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Jameco managers take a pay cut to avoid staff reductions October 19, 2009

Posted by michaelshiloh in how-to, Tech Review, Uncategorized.
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The latest Jameco catalog has a picture of a breadline during the Great Depression on the cover. Curious, I opened the front cover and read:

“…We at Jameco understand these times of economic uncertainty. When you struggle, we struggle. At a time of high unemployment, the Jameco management team has taken salary cuts to ensure the continued full employment of the trained professionals you have come to depend on for the past 35 years”…

If, like me, you are impressed by this, you might consider giving them as much business as possible.

Kindling May 13, 2009

Posted by k0re in how-to.
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Via Windell of Evil Mad Scientists:

The Amazing Kindling, a neat wooden Kindle made by cockeyed.com and evil mad scientists:

And there’s more! It also is nicely flammable and handy as a heating device during the apocalypse and everyone’s batteries have run out

Homemade antenna redux May 6, 2009

Posted by rururudy in how-to.
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coffee can antennaAm I still making homemade antennas? Can’t think of anything new?  Years ago, I gave a dorkbot talk on a can antenna.  OH MY!  I just looked at Karen’s old photo of me — I have the same facial hair after 7 years — I better shave it off before I finish this post — don’t want to be in a hairy rut!

I did an 802.11g test last week and got 10Mbps across the street with the can, but the goal is to convince KQED to replace their 1990’s  T-1 lines with a wireless link.  It’s got to look a bit better than tin cans, so I went down to Complete Fabrication and scrounged some tube out of their yard.  (MonkeyBrains.net hosts their website, and Ryan is a great guy, so he let me grab some three and a quarter inch aluminum tube.)  Jay Brommel welded the tube pieces onto some angle bar, I drilled some holes, and tonight I added the ‘element’.  Here is the final product:

Wifi CansThe measurements are thanks to the ‘How To Build A Tin Can Waveguide WiFi Antenna‘ instructions.

(The Ruler is thanks to Alameda County — you can get not only a free ruler, but your soil, paint, etc tested for FREE with a home lead-test kit — fun!  You should try it.)


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Throbbing Gristle Sound FX April 25, 2009

Posted by k0re in how-to.
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Chris Carter of Throbbing Gristle tries out different synth effect combinations for the unique TG sound.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Throbbing Gristle Sound FX", posted with vodpod

From the video description, he uses “Korg Kaossilator, Bugbrand Postcard Weevils, Korg Kaoss Pad 2, Korg Kaoss Pad 3, Zoom PFX9003, Chimera Synthesis bc8 & bc16”

Last night’s sold out show at the Regency Ballroom in SF was a landmark performance. Their last show was also in SF in 1981! I took some images and horrible-sounding video clips with a point and shoot that don’t do justice to the actual performance, but people are still buzzing from the TG high.

Magnet fun April 22, 2009

Posted by rrmutt in how-to.
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Physics fact: dorks like magnets. Windell over at EMSL has 17 cool magnet tricks you can do with those cheap neodymium magnets.

I’ve been having fun with these small sphere magnets.  Would enough of them start to exhibit frustrated lattice behaviors, or even start to look like a spin glass?

Here’s a stupid magnet trick you probably don’t want to repeat: (warning: gory shots of finger smashed by super-powerful magnets.)

Food ideas for your next dork party April 2, 2009

Posted by k0re in how-to.
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Via Laura Mappin who shows step by step how to personalize vienna sausages the dork way (ie. lasers!)

laser-etched sausages

Laser-cut vinyl FAIL March 20, 2009

Posted by k0re in how-to.
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According to previous dorkbotSF presenter Laura Mappin laser cutting vinyl is toxic and horrible for your laser!

toxic laser cut vinyl

toxic laser cut vinyl

Thanks Laura, for sending us the link!

Nuclear Fusion in the Garage March 20, 2009

Posted by Jonathan Foote in how-to.
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This is amazing DIY badassery on a whole new scale. This guy goes beyond lame-ass glue-gun territory into a brand new world of Wile E. Coyote awesomeness. He’s generating neutrons. In his garage.

DIY nuclear fusion

DIY nuclear fusion

This is a spectacular combination of dangerous high voltage, high vacuum, plasma, radioactivity, and generally tinkering with the forces of nature. And, um, where exactly does one obtain neutron detectors? (“Whattaya gonna use those for, sonny?”) And if that weren’t enough, the star-mode plasma (in the purple glow above) is sublimely beautiful.

The last remaining question: how can I even show my face at Maker Faire when there’s someone doing homebrew nuclear fusion in their garage?

Fund your dork! Open Source Hardware Bank March 19, 2009

Posted by Maribeth in how-to.
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Via Cory over on Boing Boing:

    A microcredit co-op bank has sprung up in Northern California, using money pooled from hardware hackers to fund other open source hardware hacking projects. They’ve found 70 lenders.
    Two open source hardware enthusiasts, Justin Huynh and Matt Stack, have started the Open Source Hardware Bank to fund hardware projects…
    The fledgling bank is funding only open source hardware projects using capital raised from other hardware geeks. It’s like a community of Facebook friends borrowing and lending among themselves — a peer-to-peer bank.

More from Wired’s Gadget Lab.

And here’s the Open Source Hardware Bank site itself.

Moldover’s Advanced Controllerism Workshop March 5, 2009

Posted by k0re in how-to.
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Moldover who is speaking at next week’s dorkbotSF #43 will be holding a 1-day intensive Ableton Live Controllerism workshop at Pyramind

Sign up now as only 20 seats are available!

Sign up info and other important details below:
http://pyramind.com/evolution/Calendar-of-Events/moldover-interactive-workshop.htmln