All posts by Windell Oskay

About Windell Oskay

Co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.

Linkdump: June 2016

Feynman diagram sculptures by Edward Tufte

Ten Years of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Ten years ago today, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories went live. Happy birthday to us!

We started Evil Mad Scientist way back in 2006 as a blog to help us document and organize our various hobby projects. Since then our projects have been featured in print magazines, in books, on television, in newspapers, at the White Houseat museums, and on thousands of other blogs. We’ve built many friendships and many wonderful and bizarre machines, resurrected old computers and video games, and spent a lot of time playing with food, from 3D printing to fractal foods and on and on and on and on. We’ve published a bookreleased software, and published designs for physical things that people can make into their own. And of course, it all stopped being just a hobby about halfway through the decade.

As the years have passed, our projects have gradually gotten bigger— from a project every Wednesday (originally) to fewer but much more complex, multi-year projects. Along with big projects like the book and the 6502, we’re designing and producing families of soldering kits and art robots like the EggBot, WaterColorBot, and the new AxiDraw, which all bring joy to so many people.

What does the next decade have in store for us? Who knows! But we’re certainly looking forward to seeing what wonders it will bring.

To celebrate the anniversary, we are hosting an open house on July 21 at our shop in Sunnyvale, California, from 5-9 PM. Please come join us!

To all of you: Thanks for being such a great community, thanks for reading Evil Mad Scientist, and thanks for your continued support in all of our endeavors.

– Lenore & Windell

Linkdump: May 2016

TABIYSL: Talk and demo at Maker Faire

The Annotated Build It Yourself Science Laboratory

I’ll be giving a talk and demo on Saturday at this year’s Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA. I’ll be demonstrating one of the many projects from my book, The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory (and signing books as well).

You can catch the talk and demo on Saturday, May 21, at 1:30 PM, on the Maker Show & Tell Stage.

The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory is available from Amazon.com, O’Reilly, and other sellers of books, as well as from our store.

Introducing the MOnSter 6502

MOnSter 6502 PCB

Our collaborator Eric Schlaepfer has been extremely hard at work this year, designing a truly monstrous follow up to our giant-scale dis-integrated 555 and 741 circuits. This is the MOnSter 6502: a transistor-scale replica of the famous MOS 6502 microprocessor, the processor found at the heart of influential early computer systems such as the Apple ][ and the Commodore PET.

It is huge, at 12 × 15 inches, with over 4000 surface mount components, and 167 indicator LEDs added throughout so that you can see the flow of data.

MOnSter 6502

This is a new project, still underway. We will be showing off the first prototype of the MOnSter 6502 at the Bay Area Maker Faire this coming weekend. We don’t promise that it will be completely working by then — this is a first stab at an extremely ambitious project — but we’re genuinely excited to show it off in this early stage.

Decode ROM

You can read more about the MOnSter 6502 on its main project page, monster6502.com, and at Eric’s blog, tubetime.us.

(Before you ask, the MOnSter 6502 is not yet a kit or product that we’re selling. Right now, it’s an amazing thing that we’re trying to build. If you would like to stay in the loop as this project evolves, we’ve set up a special mailing list for updates.)

Introducing the AxiDraw

AxiDraw drawing machine

We are very pleased to introduce our newest art robot: the AxiDraw.

The AxiDraw is a simple, modern, precise, and versatile pen plotter, capable of writing or drawing on almost any flat surface. It can write with your favorite fountain pens, permanent markers, and other writing implements to handle an endless variety of applications. Its unique design features a writing head that extends beyond the machine, making it possible to draw on objects bigger than the machine itself.

AxiDraw drawing machine

The AxiDraw is a fantastic machine for making art — along with all those other things that you might use a pen-wielding robot for: Making “hand written” invitations, signing forms, or making neater whiteboard art than one might otherwise be able to.

AxiDraw is available to order today, and begins shipping next week. See it in action and learn more on the product page.

Linkdump: February 2016

dictation machine

Evil Mad Scientist Valentines: 2016 Edition

2016 valentines

Today we are releasing our newest set of “Download and Print” cards for Valentine’s day. This is our fourth year, and fourth set of cards: The 2013 set had six equation-heavy cards, the 2014 set was a set of six symbol-heavy cards, and the 2015 set included love, hearts, and arrows.

This year’s set of six new cards features a note about warming Pluto’s cold heart, at least one embarrassingly bad pun, and the perfect card for your robotic expression of love.

Solve for x
“I was supposed to solve for x. So glad I found u instead.”

Pluto heart

And, from the distant reaches of our solar system:
“Just knowing you’re out there warms my heart.”


“ROSES ARE RED
VIOLETS ARE BLUE
THIS VALENTINE AUTOMATICALLY
GENERATED FOR YOU”

2016 valentines

You can download the full set here, which includes all 24 designs from all four years (a 1 MB PDF document).

As usual, print them out on (or otherwise affix to) card stock, personalize, and [some steps omitted] enjoy the resulting lifelong romance.

Linkdump: January 2016

Image: Chipworks, via iFixit

Linkdump: November 2015