Ad Astra Mar16

Ad Astra

This weekend we explored the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA.  This is my favorite museum in the county, so I like to pay a visit whenever I’m in the area.  The museum is a giant hangar with some very historical aircraft to include the...

Echoes from Kithairon Mar03

Echoes from Kithairo...

The machines are always listening, or at least we’re hoping they are with Amazon’s new product Echo.  Echo is an internet-connected “virtual assistant” that tries to find answers to questions or perform actions based on the input after the codeword “Alexa”....

Throwback: iPod Dock Feb28

Throwback: iPod Dock

A few years ago I had an iPod touch that I used on a daily basis, but my car had no place to securely dock it while I drove.  Not being one that enjoys having cables everywhere, I though it’d be a good idea to replace the ashtray unit that sat beneath the radio with a custom iPod...

Checkmate II Dec23

Checkmate II

Two years ago, I made a chessboard as a going away present for a friend of mine when he was getting ready to leave Hawaii.  Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to build another board.  This holiday season gave me the perfect opportunity to get back in the shop.  The shop experience was...

Installing Cisco Unified Call Manager on VMWare Fusion Dec07

Installing Cisco Uni...

I had the idea to use some of my Cisco IP phones in an internal home communications system.   I have a couple of Synology NAS boxes that are capable of running Asterix, the open source PBX (phone management) software.  However, my Cisco phones have the SCCP (Skinny) firmware.  I had two...

Fire TV Stick Dec01

Fire TV Stick

Amazon recently announced a smaller version of the Amazon Fire TV, its streaming media device similar to the Apple TV. I love my Apple TV and have modified it to be a very capable media streaming machine, playing media from both my local network and the internet at large.  I figure it would...

Entryway Shelves Nov26

Entryway Shelves

For a few months now, our dining room table has been pulling double-duty as a catchall for hats, scarves, wallets, purses and anything else we needed to quickly drop off when coming home.  This solution fits nicely in an existing space in our dining room, right by the Hawaiian shoe bench.  I...

Minty Boost Nov16

Minty Boost

The MintyBoost is a great open-source hardware charger designed by the engineers at Adafruit, a small electronics company out of NYC.  It’s a small yet powerful USB charger for iPods, iPhones or any other USB-powered device. Proving 500mA @ 5V, it’s a great emergency power source when my...

Twins! Oct26

Twins!

Last winter, Baxter was well-prepared for the polar vortex of 2014 because he had his custom insulated coat.  Gina put in lots of work this weekend in the craft room to make sure Perseus would be just as prepared this year.  They now have matching...

Wooden Levitator Oct25

Wooden Levitator

By now you know that I don’t throw out my scraps.  Instead I find fun or creative use for wood that would be otherwise headed to the fireplace.  And now… time for a magic trick. The woods are maple for the base, walnut for the column, lacewood for the cantilever and mahogany for...

Yosemite USB Drive Oct24

Yosemite USB Drive

I’ve been running Apple’s newest operating system Yosemite ever since the public beta was announced. It’s a brave proposition to have a beta operating system on my main machine, but it’s worked out so far. Now that that final version is released, many more will be...

Onion Pi Oct15

Onion Pi

Privacy has been in the news for a while now.  As Carnegie Mellon’s Norman Sadeh, professor of computer science, mentions, “privacy breaches, whether through poor design or as the result of attacks, have become a staple of the daily news.”  Protecting personal privacy...