Tag Archives: diy

2 Projects completed within 24 hours: USBtinyISP Kit

Well, it’s a kit, so it’s kind of cheating. The other project was the Theramin, which I worked on for days. Anyway, this is a cute little kit you can buy for about $22 that, once assembled, can program pretty much any Atmel microcontroller IC. It’s pretty cool – for real. Anyway, it only took about 45 minutes (I was being careful soldering, could have had it done in 20 if I was hurrying). I’m very happy with the result – it lights up when I plug it into USB, and avrdude can talk to it. Now I just have to build a little header for my chip, and I can start breadboarding with it. The header pins are in the mail!


Pocket Theramin: Project Complete!

I finally finished my second real electronic project: The Pocket Theramin. I made a few changes/improvements to the design found here, and I really like my result. The basic circuit is exactly the same, but I added an LED and a toggle switch so I can keep it together as one unit all the time.

Also, I discovered that MAKE: Electronics is an awesome book. I highly recommend purchasing yourself a copy.


How to use Ocropus to create HTML Book Scan output

Ocropus is a new book scanning software package and C++ library.  I’ve compiled it on Ubuntu Linux 10.04.  It’s rather easy to set up:

hg clone https://ocropus.googlecode.com/hg/ ocropus
cd ocropus
hg clone https://iulib.googlecode.com/hg/ iulib
cd iulib/
sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-gfx1.2-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libgif-dev 
sudo scons install
cd ..
sudo scons install

Then, go to your directory of appropriately named book page scan images (tiff or png). When you type ls, you should see the pages list in order! Then, try:

ocropus book2pages out image*

This grooms the pages for OCR. Next, let’s make the page objects, and eventually the book:

ocropus pages2lines out
ocropus lines2fsts out/
ocropus fsts2text out/
ocropus buildhtml out/ > book.html

That should create you a nice book html file, in the hOCR format. Now, I just need to figure out how to convert hOCR to ePub!

My New Duct Tape Wallet

[flickr style=”float:right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 3px;text-align: right;clear: right;”]photo:3301578921(medium)[/flickr]

I made myself an awesome wallet today.  It’s made of Red and Black duct tape I picked up at Home Depot.  I originally wanted a clear tape wallet to replace my old store-bought (I know, I know) duct tape wallet since it was super-bulky.  But, I decided that if I kept it minimal, it would work out well.  This post brought me to this post, and I set to work.

It was difficult to create the duct tape fabric, and I failed a few times, but I managed to get the thing together.  I butchered a fresh strawberry plastic container to create the translucent sleeve for my ID.  It holds a nice amount of junk for its size, and now I don’t have “clown pants,” as Kelsey called them with my old wallet.

Amazingly, my old wallet is as thick empty as the new one is full! I want to thank Chris Butler and Bre Pettis for the guidance.

More pictures are available on Flickr.