I was jammed with Maker Expo organization this year so I wasn’t available to cover Hack The North in depth. Still I was happy to hear Kartik confirm that I was on the guest list. It’s a pretty damned cool event only a couple of clicks down the road from my house. So after wrapping up Maker Expo Saturday evening, I woke up late Sunday morning, jammed a pot of coffee, and set out for Engineering 5 at The University of Waterloo for the closing ceremony.
This hacker above came up on stage from an impromptu call by Val for anyone with special talents they were willing to show off. This, my friends, is what opera singing looks like at a hackathon. Not. Even. Kidding. It was the most beautiful sound and it sent chills down my back and transported the entire audience of hundreds of exhausted hackers to a higher plane. No mic required. Her voice just filled that room and you could hear a pin drop. Bravo.
E5, temporary home of HTN again this year. For last year’s HTN here, Communitech hired me to cover the event end to end. I was flattered to hear from the HTN crew that they refer everyone who wants to know about their event to that post I did.
Click through for an unreasonable number of photos and very few words…
In the pits of E5.
Hackathons always are thick with luggage.
Judges. Intense focus by Kory Jeffrey (right)
The aftermath of the snack supply chain.
When you see this gear…
and this awesome sign…
Lunch from the tent.
These two were heading over to Hagey Hall to get a good seat for the closing ceremony so I tagged along.
Happy for small miracles: that we can actually cross the train tracks.
Not so lucky at the back entrance to Hagey Hall.
Looks like an optical illusion, but…
but apparently a hydraulic lift broke and the first three rows of seats sank fifteen feet down. Tight seating here just got tighter.
Fun fact: that usher on the left was at Maker Expo.
Straight to work for Sam.
Thought bubble: stay to the right, bro.
So tempting to use the ThunderPower.
Val and Peter performing perhaps the most difficult hack of all: making laptops work with theatre A/V.
Distracted. I’m a bad influence.
“If you have a flight leaving tonight, you are in the WRONG room! You need to go immediately to…”
I was intrigued by this plant in a bag.
Here are the people that have a flight tonight.
The plant stays.
It was meta-photog mania here.
This photog had handles and a monitor on his rig.
It was like he was flying that camera. Yes, I’m jelly.
That guy in blue looks familiar.
I tell Val I’m going to ride his coattails right to the top of this organization.
Wait, why is he laughing?
Shooting at 14mm portrait is trippy.
and then jazz hands. Probably easier to distinguish with video.
Impromptu talent call to audience brought up some wicked yo yo tricks and unexpectedly put Phil in the spotlight.
Then amazing opera singing. First time I have ever heard opera IRL.
That must be some serious training.
Pearl Sullivan’s talent is running the best damned engineering school in the country. She’s the Dean of Engineering.
Val and Dave rick-rolled us.
Soroush is my son Calder’s friend.
He had to pitch solo as his team had split.
many sponsors. Having spent the last 22 weeks really pounding the pavement for sponsors for Maker Expo, I gotta tell you I was a bit envious to hear that HTN filled their available sponsor slots within two weeks and had to turn others away.
HTN organizers Kevin Lau, Kartik Talwar, and Liam Horne.
Mega meta for the finale.
Congrats to the HTN team for pulling off another event. Wish I had been around to see more of the hacks. Maybe next year. High five!
At UW, this is Waterloo.