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!
The third meetup of the Toronto RepRap User Group was a massive success!
- Lance: Using and sourcing glass build platforms for your RepRap
- Adam: Building a giant RepRap, his new extruder design, coatings for the build platform.
- Chris: Follow up on producing lenses with 3D printers.
- Matt: Questions for the community.
- Andre: Printing his parents house (watch it print! And another one!).
- Chris: A new programmatic CAD tool, ImplicitCAD (including some never before publicly seen features!)
Thanks again to hacklab for hosting us! Our next meetup will be on March 26th, again the last Monday of the month (can we make this a consistent thing? Maybe!). Since things were starting to get a bit cramped at hacklab, between all of us and the printers, Site 3 will generously be hosting the next meetup.
Finally, I wanted to remind everyone that you too can be a speaker at the next meeting of the Toronto RepRap User Group! It’s nothing formal: just get up and talk for five-ish minutes. No need to contact me in advance, just turn up and tell me before we start the talks! I will be very grateful for more speakers!
(Also, there is now a mailing list for organizing our meetings and discussing Toronto-RepRaping issues.)
There’s going to be a Toronto Haskell Users Meetup at hacklab on March 7th starting at 7pm. Come by and meet your fellow Haskellers!
This will be the first one. I’m really looking forward to meeting other Haskellers in person!
Haskell Users of Toronto, unite!
You may optionally sign up for this meetup on eventbrite.
Quantified Self is a really cool movement of people doing self tracking using technology — for example, one might use a device to monitor their heart data or when they’re at home, and then analyze it. One idea several people around the lab have been toying with is applying these ideas to organizations one is a part of. Just like individuals can benefit from Quantified Self by gaining objective information about themselves, organizations may be able to similarly benefit. (We admit, our motivations mostly boil down to: data is cool and graphs are pretty.) The natural place to begin, of course, was with hacklab!
We (Sen and Chris) were really excited about this and have done some initial analysis. Hacklab (like, we think, most hackerspaces) had a lot of sources of data laying around, waiting to be analyzed:
- doorbot (in my opinion, our gold mine)
- Google Calendar
- IRC Traffic
- Twitter Traffic
- Mailing List Traffic
- Blog Hits
- Hacklab Public Computer Activity?
So far, we have only worked with the doorbot data.
Unless the door has been unlocked, entering Hacklab requires one to use a small fob, unique to each member. The program responsible for processing these, doorbot, will unlock the door if it detects a member. It also logs the entry in a database. This is a valuable source of data about activity at the lab, but there are a number of ways in which it can be flawed. If a member works on a project on the side walk outside, they may enter and leave a number of times in a matter of minutes, but this doesn’t actually mean there was more activity. On the other hand, a member may enter along with another or on when the door is unlocked, making them invisible. Furthermore, Fob’s may be reassigned over time, and we have no way to know who the former owner was. The first concern is mitigated in the following data by considering only the number of entries by unique members each day.
Mark your calendars: Monday the 27th will be Toronto’s third RepRap User Group Meetup! We’ll be meeting at hacklab (location info) at 7pm! Bring your RepRap/Makerbot/3D printing awesomeness!
Meet your fellow RepRap enthusiasts! Share knowledge, learn about the awesome things people are doing, and have a great time!
Everyone interested in 3D Printing is welcome. People who are being driven insane by their obsession with the awesomeness of 3D printing are strongly encouraged so that they can benefit from contact with the similarly afflicted.
I’m super excited to have this happen and am really looking forward to seeing you there!
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.
On Saturday Feb 11th, I’ll be teaching an Introduction to Python workshop. It will go from 10am to 4pm, with a break for lunch.
Python is a popular programming language, known for its simplicity, ease of use, and elegance. An excellent language to start programming in.
We’ll cover some basic programming concepts. What that will include will depend on how fast we go :)
Please RSVP — we have limited space!