Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mixed Feelings

So I started reworking www.mymakespace.org a couple of weeks ago.  It has been laying dormant for awhile and I haven't taken the time to upgrade to the latest version of BuddyPress.  In the meantime, a couple of really cool addons have reached a good level of maturity so I decided to implement them.  This leaves only one big feature missing, a Help Wanted section.  The update broke my translation and some of the color scheme but that's ok for now.

Back in February, My Make Space had become fairly stable, but very raw.  I had posted my pcb design and had gotten some feedback, but barely any traffic.  So since I am a noob php programmer, I decided to solicit help from a couple of my favorite hack/make sites.  I sent emails to Dale Dougherty at Make(I had some nominal contact with him about a Make Ning group a couple years ago), Hack-a-day and Chris Anderson at Wired.  I didn't expect anything to come of these emails but I figured I would give it a shot.

So the owner of Hackaday made an interesting post last week on the 12th.  The jist was the he really wanted Hackaday to expand its mission statement.
Quote:  "Expand the mission statement to something along the lines of “hack everything” (or maybe “hack anything” sounds more ambitious/fun?). Perhaps best said is: “hack everything, and inspire and help others to do that same.”"

This is not 100% like what I envisioned for mymakespace but it is really close especially the quote/slogan that I had on the welcome page: "Hacking Anything for Everyone".

On Saturday, I got an very interesting Blog post in my RSS feed.  Basically it was Make Magazine announcing that they are going to be starting a "Projects" section to the site.  They currently have a projects section but it is just posts about internal projects. 

Quote: "The new Make: Projects platform will be a place where we, Maker Media, can post our step-by-step projects, and a place where you, the maker community, can too (and we can all add to and improve each other's content)."

This is basically what I have been laying out of the last 3-4 years.  You can still find a post I created in 2007 on the make forums.  I know this is not an unique idea and probably multiple people have thought of this simultaneously.(heck if it can happen with Calculus).  I am really glad this is avenue is available but it is frustrating because this idea has been a passion for me over the last 5 years.  I know that I haven't put as much work into it as possible but it does seem like it has been poached to some extent.  Well now I can get on with my hardware/garden hacks:)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Open Squid is Released!!!

Well, right before Christmas, I ordered another set of PCB's.  I seriously messed up on my first attempt, so I made sure that the second time around, the board was laid out correctly.

The whole idea came from the Squid Relay from Liquidware.  I created the first version which worked but was messy and kind of dangerous.

Here are some pics of the PCB:

Just the PCB.  I added some text and mounting holes.  More on that later.

Board fully assembled with cables attached.

Got a couple Power Strip Savers from Jameco.

Fully assembled Open Squid with cables attached.

I wanted to add some helpful features to the Squid, so I added mounting holes that will allow you to mount the Arduino above the Open Squid.  One of the guys at work helped me find some standoffs.
Here are a couple of pics:

I didn't realize that one of the mounting holes was smaller than the other ones.  I couldn't find a standoff that would fit that one, but even with only two standoffs, it is very stable.

I really want to sell this as a kit (minus the cables).  How much would you guys pay for this?  $25?  All of the files are available on my other project Mymakespace in the Open Relay Squid project.

Please give me your feedback.