For nearly as long as the three of us have known each other, we have talked about the things we would make when “we had our own company”. The seriousness of that statement grew and waned over time and many of the ideas, while still on our very long list, were probably more crazy than not. But then we got the even crazier idea to give this “Small Business” thing a shot, and Maniacal Labs popped into existence.
In short, we three come from a range of hardware, software, and design backgrounds, and we want to share our ideas for strange and obscure electronics projects with the rest of the world. We offer kits for sale, that you too might bring a bit of our wacky inspiration into your home, office, lair, flying fortress, etc. Hopefully, in building one of our kits, you’ll not only end up with a nifty thing, but you will learn a little bit of something as well. We believe in the free exchange of knowledge and ideas, and as such, all of our software and hardware designs are, and will be, open source.
We are fans of unique and often barely readable (ok, completely unreadable) timepieces. Time, as Measure, Idea, and Expression, is a pretty cool thing and lends itself well to creative outlets, particularly in the realm of electronics. This is evidenced by our first tribute to nerdy horology, the Binary Epoch Clock. In taking the traditional Binary Clock idea and ratcheting the unreadability factor up to 11 (or b1011), we pay tribute to the founders and foundations of modern computing and electronics tinkering. It is our intention that this and other inspirations will show through in all of our products.
But this is just the beginning. We have a bunch of ideas in queue, and while we will certainly draw from what inspires us, we’ll probably come up with things other than impractical clocks. We might even come up with something useful. Crazy talk, we know. But hey, why else would be be called Maniacal Labs?
Loves: Mountains, State Machines, Administering Turing Tests
Hates: Not knowing why his code doesn’t work, Not knowing why it does work
Adam originally wanted to be a concert pianist, but that all changed when he found the beauty of code. From then on, writing software was the only possible option. Having used his Software Engineering degree to write code for all manners of applications in dozens of languages, micro-controller firmware has become a favorite in recent years.
Absolute simplicity is Adam’s ultimate goal and he enjoys the challenge of pulling maximum efficiency and utility out of such small, seemingly weak, chips. He sees micro-controllers as the perfect mix of software and real-world tangibility. Adam lives, breaths and sleeps code – often waking in the middle of the night having realized the perfect, or even better, solution. But no solution is ever perfect, there is always more to learn.
Loves: Long walks on the beach, Ohm’s Law, The Smell of Solder in the Morning
Hates: Close-minded people, floating grounds, The Magic Blue Smoke
Dan is the resident “hardware guy” at Maniacal Labs. He would say he “knows some stuff about some things.” With a Computer and Electrical Engineering background, Dan has been tinkering with electronics for several years. Micro-controllers are of particular interest as “they bring together the hardware and software at a base level to create something tangible and, hopefully, Awesome.” While by no means a Master, Dan enjoys applying his skills to new projects, and learning as much as possible while doing so. He lives for those “Ah Ha!” moments when, after hours of work, the idea is realized and it, what ever ‘it’ is, works. When he’s not at his workbench, Dan works as a Test Engineer for a major data storage manufacturer.
Loves: Cooking, Lego, Cycling, British satire
Hates: Cauliflower, Yard Work, Popcorn shells stuck in his teeth
Miles wears many hats, both figuratively and literally. Sometimes he wears a sombrero.
As a jack of all trades, Miles is a master of none. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and an interest in cooking and molecular gastronomy, Miles is learning a great deal of “Eldritch Computer Knowledge” from the others and brings a design background to the group.
Generally one to try things to see what happens, Miles is a great experimenter, unbound by the so-called conservative, realistic thinking that some others are bound by. Miles’s ideas are usually being restrained by the others, bringing some exceptional(ly outrageous) ideas down to Earth.