BBC Stories: This invention helped me write again

When Emma Lawton was 29 she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
As a graphic designer, drawing is a huge part of her life but over the past three years the tremor in her hands has grown more pronounced stopping her from writing and drawing straight lines.
Enter Haiyan Zhang and her invention that is changing Emma’s life.

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Evil Mad Scientist: AxiDraw V3

The AxiDraw is a simple, modern, precise, and versatile pen plotter, capable of writing or drawing on almost any flat surface. It can write with your favorite fountain pens, permanent markers, and other writing implements to handle an endless variety of applications.

The AxiDraw is an extremely versatile machine, designed to serve a wide variety of everyday and specialized drawing and writing needs. You can use it for almost any task that might normally be carried out with a handheld pen.

While no parts on AxiDraw require regular replacement, this new machine is built with a “screws not glue” design approach throughout, where essentially every part can be replaced by the end user if it should ever become necessary.

(via prostheticknowledge.tumblr.com)

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Arduboy
Miscellany

Arduboy: Game system the size of a credit card

Arduboy is a miniature, open-source, programmable game system based on Arduino.

Arduboy started on Kickstarter in 2015 and is now for sale at $49 (they expect it to sell out quickly, however). Features:

  • 1.3″ brilliant black & white OLED display
  • 6 tactile momentary push buttons
  • 2 channel piezo electric speaker
  • Durable polycarbonate and aluminum construction
  • Rechargeable thin-film lithium polymer battery

(via HN)

See also: Other posts tagged ‘electronics’.

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E-115
Miscellany

Crypto is hard: The secret cryptographic features of Barbie typewriters

The Barbie Typewriters are low-cost electronic typewriters developed as a children’s toy by Mehano in Slovenia (formerly Yugoslavia) and sold worldwide by Mattel.

Crypto Museum: Apart from a range of typesetting features, such as letter-spacing and underline, this children’s toy was capable of encoding and decoding secret messages, using one of 4 built-in cipher modes. These modes were activated by entering a special key sequence on the keyboard, and was explained only in the original documentation.

E-115 interior

When the E-115 was adopted by Mattel as an addition to the Barbie™ product line, it was aimed mainly at girls with a minimum age of 5 years. For this reason the product was given a pink-and-purple case and the Barbie logo and image were printed on the body. As it was probably thought that secret writing would not appeal to girls, the coding/decoding facilities were omitted from the manual. Nevertheless, these facilities can still be accessed if you know how to activate them.

German manual for E-118

(via @mwichary)

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The Big Hex Machine

The Big Hex Machine is a giant, yet simple, 16-bit computer designed by staff and students at the University of Bristol to explain how a computer works.

The giant machine, based in the Merchant Venturers School of Engineering, measures over eight square meters. It is built out of over 100 specially designed four-bit circuit boards, which enables students to be taught about fundamental principles of computer architecture from just a few basic components.

Tech Spark: David May (pictured right, above), Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science (pictured right, above), designed the Big Hex Machine with education in mind. David says, “You cannot understand how a computer works by taking one apart!”

“In our giant machine, all of the structure is clearly visible – as is the movement of information as it executes programs. It demonstrates the principle used in all computers – general-purpose hardware controlled by a stored program.”

(via HN)

Miscellany

The Big Hex Machine

The ‘Big Hex Machine’ is a giant, yet simple, 16-bit computer specifically designed to explain how a computer works. Its instruction set requires a very small compiler, but it is powerful enough to implement useful programs.

Gallery

NESPi – my Mini NES Classic Raspberry Pi games console

‘Daftmike’: It was inevitable… I have a Raspberry Pi, I have a 3D printer, I’m a huge nerd… At some point I was going to print a case for it in the shape of the old Nintendo Entertainment System.

In the end, this project turned into more of a love-letter to the NES than just printing a case. I learnt a lot of new things about Linux, 3D design, wrote my first Python program and had a blast doing it…

Raspberry Pi NES

See also: Other posts tagged ‘Raspberry Pi’

Space Station Fisheye Fly-Through 4K (Ultra HD)

NASA: Join us for a fly-through of the International Space Station. Produced by Harmonic exclusively for NASA TV UHD, the footage was shot in Ultra High Definition (4K) using a fisheye lens for extreme focus and depth of field.

(via Kottke)

See also: Stunning 4K timelapse of Earth from the ISS