Sunrise Alarm Clock – Prototype

While I rarely sleep past 6am, or sleep at all for that matter, my wife does require an alarm clock from time to time. After a recent few days of her alarm going off right in the middle of a R.E.M. sleep cycle she mentioned a desire for a more gentle alarm. I’ve seen those sunrise alarm clock lights many times before, but they but they are a bit pricey and she didn’t want a light that would be right next to the bed. Rather, something more subtle.

After a call to Dan to see if he had the few parts I was lacking, I realized a prototype should be an easy build with no need to buy anything new. Here’s the parts list:

The parts hookup looks like this:


Continue Reading →

Finally, A Windows Package Manager – With Chocolate!

To the chagrin of the open source community, I’m a Windows guy. I do really like Linux based systems, but much of my professional career has remained at least partly in the Windows world. 15 years of using Visual Studio (the only Microsoft product I truly like) have brought me to prefer it greatly over any IDE out there. I even use it for all my Arduino/AVR work, but that’s another post.

But if there is anything from the Linux world that I miss when using Windows, it is a proper package manger, a command line one like apt-get on Debian and Ubuntu. As someone who has installed Windows enough to have once had a Windows 98 serial key memorized I can say that a graphical installer is just too much of a pain. Being able to type “apt-get install vlc” (which would install the popular VideoLan Client) and do nothing else is great. Most of the time you can even just guess at a package being available and it usually is.

The first to try to fix this on Windows was Ninite which is great for most people and has a very concise, curated list of available applications. But it’s web-based and, well, has a curated list of applications… it has the common 90%, but I’m the type that uses that other 10%. Enter Chocolatey.

Continue Reading →

Meter Clock: Keeping “Current” Time


I’ve seen a few meter clocks in my travels of the web, and I love the idea. A few days ago, I decided that I must have one of my own. Such began the “How to do it” pondering cycle. I had seen builds where the face plate of the meter is replaced. This works, but I wanted to try and find a way to do it without modifying the meter, if possible. After some more ponderation, I came up with what I think is a serviceable idea.

Continue Reading →

Polar Giraffe Update

First off, hopefully after the end of this month, activity on the site will pick up a bit. We’ve got some neat projects we’re working on that would definitely be worth sharing. So yeah, look for more soon!

In the mean time, here’s a quick look at some updates I’ve made to the Polar Giraffe. Those who were able to see it at Maker Faire NC commented on how the the gondola was floating in mid-air. There were even a few claims of magnets.


Continue Reading →

NC Maker Faire 2014: A Huge Success

Dan and I just got back from NC Maker Faire 2014 here in Raleigh and our brains are still buzzing with all of the awesomeness of the day.
Many, many thanks to the great staff and volunteers of this years Faire for creating an awesome experience for all, both maker and attendee. For those that we had wonderful conversations with and are now just checking out our website, you can find more details about all of the projects we were showing off today at our NC Maker Faire 2014 page.

Now… copious amounts of sleep. Until next year!


Maker Faire 2014