As a huge fan of the Raspberry Pi, I’m always looking for cool new projects to try. Google had released a free hardware kit with Issue 57 of the MagPi magazine. The kit included a Pi Voice Hat, a microphone board, speaker, a “traditional google” card board case and various bits to put it all together. Apparently this is Google’s answer the Raspberry Pi Amazon Echo that was released last year.
If you were lucky enough to get your hands on the kit, I hope you put it to good use. They were in limited supply and are sold out at this point. Maybe they will make another run and sell them in the Google store?
If you still want to try this project with out the kit you can! Google has published instructions.
If you watched John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on HBO this past Sunday you would have seen his amazing rant about the proposed changes to FCC rules regarding how they classify Internet Service Providers. In a nut shell if FCC rolls back the Obama era legislation the ISP’s will no longer have to follow any Net Neutrality rules.
As a society our technology has exponentially improved over the last 20 years. Many of us carry around the the collective knowledge of the human race in our pockets. All these advances have a side effect, tons and tons of E-waste, our obsolete gadgets just become trash over time. In this post we will put one iconic piece of old tech to new use.
The 3 ½ Floppy Disk
The 3 ½” floppy was introduced in 1983 and was manufactured for almost 30 years. There are a lot of disks floating around out there and maybe you have some hiding in your basement. Don’t throw them away just yet, lets re-purpose into this great Floppy Disk Pencil Holder.
Supplies You Will Need:
QTY 5 x 3 ½” Floppy Disks (can be found in your basement or on Ebay / Etsy)
The weather is starting to look good here in the north east, time to pack the family into the car for some day trips to the shore. Before you go let’s do some minor maintenance to replace the cabin filter on your vehicle to keep you breathing the freshest of air.
Replace the cabin filter
Back in the early 2000s car manufacturers thought it would be a good idea to filter the air we breath. They began installing filters inside the HVAC ducts of our cars to filter out pollen, dust and other contaminants. Are they effective? Yes, they do work but at the same time you open your door and windows to allow the same dust and pollen in the filter is trying to remove.
If you have one it should be replaced as the manufacture of your vehicle recommends. Automobile dealers can charge upwards of $100 to replace the filters. For many this may sound reasonable, but just know that you can change the filter yourself for under $20.00 and in about 5 minutes.
Do you remember the beginning when YouTube was just born? It was 12 years ago when the world started posting silly cat videos and our daily lives online.
Coming soon YouTube will be updating and simplifying its design. They have adopted a similar design that is normally associated with Google and Android.
Try out a fresh look for YouTube
“This new desktop design highlights your favorite videos and creators while making YouTube easier and more fun to use. We’re still working on it, but we can’t wait for you to try it out and let us know what you think!”
According to YouTube’s web site the new design will feature:
A clean design
New Dark Theme to reduce glare
A new faster framework, to allow quick development of new features
Its available right now as a pre-release for you totry here. Keep in mind it has not been officially launched yet, so there may still be some missing features and bug.
This is a fun project even without the sound. I enjoy taking vintage NES cartridges and making them into clocks. No worries the cartridges are broken beyond repair before I gut and start drilling holes in them. The NES cartridge clock is a great way to recycle.
I will cover building the clock in another post later on. This article is going to focus on adding the audio module and making them sing.
As many of you know I have been an avid Etsy seller for over 10 years. Making cool up-cycled crafts out of obsolete and retired bits of technology. I think Etsy was only a year old when I started selling. The first five years were great as sales increased year over year and my hobby was making me some extra cash. However as the website became saturated with more vendors, sales have steadily declined. I’m fine with the reduced sales, as it is just a hobby to begin with.
I think its safe to say that the handmade craft market has gone the way of Ebay. The site has matured and there are so many people and companies selling (54 Million Members) that it is incredibly difficult to make a sale, yet a profitable one. It is possible that growth has slowed at Etsy? Since they are now a public company (IPO 4/16/2015) they have pressure to turn a profit for their share holders.
Need a revenue boost = Forced Etsy Payments
It would appear that Etsy would like to have a larger piece of the payment processing pie. Recently they announced to all sellers that they MUST begin to accept “Etsy Payments” or have their selling privileges suspended on May 18th. I’m not sure how many sellers already use Etsy Payments, but at between 3-4% fee on each transaction it will be a considerable uptick in revenue for the company. Continue reading “Forced Etsy Payments – Is this a good thing or bad?”
I have a typical KitchenAid French door refrigerator with a bottom pull out freezer. Its about 10 years old and has been very good at keeping our food fresh. My wife would say that the freezer is on the small side, and I think it could have been a little bigger myself. Fast forward 10 years and it would appear that this exact model is still being made and sold under many different brand names. Unfortunately we are having a freezer door issue.
Freezer Door Issue
Last night I opened the freezer and there was frost building up on the left side. After a quick inspection I noticed the door was not fully closing on the left. There was about 1/8″ gap at the top of the door and the seal.
After an exhausting Google/Youtube search I kept coming up empty. Search results had shown fixes for some bottom draw freezers, mostly GE models. These units had set screws and adjusters to help align the door, my unit has no such adjustment.
I then started trolling the appliance fix-it sites and message boards and read old posts stating that the freezer draw may need new rails, or the device at the back of the rail that pulls the door firmly closed cold be broken. On my unit when the draw has about 2″ to go mechanisms on the end of the rails pull the door tightly closed.
Its that time of year again, the trees are budding, the flowers blooming and the grass is getting tall. If your like most you will probably roll the lawnmower out of the garage, top off the fuel and begin cutting.
Wait, not so fast. There are a few easy maintenance items you can do yourself to keep your lawnmower humming like new all season long.
Change the oil
This is probably one of the most important maintenance items you can perform at each season. Lawnmowers run in a hostile dusty environment, and the oil can be easily contaminated. Your lawnmower manufacture will recommend the frequency of oil changes you should preform. I like to do it every spring before the first cut.
My lawnmower is a Honda walk behind. This unit uses a common fill / drain hole. The first step is to wipe any dirt off the dipstick, then unscrew and place the dipstick cap on the side.