Making a Makerbot (part 2)

Added some additional finishing touches to the Makerbot today to make disassembly easier, and make it easier to manage.

First, a terminal block mounted on the extruder body. This allows individually disconnecting the motor and the heater barrel from the extruder, and using shorter wires.

Terminal block on extruder head

Unfortunately, the spacing on […]

Calibrating skeinforge for a Makerbot

I recently built a Makerbot, and have been working on getting it to print nice-looking objects. This was an interesting learning process, and I thought I’d outline what I did, in case it is of interest. Most of the effort was in configuring a software tool called Skeinforge, a program that will take a 3D […]

Making a Makerbot (part 1)

I recently put together Makerbot #1479, from Batch XIII. This is a simple 3D printer, a device that actually prints real objects using ABS plastic. It’s sold as a kit of parts for self-assembly.

The process was quite straightforward, but I made a number of modifications that seem to make it more reliable and easy […]

"Visual Streams" at the Exploratorium

"Visual Streams" installation during testing

For the past several months I’ve been volunteering at the Exploratorium, the famous science museum and playground in San Francisco. One of the projects I’ve been working on is called “Visual Streams”, an installation that represents the different aspects of the human visual system. I’ve built on previous work […]

Video fun with Open Sound Control

I’ve been working on some fun stuff lately, automating VJ software using the Open Sound Control protocol. It’s been an interesting experience: OSC is a potentially revolutionary way of allowing users to extend software for live performance.

I’ve been using Resolume VJ software for a while now, it is a good way of performing with […]

My favorite camera is a toy camera

Takayuki Fukatsu’s Toy Camera is my favorite camera now.

The randomly applied effects make you look at your photography in a new way – it’s really uncanny.


Making iPhone ringtones with free software

One of the many appealing features of Apple’s iPhone is the ability to make custom ringtones. However, as with most things Apple, there is a an official (and limited) way of doing things, and an unofficial (and much more fun) way of doing things.

Officially, if you want to make a ringtone from a song […]

Google reality

Google Earth has just added a hugely detailed database of 3D buildings to a lot of cities, including New York. Careful examination suggests that they’ve used imagery from their Street View project to fill in a lot of the facades. However, at a broad scale, the results are impressive:

New York from Google Earth


There 10 types of people: those who can program and those who can't

Clay has posted on article over at BoingBoing on a test that can predict whether people will be able to learn programming or not. It’s been observed for many years, and I can attest from personal experience, that there are people who can learn computer programming, and people who can’t. Any amount of instruction won’t […]

Beware of "free" software download scams

I am a big fan of a number of Open Source software projects, including Filezilla, Azureus, Audacity, Firefox and others. These projects are essentially staffed by volunteers, collaboratively producing software of general utility and sharing it with everyone, for free.

Unfortunately, everything attracts predators and parasites, and I’ve lately noticed one particularly nasty little scam […]