Veni, Vidi, Voided

So. I got married 2 weeks ago. And as a wannabe maker and hacker, the wedding had to had some DIY stuff. I designed the invitations, placecards and other stuff, but that was only graphics design so it was boring. :) However me being very much into design and photography lead to other ideas. One of the most important things for me were photos of the event. Partly because I knew I wouldn’t remember a thing (just kidding!), but mostly because after years it’s the most important souvenir that stays with you. So I decided not to save on the photographer, but to choose a really good one. But then I wanted to have even more photos. So I came up with two ideas:

  1. Photobooth – the classic, us-centric project for wedding. Not so popular in Europe, even less in Poland
  2. Photo vacuum – the idea was to have a machine were guests will put their memory cards in and which will copy their photos from the wedding
The finished photobooth

Both ideas were great, but I focused on the photobooth. Good so, as I finished it 4 hrs. before the wedding. The photo vacuum never became more than a few notes and requirements for features, but the photobooth worked and shot an amazing 1200 photos during the night! The photos are just legendary!

But as my math professor said: Stop. Rewind. So let’s go back to the beginning. Let’s see how it all started.

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Saw these the other day while shopping for ties at TK MAX

LED safety glasses in the store

Cool. But seriously, 25 PLN for safety glasses with LEDs? I mean it’s only 6 Euros, but buying a third pair just because of LEDs? There must be a cheaper way around, I thought to myself, and went to buy some components. I needed a big-ass seven segment display and some shift register. Of course I didn’t buy neither the one nor the other, as they didn’t have them in stock. But I bought two white LEDs and two matching metals housings.

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So for the past couple of weeks permalinks didn’t work here. I tried to resolve the issue a couple of times, but to no success. And today the genious struck: I realized permalinks need .htaccess to work and I changed my .htaccess file to the 5G Firewall by And of course that DOESN’T include code needed for permalinks to work. D’Oh. How stupid can you be not to think of that in the first place???

Well, I was. Inserting the short piece of code from the WP Codex fixed the issue.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

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Wow. Haven’t been here in a while. There’s always something else to do, and to be honest – I haven’t been doing a lot of hacking either. Getting married, so that’s taking a lot of my time… blah, blah, blah, *lame excuse*, blah, blah.

Anyhows. Was at home the other weekend and my father has shown me a keyfob and told me it’s broken and we need to get a new one. It’s a remote-control keyfob. It uses a small battery that is hold via two metal parts which are soldered directly to the PCB. One of those brackets broke off, so the whole remote couldn’t operate. I told my father that it can easily be fixed and I would even do that, but the electronics shop is closed (it was a Sunday).

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After seeing all those awesome products, I began to slowly have a faint idea of what I wanted in my desk. Spending some more time thinking I came up with this list of prerequisites for my build:

  • Has to be made entirely out of pallets. Or at least as much as possible. So no additional materials where pallets can be used.
  • Legs have to be made out of pallets, I don’t want them to look as if they’re added later and do not fit
  • Simply stacking pallets won’t work, as it takes too much space
  • Pallets don’t have to be used as-is. De-assembly and re-assembly is totally OK
  • No glass on top, so the wood will need to be sanded smooth
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Making is somehow very much about electronics. Most of the maker sites and blog covers topics from Arduino to RGB LEDs and back to robotics. Of course that’s not the only topic being covered, as a quick look over to the Make:Blog will reveal. But my personal feeling has always been that the scene is very much focused on electronics. You know, resistors, soldering irons and stuff. Don’t get me wrong. I love electronics. Well, I don’t know much about electronics yet, but I’m getting there.

I won’t start with that. The reason is very pragmatic: We don’t have a desk at our place. We have a couch table, a night table, three counters and a dining table. Oh wait, and there’s the table on the balcony. But no desk. Actually our landlord told us when we were moving in, that she missed a place to work in the appartment. And now, after quite some time I miss it to. Especially, when you want to pursue electronics and “making stuff” as a hobby, it’s just not so easy without a desk. I tend to be less productive without a desk. It’s only so much you can do on a couch table. So some time ago I decided that I needed a desk.

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While seeking inspiration for you next project, it’s quite normal to go to all the known and well-tried places like Hack a Day or Make:Magazine. As it turns out, you can find cool projects anywhere on the web. This happened to me today while killing some time on English Russia, a funny site with news and stories from all around the post-soviet states. They cover everything from vintage photos from Moscow to some obscure roads in middle of Siberia, or as they put it Daily entertainment news from Russia. In English!. Quite a fun read. Anyways, today I found three interesting stories about making things:

  1. Making a USB-Drive enclosure from wood and brass. With a little bit of steampunk added.
  2. Make an old grenade into a key chain.
  3. Wireless headphones upgraded with a built-in mp3 player.

All these hacks aren’t very high-tech and fancy, but they’re cool and it’s nice to see that making as such is becoming more mainstream and more people like to make projects and write about them online!

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So, I got a blog…

Finally. Finally I feel it’s the right time. What is it going to be about? Making. In on simple word. Making things, if you want more precision. Any more details? Not really. I don’t want to limit myself to any particular topic or subject. I see myself as a maker of many talents. It’s not only about Arduino and Hardware hacking. (Although I will cover these as well).

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