• Activity
  • Votes
  • Comments
  • New
  • All activity
  • Showing only topics with the tag "user created". Back to normal view
    1. eInk calendar display object

      I bought a colour eInk screen last summer and had a bit of fun getting it to talk to my shared Google calendar that runs our house. Recently I finally got around to making a frame for it so it can...

      I bought a colour eInk screen last summer and had a bit of fun getting it to talk to my shared Google calendar that runs our house. Recently I finally got around to making a frame for it so it can sit somewhere prominent and tell us about upcoming events. It's basically just a raspberry pi zero hat, so it's debian underneath. There's some slightly hacky python to make it (a) talk to Google, (b) mung their API output into something useful, which turned out to be HTML which is then "screenshotted" to create a PNG which can be sent to the eInk display. Updating takes about 30 seconds in total, partly because the pi zero is slow and partly because the refresh rate of the screen is in double-digit seconds. Works in full sunlight though, which is nice, and it's a much nicer screen than it looks in photos.

      Screen is this one here. Pi Zero is a pi zero, the frame is flamed oak, the base is beech, the copper is copper. If there are no events in the next week, it shows a random picture instead (and boy, if I thought rendering html was slow on a zero that's nothing on 7-colour dithering a jpg!)

      16 votes
    2. Sharing my DIY keyring ornament gift

      I want to share with all of you a gift I've been preparing. I love finding good gifts and seeing people's reactions when they get something that truly blows them away. But this is the one I'm most...

      I want to share with all of you a gift I've been preparing. I love finding good gifts and seeing people's reactions when they get something that truly blows them away. But this is the one I'm most proud of yet.

      First, some backstory! Early February 2021, something amazing happened in Belgium. The winter cold wave hit hard and all over the country, lakes froze.

      In the middle of an intense and frustrating lockdown, after a 5 months lull during which all ice rinks were closed and travel was impossible, Belgian skaters all across the country put on their boots and went to skate outdoors on lakes.

      On February 12th, that's exactly what I did with my (at the time) friend from the rink. I posted about it here before. We had a blast of a time; truly a day you don't forget, and it came at a time where both of us were seriously depressed.

      Today, that friend and I have gotten very close and she has become my skating partner. Recently, she moved in to her new apartment close to the ice rink, and I needed a housewarming gift for her! I settled on a keyring. It's very on-brand for a housewarming gift, and I myself have skate boots keyring ornaments kinda like these which are pretty cool. But this is someone I really like, and I wanted to personalize it a bit.

      I then thought about a skating figure ornament that could represent her. And what better than my absolute favourite photo of her from our day on the lakes?

      So I got to work, and a friend helped me trace the initial silhouette as vector since my tracing skills suck. I did clean it up in Inkscape, and I now needed somebody who could turn this digital silhouette into a real physical artifact!

      I found this shop on Etsy, but they did not respond in time when I asked them about cutting that figure for me. So I asked my ex girlfriend (who is doing a Ph.D in metallurgy, soldering and metal printing) for some advice. To my surprise and delight, she volunteered to do the laser cutting herself!

      And so we got to work. I turned the SVG into a DXF (thanks Inkscape for being able to do that!), and she helped me clean up some of the edges. We calculated dimensions, stress spots, and added an attachment anchor. Here is the final contour for the cut, and here is the first trial sample!

      So, after fixing a couple more minor issues, she gave me eight samples. We engraved her trouser's pink stripes into two of them; they're very representative of her skating attire.

      One final issue to deal with was the burn marks. The back of the samples had very burnt edges due to the laser. Today, I found a jewelry workshop which was able to polish that away. I then added a small chain and a cute little snowflake ornament.

      And so, here is the final result:

      Full album: https://imgur.com/a/SW7Sqdm

      She's currently sick and in quarantine. Once she recovers, we are having dinner at her house. I cannot wait to see her reaction :)

      Update: By a friend’s suggestion: Added a print of the original photo with a cute note on the back. Looking nice!
      https://photos.app.goo.gl/d5gvZEqx3eRZgN5dA

      11 votes
    3. Project: Miniature longsword

      Over the last couple of years my sister has been getting into HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) and especially the longsword. She recently had a significant birthday so I thought I'd make...

