End of analog TV

I went to a wonderful talk at Machine Project tonight by Jason Torchinsky about the history of mechanical television. Mid-way through his excellent and hilarious talk we paused to watch KTLA pull the lever on its analog TV broadcast. It was a very bittersweet moment actually.

IMG_0155

Lasering a robot


My friend Gareth Branwyn heard I was testing the Epilog Zing laser cutter and asked if I could cut him the parts for a 4Volt Jansen Walker. Gar is a robot master and a steampunk to the core (check out his Lost Technology issue of Make: magazine for more proof) so I figured clear acrylic wouldn’t do it. He needed a wooden walker! I’m going to convince him to purchase brass nuts and bolts for the built, and maybe he can use small steam engines instead of servos and swap in a Babbage Machine for the Arduino…

For more on the beautiful 4Volt Jansen Walker: http://4volt.com/Projects/Jansen/

And, the original, inspiring, wonderful, otherworldly Jansen Walker that inspired Mr. 4Volt: http://www.strandbeest.com/

Laser romance


I’m still putting this loaner Epilog Zing laser cutter (I call her “Betty”) through her paces for a review I’m writing. The problem is this: I can never be finished testing. There are endless possibilities of what you can create.

I realize you’re all sick of the earbud owls by now, but I’ve also been doing enclosures and other 2D-to-3D constructions that are more precise and functional that anything I could reasonably build by hand.

Which is why you see me wining and dining her here with a Byzantine Cocktail. Romantic? Yes. Weird? Possibly. Will it end in heartbreak? Inevitably.

Peggy Horror

Where: In the Make: magazine booth at Bay Area Maker Faire ’09.
When: Friday before the Faire (which opened on Saturday)
Who: Windell Oskay and Lenore Edman of Evil Mad Scientist Labs, and Mark Frauenfelder of MAKE and BoingBoing.
What: a terrifying solder job on the back of their Peggy 2 kit (it looked like the leads were clipped by gnawing on them!)
Why: This board was built very quickly for the magazine photo shoot

Not trying to make fun of whoever put it together, I just loved this look on Windell’s face as he realized he was going to have to take the board home and do some major resoldering. He did, and it looked great!