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

The Toronto Maker Festival’s Extravaganza is this weekend at the Toronto Reference Library – and ylab will be there!extravaganza-2016-landscape1We’ll be in the maker spaces’ area. Come out and say hi. See what we’re up to with our other York Region friends at the David Dunlap Observatory and other groups. We’ll have some of our members’ creations on display, including our latest prototype of a thing-that’s-not-called-a-light-sabre-so-Disney-doesn’t-get-mad-at-us. Those things seem to attract a lot of trouble, so maybe we’ll just call it a lightning rod, since Ben Franklin didn’t patent it.If we can just get a little more organised, we might be announcing some other cool things. Admission is free, but you need to register here.
Ten minutes ago, these were potatoes.

Ten minutes ago, these were potatoes.

Ylab held its first member’s Annual General Meeting on June 20 at the DDO. How do you get a bunch of makers to actually show up for a boring meeting? Hold a BBQ!
Can we be any clearer that it's a ylab BBQ event?

Can we be any clearer that it’s a ylab BBQ event?

July 25 is the anniversary of our first event, so it’s not quite a full year. Fiscal year end is March 31 because our volunteering accounting people have the time now to do all the book closing and reporting stuff  Big thanks to Jenn, Murray, Joel and Wendy for all their work that nobody else wants to do.
Shady characters did the cooking.

Shady characters did the cooking.

Being makers, frozen patties would just not do. Nothing but fresh ground beef. A charcoal kettle. A big vat of boiling oil and fresh cut fries. Bitten tongue was on the menu for those who thought  we would put breadcrumbs or milk-based substances in our burger patties (you know who you are). The nerve.
Boiling oil. Don't piss us off, or we're taking it to the roof.

Boiling oil. Don’t tick us off, or we’re taking it to the roof.

The BBQ was a most pleasant and relaxed event – a warm summer solstice evening, a perfect venue at the DDO, a good breeze to keep carnivorous bugs away from the carnivorous makers, and good company from the invited RASC-DDO members who open the doors for us on our maker nights and do an all-around amazing job.
Turning away from the camera because they ate TWO burgers.

Turning away from the camera because they ate TWO burgers.

The AGM part was mercifully short. A member vote brought in new board members Pek and Richard. Our eternal gratitude to departing board members Peter and Gary for all their work helping ylab get off the ground. At the end  of the evening, the usually-dark parking lot was lit by a squadron of fireflies. And that’s how ylab does an annual meeting.
Ylab members volunteered themselves to test out and be tested themselves in our first two formal classes since moving into the DDO – our Intro to 2D CAD, followed by our Ylab Laser Cutter Certification.
No actual rats harmed by this laser

No actual rats harmed by this laser cutting.

Since we want a solid foundation to build-on, we used the free version of DraftSight, a CAD program with great 2D and 3D capabilities, and a user interface that’s compatible pro-grade tools like AutoCAD. Participants suffered through some trial and error. We allocated some extra time.  And some more extra time. But by the end of the class, participants had etched their own dog tags and cut out their graduation certificates.
2D CAD layout. Your name could be here!

2D CAD layout. Your name could be here!

We now have great intro material and better structure for the next set of classes, which we’ll be announcing soon.BONUS FEATURE: Thanks to the people at TechSoup who do so many things for non-profits, we’ve acquired a full license for AutoCAD for the maker space at a very, very significant discount. Now to find and adequate PC to put it on…
Open house is cancelled this week  – Wednesday April 13 – due to our members-only laser cutter class taking over the space. Ylab paid-up members are allowed to come in for whatever activity they normally do.
Ylab's laser cutter at work. What else would we cut?

Ylab’s laser cutter at work. What else would we cut?

Our last corporate event at Lenovo was such a success that we’re doing it again – and this time, Qualcomm Canada is hosting us.

