By Amber WilliamsPosted 02.10.2012 at 4:18 pm 0 Comments
Sure, you can buy fun things. But if you make them, you get the fun of construction plus the fun of use, with a dash of satisfaction and an anecdote to tell anyone who uses your creation. These three projects--a sledding winch to get you up a hill, a giant version of the board game Operation, and an Angry-Birds-playing robot--are all homemade.
I love surplus stores. They're basically the tech version of a yard sale, with tons of stuff that would be nearly impossible to find or afford new. These are three of my favorites. Between them, you should be able to find just about anything you need, no matter how crazy the project.
If you’re looking to gin up a project that can interface with the world--say, a device that tells the weather using sensors--you’re probably going to need a microcontroller, a simple computer system on a circuit board that consists of a processor, memory and an input/output system. They are the centerpiece of many of my past PopSci projects, such as a desk clock that keeps superaccurate time by pulling in a signal broadcast from an atomic clock.
I've accidentally dropped an engine on my foot, set myself on fire, fallen off all sorts of things—and now I'm here to tell you about safety. Four of the biggest risks to DIYers are ones that often don't get taken seriously, but they all can be mitigated with some easy-to-find gear.
By Kevin M. RyanPosted 02.06.2009 at 8:11 am 2 Comments
Google's index reached a trillion pages last year, but that doesn't mean it (or other large search engines, like Yahoo) will always understand the exact intent of your search and yield results that have the information you really want.
Being a tech consumer is a treacherous endeavor these days. Installing software, upgrading a piece of hardware or even just plugging in a new peripheral is a pursuit wrought with danger. That's because, as a man named Murphy has us conditioned to believe, something will inevitably go wrong. And when things do go haywire—when Part A won't play nice with Part B—you're left trying to figure out just what's to blame. Is it your operating system? Is it the USB port on your computer? Is it your thingamajig's firmware?