Reviving Gamfternoon, take II

by on Oct.06, 2011, under Events

Come visit hacklab Sunday October 16th, 3pm onwards as we revive the “gamfternoon” gaming sessions of hacklab lore. There will be a copy of Settlers of Catan and Dominion (with Seaside expansion) on hand, or bring your games to share with others for the afternoon. The more the merrier, invite all your friends! Non-members totally welcome, the door will be unlocked. We’ll be repeating these gaming sessions every other week, so: Oct 16th, Oct 30th, Nov 13th, etc.

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t-shirt hacking workshop

by on Sep.28, 2011, under Events

Free and open to the public.

Hacklab will be having a t-shirt hacking workshop on Monday October 24th, 7-9pm. We’ll be working with t-shirts and doing things like:

– laser cutting them, ala Diana Eng
– boxy to foxy, like this: Boxy to Foxy
– stylishly cut up your t-shirt, like this:
Cut up the Back of your T-shirt
Revamp an old t-shirt.

Or any other t-shirt hack, if you’re keen and you find some instructions, let’s try it out! Bring your old t-shirts and let’s make them fresh again!

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Train Overlord Hackathon

by on Jul.12, 2011, under Events

Come one, come all, to the 3rd Train Overlord Hackathon. Saturday August 6th, 1pm onwards.

The plan for the Hackathon is to put up way more track. With super awesome acrylic base. But if you’ve got passion to hack on the engine, the software, or whatever, come and hack! The more the merrier.

What is Train Overlord? It’s hacklab’s robotic denizen, our friendly robot overlord, who rules with an iron rail. (well, actually, the rails are aluminum, but the overlord doesn’t let that stop him). The Train Overlord is controlled wirelessly, there is a web interface, and you can download an app on your smart phone to control him directly from your phone. Our goal for the Train Overlord is to have him able to ferry empty cans from the desk to the recycle bins, on command. To that end, the Train Overlord is equipped with a winch mechanism. He also sports a laser, because what self-respecting robot doesn’t have a laser?!?

Anyway, come join us and hack on robots, no experience necessary! Saturday August 6th, 1pm onward.

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Reviving Gamfternoon

by on Jul.07, 2011, under Events

Come visit hacklab this Sunday, 3pm onwards as we revive the “gamfternoon” gaming sessions of hacklab lore. There will be a copy of Settlers of Catan and Dominion on hand, or bring your games to share with others for the afternoon. The more the merrier, invite all your friends! Non-members totally welcome, the door will be unlocked. We’ll probably repeat gaming sessions on a regular basis, though dates and times may change.

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Hacklab Party – Friday April 29

by on Apr.27, 2011, under Events


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.

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Arduino Servo workshop: Making things move (April 18th, 7pm)

by on Apr.07, 2011, under Events

UPDATE: Notes from this session as well as a detailed online tutorial have now been posted at:  http://wiki.goodrobot.com/wiki/Servos


To reserve your spot for this free workshop please confirm through eventbrite:

This workshop is for anyone who would like to make things move using hobby servos.  Attendance is free and limited to 11 people. Beginners at any level are welcome, though ideally you will have a very basic familiarity with Arduino (for example, you might have tried something like the arduino blink tutorial).

The workshop will be held at Hacklab (170a Baldwin St) 7pm-9pm April 18th. Hacklab is located in Kensington Market, a few blocks SW of College and Spadina. For directions see:                                   http://hacklab.to/location/

In this workshop we will discuss hobby servos, how they work, and what they can be used for. Then we will use our Arduino (an open hardware platform) to control them. For those interested in working with robotics or making things move, controlling servos with arduino is a great first step.
Please bring:
– A laptop (make sure you have downloaded and installed the Arduino Software: see arduino.cc )
– An arduino (Creatron sells them on College St just a few doors east of Spadina)

I’ll supply a variety of servos that you can experiment with. See you there!

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Hacklab Summer BBQ, June 11

by on Apr.05, 2011, under Events

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
  • Snacks
  • 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!

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OpenSCAD Workshop

by on Mar.22, 2011, under Events

I’m going to be running an openSCAD workshop on April 4th at 19:00.

OpenSCAD is a lot like a programming language except that instead of compiling into software it compiles into a 3D object. You have if statements, loops and functions. For a lot of purposes, it is way easier than using traditional 3D modeling software.

For example, it’s what the Hacklab RepRap is being developed in.

No reservations are necessary. It would be preferable for you to install it before coming (Ubuntu Users: there’s no package in the archives but you can use this PPA).

I hope to see you there!

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Upcoming Workshops

by on Feb.18, 2011, under Events

This coming Monday the 21st is the Arduino Workshop II. There is ONE ticket remaining ($20 to cover materials).

Monday Feb 28th, Chris will be doing a workshop on the mathematics behind fractals. It isn’t just pretty pictures, it’s pretty math too! Chris will post more details later.

Monday March 7th, I’ll be leading a workshop for hacklab members only on how to use the laser cutter. We’ll be using Inkscape to draw shapes, an Inkscape plugin to generate gcode, and of course EMC2 to do the laser cutting. By the end of the workshop you’ll be able to operate the laser cutter by yourself.

Monday March 14th, Leigh will be leading a Soldering Workshop for Women. Gents never fear because…

Monday March 21st, I’ll be leading another Soldering Workshop which anyone can attend. Both soldering workshops will have the same selection of kits as before (Bliplace, TV-be-Gone, Trippy RBG Wave, Truth Kit, North Paw).

More details (including eventbrite RSVP links) to follow as the dates get closer.

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Arduino Workshop

by on Jan.13, 2011, under Events

Hacklab’s second Monday Workshop is coming up in just a few days! It’ll be on arduino, the open source microcontroller platform that anyone can use to make their projects more interactive and fun! The workshop is open to the public, anyone is welcome to attend. January 17th, starting at 7pm, I will lead a brief tutorial for beginners, including how to set up the software, how to make an LED blink, and some very basic electronics stuff. I will demo some more advanced uses of Arduino. Then, at 8pm, we’ll open it up to people’s projects – if you’ve got one, bring it and I or some other knowledgeable hacklabber will be glad to help you out. If you don’t have a project yet, come get inspired and maybe you can learn something by helping someone else with theirs.

Note: if you’re planning to attend, bring your laptop and an arduino. Arduino’s are sold by the most excellent Creatron Electronics, only a few blocks away from hacklab on College street. If you set out a bit early, you can swing by Creatron on your way here!

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