      Over the last couple of years my sister has been getting into HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) and especially the longsword. She recently had a significant birthday so I thought I'd make her a small, but realistic and functional, longsword. It went pretty well, if I do say so myself. I did not, however, take as many photos as I would have liked, but I was doing this thing in very short bursts so I only had a few minutes here or there to get this done.

      To start, I read a bit about longsword proportions, looked at some pictures and sketched a couple of possible designs, before finalising a 1:1 scale drawing to work from. I bought some O1 tool steel (carbon steel so it can be hardened and sharpened properly) and started to cut. Almost immediately I made a mistake, I cut the steel 25% too long. But that was OK, I just went with it.

      I roughly shaped the metal and got it in the forge to heat-treat. Plunged into oil then slammed hard into my newly-built plate quench (aside: the plate quench is two hefty slabs of aluminium, designed to suck heat out of the steel fast, while holding it flat to prevent warping). The plates worked, the metal came out dead flat and not at all warped, which was good because there was very little space to grind out any distortions. I heart plate quenching.

      Next, cutting up some brass to make the crossguard. Cutting a 1.5x3mm slot in that was incredibly frustrating. I broke all four of my remaining 1mm drill bits, eventually had to resort to very fine diamond burrs and going extremely slowly. Luckily there is a bit of overlap from the blade so the slightly messy slot is covered up a bit. Similarly for the pommel, which was cut from brass rod and shaped on my lathe before I totally botched cutting a hole for the tang. If anything I made more of mess of the pommel, during the final fit up I just filled it with glue and wedged it in the right place.

      Inbetween making an awful - albeit recoverable/hideable - mess of the sword hardware I also finished up shaping and finishing the blade itself. This is where I don't have a lot of photos, but I ground a bevel onto the blade and wondered about cutting a fuller (groove down the centre of the blade) before realising that I absolutely did not have the tools to do that and would make a total mess of it. I also thought about sharpening it to scary sharp but given my sister has two reasonably small children I left it fairly blunt. It'll make a good letter opener but not much more. If she wants it sharp I can always put a serious edge on it another time.

      Final pre-glue fit up, as you can see it matches the design drawing pretty well, apart from being to a slightly different scale.

      I had considered making a wooden handle, as is traditional, but I was running short on time and I had plenty of leather so instead I did two layers of wrapping. This is the base layer (I do not remember why I have 1mm orange leather but I do) wrapped and clamped so the glue can dry. Another layer went on top of that and I ran a final polishing disc over everything, put a very light coat of metal lacquer over the metal to keep it shiny and that was it. Sword done.

      I cut a piece of round bar steel, cut and forged it to shape as a support, treated the hot metal with beeswax (gives a lovely black finish which stops rust and looks nice). I set this in some flame-finished oak and gave that a coat of tung oil. Once the various finishes and glues had dried it was good to go.

      The final product, dangling point, handle detail, view from above and in my hand for scale

      I think this is one of the best things I've ever made. I hope my sister likes it. I have some metal left so I might try making another - there's a few things I'd do differently.

      14 votes
    4. Short Story - Segment from a Microscope RPG

      For context, Microscope is an RPG system where you collaboratively write the history of a world. It's focused entirely on collaborative storytelling, rather than dice-rolling (there are no dice)....

      For context, Microscope is an RPG system where you collaboratively write the history of a world. It's focused entirely on collaborative storytelling, rather than dice-rolling (there are no dice).


      So I wrote a Dictated Scene for our world, and I was rather proud of it, so I thought I'd post it here since it almost stands on it's own. I'm curious what other people think and what kinds of questions it provokes about the world it inhabits.


      Meris had played in the clearing all her life. Every time she went to play by herself the little Jima would come out and sit on it’s rock to watch her. She always talked to it, though it never talked back. It just liked to watch with it’s tiny eyes, wary of approaching shadows that might scoop it up.

      Under the Jima’s rock was where Meris kept her treasures. Well some of them where the Jima’s treasures. Meris had found all of the treasures, but she let the Jima watch them so it seemed only fair that she let him keep some of them. Her favorite treasures were the small crystals no longer than her finger, though her fingers weren’t very big since she wasn’t very big yet. They were probably half as big as Momma’s fingers.
      When the wind blew hard enough on some days, like right before Momma made her come inside before a storm, the crystals hummed. Dozens of little humming voices, like a choir singing a song just for her.

