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.

A Laser-cut Plywood Rack for Torx Drivers

In my product designs at my day job I sometimes specify torx-headed screws. This could be because the heads resist tool damage better. It could be because torx-heads are more available at the time for some particular combination of thread and length and material I need. Or it could just be because they look cool! Whatever the reason I need a number of torx drivers; in the larger sizes 1/4 inch hex-ended bits are just fine but for smaller sizes I prefer to have small screwdrivers for each one. Since I don't like them rolling around loose in a drawer I made a rack out of 1/4 inch birch plywood on the laser cutter.

Hard Drive Disc Sander

Here's a quick and dirty demonstration of turning an old hard drive into a very poor disc sander. It took all of twenty minutes, but don't worry: the video's been sped up considerably. Hope you like it!

Color Eggs Like an Estonian

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.

The final result

First Update for 2014's Quantifiable Goals

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.

Batman's Grinder Use is Unsafe

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.

Bruce Wayne attempts a DIY project