Portable Soldering Station in a Toolbox

November 5th, 2014

I spent all summer scratching my head over how to improve the way I store my soldering tools. Getting things set up and put away had always taken a while, and I had settled on essentially a metal bucket for lack of a better system. I had seen Ben Heck’s portable workbench, but it was beyond my needs — not to mention beyond my skills and resources.

About a week ago, a friend told me about this soldering station project by ‘laxap’ and it gave me the Eureka Moment that I needed: put the iron underneath.



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Keep Your Alligator Leads Tidy in a Rollup

November 2nd, 2014

I made a rollup to store all my alligator leads.

It’s simply a series of slits in a castoff piece of leather (sound familiar?), sized to be about half the length of the leads. The slits are staggered so that the thickness of the alligator clips doesn’t stack up in one place. The shorter leads are on the same roll, but I shortened the leather.



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Audio a/b/c/d Switch for 3.5mm

October 26th, 2014

I needed a way to switch the audio inputs to the speakers in my living room between the TV, phone, etc. After seeing 3.5mm (stereo miniplug) A/B switches online that cost between $25 and $40 — not kidding, look it up — the sensible thing to do was to make my own for about $8 (with 2x the capability).



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Mosquitoes Have Green Eyes

October 20th, 2014

This mosquito was in the shower and didn’t seem to mind the camera flash.



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Jumping Spider Eyes

September 11th, 2014

This jumping spider was on the rear windshield wiper of my car.

You can see the pair of eyes it has on the top of its head.


Grasshopper of the Summer

August 30th, 2014

This grasshopper gave me a rare opportunity for a picture by perching on the post of a rocking chair.



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Sort media on the Command Line with triage.py

August 17th, 2014

Sorting your downloads directory can be tedious, especially if you want to move files to destinations that aren’t immediate subdirectories. Worse, there is no one-size-fits all viewer that can handle static images, animated gifs, and video files all at once.

This is where triage.py comes in.
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Break the Monotony of Scrolling Text With ripple.sh

August 4th, 2014

Monitoring events in the console can be tedious, especially if the text looks mostly the same. Here’s a script that makes the movement easier to see.

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Apple Forced Me To Make The World’s Best Ergonomic Keyboard

June 23rd, 2014

I wanted to buy an ergonomic mac keyboard (for work), but those don’t exist. So, I was forced to make my own. Having owned several ergonomic keyboards (including the SK-6000, the Microsoft Natural keyboard, and the SafeType), I can say with confidence and without hyperbole that I now own the best ergonomic keyboard in the world:

  • The key action of Apple’s keyboards is far more comfortable than what was on the market from any vendor 5 years ago. It’s amazing how mushy and “deep” the old Dell SK-6000 feels after typing on the Apple keyboard.
  • The angle of the two halves is comparable to the Microsoft Natural keyboard.
  • Since this is made from 2 keyboards instead of just one modified keyboard, I don’t have to sacrifice my ability to reach across the “center line” and type with my opposite hand (in cases where that’s useful).

And I resent having to build it instead of buy it. My suspicion is that if Apple released an “ergonomic” keyboard, they would be forced to admit that their goal of making the best hardware in the world includes non-ergonomic designs. Whoops.



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Flying Aphid

June 15th, 2014

I may have mis-identified this as a potato peach aphid.