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{ Category Archives } Tools

things that can be applied to other things that build or take apart

Soldering for beginners

Mighty Ohm (Join the resistance) is Announcing the “Soldering is Easy” Complete Comic Book! “This seven page comic book explains in detail and with pictures how to make a good solder connection. It also teaches you all the other bits and pieces of knowledge that you need to successfully solder together an electronic kit, even […]

Nifty gadgets: “The car’s electron pressure, weatherglass, show”

For a station clock, this one isn’t automatically set by WWVB (see NIST for WWVB Radio Controlled Clocks: Recommended Practices for Manufacturers and Consumers -68p PDF) but is easily set at least to the nearest minute. It also shows clock and remote temperatures and a 12v system voltage. It’s in the under $20 class of […]

The quality of information

Chris Dawson says he prefers G+ to Facebook because of information quality. Facebook has become pure noise. The reason it is pure noise is that I was an inexperienced social media user when I first started using it. I added whoever to my friend list. Now I get random political messages from both sides, people […]

Ubuntu HUD: this guy gets it

If you want to get a good idea about the Unity Heads-Up-Display, Jo-Erlend Schinstad has a good description of why he thinks It’s A Great Idea. It is also interesting that the first comment completely ignores his initial point about the media representation of the innovation and instead reinforces it. Up until now, there’s been […]

Building things in the early days

Bootstrapping is not a trivial task. A Spellchecker Used to Be a Major Feat of Software Engineering is a reminder about the bootstrapping phase of software development for personal computing. Here’s the situation: it’s 1984, and you’re assigned to write the spellchecker for a new MS-DOS word processor. Some users, but not many, will have […]

Modern messaging (email) technology, policies, implications

The climate research messaging archive that was released surreptitiously, in two parts with a protected archive so far, provides a good example for learning about how electronic messaging works and the laws regarding privacy and retention that have been put together to balance privacy and legal openness. Anthony Watts provides a very good synopsis of […]

Cargo Cult coders, mathematics refresher, and the need for mentors

Elegant Coding looks like a good blog to keep an eye on. Eleven Equations True Computer Science Geeks Should (at Least Pretend to) Know has a list that will have me going back to the books to figure out what the symbols mean (again) and figure out what these important mathematical concepts mean. A Confederacy […]

electrolytic rust removal

Some recommend electrolysis to remove surface rust. You feed the rusted part electrons so the rusty iron can get its electrons from that rather than oxygen and turn the iron oxides back to plain iron. “Is it safe? The solutions used are not hazardous; the voltages and currents are low, so there is no electrical […]

Python 3: Dive In

Dive Into Python 3 is an online book the author hopes will lead you to the dead tree version (Dive Into Python 3) at Amazon. Reading through a few chapters tells me it is worth a bookmark to read more. The style is not cumbersome and some ideas appear to be well explained. The chapter […]

New skill requirements

When you get into the digital modes on Amateur Radio bands, you have a need to learn a new skill. There is help. One of these is the fldigi page on identifying Modes – Sight & Sounds. Two tools are provided for 14 types of signals with a link to a description of all PSK […]