Hackforge Hits Maker Faire 2014



Last weekend, Maker Faire Detroit brought together over 400 makers, showcasing their work at the Henry Ford Museum. Hackforge couldn’t miss the opportunity to check it out! Many of our members made the trek across the border to check out what kindred spirits were up to.

Hackforger Terry McAlinden reported: “From watching a two-ton safe get dropped on a car (life-sized Mousetrap game) to an endless stream of Arduino enabled projects, to robots playing basketball, to artists and craftsmen hand making art that ranged from recycled tin kitchen appliances to meticulously detailed miniature working engines.” He was joined by JoAnne, Paul Anderson, and Rob Caruso. “Suffice to say we spent nearly 7.5 hours there and only absorbed a fraction of what was offered.”

Maker Faire Detroit was an inspiring event that brought together tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. Hackforge is a small organization of smart, talented people within a larger world and Maker Faire was the hub.

Click below to see more of Terry McAlinden’s photos:


Tech Talk: High Availability MySQL on a Low Budget (Terry Johnson)

Thursday, August 7th at 6PM, join Terry Johnson for a discussion on how to build a high-availability MySQL database using Linux clustering inside a virtual environment, and why hypervisor-based HA isn’t enough.

Terry Johnson is responsible for IT and R&D at Scribendi.com, an online English editing and proofreading company based in Chatham, Ontario. Terry has a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the University of Oxford.

This Tech Talk is part of the Hackforge series which takes place every other Thursday. Hackforge is located in the front of the Windsor Public Library Central branch (850 Ouellette Ave). To learn more, please consult our Meetup.

Open Data Windsor-Essex Takes The Next Step



Last night, Tuesday, July 29th, Open Data Windsor-Essex (ODWE) met at Hackforge with its members and interested people from the community. ODWE announced the Trillium funding received that will help community partners employ, access, and utilize open data. With the hiring of new Program Coordinator, Sarah Morris, ODWE is helping non-profits make their information available to the everyone.

ODWE plans for an exciting fall with a portal launch and hackathons in the works. For a more comprehensive breakdown, please take a look at the slides put together by ODWE Director, Mita Williams.

If you are interested in being a part of ODWE, have an interest in open data, or ideas about where it can grow in the city, please let us know by contacting info@hackf.org.



“This Isn’t A Deathmatch, It’s Wrestling!” – Robot Sumo at Forest Glade Libary

Last Saturday, July 26th, Hackforge lead over 20 kids age 10-18 in building, programming, and competing in robot sumo. According to mentor Paul, the participants took to coding like ‘ducks to water.’ With a little guidance, they were able to run wild with the Lego Mindstorm kits.

Thanks to all the Hackforge mentors Aaron, Paul, and Kevin. We also thank Forest Glade Library and the Windsor Public Library for hosting our event during their summer Eureka program.

The next Robot Sumo event is Saturday, August 9th at Bridgeview Library (1295 Campbell Avenue). The event starts once again at 1PM and goes until 4PM. We welcome kids age 10-18 to participate. This is a free event but registration is required. Register now by contacting info@hackf.org.

Follow below for more videos of the Forest Glade Robot Sumo day!


Magic Eye Colour Organ Comes Alive

Last Thursday, July 24th, Rob Caruso gave his Tech Talk on the Magic Eye Colour Organ to a full house at Hackforge. Going through the history of the technology, we also learned about how Rob designed and constructed the organ. The Tech Talk had a few demonstrations of the organ with sight and sound, complete with Pink Floyd.

Rob Caruso is an industrial automation designer and programmer, as well as a long-time electronics enthusiast and hobbyist who has written articles for Nuts & Volts and Servo.

Tech Talks are hosted every other Thursday at Hackforge.

Follow below for more photos of the event..


OpenDataWindsorEssex – Next Steps Meeting


Tuesday, July 29th, Open Data Windsor Essex is meeting at Hackforge (850 Ouellette Ave) at 6:30PM.

We’ll be talking about some exciting projects and giving you an update on the progress from last meeting. Help us plan the next steps and determine the future of open data in our community.

This is an open meeting, so if you are interested in open data in Windsor, please join us.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Mita@hackf.org.

Robot Sumo – Hackforge Summer Event

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Can your team build the best robot? Join Hackforge to build a champion sumo robot, using real-world techniques. Experiment with mechanics, sensors, and artificial intelligence.

This event is for kids and teens aged 10 to 18. Catch this free event on Saturday, July 26th at the Forest Glade Library (3211 Forest Glade Drive) or Saturday, August 9th at the Bridgeview Library (1295 Campbell Ave).

The events start at 1PM and goes until 4PM. To register, please email info@hackf.org.

Hackforge’s summer events for kids and teens are part of the Windsor Public Library’s Eureka programming.

Tech Talk: The Magic Eye Colour Organ Project

Tech Talk Magic Eye

What do you get when you wire vintage magic eye vacuum tubes to modern analog and digital electronics? A unique device that combines sound, light, and motion. Join us for a brief lesson in vacuum tubes, colour organs, and how Rob was able to marry the two.

Rob Caruso is an industrial automation designer and programmer, as well as a long-time electronics enthusiast and hobbyist who has written articles for Nuts & Volts and Servo

This free Hackforge Tech Talk takes place Thursday, July 24th at 6PM. Hackforge is located in the front of the Windsor Public Library (850 Ouellette Ave, Windsor, ON). Check out our Meetup page for more information.

Get a sneak preview of the project here:

Hackforge Summer Event: 3D Printing


3d printing

This Saturday, July 19th experience the power of 3D printing! Hackforge will be at Fontainebleau Library (3030 Rivard Avenue) for an afternoon of demonstrations. We will have a 3D printer on display so you can watch it create something from almost nothing. You can learn how to use a 3D printer to create toys, art, practical items, gifts, and much more.

Kids and their families can stop by between 1-4PM on Saturday and see the machine at work, ask questions to Hackforge volunteers, and interact with 3D creations. This activity is most suited for ages 8-18. No registration required.

Come see how you can bring items from your imagination to life with 3D printing this Saturday! This free event is part of Windsor Public Library’s summer Eureka programming.

Sights from Slide Rules

slide rules

Last night, July 10th, Hackforge hosted an encore presentation of Paul Anderson’s Tech Talk on slide rules. Paul demonstrated his collection of slide rules bringing the history of the almost-forgotten technology to life. This event was part of Hackforge’s Tech Talk series, hosted every other Thursday. Learn about cool stuff with a friendly, supportive group.

Follow below to see pictures from last night’s event. Big thanks to Terry McAlinden for the photos.


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