Easter came recently, and so I was finally able to dispose of the bag of onion skins I'd been accumulating in my kitchen since the New Year. To understand why, you have to know something about an old, as in pre-PAAS, technique used in Estonia for egg coloring. Other countries in Eastern Europe do something like this too, but I don't know what subtle variations may exist from nation to nation, so I'll just present my own family's method.
Welcome! I am an engineer, programmer, designer, and all-around geek. You may be interested in some of my electrical and mechanical projects. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt and remember to wear your safety glasses.
As promised at the beginning of the year, I'm publishing on a quarterly schedule my progress in achieving this year's quantifiable goals. Here's the list so far:
- Complete one 5k footrace: I started training for this but had to stop owing to knee problems. Under doctor's orders I'm strengthening my quadriceps muscles before proceeding.
- Earn Fechter rank in HEMA: No progress to report as yet.
- Do 10 pullups in a set (I can do about 3 at present): I'm up to five in a set.
- Do 100 pushups in a set (I tested at 21 at the beginning of January): After a strong start my training reached a bit of a plateau, possibly due to nutrition. Nonetheless, I'm up to 32 pushups at present.
Do 200 situps in a set (right now I'm at 50–60): achieved on March 11. I followed a well-known two hundred situps program with success; now I never need to do another situp again. Just kidding.
- Add five new videos to Youtube: none as yet.
- Launch three new web projects: I'm nearly ready to release my first web project this year, an internal administrative interface for one of our embedded linux products, using the front-end framework Foundation 5.
- Add five significant projects to my personal site: none as yet.
- Add eight artworks to my personal site: none as yet.
- Post 24 new blog entries: this is my sixth blog post this year, so I'm on schedule.
- Launch my crowd-funded project: I'm in the prototyping stage for this product.
I'll be updating this with additional blog posts quarterly, to keep myself on track.
Consider the following scene from Batman Begins, where Bruce Wayne, preparing for his new life as the Dark Knight, sharpens his bat-shaped throwing blades on an ordinary bench grinder as might be found in workshops and indeed, suburban garages around the world. Unlike much of what makes Bruce Wayne Batman—his bat-vehicles, his supercomputers, his Tibetan ninja training—this is low-tech blue-collar stuff, accessible to the home DIYer and therefore dangerous to the home DIYer, if the movie's depiction of grinder use should be unsafe. And it is.
Once again I've needed to quickly produce some labels for a small prototype run, and once again I've turned to off-the-shelf labels from the Avery brand. Just as I did the last time, I've made a template for Adobe Illustrator so that using these label sheets might be easier. If this is what you're looking for, please download the file below.
It's already a good year for the small R&D team I work with: we've been lucky enough to get a laser cutter to experiment with! Ours is the 40W “fifth-generation” model from Full Spectrum Laser; it can cut up to 1/4 inch wood or plastic and can engrave anodized aluminum. It also features some slick software that acts as an ordinary Windows printer driver so that you can print directly from the software of your choice (for me in this context, usually Adobe Illustrator).
Like a lot of digital fabrication machines in the hobbyist end of the market, however, this device requires some setup to get it running. You'll want to mount the laser on a worktable or mobile cart big enough to support it and all the associated infrastructure. We equipped ours with a power strip for all the associated peripherals as well. On the left side of the photo is a small air compressor, supplied with our laser, that provides high-pressure air to the cutting head for purposes of blowing away anything that might otherwise adhere to the optics. This might also be useful in blowing out flames that may occur, which is definitely something to keep an eye on when laser cutting.