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Showing posts from 2022

Aye Eye Bed-Time Story Generator

Machine Learning is used for various hard practical problems, such as the safe control of autonomous cars that have to navigate a cluttered and dynamic environment, without bumping off cyclists and running over old people trying to cross a village road.   There are also other more entertaining uses for it, such as the creation of bed-time stories for your grand children.  ( Yup, I'm that old.  I started learning programming FORTRAN on a Univac with punch cards, eh.  Now get of my pennisetum clandestinum... :). Go to OpenAI ChatGPT and make yourself a free account: Let the fun begin:   Write a short story for ten year olds. Scary government people created a video of a moon landing and will catch you if you deny it. Give the protagonist two buddies with distinctly different personalities. Result: Once upon a time, there was a young boy named Jack who loved watching the stars at night. He dreamed of one day becoming an astronaut and exploring t

Let There Be Light

I made a ceiling light fixture for my workshop ( it is supposed to be my garage ) from scrap wood.  Since LED lights do not get hot, one can do that without danger of burning the house down, but it would be a good idea to incorporate a 250 mA polyfuse in there for peace of mind.   The light of my life. To hide the ceiling house wires and chocolate block connector, I made a big hole in one block with a hole saw and glued it to another block.  The vertical stick is mortised into the ceiling block - rubbed some wax on it all and there we have a little Tinkertoy Chandelier.  I used bees wax, but good old boot polish will work as well and it comes in multiple shades. Cantilever Desk Lamp BTW, the easy/lazy way to make a rectangular mortise hole, is with a drill and a jigsaw.   You just slowly grind the wood away with the saw blade till you have a perfect fit.  A hammer and chisel does not work well on soft wood, no matter how sharp the chisel, while a jigsaw will happily chew up anything! I

Wooden Post Thumper

We planted a new tree and wanted to stabilize it with three posts, so it won't blow over in a storm, while it is still young.  It turned out that planting the tree was the easy part.  Hammering the 2.5 meter support posts into the ground, was a whole 'nuther problem. One cannot use a sledge hammer on a tall post, since climbing onto a ladder and swinging a heavy weight around, two meters above ground, is sure to cause a rapid, unplanned descent from the ladder. The safe solution is a pile driver - a heavy pipe that is closed at one end. I could not find a pile driver at the local hardware store and in any case it would cost around 65 Euro, so I took some scrap wood and a two hundred year old sledge hammer and there we go.  The only expense was a handful of screws.   The thumper works remarkably well.  It took longer to make the thumper than to set the three posts, but now I can also use it to drive in a sand point shallow well for the garden.   Start with a 15 cm piece of a sq


Simple Table Saw To me, much of the fun of woodworking is making my own tools and jigs and then using them in a project.  Jigs made of wood do not last very long, since they either wear out, or warp (or both!), so making new jigs is a constant process.  The trick is to keep it simple, so that any worn or damaged guide piece can be replaced quickly with whatever is in your scrap wood bin. Table Saw With Guide When machining large pieces of wood, it is best to keep the wood still and move the machine, so a hand circular saw is a must have.  However, when working small pieces of wood, it is best to keep the machine still and move the wood, so a table saw is also a must have.  A table saw can however be rather expensive and a cheap, inaccurate, wobbly one, costs 3 times more than a hand tool. Table Saw Saw Guide Making your own table saw with an upside down hand saw is not difficult and it also has some advantages, notably that cutting through the table results in a zero clearance blade sl

Linux Security Cameras

Security Camera Management Programs There are two decent Linux programs for managing security cameras: Motion and ZoneMinder . For test purposes, I set a camera up inside my living room.  Once working, I'll install two outside, to watch the driveway and backyard.   Streaming Camera with Fish Eye Lens Motion is the simpler one of the two programs, but with almost 300 configurable options, it can do anything worth doing.  It works just as well as ZoneMinder , but it simply doesn't do things that are not needed.  For example, Motion supports a database, but Linux filesystem storage is usually good enough.  It doesn't have a fancy GUI, since it is intended to run on a server, stashed on a shelf in a dark corner.  There is a GUI which can be accessed with a web browser locally, or over the LAN, but I never used it.  One can also view real-time streams with a web browser.  Notifications can be sent and files uploaded to another machine with external programs such as mutt , wput