Jan 16

Happy Birthday To Me!

Hey All,

Sticking to my new years resolution. Another week, another post. This was kind of a rough week, as it’s the first week of classes. My team just released a new version of our software, on a new platform, with new automation tools, but there’s only so much testing you can do before you just have to hit that go button and see what happens. 6 months of hard work paid off. Proud of my team and our students.

On a more personal and awesome note, this week it’s my Birthday!

My wife made me an amazing birthday cake!

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So. Much. Frosting! I loved it!

My little guy also enjoyed it very much πŸ˜€

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I treated myself to two fun gifts. I saw my local retro game store advertising a complete in box Pokemon Trading Card Game for the GameBoy Color. Except it was the Japanese version! Now I have both πŸ˜€

I also picked up the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game physical release from Limited Run Games. I have fond memories playing this game on my Xbox 360. I can’t wait to get it in my hands!

Switch Limited Run #94: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game

In my downtime this week, I’m working on modding my GBA SP to have an IPS screen, but while I wait for the screen to arrive, I started doing a deep scrub and clean of the original parts. Nothing like 20 years of grime to make you realize kids are gross πŸ˜‰

Anyways, after I finished cleaning I got an awesome candid of my son inspecting the device and turning it on and playing his first GBA game! Time to get him a Kirby game I think…

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Have a good week all! Missed y’all!

Jan 09

KANO Computing DIY Mouse and Webcam

Hey All,

I’ve been a big supporter of Kano Computing since they did their original Kickstarter for the build it yourself computer kit featuring the Raspberry Pi and awesome wireless keyboard (that I use on almost every project. That thing has been a lifesaver at every Maker Faire I’ve participated in!)

Amazon.com: Kano Computer Kit – A Computer Anyone Can Make: Toys & Games

One of the Christmas gifts my wife bought me this year was a Kano Computing webcam and build-it-yourself mouse!

I’m going to be brutally honest: There is no way I can use the Kano mouse as my daily driver. It is way too small for my normal sized hands. I can also see it being a tad too difficult for a kid to put together by themselves due to one step in the instructions.

You have to route the USB cable inside the case and around some plastic pegs, but the cable is just a tad too thick to make it a non-frustrating experience. Once it’s pushed down the rest of the process is pretty straight forward.

The idea to make the top shell magnetic is also super cool. I find myself pulling the top off just to hear the magnetic click over and over again.

All in all – An excellent first attempt. If I was a kid again I would be loving this mouse. I remember taking apart one my favorite mice years ago and switching out the LED to be blue so it would glow throughout. Having a DIY mouse kit brings a smile to my face. I hope the next version is made to grow with the users – hopefully with some hardware hacks available along the way!

The next piece of kit I got was the Kano Webcam! Who would’ve thought I would be excited by a webcam… but this is what 2020 has made of me lol. With the shortage of webcams last year, and both my wife and I working in the education sector, seeing an inexpensive and new take on the webcam made me quite happy.

Two cool features of the webcam include a “macro lens” (really just a magnifying glass) and a flexible but fixable position cord. You can position the webcam in any direction and it will just stay there!

Now, to be perfectly realistic, this is a 2.1mp fixed focus lens and only costs $29.99. I am not expecting the picture quality to be impressive. It is 100% adequate for Zoom use, whether it’s in a classroom or a meeting.

The feature that does make it shine is it’s “macro mode” though. Simply move the lens cover over and you are ready to take close ups.

I am going to really enjoy the macro mode for my electronics projects, and the flexible cord for my Octoprint 3D printer time-lapse videos.

That’s it for this week! Happy New Year! Hope it’s treated everyone great so far!

Jan 01

Happy New Year! Hi 2021! Go Away 2020…

Hey all.

Happy New Year!

This year I resolve to blog once a week again. Every Friday I will post what I’m working on. I’ve become creative again (I think…) and I want to put out to the world what I’m working on.

Raspberry Pi StepMania Dance Pad

Right now I’m working on a CNC’d StepMania dance pad for the Raspberry Pi. I can’t wait to get it complete but so far we have the FSR’s working with the Arduino connected to the Pi.

LEGO

I’ve been building a few LEGO sets with my toddler these past few months. Mainly I build them and he does QA I should say πŸ™‚ It’s so much fun watching him get better and better at putting stuff together. I love it!

3D Printing

Last print of 2020 was of course a Bulbasaur. My favorite starter PokΓ©mon!

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I backed Naomi Wu’s 3D PrintMill “infinite Z” printer on Kickstarter which should hopefully arrive in a few months. I know how many 3D printers have failed on Kickstarter before, but this is a collaboration between Naomi and Creality, and they already have the printer built, this is more of a way to how many they need to make for their factory. And I get that. It’s a great use of Kickstarter. I’m excited to buy vast amounts of filament for this thing!

Conveyor Belt 3D Printers : Creality CR-30 3DPrintMill

That’s it from me for this week. Here’s to an amazing 2021!

See ya next Friday!