The First Maker Space and Tech Community For Markham, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, & Vaughan.

A dozen programmers came in to learn the language.

A dozen programmers came out to learn the language.

Programmers came out on October 7 2015 for ylab’s Python Constricted – a crash course in the Python Language for people who already know how to program.YLab Code PythonAttendees arrived ready to go with Python already loaded on their laptops. They worked their way through the hands-on overview of the general structure and features of the language. Then they got down to some serious coding with the help of ylab’s Pythonista volunteers.
When we say challenge, we mean challenge.

When we say challenge, we mean challenge.

The  participants got over the biggest hurdles, figuring out how to load additional libraries and get all the necessary pieces together. In the three hours available,  they got the hang of it, and many  were up to the challenges of retrieving data from web sites and reading and writing database records. There was a lot of surprise that in Python, these tasks are as easy – if not easier! – that writing to files in other languages.
Sometimes, even the volunteer is puzzled.

Sometimes, even the volunteer is puzzled.

Big thanks to ylab volunteers Arjun, Craig, Michael and Pek for mentoring, setting up the servers for the class, and preparing the challenges; and to Simon’s Coffee and Code York Region Meetup Group for helping to get the word out. An extra special thanks to Markham Public Library for hosting the event and going the extra mile in allowing us to stay for a hour after closing.
Caution. Heavy thinking in progress.

Caution. Heavy thinking in progress.

Robot Ross (known to humans as Ross Lunan) is breaking out the high-voltage cables and jump starting Ylab’s first regular monthly meeting – the Ylab Robotycs group. First meeting is Wednesday September 30th from 7 PM to 10 PM, and every 4th Wednesday of the month starting in October. Apparently we didn’t do enough damage at last week’s Arduino class, so Ramy has somehow agreed to again let is in to Logics Academy for this first event. You’ve seen Ross’ and other volunteers’ creations at our Kick-Off event and at the Maker Festival.
Potentially dangerous robots. Well, not really.

Potential YLab robotics mayhem. Not necessarily as illustrated.

Registration is open on Eventbrite and space is limited. Come out and join us for fun, a chance to share and gain experience, and hopefully not too much mayhem.
At Wednesday’s Arduino class, YLab regulars were talking about how hard it is to believe that it’s only been a month since our Kick-Off event. That was way back on July 25, and the Arduino class was on August 26. OK, a month and a day. It’s been a challenge, an inspiration, and most of all, a whole lot of fun for the growing group of volunteers, makers, techies, geeks and just plain enthusiastic people who’ve been showing up. All ages. All skill levels. All having a great time. Our planning is best described as “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”. Much to our amazement, it all worked out. We’ve been growing in numbers as more and more York Region makers are discovering us. We’re always happy for those curious to check us out or contact us on social media if you have any questions at all (Facebook or Twitter) So what’s next? Watch this space for the announcements – we’re working on some new amazing events and updates! They’ll be up soon we promise. In the meantime I bet you’re wondering what we’ve learned in our first month?

Top 10 Things Learned in YLab’s First Month:

YLab Outside The Markham Library

10. Libraries Love Geeks

YLab at DDO 3D Printing

9. People love lightsabers and 3D Printing, but they really love lightsabers.

Building a Telescope Presentation

8. Amateur astronomers are also uber-makers? Who knew???

YLab at Markham Library OBD Reader

7. Embarrassed yourself because your car diagnostics demo isn’t working? No problem. The attendees will figure it out for you.

YLab at Logics Academy

6. How do you get two robotics shops, a library and a giant telescope to let themselves be invaded by a bunch of makers? Just ask!

OBD Presentation at Markham Library

5. The owner’s manual says you don’t have to change those spark plugs for 160,000 km? With our road salt, they might rust in place by then.

Making an Arduino Blink

4. If we build it, they will come. They’ll even come from Toronto to York Region. You know who you are. We have pictures.

YLab Volunteers at the DDO

3. Amazing how a bunch of uncoordinated volunteers can make a website and social media come together.

DDO Telescope Closeup

2. Need a 70 inch mirror re-coated by aluminum vapour deposition? No problem. We got yer’ big honkin’ vacuum chamber right here. In Richmond Hill.

And the number one thing we learned:

YLab Member Group Shot

1. York Region has AMAZING makers!

Thanks to Pek, Markham Library, and Uncle D for the pictures.
We are happy to announce that our first three events are open for registration. Hurry up and get your tickets. Seats are limited so book soon.  Wed Aug 12, 2015, 7PM-9PMEvent: Car Hack: OBD-II/CAN Readers for diagnostics and fun Where: Markham Public Library’s Thornhill Community Centre Cost: Donation Ticket: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/y-lab-car-hack-night-obd-iican-readers-for-auto-diagnostics-and-fun-tickets-17904881984 Wed Aug 19, 2015, 8PM-11PMEvent: Old Tech Meets New Tech at David Dunlap Observatory Where: The David Dunlap Observatory Cost: $15 ($12 before Aug 10) Ticket: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/ylab-makers-at-the-david-dunlap-observatory-old-tech-meets-new-tech-tickets-17902894038 Wed Aug 26, 2015, 7PM-10PMEvent: Getting Started with Wiring and Arduino (no kids) Where: Logics Academy Cost: $85 with Arduino ($60 bring your own Arduino) Ticket: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/ylab-getting-started-with-wiring-and-arduino-18-event-tickets-17930294995