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Strange Computer Languages: A Hacker’s Field Guide

Why do we build radios or clocks when you can buy them? Why do we make LEDs blink for no apparent purpose? Why do we try to squeeze one extra frame out of our video cards? We don’t know why, but we do. That might be the same attitude most people would have when learning about esolangs — esoteric programming languages — we don’t know why people create...

Monitor For Bedridden Patients Aims To Improve Care

One of the joys of being a Maker and Hacker is solving problems and filling needs. When you can do both, well, that’s something special. [rodrigo.mejiasz]’s project surely fits into that special category of solving a problem and filling a dire need with his Bedridden Patient Monitor. While [Rodrigo]’s project page does not specify his motivation for...

The SHA2017 Badge Just Keeps On Giving, This Time It’s A Solar Monitor

Regular readers will know that we have covered the world of electronic badges for many years, and nothing pleases us more than seeing an event badge having a life afterwards rather than becoming a piece of e-waste. Thus we were especially pleased to see [Angus Gratton]’s use of a SHA2017 badge as a solar output monitor, over four years after the event....

Exercise Bike Hacked as Input For Xbox 360

If you like playing Grand Theft Auto, you’re pretty familiar with squeezing the triggers for accelerating and braking while driving around. [David Programa] decided this was too easy, and instead developed a system to allow him to pedal his way around the virtual world. The device relies on a flywheel-based exercise bike, with six magnets placed on...

Better Car Hinges by 3D Printing

We often use 3D printing to replicate items we might otherwise make with traditional machining methods. Fraunhofer’s new door hinge for a sports car takes a different tack: it tries to be better than the equivalent machined part. The company claims that the new part is half the cost and weighs 35% less than the normal hinge. Using tools in their 3D...

Reverse Engineering: Trash Printer Gives Up Its Control Panel Secrets

Many of us hardware-oriented types find it hard to walk past a lonely-looking discarded item of consumer electronics without thinking “If only I could lug that back to the car and take it home to play with” and [phooky] from NYC Resistor is no stranger to this sentiment. An old Epson WF-2540 inkjet printer was disassembled for its important ‘nutrients,’...

Building a Lightsaber and Scoring a World Record, Too

As we all know, the lightsaber is an elegant weapon, for a more civilized age. [Alex Burkan] is doing what he can to bring that technology to fruition, and even secured a Guinness World Record in the process. Melty melty. The build relies on an electrolyzer, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen gas which is stored in a small tank. This gas can...

Young Maker Mixes Traditional Japanese Construction With Modern Art

We’re Makers. By definition, we make things. Some of us prefer to build from scraps, while others like to make their own IC’s in their garage. [Make With Miles] on the other hand prefers one of the oldest types of making around: woodworking. And in this build, he goes a step further by using a very old Japanese method of woodworking called Kumiko to...

The Road Is Peppered with Rock Salt Alternatives

Every winter, millions of tons of rock salt is sprinkled across roads in the US, mostly in the Midwest and Northeast regions. It’s a cheap and effective way to prevent accidents. Rock salt is chemically the same as the stuff that sits next to the pepper, except it isn’t as finely ground, and it doesn’t have sodium or potassium iodine added to it to...

Laser Z-Axis Table Comes Into Focus

Laser cutters and 3D printers are game-changing tools to have in the workshop. They make rapid prototyping or repairs to existing projects a breeze as they can churn out new parts with high precision in a very short amount of time. The flip side of that, though, is that they can require quite a bit of maintenance. [Timo] has learned this lesson over...

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