Founds parts

I took my daughter to the library yesterday1 and they were having a huge book sale.  I’m such a sucker for a used book sale.  Some of my most cherished books were previously cherished books.  :)  While rummaging through the books I found one that was a children’s board book with a list price of $20 that had about a dozen pages with colored musical sheets – and a simple electronic piano at the bottom, circa 1998.

What surprised me about the electronic piano is the number of keys it has.  Most children’s toys that incorporate an electronic piano have about 13 or so keys.  This one has 23.  You could actually play some music with this thing.  The speaker area was SO big that I knew it had to be a conventional magnet + copper coil speaker rather than a cheap piezoelectric speaker – the kind you find in annoying greeting cards.  When I held it to my ear and hit some keys, I could just barely make out a tone over the low din of other book lovers milling around.  At $0.50, I SNATCHED it up.

Here’s my plan.  Rip the entire plastic piano off the board book, replace the batteries, rip out the old speaker, replace with a cheap piezoelectric speaker from an annoying gift card, and turn it into a very tiny piano.  It’s not going to change the world or anything, but it is a fun little project.

I’ve already stripped it off the board book, replaced the batteries, and tried out a piezoelectric speaker – only to find out my piezoelectric speaker was broken.  :/  I’ll have to find a new one.  The piano is surprisingly loud – but my daughter got a kick out of it.

  1. As in about 10 hours ago []
April 16, 2011 | Comments Closed


I’m really really excited about the upcoming Doctor Who premier.  That is all.

April 14, 2011 | Comments Closed

Hello Coffee my old friend

In an effort to get out the door for work on time yesterday and then to a meeting a little later I skipped out on getting coffee, which left me caffeine deficient until about 30 minutes ago.

Why this sometimes seems like a good idea is totally beyond me.  I’m addicted and I should really just come to terms with that.  I’m just a nicer, better person when properly caffeinated. 1 2 3

At the local coffee spot I stood in a line of zero people while waiting my turn, still with my sunglasses on from being exposed to the harsh bright light of a Bay Area sunny morning.  The barrista beckoned me forward and I handed him my empty travel mug and credit card.  “A lot of coffee please.”  He filled the mug, charged my card, and asked if I needed the receipt, which I declined.  At least, that’s how it was supposed to go down.

Small coffee?

Huh?  What?  Um, n…

Well, I’ll fill it up, and charge you for a small coffee.

Oh, okay… thank you.

Do you want me to rinse it out?

Uh, wha… no…

Room for cream?

Um, yeah, thanks.

Okay, great!  Credit card?  Do you want the receipt?

No, thanks.

The above is actually a very normal transaction, but in my drug dependent state it was terribly confusing and disorienting.  I felt like a kid left a train station as an engineer asks me questions about where my mommy and daddy were as I try to answer with my mind trying to work out the discrepancies between my current dilemma and the directive to not speak to strangers.45

  1. And a grumpier, surlier person when under-caffeinated. []
  2. And a frenzied frantic inspired person when over-caffeinated. []
  3. It’s a fine line. []
  4. Mom, dad, if you read this…   please come back!  I promise to eat my veggies.  I miss you! []
  5. The train station wifi is terrible! []
| Comments Closed

ProfileMaker: More than 209 profiles and 58 people served!

More than 58 people have generated profiles with ProfileMaker1 !

Seriously, you need to stop printing calibration cubes and fiddling with Skeinforge.  Find out more than 58 people have discovered and start using ProfileMaker to create your Skeinforge profiles.  You can either manually enter the values provided by ProfileMaker into Skeinforge or have it e-mail you a ready-to-slice Skeinforge profile.

Always wanted to try printing at 0.25mm per layer or with 1.75mm filament or in PLA?  Your ‘bot can do it.

  1. Powered by SCIENCE! []

Son, I am disappoint

Tron: Legacy.

Really?  I must be missing something.  They really could have had a decent movie without a bunch of “meaning of life” BS.  Why couldn’t it just have been a movie about a kid rescuing his dad?  The mystical junk just got in the way and made it confusing.  The effects were pretty good and there were only a few uncanny valley moments, but’s not going to save a movie.

ProfileMaker v3.0!

I’ve just launched ProfileMaker v3.0.  It’s got all the good stuff you’ve become accustomed to plus even more features.  As yet, it still does not do calculations for DC motors.

Please give it a whirl and let me know what you think.


Pick me! Pick me!

Okay, I’ve gotten the clearance from Pattywac to join in the United We Stand team design challenge.  Although I voluntarily take myself out of the running from every challenge, I love participating.  They’re just too much damn fun.  :)

I never participate in the judging on these things – but it would look a little odd to have me be both someone who blogs about something and a guy who is the subject of the blog post.  Blogging here at, I happily post about anything that comes to mind, even if it is ridiculously self-indulgent.  However, I really don’t want the posts at MakerBot to be about me – I want them to be about the awesome stuff people are doing in the DIY 3D printing community.

The potentially ethical problem I faced with this most recent challenge is that as a team design challenge, I wouldn’t want to disqualify an entire team of people just because I was on it. 1  So, my proposal to MakerBot and Pattywac was that as part of any team, I would agree to forgo any winnings of any kind. 2  This was acceptable to both.

So, are you interested in collaborating on this design challenge?  I’d be especially interested in getting collaborative help on any of my existing projects, going from my highest interest3 to lower interest4 :

  1. Clockwork spider5
  2. Open source disc shooter
  3. A printable clock that actually keeps time
  4. A sonic screwdriver
  5. A dalek that can rotate it’s head, roll, and move it’s gun, eyestalk, and plunger6
  6. A better Voltron
  7. A puzzle box
  1. And, really, having me on your team is hindrance enough. []
  2. I just want to feel included! []
  3. #1 []
  4. #7 []
  5. I’ve already had input and help from Dna on this []
  6. Mad props to innovationbylayers for the existing dalek on Thingiverse []