Category: make

Steal This Wi-Fi (the safe way)

In his Wired article “Steal This Wi-Fi” Bruce Schneier gives some good reasons to leave your wireless network open, being neighborly for starters. While being neighborly is nice, advising people to open their wireless network without providing some advice on how to do it securely is irresponsible and one would have expected more from a renowned security expert…

My blanket advice – close your wireless network. If you don’t know how, find someone who can help you.

On the other hand – if you know how to run an open wireless network securely then do it! It may be a geek thing, but I find it cool (and neighborly) to be able to run an open wireless network and provide passersby with free internet access.

Here is how I do it:

(more…)

DIY Plinko Game

Below are some pictures of a plinko game that my uncle and I built for a Halloween fair. Construction consisted of a “scrap” 4×8 sheet of plywood that was covered with a sheet of hardboard/tile board to give the puck (we used an actual hockey puck) a smooth surface to slide on. We used 12 volt halogen lights in the bottom pockets that lit that pocket if the puck landed in it. My uncle devised a circuit to control the lights using the venerable 555 timer and a decade counter and MOSFETs to turn the lights on/off. We had to add a cooling fan to keep the MOSFETs cool. I don’t have a lot more information on this project since we were in a rush doing it but wanted to share it here since it’s just a good memory of time spent with my uncle making something.

DIY Plinko Game

DIY Plinko Game

Kee Klamp Shelf (not on the cheap)

This is a shelf I built using Kee Klamps and 1-3/8″ top rail fence post.

I purchased the Kee Klamps from Simplified Building Concepts, you can also get them from Grainger and McMaster-CARR prices are about the same anywhere you go (read: expensive) but Simplified Building seemed to have a better selection. The Kee Klamps are awesome and I could come up with a ton of things to build with them, but there a bit cost prohibitive to build with. All in all though they work quite well. I couldn’t find the weight bearing specifications of the Kee Klamps but I was able to stand on the middle shelf (~160lbs) without failure. This was an expensive project mostly due to the use of the Kee Klamps, but they sure are cool.

(more…)