This summer the folks behind Haha Bird posted about the giant sidewalk chalk Spirograph they had made. It has a large ring gear made from interlocking segments. The smaller internal gears ride on 3 casters each and carry the chalk. I thought the design was great and that we should have our own for The STEAM Carnival. Haha Bird had used a plotter and a jigsaw to cut their gears; I luckily had access to a CNC mill. Continue reading
Category Archives: Hardware
STEAM Carnival Countdown Clock
The STEAM Carnival is coming up October 25 & 26th at the Port of Los Angeles. Two Bit Circus wanted a sign for the outside of the venue that would both tell how many days were left and grab people’s attention. Since it had to be daylight visible I suggested we use electromechanical flip displays. Continue reading
Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.
This summer I got swept up in a massive LED lighting project. While standing in the right place at the right time a friend’s lighting designer recruited me to run an LED install. He showed me page after page of blueprints that described everything that needed to be done. I just shrugged and said ‘I guess I can do it’. The Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is an interactive exhibit installed in The Discovery Center Times Square. It combines science education with the world of Avengers. The entire exhibit is designed to look like a S.H.I.E.L.D. recruitment center filled with interactive displays and movie props. Continue reading
One of the companies I regularly do project work for is Angel Valley Media. Spring 2013 we were asked to develop the technology behind the CW reality show Capture and support it during filming. The show had 12 teams of 2 people each who competed in the woods of the Sierras. They slept outdoors and every day one team was selected as the Hunt team which would attempt to capture the Prey teams. Each player had a Nexus 4 phone strapped to their wrist which showed them a live map of the playfield. If a team stopped moving for too long, their location would appear on the Hunt team’s phones. The Hunt team had a giant magnetic “Talon” that they had to stick to the back of the prey team to capture them. The player’s vests would light up when captured. Continue reading
A friend of ours owns a piece of property in the high desert north of Los Angeles next to the Angeles National Forest. He named it Fuzzyland and built a platform treehouse to use as a DJ booth and hosts parties there once or twice a year. We camp overnight and the attendance varies from 40 to 100 people. I’ve never missed an event out there and after the first few I started bringing art to contribute to the atmosphere. Continue reading
Geared Button Wall
Earlier this year I did a couple projects for my friends at Virsix and Two Bit Circus. I really enjoy working with the creative minds of Eric Gradman and Dan Busby who I met when we were working on projects like Glow at Syyn Labs. For the first project, I constructed various hardware sensors for physical games (including a laser maze) that were installed in Great Wolf Lodge. Continue reading
Ninja Cola, a wirelessly accessible vending machine
A couple months ago Chris suggested we hack a vending machine so that you could use non-traditional input to make it serve beverages. I had some experience converting a machine to free mode during our Rainfall project so it didn’t seem too hard. Vending machines are readily available on Craiglist but I made sure to ask amongst friends to avoid the hassle. Craig offered the old vending machine that was sitting in his datacenter, “as long as it comes back eventually and more awesome”. Easy. Continue reading
NinjaTel, the hacker cellphone network
The social group Ninja Networks throws a massive party at Defcon almost every year. In the last few years that I’ve been involved, they’ve taken on larger scale projects and built custom badges for the exclusive Ninja Party. This year we took on our largest project yet: building an entire cellphone network. Continue reading
DVD stuck in dead MacBook drive
Forgive the stilted title but I want people to actually find this post. I recently loaned my black 2008 MacBook to a friend. They inserted a DVD but it refused to read and wouldn’t eject using the hardware key. Standard procedure in this case is to:
- Reboot the computer and hold down the trackpad button while booting. Disk will eject.
That didn’t work. This is what did work (somehow) and it’s scarcely mentioned online:
- Reboot the computer and hold down the ‘D’ key while booting. Disk will eject. You will be overjoyed.
The D key is normally used to tell the computer to read the install disk in the DVD drive and boot into hardware test mode. System profiler says that the Macbook doesn’t have an optical drive which is why I assume the first method doesn’t work. I hope this helps you.
Taking a stock Nexus One to Froyo
The boss handed me a new-in-box Google Nexus One today leftover from a launch project they did. My G1 has been showing it’s age so I decided to take the new phone and update it to the most recent leak of 2.2. I did the following: