Back in April I decided to put down a deposit on a Tesla Model 3. When my number came up, though, the price for even a minimally-configured unit was far more than I was willing to pay, so I put off the purchase.
A recent article in TidBITS announced that the $20 WyzeCam Security Camera Is Almost Too Good to Be True. Joshua has been having a lot of fun with security cameras lately. He converted some old phones into surveillance equipment using Haven and Alfred. But $20 for a full-function dedicated camera just seemed like a deal we couldn’t pass up.
Sometimes, it’s simple things. We’re surrounded by wonders like smart phones and miracle drugs, but sometimes innovation can come entirely from just thinking about a problem differently. If you took an iPhone X 30 years into the past, it wouldn’t do much. Oh, it might be a shiny curiosity, but its function would be limited. Nor would someone in 1988 be able to disassemble it, discover its “secret” and make more of them: the main secret is layer upon layer upon layer of incremental improvements in processor design, chip fabrication, wireless technologies, display mechansims, battery capacities, operating system architecuture… the list goes on and on.
My old bed cost, I think, about $1,500 and was too big — Caper and I rattled around in it. It was also over 10 years old. I got a Wirecutter recommendation for a compressed foam mattress that you can order online and it comes in a relatively tiny box — for less than $300. Uncrate it, and over a day or two it expands to a full 12″ deep mattress. I bought one for Matthew, and he liked it, so I decided to upgrade (and downsize) my own bed. Continue reading
A year or so ago, I was looking for a new phone. I had been using a Google Nexus 6 for two years, ever since I became a beta tester for Project Fi. I loved Project Fi (Google is eversomuch cooler than any other cellular carrier/MVNO in the US), but getting timely updates—even security updates—for the Nexus was like pulling teeth, and they dropped support for what had been their flagship phone barely a year after I bought it. Add to that the fact that there’s no effective private backup solution for Android devices, and I didn’t have any real choice. I had an old iPhone 5 that I had owned for maybe four years, and it was still running the latest version of iOS with all the security updates delivered instantly, while my three-years-newer Android was a security breach waiting to happen.
The garden is growing, and I was able to harvest almost enough basil to make a batch of pesto. Even though I had to add some commercial leaves, it still tasted better (in my mind?) than when everything comes from the store.
I’m not talking about computer memory.
I have a fair size collection of 1/4″ drive bits. Flat and phillips screwdrivers. Many sizes of Torx. Star drives, nut drives. But any way you cut it, sifting through them loose in a box was a mess.
It reached a critical point when I knocked the box off my tool chest and they scattered all over the garage floor. Colorful vocabulary and lots of searching on hands and knees ensued.
A quick FreeCAD design and some 3D printing later, and they’re all organized. Files are available on Thingiverse.
The garden is in that sweet spot: everything is young and growing fast, but the tomato worms and other would-be diners haven’t discovered it.
There isn’t enough basil for pesto yet, and the tomatoes are still small, but there’s mint enough to garnish our couscous and basil enough for soup and there’s lots of promise.
Last July I ordered a whole house fan. The day it showed up, it was over 100° and I wasn’t up to crawling in the attic. Then it sat in the garage until a couple of weeks ago, when I realized that the weather was heating up.