Breakfast with the CEOs: Innovation and Technology in the Cloud

Come out and hear how three York Region companies have innovated to use cloud computing to create new  lines of business.These companies are building and running successful ventures on an international scale that would not be possible without the resources and technology of the cloud.Our speakers are not just users – they’ve been leaders in addressing the regulatory, security and data locationon issues with government and some of the biggest cloud suppliers.Find out how they’ve handled business, scaling, security and other issues – and join in the Q&A to get your own questions answered.ylab-event-poster-north41-with-CEOs-v4 Larry Keating – President and CEO, NPC ( )– invented and brought to market his industry’s first secure managed endpoint computing solution, changing how laptop computers are managed for business. NPC uses the cloud to secure, manage, monitor and back up laptops in a way that’s superior and cheaper than companies can manage themselves. As president and CEO of Keating Technologies he founded in 1987, Larry has brought more than $1.5 billion in technology and services to Canadians, and is a 3-time national winner of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies award.Anthony R. Pearlman – President and COO, Intertainment Media ( ). When some of the biggest names in entertainment hold their special events, Intertainment Media is there. Through their divisions and various company investments, they manage the dynamic web presence and ensure it can scale to meet the demand. They syndicate live content to millions of users globally. They’re enabling cloud-based ventures like Yappn for real-time e-commerce translation services. Anthony has over 25 years of hands-on technology experience from co-founding and running   early stage late 90’s e-commerce start-ups all the way to the C-suite in large public enterprises. RJ Juneau – CEO and Founder, Maxxian( Maxxian provides world-leading technology for managing and securing millions of video set-tops and Internet access devices for cable operators from Alaska to the coast of South America. They use the same virtualisation and system management technology used by cloud providers to manage systems at their customer sites to reduce their costs, speed deployments and increase reliability and flexibility. RJ’s been at the leading/bleeding edge of technology for over 30 years in banking and trading systems, supercomputing, MPEG video and other fun things.  IT’S IN MARKHAM, SO THERE’S LOTS OF FREE PARKING!Full details here on Eventbrite.Get your registrations in now – the Qualcomm space is smaller than Lenovo’s, so seating is limited.
All great announcements should be in latin.(*) On Monday night we took delivery of our brand spanking new laser cutter – a monstrous 90W unit with a 24″ x 36″cutting surface.
OK, it's a big giant laser. Now what do we do with it?

OK, it’s a big giant laser. Now what do we do with it?

At least he didn't take a selfie with it.

You can feel the excitement. At least he didn’t take a selfie with it.

Now comes the hard part – figuring how to use the infernal contraption. We’ll be working out all the rules and procedures and safety issues, and setting up a formal class.
Ylab scientists trying to figure out how to make it work.

Ylab scientists (not evil… yet…) deciphering complex instructions

Last night we worked feverishly to get our first design cut.
What will we cut out first? Duh!

What will we cut out first? Duh!

Just made it by closing time!
Ylab - a proud part of the community since 2015.

Ylab – a proud part of the community since 2015.

(*) If you actually speak latin… yeah, Habemus lux gladius is not the greatest translation. But it fits nicely in a headline. If you really want to get picky about it, Habemus cultellum excitata per lucem is a better description. Habemus lux gladius could also be used to describe a light sabre. Remember: Google translate is your friend.
Hasn’t been a blog post in a few weeks… because it’s better to be doing than blogging. But once in a while, we need to post something – or people claim nothing is happening! York Region is the y and the why of ylaband this week we had a bunch of firsts in three different cities. At our DDO maker space in Richmond Hill, we had all three 3D printers fired up for the first time. Big thanks to Jay and Richard for making it happen. More gear appears every week, more gears are being printed, and they’ll soon be joined by our new laser cutter.York Region Coffee and Code  kicked off the first PHP user group in Markham on Tuesday night. With Maxxian agreeing to loan their boardroom to kick it off, organisers Glenn and Simon ran out of excuses and just did it. 13 people attended ranging from newbies to some very serious talent to help them. That very same night, Pong Studios hosted the first Unity game development meetup in Vaughan. In our newsletter, we said they were going big by bringing in top Unity evangelist Mark Shoennagel… and they went even bigger! Mark is an excellent speaker, and he provided the world’s first public demo of the new networked, multi-player version of Unity. He took us through a full sequence of game development, explaining all the features and built-in defences against hacks and cheats, all while connected to one of only five operating network servers in existence. We got to see it before everyone else at the upcoming Game Development Conference. Lots  more happening in the background for light sabres, robotics, more coding groups, haunted house, ham radio, hackathons…