Hacklab.to, a collective hacking community based in Toronto, Ontario Canada celebrated its second anniversary last weekend, with cake and beer.
What is the hacklab.to's collective all about? Well, it is similar to other non-profit community-based hacking collectives, such as Foulab, based in Montreal. The premise is quite simple: a bunch of like-minded people have found home in Toronto where the can get together to explore their interests in electronics, hacking and technology. Hacklab.to and Foulab are parts of a global movement toward localized (real-life) spaces where interested parties can exchange knowledge and tools, socialize and have fun with technology for the sake of fun and self-education, instead of financial profit.
One example of the sort of thing they have been working on can be found below, in these two videos.
After finding a broken laser engraver selling on Craigslist for $500, some hacklab'ers decided it would be a fun toy to play around with. They bought it, and making the most of the experience, they built the necessary replacement parts from scratch, using MOSFETs and PIC microcontollers.
Then viola: a working laser engraver!
But firing lasers isn't all the engraver is good for -- after some experimentation, the collective noticed that different motor movements produced different sounds. So they programmed in a series of movements to perform a low-fidelty version of the Legend of Zelda theme:
If you live in Toronto, and are interested in Hacklab.to, you can check out the website here. They have workshops on stuff (like Ruby, for example), arrange trips (they are going to the Hacking at Random event in the Netherlands) and build stuff of questionable merit (and awesomeness), like this toilet-based Twitter station: