- Video: How Moroccan Zellij tile mosaics are made.
- avrgirl-arduino: Upload code to Arduino boards with NodeJS.
- Plaid fruit leather.
- A maglev toy train – fine, fast, and floating
- MeowCAD: Open source, online EDA tool for designing circuit boards
- Doc Pop’s Glitch Socks.
- Glitch Architecture (via Rusty Blazenhoff)
- Glitch Furniture (via Doc Pop)
- Mechanical Hummingbird (via @Grathio) More info here.
- Photos from inside an abandoned Soviet Buran space shuttle hanger. [Translated link via Google.] More about Buran here.
- Radio astronomy and Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album cover: Part 1 (the origin story) and Part 2 (the science story).
- EMV (“Chip and pin”) smart cards: Not as secure as one might hope.
- An Interview with Fran Blanche of Frantone Electronics.
- A new species of Galapagos Tortoise has been discovered.
- CatsISUOTTATFO: Videos of cats inadvertently swatting unknown objects towards themselves and then freaking out (Reddit).
- Masterlist: A curated gallery of McMaster-Carr products (Via Core77).
- Little Planet Factory: 3D printed models of planets and other bodies in our solar system
- Why you should use a resistor with your LEDs
- Smoke & Flame: Finely-crafted artisanal firewood.
- To Scale: The Solar System
- Twitter feed devoted to John Conway’s Game of Life
- Turtlestitch: A block-based (scratch-like) educational programming language for embroidery machines.
- Cookies too big for milk glass? No problem (to a machinist). (YouTube)
- A modern serially controlled 64 bit magnetic core memory
- Netflix goes DIY with “The Switch“
- More from OSHWA about OSHW certification
- A touch-activated blinky badge “how to solder” project
- “That time we almost nuked North Carolina” (Goldsboro, 1961)
OSHWA, the Open Source Hardware Association, recently released a proposal for what they are calling Open Source Hardware Certification. With some paraphrasing and handwaving, their proposal boils down to this:
- OSHWA will create a new logo and trademark it.
- To license this new trademark, you would need to agree to a contract that says:
- We will only put this trademark on open source hardware (as defined in the open hardware definition).
- If we use the logo otherwise (and do not stop when OSHWA repeatedly asks to stop), we agree to pay a hefty fine.
OSHWA has not yet fleshed out the details — neither the new logo nor the exact contents of that license contract. It’s easy to be cynical about stuff like this. But instead, let’s please give them the benefit of the doubt and suppose that when those details arrive, it turns out that they’ve done a superb job: the contract ends up to be simple, well thought-out, straightforward and does just what it says.
Maybe the new trademarked logo would look something like this mock-up:
Given all of that, would there be a good case for some people to use this certification process? I have mixed thoughts on it. But on the whole, I’m tending towards a “probably.”
This month I’ll be traveling to Maker Faires in Portland, Oregon, and New York City to sign and talk about my book, The Annotated Build It Yourself Science Laboratory. That, of course, is the new, updated version of Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory, the classic 1960’s hands-on science book by Raymond E. Barrett.
The Portland Mini Maker Faire is being held September 12-13 at OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. I’ll be speaking on the Innovation stage at 11 AM on September 12. This is a bit of a homecoming for the book: Raymond Barrett was the Education Director at OMSI when he originally wrote the book.
Bonus: During O’Reilly’s Back to School sale (through September 17), you can get the E-book version of The Annotated Build It Yourself Science Laboratory for 50% off using discount code B2S5.
There is, of course, only one appropriate way to respond in a situation like this: with another comic.
Back in 2011, I wrote an era-appropriate semi-autobiographical rage comic, that I could use as a standard response when people sent me that comic.
Joking aside, we really do spend a lot of our time engineering— and many of our friends and colleagues are bona fide engineers. On the other hand, I love to cook, but that doesn’t make me a chef either.
- 10 Cuts: How to make wooden pliers (YouTube, embedded above)
- Inside the TWA terminal at JFK, a “time capsule from 1962.”
- Emu vs Weasel Ball (YouTube)
- How does pumping a swing work?
- Historic spacecraft illustrations, CC-licensed.
- Echochamber.js — a brilliantly cynical approach to blog comments (via Scanner)
- Wintogreen Lifesaver Flash (YouTube, via @xek)
- Super-K neutrino detector news: EGADS! GADZOOKS!
- The Straight Dope on pronunciation of ancient languages
- Computer-generated handwriting: Paper (arxiv.org), online examples
- Aldrovanda vesiculos: An aquatic carnivorous plant
- Receiving weather satellite data on your computer
- A filmmaker debunks the moon landing hoax
Our two “dis-integrated circuit” kits are the Three Fives Discrete 555 Timer, and the XL741 Discrete Op-Amp. These two kits are functional, transistor-level replicas of the original NE555 and μA741 (respectively), which are two of the most popular integrated circuits of all time.
Last year, we wrote up a detailed educational supplement for the Three Fives kit, that works through its circuit diagram and discusses its principles of operation down to the transistor level. Today, we are doing the same for the XL741 kit, and releasing an educational supplement that explains how a ‘741 op-amp IC works internally, down to its bare transistors and resistors:
This ability to peek inside the circuit makes the XL741 a unique educational tool. In what follows, we’ll work through the circuit diagram, discuss the theory of operation of the ‘741 op-amp, and present some opportunities for experiments and further exploration.
You can download the supplement here: XL741 Principles of Operation (1.1 MB PDF)
- Get the XL741 kit at our store.
- Our original article here, announcing the XL741 kit
- Main XL741 documentation page at our documentation wiki
- MatterHackers Punch-Out: The Best 3D Print Ejector Ever (YouTube, via Make)
- The 11,000 marble marble machine
- Red Hot Nickel Ball (RHNB) vs Jawbreaker (YouTube)
- After Dark (Classic Mac Screensavers) in CSS
- 3D printed sink faucets by American Standard
- The Amazing Do-Nothing Machine at the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum (YouTube)
- Building enclosures from circuit boards @ Hackaday
- Elsa M. Garmire, laser art pioneer
- Resonant Frequency of Googly Eyes from Rob Cruickshank (Vimeo)
- Painting clean lines with painter’s tape @ Popular Mechanics
- svgerber: a browser based Gerber to SVG converter, for previewing circuit board designs
- The chalk that the mathematicians are hoarding
- Cat video: Kitty hitches a ride in the wing of an ultralight aircraft.
JK Brickworks made this amazing “pick and place” style Lego Mosaic Printer:
It is built entirely using LEGO parts. It first uses the EV3 colour sensor to scan the source image and save the data on the Mindstorms unit. It can then print multiple copies from the saved image data. The 1×1 plates used for ‘printing’ the mosaic are supplied using a gravity feed system and the printing head is simply a 1×1 round plate that can pick up and place the 1×1 plates.
More information about this project can be found at JK Brickworks.
Politicians To Poop is a new extension for the Chrome web browser that replaces the names of presidential candidates (US, 2016) with the “pile-of-poo” emoji. Options allow you to “poopify” the names of Democrats, Republicans, or both.
Politicians To Poop is available now, for free, at the Chrome web store.
Possible reasons that you might want to use this extension include:
- You are from outside the US, and don’t need to hear these names every day.
- You are temporarily overloaded by the amount of poop that the candidates sling at one another.
- Because it is funny.
No judgement upon any of the named individuals, nor their platforms, parties, or beliefs is either implied or intended. This is intended to be an equal-opportunity text replacement tool, for the good of all humanity.
This project was inspired by Millennials to Snake People. Much more information including source code, the list of names, and additional attribution is available at our GitHub repository.