...the non-geeky middle-aged checkout chick at Aldi starts chatting to you about her now using this Linux Thing, and that being quite cool.

I wore my Tux shirt today (which has a penguin and the slogan "Linux - for IQs higher than 95" embroidered) and she said something like 'hmm, I guess I've got an IQ higher than 95 then!'; her new EEE pc thingie which comes with Linux was quite nice and so on.

[ published on Tue 19.02.2008 20:42 | filed in interests/debian | ]

Conny likes to fall asleep with some light on. I dislike having to wait until she's gone late at night, just to switch off her bedside light. I dislike having an energy-wasting halogene 25W burning all night long even more, not to mention the temperature problems with the transformer base buried in stuffed animals.

The solution: teach her something! So we repurposed an old broken desk lamp carcass, I taught her how to solder, programmed a 12f629 PIC and we combined the above with sufficiently many white LEDs and some recycled laptop Li-Ion cells into an auto-off bed light: Press the button when off, and you get 18 min of light. Press the button when the light is on, and the light goes off. Simple, neat, efficient. As a bonus the lamp body is black, Just Like It Should Be.

The circuit is trivially simple, the diagram follows and the PIC code (also boringly simple) is here (plus the auxiliary delay library).


The diagram is not complete in two particulars: I used a 4.5mm plug with a builtin bypass switch to isolate the battery when charging (don't want to blow the LEDs and/or PIC when my intelligent charger feeds the LiIon), and I repurposed the original lamp switch as an extra "general disconnect". BSTS.

Great care should be taken to avoid shorting or annoying the three 2000+mAh cells in any way - unless you like to play with fire extinguishers.

 2008_02_14-nachtlicht-brain.jpg  2008_02_14-nachtlicht-leds.jpg  2008_02_14-nachtlicht-löterei.jpg 2008_02_14-conny-nachtlicht-löten.jpg 2008_02_14-nachtlicht-fertig.jpg  2008_02_14-nachtlicht-in-action.jpg

Conny did all the soldering apart from one or two small fixes and the LED interconnections. Well done.

[ published on Sun 17.02.2008 23:00 | filed in interests/tinkering | ]

...with a FREE spelling mistake, but nevertheless excellent.


(source:some flicker user via Cryptogram)

[ published on Thu 07.02.2008 08:47 | filed in interests/comp | ]

Das Inserat hier ist grad eben vorbeigekommen, sehr schräg...


Dazu passend die folgende Headline von gestern: Ein Abgeordneter in Mississippi (selber blad) hat einen Gesetzesvorschlag eingebracht, nachdem es Restaurants verboten werden soll, Blade weiter zu füttern. Welch Brilliante Idee.

In Obelix' Worten: ils sont fous, ces americains. Completement fous!

[ published on Wed 06.02.2008 09:44 | filed in interests/humour | ]

Conny has pretty much settled in, but my brain is close to pastel overload already.

I've had to move just about all my stuff from her room so that she can make it into her den. She brought three fat and one slim suitcases full of things, and her room is unrecognizable.


The only remainder of my things are my Tektronix scope, the HP function generator and a bench vise on the desk.

 2008_01_26-conny-zimmer2.jpg 2008_01_29-conny-zimmer3.jpg

Cognitive dissonance: the shelf above the TEK and the HP now contains mainly pink boxes, makeup, dolls and other girly gear (instead of soldering station, multimeters, charger, bench PSU and other tools).

School seems to be fine and fun; she has gotten lost (slightly) between home and there twice so far.

[ published on Fri 01.02.2008 18:59 | filed in still-not-king | ]

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