19hertz

ramblings of an electronic engineer.


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Get Detached

I mentioned a few weeks ago some of my friends were starting a new podcast and looking to crowd-fund the hosting costs of the venture. Well jump forward a few weeks to today and I’m happy to announce that that they have reached their funding goal and have created their first episode! The Detachment Podcast is now a thing.

Technically their first episode (ep1) is actually their second since they released a, lets call it, pre-series episode detailing what you should expect (ep0). Regardless I quite enjoyed listening to them both. I feel the hosts Patty and Sam have a really good synergy between them that works well on air and the addition or a rotating third chair will be beneficial to inject new ideas and opinions into the weekly conversation. I suppose also the Detachment Podcast by talking about things that they use to detach themselves from the mundane of life in turn helps and enables their listeners to do the same.

You can find their first and zeroth episodes on both ItunesSoundcoud and Libsyn and find out more about the podcast over at Facebook and on Twitter.


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Coursera – a free online university.

I thought I’d quickly share something I came across a few weeks ago. Coursera is a free online university that offeres various university quality courses online for free. Each course has about 2+ hours of video lectures per week with weekly quizes and a few assignments. So far I’ve been enjoying the courses I’ve enrolled in however I won’t be planning to finish then by the course end date due because I don’t have enough time and I’m already studying. So if you have some spare time it’s worth a look.

[Coursera]


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Review: MAKE Magazine – Volume 31

To summarise MAKE volume 31 is a few words is not quite a fair task mainly because of the copious amounts of stories, projects and interesting subjects that lie within. Wether your interested in remote controlled cockroaches, binaural beats, DIY scanning electron microscope or creating high voltage (22kV) sparks from running water MAKE volume 31 seems to have something for everyone who is interested in hacking, making and crafting.
The theme of this issue of MAKE is punk science, the concept of running with your ideas and projects first, then questioning yourself afterwards. The most prominent feature article on this for me would have to be a hackerspace in Japan during the aftermath of  the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Instead of waiting around for information on radiation contamination they put together a system to record radiation levels (with corresponding GPS co-ordinate) while driving around. Although crude at first (geotagged pictures of a geiger counter display readout) the system kept on been revised and developed into a complete system. This example reflects well the ideology of this issue of MAKE: Doing first, questioning yourself later.

This issue of MAKE also comes with loads of projects people have done to draw inspiration from as well as a good selection of projects you can do at home with full instructions, bill of materials etc. Some of the more notable (at least for me) projects this issue were Lord Kelvin’s Thunderstorm, a system to generate HV sparks and PVC pipe speakers which use PVC pipe to create a resonation chamber. I can’t wait to have a crack at trying some of these projects (in particular creating HV sparks from flowing water), In addition to this the projects mentioned have also given be some ideas for future personal projects.

All in all I’ve really pleased with this issue of make. I do wonder if some of the projects and stories I could have found out about elsewhere on the internet, however I’m not overly worried because what I see MAKE doing here is sharing and showcasing peoples projects, ideas and storied so that a wider community of hackers and makers can benefit from them.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of MAKE Magazine Volume 31 to review through O’Reilly Blogger Review Program. All comments represent my thoughts and opinions.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program