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Technological Surrealism / Alec Nerds Out

DIY RFID Music Box

September 30, 2015

Another project, hot on the heels of the PCsr — and this one might actually be practical.

Stereos were a huge part of my youth. I bought them in garage sales and at thrift stores, the cheaper the better — department-store brands with commodity modules glued into toxic particle board. 8-track, cassette, AM/FM radio, and the worst turntables available to humanity. But I was 10 and had paper route money; my daughter is 3 and joyfully ignorant of finances. She is, however, starting to show preferences in music. “Yellow Submarine” is her first musical awakening.
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“PCsr” Home Computer Chimera

September 22, 2015

The PCsr is presented here as a rare specimen of a 1980s-era home computer. Yeah, yeah, so it never existed until now.

This one started as an 8mm film editor spotted in a junk shop. It cried out for a screen replacement and computer installation. The fiddliest part of the whole thing was clearly going to be finding a screen that fit, so I started there and everything else followed.
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2.7-5.5VDC “FUCK”

July 6, 2015

I’ve made many projects with Arduino-like boards — the Dymaxion Auto-Matic Buckminster Fuller (a Duemilanove), Drum Lights (a handful of Trinkets) and others — and since the beginning have considered them a really revolutionary thing. Arduino is a superhero of the Open Hardware movement, the gateway drug for many aspiring electronics hobbyists, and a necessary forefather of all sorts of things we now take for granted.
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Drum Lights: Triggered Drum Illumination

January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!

I’ve just finished surviving a New Years’ show masterminded by Bobbi-Jo Moore of The Elixxxirs. Let me briefly sing her praises first: she assembled and coordinated an army of volunteers to put together a “Back To The Future” themed party and Parkinsons fundraiser for 400, including the bar, decoration, promotion, lighting, sound, DJ, and endless loads of supplies. Not to mention actually playing the show. That’s a tremendous amount of work and risk to take on. She dug deep into her circle of friends to find help and they really came through. I’m impressed. It was a great night.
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Eastside Culture Crawl

November 12, 2014

I’m deep in preparation for the East Side Culture Crawl, an annual weekend festival in which studios scattered throughout the east side of Vancouver hold open houses.

The art can be very good, and even if it isn’t, you get the chance to wander inside parts of Vancouver that most people only pass by. It feels like an authentically East Vancouver event. Artists take a bit of time away from their day jobs — because c’mon, who can afford to live on creative dollars around here — and exhibit what they do after hours to stay sane. More or less. This makes it one of my favourite events to attend.
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SI Playing Cards

July 26, 2014

I’ve recently made progress on a big project, which is pretty exciting — it involved printing up a real-life 2-layer printed circuit board, which has gotten astoundingly cheap and easy.

Moron that later, though.

Meanwhile, another paper-based small project: SI Playing Cards. This is another cheap gag that demanded to be made. Hopefully now it’ll be quiet.

The Duchess

July 15, 2014

It might appear that I’m not working on any projects lately. That’s not correct. What is true is that I’m not *finishing* any projects lately. My office is an impossible mess of unrealized potential. Hopefully this will lead to a flood of completions later.

However, here’s a small one: The Duchess.

(Here in Strathcona, if you’re soldering copper fittings together, everyone will assume you’re manufacturing drug paraphernalia. And the worst thing you can do to your reputation is to prove their suspicions false.)