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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HackLab.TO Job Fair

by on Feb.26, 2009, under Announcements, Events

HackLab.TO is having a job fair!

We know a lot of people who work in various tech fields. Some people are looking to fill positions at their companies, some are looking for new jobs, and others are finishing university and looking to break into the field. We’d like to help get you in touch with each other.

Bring your resume: we’ll have representatives from companies actively looking to hire people. Bring your business cards: we’ll have a lot of people from the local tech community who are interested in professional networking.

Attendance is free to people who are job hunting, although we ask that people use our ticketing system to RSVP– our space is limited, and we don’t want to be overwhelmed! The event will run from 10AM to 4PM on April 4th, with no registration for specific time slots.

For more details, and to sign up:


Spread the word, especially for companies recruiting or people looking for contract work– the more job opportunities available at the fair, the bigger of a success it will be.

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Notacon – April 16th-19th

by on Jan.12, 2009, under Announcements, Events

Notacon is coming up, and it would be cool to get a bunch of people from Toronto to come along.

NOTACON, an annual conference held in Cleveland, Ohio, explores and showcases technologies, philosophy and creativity often overlooked at many “hacker cons”. Our desire is not to supplant other events, but complement them and strike a balance that has gone unnoticed in our community for far too long.

With each new year we build upon the successes and knowledge of the previous years. Our goal is to enlighten, educate, and entertain attendees, presenters, and staff alike. We do this by finding new ways to apply technology to graphics, art, music, or social interaction.

Notacon espouses an ethos of exploration, participation and positive contributions. Hence, while some of the material we may cover is controversial or potentially “black hat” in nature, we feel it is important to openly discuss all topics so that others can learn from the experience and create something good, fun or interesting from it.

Events during Notacon run from Friday morning through Sunday afternoon. These include over 40 presentations, contests such as “Anything but Ethernet”, game shows, prize giveaways and a whole lot of who-knows-what. Anything can happen, and usually does. New in 2009 we will be offering a Thursday night sampler, which will be free of charge and open to the public. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

If you would like to join the community, please explore our getting involved section. Be sure to check out our archives from previous years, featuring information and recordings of our past content.

Last year we had multiple cars head down (it’s only a 5 hour drive to Cleveland), and good times were had by all. It would be great if we could organize a caravan this year and bring as many people as we can to show support for this excellent event.

There will be a “temporary hackerspace” set up at Notacon, with help from people from other spaces including NYC Resistor, HacDC, and the not-yet-opened Pumping Station One. This will include representing and showing off the hacklab: our space, what we’re doing, our projects. Anyone who’d like to help out, whether just by attending or by putting something together to show off, would be very welcome!

A challenge has also been thrown down from people in these other spaces: we should show them (and everyone else) some of the cool things we can do by participating in the Anything But Ethernet competition. This can be the place for us to show off and engage in some friendly competition with our friends in hacker spaces across North America… anyone want to submit something?

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Python Newbie Night

by on Nov.12, 2008, under Announcements, Events

For the past couple of weeks a few of us have been meeting up at the lab to learn some Python.  Some of us are complete beginners, while some of us have been programming profesionally for years.  It makes for an interesting evening and we’re been learning lots.

We’re basing the sessions on the book Python for Software Design: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, which is available for free online.  We’ve been impressed so far with the book’s clarity and the quality of the example code it comes with.

After a few successful sessions, we’ve decided to make this a more regular / official meeting at the lab.  It’ll be every Thursday at 7PM until around 9, though we have gone later in the past, and some of us show up earlier as well.  Feel free to drop in our IRC channel (#hacklabto on freenode) if you want to see if anyone’s already at the lab.  For this Thursday if you feel like catching up before you come out, we’re at chapter 4; don’t worry, though, we’ll be able to get you caught up if you’re a total beginner :)


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Unpatched Tuesdays

by on Nov.02, 2008, under Events, Unpatched Tuesdays

Are you curious about the space and want to come check it out, but fear that you won’t know anyone or have anything to do?  Are you afraid of showing up in Kensington and knocking on the door only to find it locked?

Fear not!  Unpatched Tuesdays are just the thing for you.

