Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 - Renewable Energy & the Grid

Fred Fernbach presented solutions for those needing electrical power, in a variety of settings, be it for power outages and backups, small vehicles, or larger installations that may incorporate passive solar, hydro, and wind in the mix of power generation.

June 2017 - Canadian Perspective on the Global Semiconductor Industry

Few of us knew that Canadian, university trained, software and hardware engineers were designing and programming a wide variety of chips - mainly GPUs. Mike Alford, was one of the players in the early years of the industry.
John and Mike

Friday, May 19, 2017

May 2017 - Open Source Self-Driving CARS Initiative

Thank you, Marius Slavescu, for taking time from you busy schedule and presenting a most interesting and timely topic. Marius brought a plethora of (mostly) inexpensive sensing devices, all supported by open source software, to 'read the road' intelligently and allow simulated, computer vision controlled, driving of automobiles. This is an aspect of deep learning (artificial intelligence), still in the early stages of development by members of the general public.

April 2017 - MCM first portable computer

Dr Zbigniew Stachniak, of York University, reviewed the history of this amazing Canadian invention - the first truly portable, battery supported, portable computer. "Ziggy" is proposing an expanded computer museum at York U., which will need funding to more fully display Canadian contributions to hardware development.
Toronto Invented the PC, then forgot it...

Friday, March 10, 2017

March 9 Mtg. Auto Hacks

John Kost introduced various tools allowing car enthusiasts to gain insight into modern automobiles. i.e.; - jacking into OBD-II (Diagnostics Port) and doing simple things like understanding fault codes and even resetting them thus avoiding a trip to a dealership - delving deeper into the typical ECU (Engine Control Unit) and demystifying things even further - disassembly of the ROM firmware and  and finding vulnerabilities - snooping the automotive CAN network - some of the threat vectors consumers face with regards to having their car hacked. John's 23 page slideshow will be made available on the club website; his presentation links are below.

Auto Hacking Links for March 9 2017 Presentation by John Kost

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Open Data Systems January12, 2017

a presentation by Jonathan Brown - How open data is now being used by governments, some successful examples, and visions for the future.
Here is a link, further explaining the concept of Open Data Systems, and why we should care.

Jonathan provided links to resources and examples:
Open data and content can be freely used, modified and shared by anyone for any purpose.”
Ontario’s Open Data Catalogue: An online tool used to disseminate data in accordance with this directive can be viewed at
Some Examples of Open Data:
City of Toronto:
Community-Based Challenge:
Algorithms and Weapons of Math Destruction: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (open challenge to Mark Zuckerberg)
Jonathan Brown


Friday, December 16, 2016

December 2016 - Solar Electric Powered and Geothermal Heated, Victory Garden Geenhouse

Bob Bell and Joan Kerr, on the successes and failures of this pioneering project in creating an inexpensive, year-round, fresh food source for a variety of climates.

Friday, November 18, 2016

November 2016 - Consumer Council of Canada

Representatives of the Consumer Council of Canada hosted a 'Town Hall Meeting' to discuss "Cyber Security and the Consumer", covering different types of risks - fraud, identity theft, hacking, integrity of on-line reviews, on-line purchases, and warranty issues. The ensuing discussion ranged broadly into many other areas affected by conflicted commercial, government, and public interests.

About the Consumers Council of Canada
The Consumers Council of Canada works collaboratively with consumers, business and government in support of consumers' rights and responsibilities, including:
•    The right to safety.
•    The right to choose.
•    The right to be heard.
•    The right to be informed.
•    The right to consumer education.
•    The right to consumer redress.
•    The right to a healthy environment
•    The right to basic needs.
•    The right to privacy.
The Council seeks to have an efficient, equitable, effective and safe marketplace for consumers. It endeavours to be a voice for consumers across Canada, and works to listen to consumers and develop policy consistent with what it is told. The Council provides leadership in educating and informing consumers about their rights and responsibilities.

October 2016 - Technology Perspective

Bob Gostischa had previously presented his views on technology and security, to the APCUG group, in May 2016. Our October meeting involved a Q&A, after re-showing Bob's highly informative podcast. Bob mentioned his preference for Avast security software, because it offers a free version that works on Windows operating systems back to XP. Avast also protects Android devices with several security apps.