      On some mornings Meris went to the market with Momma. She liked listening to people in the market, especially when she heard them use new words. Sometimes when she repeated the new words, Momma would scowl at her, which usually just made Meris get the giggles.

      The last day that Meris went to the meadow, she was repeating some new words she had heard an angry man yell at someone. As Meris looked through her treasures, she counted to make sure they were all still there. As she picked up her favorite treasure, it’s shiny crystal facets cast spots of rainbow light around her. Meris repeated her new words one final time, and then was silent.

      When Momma found her, the sun was low and the last rays of light were still shining on Meris, sitting unnaturally still, looking down at the crystal she held in her hand. The last rays of sunlight were still striking the small crystal, sending a few small prisms of light across Meris’ motionless face, frozen perfectly in marble.

      Momma took the crystal from her daughters hands, tears streaming down her cheeks as she asked the gods what she had done to deserve this, what her daughter could possibly have done to displease them. She pleaded with the gods to return Meris to her, gripping the crystal tightly in her fist. As her desperate Words reached toward the heavens, the crystal suddenly emitted a single clear Tone, and all the grass around became frozen and still.

      She ran as fast as her legs could take her, the crystal still gripped tightly in one hand.

      3 votes
    5. Show Tildes: Midnight.pub, a virtual pub

      Three weeks ago I decided I should stop developing on my own and open my side project to get feedback. So here we are now. Midnight pub is a writing platform that aims to be the virtual equivalent...

      Three weeks ago I decided I should stop developing on my own and open my side project to get feedback. So here we are now.

      Midnight pub is a writing platform that aims to be the virtual equivalent of a pub: you go there to talk about your day, interact with a person or two while you unwind, and leave whenever you feel like. It's centered around the idea of entries & references (backlinks) to connect entries together.

      It's a small community of people at the moment. Anyone is welcome to drop by and say hi!

      https://midnight.pub/

      19 votes
    6. "Man, I didn't want to grow up to this."

      So we have all these people, and they all seem to be pissed. So many people and they all seem to have... something amiss. Many of these people, their concerns are just... entirely dismissed: By...

      So we have all these people, and they all seem to be pissed.

      So many people and they all seem to have... something amiss.

      Many of these people, their concerns are just... entirely dismissed:

      By other people with the same problems who somehow look at these perfectly normal people and react: "I have been nixed!"

      These problems are pervasive in our memories and experiences and on a metaphorical wall they are fixed;

      And yet the root causes are consistently misinterpreted, and ultimately missed.

      And the result is we are betting everything for the sake of getting our cathartic and revengeful fix?

      That is being delivered to us by people that if they were to meet us, would utterly reject us and loudly hiss?

      And if that gamble fails I will be the one to pick up the scraps, and mop up the piss?

      Man, I didn't want to grow up to this.

      9 votes
    7. password, the typing game, is about to receive mobile support

      I've been working on the mobile version of password for a while now, mostly lending to the fact that much of the infrastructure of the game required expansion to accomodate for that. Plus, this...

      I've been working on the mobile version of password for a while now, mostly lending to the fact that much of the infrastructure of the game required expansion to accomodate for that. Plus, this sort of gameplay on mobile is a new territory for me, which makes it both worrisome and exciting.

      Long story short, you can preview the mobile gameplay of password with the same link:

      Play the game.

      The gameplay is different from the desktop version. Here, you have to tap the keys in the order of their number: 1, then 2, then 3, and so on until the last key. Tapping keys out of order (4, then 6) results in a foul, which takes away a bit of time. Tapping all keys in the correct order means you win the round and get awarded the score. Other instructions are on screen.

      It is NOT the final version. It's playable but contains some visual bugs. I'm gonna work on fixing those in the coming weeks. Right now, I'm looking for feedback:

      • How does the mobile gameplay feel?
      • How does the sizing of the score looks?
      • Are there any problems with swiping or tapping?
      • How does the timer bar look on smaller screens? (Think smaller than iPhone X.)
      • How does the timer look on devices that have a notch?
      • Does it load the correct version at all? (If you're on a mobile device – smartphones and tablets – you should not see keyboard references. If you do, it didn't load the correct version of gameplay.)

      Desktop gameplay has only received visual updates. You can still play it with the same link.

