a respectful, friendly environment for everyone. Regretfully we are not wheelchair accessible – there are 17 steps leading up to the lab, and 2 steps up to the bathroom. As a heads-up to folks with sensory processing issues, the Tuesdays can get quite busy and noisy. 7 to 8 pm tends to be the busiest time.

Members of the media are also welcome, but in the interest of member privacy we have cute little press passes hanging by the door, and require that permission be sought before taking photos with people in them.

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G20 Arrest

by on Jun.23, 2010, under Announcements

One of our members has been arrested on a number of charges related to the G20.

Byron is innocent until proven guilty, and as a member of the lab and a friend we are concerned for him.

HackLabTO is a non-profit organization which encourages people to socialize, share knowledge, and work together on technology projects. We run classes, workshops, and a community space in Kensington market.

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Ubuntu Lucid Party

by on May.05, 2010, under Events

Thursday May 6th, 7 to 9PM at the HackLab. Bring snacks, a machine to install / upgrade, or just your smiling self.

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Python Hiatus

by on Dec.17, 2009, under Python Newbies

Python Newbie Nights on Thursdays will be on hiatus for a couple of weeks, returning in mid-January. Folks aren’t around as much and I’m a bit burnt out, so it just seemed like the right time to take a break. Watch this space for the class’s return!


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Living in the Future, or, HackLab Buys a Cupcake

by on Sep.17, 2009, under Uncategorized

On September 1st, I sent an email to the HackLab discussion list asking for folks to commit. Less than 24 hours later, members and non-members alike stepped up and pledged $700 in addition to my initial commitment of $200. Our MakerBot Batch 7 CupCake CNC will ship in early October, hopefully in time for MiniSoOnCon!

3D printing is so amazing. This is the MITS Altair of a DIY revolution whose shape I’m not at all certain of. I couldn’t be more exited to see what the hacklabbers make and how we improve the machine, too.

In alphabetical order, the donors were:

3ric Johanson
Alex Leitch
Byron Sonne
Chad Mounteny
Cheryl Mok
Chris Pilkington
Dale Babiy
Dan Kaminsky
Eric from NYC Resistor
Kate Raynes-Goldie
Sergio Martns
Seth Hardy

Welcome to the future, folks.


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Board Update

by on Sep.15, 2009, under Announcements, Running a Hacker Space

The HackLabTO board of directors is responsible for the legal structure behind the lab, and is accountable to the members. Tonight we had the first meeting with our new board members, Dan Fraser and Chad Mounteny. It was quick and efficient, and we got lots covered; the minutes are up on the wiki here (registration-required). Fred Supinski, who was one of the initial Board signatories, is passing on the torch but staying on as a member.

We’re still looking for members to step up to be officers of the corporation – an email will go out to you all shortly.


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Another musical variation…

by on Apr.03, 2009, under Uncategorized

lazzor music! from hypatia on Vimeo.

One of the HackLab members, Jed, wrote some code to turn music into lazzor motions. The result is this brilliant interpretation of the Super Mario theme :)

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HackLabTO Ignite at DemoCampTO19

by on Mar.09, 2009, under Running a Hacker Space

I gave a 5-minute Ignite talk about HackLabTO at DemoCamp last week.  Check out the writeup over at my blog:


Slides are up at Slideshare if you just want to see the pretty pictures :)


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Pi Day Partay

by on Mar.07, 2009, under Events

To celebrate that important annual geek milestone, Pi Day (March 14), we’re having a party featuring a pie contest at the lab.  We haven’t decided what the prize will be, but it will be AWESOME and probably be made on the lazzor.

Entrance to the party will be a $10 donation (which will go towards lab expenses), or bring a pie.  Homemade pies only!  Quiche and other savory things made in round dishes count as pie.

Things will start up at 7pm, though there will likely be folks around the lab earlier.  As usual, check our IRC channel (#hacklabto on freenode) to see if people are around if you want to drop by early.

Feel free to get in touch with me (hypa7ia on irc or leigh at hypatia dot ca via email) if you have any questions!

Here’s a button to add it to your Google Calendar or otherwise see details:

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