A Home for Windsor's Tech Community

January 2017 at Hackforge


Board Game Night
Tuesday, January 10: 6:00 – 9:00PM
Join us for a night of board games and card games from 6-10PM. This event is free and open to everyone. If you’re new to board games, we encourage you to come by as we will have trusty Hackforgers there to help get you started.
We’ll have a games like Smash Up, Small World, The Resistance, and more. Bring your favourite game (that can be played in less than four hours)!
Facebook Event

Member Day: Two New Rooms!
Saturday, January 14: 1:00PM
Hackforge Members are invited to join us for a tour of our two new rooms! Check out the renovated basement and let’s talk about a better workshop and classroom space, plus plans for 2017.
Facebook Event

Open Coding Night
Wednesday, January 18: 7:00PM
Working on a project? Need to bounce ideas off other programmers? Bring your laptop and get coding! Great event for beginners as well. Tutorials will be available and the event is facilitated a real life computer programmer.
Facebook Event

Border City Data
Monday, January 23: 7:00PM
Border City Data is a new interest group focused on data and databases. Our initial meeting will focus on a practical introduction to SQL. The Structured Query Language is one of the most common ways that users interact with databases, and it’s an essential skill for all kinds of professionals who work with data.
Facebook Event

Software Guild
Wednesday, January 25: 7:00 – 9:00PM

Nerd-o-meter: Beginner/Intermediate
Through the magic of Space Cats and Pizza, we’ll be set on a marvellous journey exploring Javascript’s this keyword. We’ll be learning how to bend it to our every will, all the while avoiding its radioactive pitfalls. Space-cadets of all ranks are welcome to come aboard! Even the most experienced space surfer might pick up a few new cheesy curds of knowledge. We’ll be boarding soon, so don’t delay! Come join us on this epic journey through the space-time of this.

Looking to get your business or idea off the ground? Sara Alhasan from Ontario Centres of Excellence will be giving a short talk about their entrepreneurship programs, what they offer, and how to apply.
Facebook Event

Winter Hackathon
Open to University of Windsor Undergraduate and Graduate students
Friday, January 27 to 29 2016
The University of Windsor’s Computer Science Department and Windsor Hackforge are teaming up for Winter Hackathon. Open to undergraduate and graduate students from the University, this weekend hackathon will test skills with creative challenges using data from the community and industry.
More Details Here / Facebook Event
Register NOW as a participant, volunteer, or mentor

Order of the Indie Game Developers: Great Canadian Game Jam Brainstorm 
Monday, January 30: 7:00PM
A Game Jam is a group of people planning, designing, and creating one or more games. January’s meetup, we will be giving an introduction to Game Jams and host a brainstorming session to what one spread across 2017 would look like. We’re inviting video game developers, artists, writers, and fans to join in the process.
Facebook Event

Book Club: Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem (2006)
Tuesday, January 31: 7:00PM
Liu Cixin’s science fiction novel The Three Body Problem was a smash hit bestseller in China, and has finally been translated into English by Ken Liu. It’s a mind-bending tale of politics, aliens and gaming. Join us for a discussion of this Hugo Award winning novel.
Facebook Event
Amazon | Chapters


**NB: Due to the holidays,Windsor-Essex .NET Developers will not be meeting in January**

Be a Part of Open Data Windsor Essex


Tuesday, September 29th, Hackforge launched the Open Data Windsor-Essex community open data portal with the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Visit and explore the portal at ODWE.ca.

Open Data is data that can be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone. Governments of all levels have embraced open data in recent years to further transparency and accountability. Open Data Windsor Essex is introducing community open data through its new portal featuring data by the community, for the community.

We are inviting the community to take part in the portal.

Community Organizations:
Do you have data to share? We are looking for relevant community data that can be made publicly available (no sensitive or personal data). We can take archival data, on-going projects, or help in the development of future initiatives. Raw data is best, but we can work with data at any stage. Be ready for others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially!


We invite programmers to help the community data initiative by taking on an Open Data Windsor Essex dataset project, assist in the development of the ODWE Portal, report errors or problems, and use the data in their own work. If you are interested in helping as a developer, contact info@hackf.org.

Community Members:
We encourage the community to get involved in open data! Use the data in research, advocacy, education, journalism. Take part in hackathons. Support open data projects and keep Open Data in mind while creating.


See more about the ODWE Launch below:


Volunteer Opportunity: Group Order System Needed

We happen to be dealers for Adafruit, purveyors of all manner of cool things. This means that Hackforge gets a substantial discount on items produced by Adafruit. A discount that we pass on to you. There’s a catch, though. The minimum order is $250. This means that we have to coordinate group orders of multiple people. Doing this by hand is time-consuming and error prone.

Hence the volunteer opportunity! We need a web-based system that will allow people to order items they want, get a price estimate pulled from our Adafruit account, and report how close we are to meeting the minimum order. Are you a programmer with the will, the genius, and the willingness to be showered with enduring praise? Then email us!


Volunteer opportunities in the space

Hackforge is a place where we work on projects either on our own or together. Unlike many other hackerspaces, Hackforge runs on the partnerships it has with the community, such as the Windsor Public Library, and it runs on the volunteer efforts of our members.

We want our members to choose what work they are interested in contributing to and we’re starting to put suggestions of possible volunteer projects on posts of our website marked volunteer-op

But if you are not sure where to start or what what would be really appreciated, here are some such suggestions.

  • we need a point person for hardware donations. This person would collect information about the donation from the donor and determine whether it should be accepted based on available space and by criteria set by the Facilities Group
  • we need someone to create a simple organization system of labelling shelves and boxes so that people less familiar with the space could still help in keeping the space tidy and the tables clear for work.
  • there are two workshop tables that need to be built
  • run a workshop so that our members can learn how use the 3D printers

Also, we would love to see more documentation of the great work that is already happening at Hackforge. Once you’ve started or finished a project – or heck, even when you are in the middle of one, please add a quick write-up of your work here on the Hackfor.org website. If you need an account to do this, please contact the Membership chair and she can get you added.

If you are interested in helping out with any of these projects or have another idea of what you would like to see in the space and can put yourself as a lead to make it happen, please contact our Facility Manager, Paul Anderson

Upcoming projects at Hackforge

As you may know, Hackforge runs on the awesome power of its volunteers.  As chair of the volunteer group, it’s my job to let you know that there are some wonderful volunteer opportunities that might interest you:



Hackforge is going to have a presence at the Sport and Hobby Expo that will be held at the WFCU Centre May 30th to June 1st.  Help us represent! If you are interested, contact phil @ hackf.org


DOING THE w.a.v.e

w.a.v.e.s. (Windsor’s Artists, Visions, Energies & Sculptures) is a new art festival taking place Sept. 26-27 along the river at the Windsor Sculpture Park. The two-day event showcases local artists’ works of art, culture and technology

Hackforge is putting forward an entry in w.a.v.e.s. that involves persistence of vision technology. It’s going involve doing an electronic build and if you’d like to be part of this project, let us know (doug at hackf.org).



Tech Talks are generally held in the space every other Thursday, and they are a great way to share what you know with a friendly audience that appreciates the technical struggles behind making things work.  If you are interested in giving a Tech Talk, please contact Doug Satori (doug at hackf.org).



The Forest Glade Branch of the Windsor Public Library has Mindstorm Robots.  Hackforge has a VEX robotics kit that needs someone to make a help guide or document step-by-step a project, so those unfamiliar with robotics can try the set.  Interested in helping out with such curriculum?  Contact aaron at hackf.org


These are only suggestions for volunteer work. As we are a member-driven organization, the opportunity to start projects in our space and do amazing work with others is always there too!



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