One of the things I have been wanting to do almost since I got an electric guitar is to build some of my own effects pedals. I decided earlier this summer (2012) that I am actually going to do that, by golly, and not just true bypass mods and control switchboxes like I’ve done in the past. Real analog effects circuits this time.
Then I realized that I wanted a way to test things at my electronics bench without lugging my mega-ton 112 combo up and down two flights of stairs and decided I needed a practice amp first. I could buy one of those, I guess, but I want to build stuff – why not that, too? And I managed to do it for practically free. Continue reading
We had a power outage a while ago, in the middle of which someone needed to get out of the garage and… couldn’t. The door that needed to be opened was, naturally, the one that wedges itself in slightly when it shuts, so it jams the electric opener’s emergency release.
Further investigation revealed that a good hard judo-yank will release it (with a bang), but not everyone can do that. So I made a release helper – because almost anyone can step on a lever. The pictures pretty much say it all – just hook the custom specially calibrated clothesline to the release pull and step on the board.
This is one way to drill a hole without getting too much sawdust all over the place, even using a spade bit.
Fencing your woodchips with masking tape.
I normally reserve creating sawdust and messy things like that for the Shop For Big And/Or Messy Things, far away from my office/computers/electronics bench. However, the Shop For Big And/Or Messy Things is really cold in the winter and I was feeling wimpy.
I was sorting out a pile of old CDs this morning and found my first linux install discs, in spiffy looking cardboard:
They were researched, greatly wished for, highly anticipated, and a huge letdown. Continue reading
This past week I picked up a couple of cheap LED nightlights at Marden’s ($1.99 for a two-pack) and had to take them apart, of course, as I am a self-respecting geek, and because I was at one time mildy obsessed with running LEDs off line power. I guess that hasn’t quite worn off.
This all has led me to two conclusions:
- American consumers are suckers
- Chinese are either idiotic electrical engineers or brilliant social engineers, or both
Actually, both of those are not entirely deserved, nor totally fair, but read on for the full tear-down. Continue reading
Here are some photos taken from my Drive-To-Work collection, which (usually) are random photos of random things I’ve taken – you guessed it – on my drives to work and back. Bonus points if you know exactly where these are taken! Continue reading
Here are some photos from dusk at Spring Point in June, 2009. It’s a beautiful time of day at a beautiful place – even with the oil tankers. I’ve got a couple more tanker-free photos after the break.
Here’s some photos from the 2009 4th of July fireworks in Boston. Photos like these are difficult to come by with a slow point-and-shoot.
There is an odd social pressure to collect stuff. This may be due to our tendency to buy the latest and greatest in good consumer fashion, and it may be due to our belief that more information is good information and you can never have too much (not true). It is likely a combination of both and a variety of other factors which I have overlooked.
In any case, we both consume and store more and more information every day and most technology is concerned with getting it to you faster and cheaper, whether it be your smartphone, your media server, or Gmail. I think that is wrong. Continue reading
Yeah, another sunset – that’s what time I was driving home that time of year and not in class. This time from Fort Hill in Gorham.