Monday, June 27, 2011

Field Trip: Vancouver Mini-Maker Faire

This past weekend saw the first Vancouver Mini-Maker Faire down at the Great Northern Way Campus. Both of these noun strings might be of interest to you Free Geek types, so read on to find out a little about each.

Post Contains At Least Two Giant Mechanical Spiders.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

On Power Switches (Part 2)

I wrote about power switches here and was working up to some broader numbers that take the discussion out of the individual household and into the greater infrastructural realm. Each household has a few things kicking around that are always on, or can only pretend to be turned off, and the cost is a handful of watts -- who cares, really? Well try multiplying that by millions of households and the costs mount up.
Source Some Rights Reserved

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mystery Laptop

I wrote here about the difficulties laptop manufacturers had in the late 1980s combining hard drives and battery power, and made the suspect statement that the Macintosh Portable in 1989 was one of the first to feature both.

I might have found a better contender. It's definitely a strange one:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another hack: Wiretap picture frame

Hi all,

I enjoyed putting together the last write-up so much -- and got so much positive feedback -- that I'd like to follow up with another one. This is something I built a couple of years ago and has been gathering dust since then. Here it is:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Old Gear Lives On: A Hack (Part 2)

Hi all,

I've wanted to document the technical side of some hardware hacking for quite a while. Here it is, continuing from the less-nerdy first part.

The project: Turn a 286-based Compaq Portable III into something more modern.

The motivation: to be honest, my sole motivation here was to be able to haul it down to Cafe Prado, a thou-shalt-be-at-least-this-hipster-to-enter coffee shop on Commercial. Nobody's allowed in without at least a Macbook Pro and I wanted to plunk this beast down on a reinforced surface and see what happened.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Old Gear Lives On: A Hack

For some unaccountable reason, the Compaq Portable III is one of my favourite computers. When you first see one, you're not sure if you're looking at a printer, or a disk array, or what: