Pic of the day of Georgia.
Really happy to hear NASA scored a win with JUNO’s successful orbit around Jupiter. Fantastic work!
Awhile ago I pulled both my blog & Wilsonbuilt’s old website offline and I’ve put them back up – for the moment. For all those who are interested – the old Wilsonbuilt website covers work that I did long ago (the most recent project on the website is from 2012). Wilsonbuilt no longer does any fabrication work. Occasionally we will do some light machining or quick assembly for one of our design clients, but for the most part our business is ONLY design services & shop drawings.
I use a PC every day. I also use a mac every day. My workhorse, the PC ( a Dell Precision T1650), is for CAD work – Solidworks, Rhino, AutoCad. The mac (a workhorse 2008 MacBook Pro with a great 17″ screen and a 500Gb SSD) is for pretty much everything else – emails, some web surfing, timekeeping, bookkeeping, image editing etc. Tying together these two computers and their files has been a slow evolution to a pretty great system which I thought I’d share:
The last years have seen so many changes – It’s been so long since I’ve actually made anything. These days most of what I do is 3D modelling with Solidworks and creating shop drawings for a few metal fabrication clients. Every once in awhile I get a small fabrication job or installation, but it’s all a spin of the mouse now-adays….
I’m spending too much time at the computer(s) doing detailing these days, so no work pix. Oh well. Links it is.
Computer Virus Catalog – a nice site that catalogs history’s computer viruses, along with cute graphics to make it less scary…
How to turn a pencil drawing into a capacitive sensor – who knew? (pencil = graphite = carbon = conductive-ish ….OK)
And a related : Pencil drawn Piano with Arduino.
Kinda related: A Banana Piano
I LOVE this : The bttn : A stand-alone (and nice lookin) button that can interface with the web. Can’t wait to have a few.
I wish I’d thought of this, but I’ll settle for seeing it: An illuminated swing set at Green Mountain Falls in Colorado.
Funny : Things that don’t need to exist. I especially like the campfire phone battery charger.
Actually… now that I’m looking at it, the battery charger thing is kind-of awesome. I’d leave that off the “Don’t Need to Exist” list and put it on another titled: “Things that probably shouldn’t have to exist according to some pastoral set of ideals, but are pretty cool anyway.” Here’s a better link to it.
Some time ago I had to quote an electronics project for a client (I can’t remember what it was) and it needed to rotate 360 degrees. I probably found something on the web or designed something myself that would handle the electrical connections at the axis, but it was a great deal of expense or trouble. So what do I find while surfing over at Adafruit? Just the thing – a miniature 12-conductor slip ring. Fantastic.
NOTE: This is the part of an experiment I’m doing on the blog. I’m not sure what the experiment is but I think it will involve more words in the postings than usual.
A big shout-out today to the humble electronics prototyping breadboard. Like many things I use regularly (like coffee), it is something I easily take for granted (unlike coffee). But consider life without it. Ok fine, life in the BIG picture wouldn’t be that different. But for the very small community that cares about such things its a big deal.
Did you know — that the breadboard is so named because “back in the day,” people used actual wood bread cutting boards to lay out experimental electronic circuits? Circuit diagrams would be pasted or drawn on the wood surface, and circuit components would be screwed down and wired together as the project developed. What we know today as the electronics breadboard, with its power buses at the outer edges and the numbered rows of terminal holes, was designed by Ronald J. Portugal of EI Instruments Inc. in 1971.
When I was a kid (maybe 8 or 10) I used these all the time. I would hole up in my room with breadboard, Forrest M. Mims‘ Electronics Workbook (Perhaps Radio Shack’s greatest contribution to the world) and a pile of wires and components. I would spend hours putting together circuits that would occasionally work (I particularly remember my disappointment at a failed touch switch circuit). LED arrays were pretty new then, so “digital” timers were one of my favs. Eventually, though, I got caught shoplifting resistors and IC’s one too many times and was sent to boarding school (where my only attempt at electronics resulted in blowing the dorm’s fuses). My relationship with the breadboard was put on hold for 10 years or so. During which time I discovered computers.
Then, when I was in college, I majored in Electrical Engineering. For our final project we had to build (in teams of 3) a working computer out of standard 7400 series chips and a stone-age microprocessor the name of which I forgot long ago. It interfaced with a keyboard and monitor and all the electronics were contained in 3 briefcases filled with breadboard. Nothing fancy, no indestructible pelican cases or james bond type enclosures that would make geeks drool. They were just dirt-brown plastic boxy cases with power supplies and rows of breadboard built in. The kind of thing you’d see, well, nowhere really. The professor – one of the oldest in the department – gave each team their three cases, a stack of photocopied reference materials, and said “see ya in five months.” I don’t recall him being around much for help, either. Asking him questions during his infrequent office hours always seemed to leave me more confused than before. In the end our computer “kinda” worked (I believe the problem was our wires leading to the memory input buffer were too long and so our data “floated” too much before it could get locked into RAM) and I was too traumatized to do any electronics for another 10 years, when I started doing some work-related prototyping.
What made me think of this? Its pretty silly actually. I recently started following Adafruit on instagram and their pix are always so fine that I couldn’t resist when I saw a photo of one of their breadboard kits.
Plus I’m procrastinating from doing my drawings. Even though it’s a beautiful late Friday afternoon, I really should get back to work.
Video of a carpenter with no hands – he does all the work using only his feet. I love watching him use the grinder to sand the wood.
Volvo’s inflatable child seat concept for cars – the deflated unit folds into its own backpack. Awesome… don’t know if they will actually sell them or if its just a proof of concept thing.
Early Jim Henson video of a robot – for an AT&T ad.
An awesome chandelier with glowing pickles hooked up to high voltage! While you’re at it you should check out the webpage of the folks who did this – Bompas & Parr. They seem to specialize in event planning & installations with food. Think Neon & Jello. Their images are gorgeous – and they have put together some incredible events/projects etc.
Photographers document NYC locations 10 years apart. Fom 2nd Ave Deli to a Chase bank. Alas.