Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dura fix you say?

I have been interesting for some time in getting my feet wet in the metal working and have started taking baby steps by purchasing a pair of nibblers, a set of files, and Dremel accessories for metal working. All of this is well and good, for cutting down/destroying large pieces of sheet metal and aluminum stock, but none of these tools work for creating new structures with the lightweight metals that I have access to (steel is a little unwieldy for the novice ok). I recently saw a video for Durafix on youtube (it was a related video to god knows what it was I was looking at on youtube) and think that this would be an great solution for people who are not quite ready to commit to purchasing a welding setup, but are interested in some lightweight fabrication.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Logitec comfort lapdesk needs to be remixed

I am sure most people have seen these little desks, I think Belkin makes something similar too but I think that this plastic is or leather design that everyone comes up with will only protect my legs not the laptop from the heat that baby is kicking off. I think that the Logitec one could be improved by replacing that plastic fin with an aluminum one. I am not sure how to pull off the rigid base for the fabric to be attached to, but I will post updated shots of a prototype.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Computers in Plain sight

The Sheeva plug got me thinking about the idea of computers that are innocuous enough to be left in plain sight, but still deliver significant enough computing power to potentially reshape daily life. The Sheeva is powerful but lacks one of the important things that makes computers useful, an interface for humans. The transformative nature of this type of technology comes from interaction, so lacking an included meaningful interaction method we have a computer. I rarely browse Think Geek, but a random link click brought me to their pages where I found the iGala digital photo frame. When I saw it I was posotive that it had to be running at least a little bit of embedded os, and that it had to have some potential for an always on general purpose computer with wi-fi and a touchscreen. One Google search later and I was proven correct that someone else thought the same thing and even went so far as to get shell access for you. When this go back on sale, I am pretty sure that I want one no all I need to know is if ucLinux supports webcams.

My current ideas are controllin a usb Webcam for survellance (or baby monitor), adding audio out for touch screen audio streamer, or using it as a touchscreen controller for home automation. I have to imagine that these are cheaper than anything Crestron has thought of building. Other thoughts include always on Torrent seeder (slow I know, but so low power) capped at 5 connections or something similar. I think that there is a lot of potential here for people with interface design experience.