How we built a Super Nintendo out of a wireless keyboard

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I wrote a guest article for Adafruit about the story behind the new Sifteo cubes: In today’s world, video game consoles have become increasingly complex virtual worlds unto themselves. Shiny, high polygon count, immersive, but ultimately indirect. A video game controller is your gateway to the game’s world—but the gateway itself can be a constant reminder that... Read More

Hacking My Vagina

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Making a Vibrator That Listens to Your Body This project has been an astonishing little journey. Many of my previous projects were characterized by an amazing outpouring of effort to build something highly intricate and ultimately invisible. This is the opposite kind of project. A little bit of work and a little custom design to create something new and exciting that I can immediately... Read More

X-10 SmartRemote

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I’m not even sure why I built this at all. I guess I did always have a childhood fascination with making things that seemed professional in some way. A simulacrum of some expensive piece of A/V equipment, or simple computer games that came in a shoe box with construction-paper cover art. This is another ancient project I dug up during my recent move to San Francisco: A rather... Read More

Kiwi

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Another nostalgic post about an old project that I’m purging from my closet… This time from late-1999 through mid-2000. The Kiwi was a rather ambitious built-from-scratch Linux PDA that I spent my high school years on. My original goal for this project was reminiscent of the One Laptop Per Child project. I liked typing my notes, but of course laptops were prohibitively... Read More

LEDboard/144

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This is a 9×16 LED matrix I made by hand back in 2004, with LEDs I had left over from another, even sillier project. It has a USB interface powered by a PIC16C765 microcontroller, one of the first to feature a built-in USB device interface. This video post is something of a eulogy for the project. I have been trying to simplify and unclutter my life lately, and to that end... Read More

Duct tape RFID tag #1

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This is just a messy first prototype, but I recently tried making an AVRFID tag on a substrate of duct tape. The first attempt involved: An upside-down strip of duct tape, as the base for everything else to stick atop 100 turns of AWG 40 magnet wire around a ~66mm diameter form, which I then haphazardly squished against the tape An ATtiny85 µC in the SOIC-8 package, programmed... Read More

CIA.vc service is down indefinitely

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For those who haven’t seen it: CIA.vc is a web service I started about 8 years ago, as a way of Open Source projects tracking code changes in real-time over the web and IRC. This is probably going to come as a surprise to most of you reading this, but today I’ve taken the CIA.vc service down indefinitely. Update 2011-05-11: Wow, that was quick. Merely hours after this... Read More

Neon Scope

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It’s so hard for me to clean up my office. I’ll see a random collection of objects that I’m supposed to be sorting, putting away, and/or throwing in the garbage.. and I can’t help playing with them instead. This time the objects in question were an old CCFL backlight inverter, a neon flicker-flame bulb, and a linear table from a discarded flatbed scanner. These... Read More

Cheap and easy Android to Propeller bridge

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This is a quick plug for a spiffy project that M. K. Borri (spiritplumber) has been building using my usb-fs-host object. He’s connecting an Android phone to a Propeller microcontroller, emulating the ADB debug protocol on the µC, and using this as a communication bridge in order to control robots from the phone. He has a video to demonstrate his progress: This project... Read More

S/PDIF Digital Audio on a Microcontroller

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A few years ago, I implemented an S/PDIF encoder object for the Parallax Propeller. When I first wrote this object, I wrote only a very terse blog post on the subject. I rather like the simplicity and effectiveness of this project, so I thought I’d write a more detailed explanation for anyone who’s curious about the gritty details. This is a recent video by Nick at... Read More