Every Tuesday from 6(ish) to late in the evening we have an “open lab” night.  It has varied between a mostly social event and a productive work party depending on what people are up to, but the key thing about it is that the door is open to all comers.  Show up with a Linux or BSD question, an interesting piece of hardware, a technical problem, or your new widget that you want to show off.  The Tuesday night crowd is a resourceful and friendly bunch, and it’s always great to see some new faces.

You’re also welcome to show up empty-handed, but we might put you to work!  There are a bunch of ongoing hardware and infrastructure projects at the lab, so expect to be assigned a bug on our bugtracker :)

The other important thing to note is that you don’t need to be a 5up3r 31337 hax0r to come out on Tuesdays.  Just be friendly and interested and you’re totally welcome.  There’s no minimum height, age, or skill level required to participate.

There are also other events going on at the lab.  Go Night on Mondays, and irregularly scheduled classes which all get posted on the calendar and announced on our pretty low-traffic mailing list.  We usually post about them on the blag too, so subscribe to any of those to keep up to date.


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HackLab Go Night

by on Oct.13, 2008, under Announcements, Events

I’ve been wanting to get back into playing go. There’s also this neat lab space that I can use for hosting events (maybe you’ve heard of it). While thinking about these two things, I figured that maybe they would work well together!

So, I’m going to try to start a bi-weekly go night at the HackLab. Starting next Monday, from 6-9(ish) PM, I’ll be trying to get back into playing this awesome game, and you should join me. I’ll do my best to bring extra boards so everyone who shows up can play, but if you have one, please bring it!

If you don’t know how to play, that’s ok too, as I’m more than happy to teach people.

I hope to see people there next week!

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Stereoscope @ Nuit Blanche

by on Sep.26, 2008, under Announcements, Events

Project Blinkenlights will be contributing to Nuit Blanche this year with Stereoscope lighting up Toronto’s City Hall. From their page:


After a long break, Project Blinkenlights is coming back big time in Toronto, Canada this year. Targeting the landmark building of Toronto City Hall, the group is participating in this year’s Nuit Blanche all-night art event on October 4th, 2008. The installation’s name “Stereoscope” reflects the special nature of the building with its two curved, opposing facades effectively creating a three-dimensional appearance.

Not having rested in the recent years, Project Blinkenlights has developed new technology to wirelessly control the lights placed behind the 960 windows of City Hall allowing for a large scale visual concert during the night in downtown Toronto.

Public Participation

As usual, Project Blinkenlights invites the public to be a part of the installation by opening up a variety of ways to interact with and provide content for Stereoscope.

Among the more traditional features, everybody can play classic computer games on the facade simply by using a mobile phone. The two upper parts of each tower serve as dedicated playgrounds each offering separate telephone numbers for individual gameplay. These numbers will be published on-site beginning the week before Nuit Blanche so that people can get the information where they need it – at Nathan Philips Square in front of City Hall in Toronto.

A simple animation tool and open animation data formats enable you to to create simple movies for Stereoscope – addressing one of four parts of the whole facade. Focusing on simple, low-resolution imagery, Project Blinkenlights wants to revive the spirit of the original Blinkenlights installation in Berlin that obtained its charme from the down-to-earth, barebones design of low-res imagery.

For advanced graphic artists, the group provides a set of tools running on Macintosh computers to design complex animation design that serves as the background imagery and core appearance of the Stereoscope installation.

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Upcoming parties at the lab!

by on Sep.25, 2008, under Events

In addition to our usual events, we’ve got two upcoming parties at the lab that you may want to join us for.

The first is our incorporation party– to celebrate our official status as a non-profit corporation, we’re throwing a party. Come join us at the HackLab to celebrate our incorporation, get ready for Nuit Blanche and SecTor, or even check out the space if you haven’t seen it yet. Yes, yes, it’s not a secret, we’re also fundraising– help us out as we try to offset our start-up costs.

Also, we have a couch now, for real. For real!

The second is an unofficial afterparty for SecTor, where we get to show off the lab to everyone from out of town.

Save the dates:

Incorporation Party – 10/3, 7pm – 3am
SecTor Unofficial Afterparty – 10/8, 8pm – 1am

We hope to see you at the lab!

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