      Let me know if you encounter issues. You can post here, or you can open an issue in the GitHub repo. If you do, make sure to provide what information you can on the issue, like what sort of a device you're using (maker, model, OS version, browser etc.): this helps figure out the problem easier and quicker.

      I know of these issues so far, and am working on resolving them:

      • after pressing the last key of the order (8 right now), the red border flashes, as if you've received a foul (you don't)
      • score has to fully animate towards the final value before it resizes to fit the screen
      • swiping distance may or may not be too short, so it may feel as though it doesn't register
      16 votes
    8. password, the typing game, has been updated

      Play it now. Alternatively, visit the repo. password has been updated to v1.1: the game now starts after you press [Space] you gain points for victories (score is not saved between reloads) UI is...

      Play it now.

      Alternatively, visit the repo.

      password has been updated to v1.1:

      • the game now starts after you press [Space]
      • you gain points for victories (score is not saved between reloads)
      • UI is a little nicer

      v1.2 planned features:

      • adjustable difficulty, via either or both of password length and time per round
      • zen mode: longer rounds, no score tracking, calmer UI
      • persistent personal high score you can compete against

      I almost feel like this is not worth an update, but people have been curious and supportive of the game.

      You can see all planned features in the issues section. Suggestions on gameplay and visuals are welcome.

      EDIT: updated hosted version to not reset score on loss (only resets when you start over).

      13 votes
    9. password: a game about key presses and reaction time

      A simple web game I made to combat depression. To play, go here. Warning: the game starts as soon as you enter the page. To view source, visit the GitHub repo. How to play: Press the keys you see...

      A simple web game I made to combat depression.

      To play, go here. Warning: the game starts as soon as you enter the page.

      To view source, visit the GitHub repo.

      How to play:

      • Press the keys you see before yourself. The key turns green if it's been "solved".

      • Once all keys are "solved", you start a new round automatically.

      • If the timer runs out before all keys are "solved", the game is over. Press [Space] to start over.

      • There's no score. Play whenever and for as long as you like. Quit whenever you've had enough.

      25 votes
    10. I made my first knife

      A while ago I mentioned I was going to attempt making a knife for the first time. Well, I did. Apologies in advance for there not being many photos of the process - steel is really messy to work...

      A while ago I mentioned I was going to attempt making a knife for the first time. Well, I did.

      Apologies in advance for there not being many photos of the process - steel is really messy to work with so I mostly kept my phone safely out of the way. I'll try to get more pictures next time, although there are plenty of videos and picture tutorials around if people are super interested in the process. I shall endeavour to describe what I did in text, however.

      I started out with a bar of 01 tool steel (wiki) which I cut into a rough knife blank. This I then hit with a ball hammer a load of times to get some texture. Then I used a belt grinder to put a bevel on the edge side, although only enough to thin the knife down to roughly the right shape, not actually sharp. Once that and a few other minor shaping tasks were done, it was time to heat treat it.

      Heat treating changes the structure of the metal to make it harder. Hard steel will hold an edge longer, but it does make it much more difficult to work, hence doing most of the shaping before heat treating. To harden steel you need to heat it to a particular temperature, which depends on the exact alloy being used but 'bright orange' is close enough. Fun fact - when steel gets to it's 'critical' temperature, it stops being magnetic, so that's another way you can test it. The steel is then quenched, this one in oil, which makes it hard.

      Hardened steel is very brittle so it's usually tempered after hardening. For 01 steel that means putting it in an oven at 160-200C for a couple of hours. You lose some hardness but you gain back some toughness and flexibility.

      After tempering, cleaning, polishing, polishing and so much polishing. Steel is so dirty and difficult to work with compared to the silver, gold and copper I'm more used to. But eventually, and after glueing and bolting a sycamore wood handle on, then giving it a final sharpen on my wetstone, I had a knife.

      It is a Japanese-style Nakiri knife. Usually used for cutting vegetables, it's really nice to use. Lightweight and agile, the balance is nice and it's comfortable in my hand. It's not perfect and there are a few things I'd do differently but I can see myself using this on a daily basis. More pictures

      I have already laid out and started shaping my next knife, which will be a slightly more complicated bunka knife

      Any questions, please just ask and I'll do my best to answer.

      20 votes
    11. I made a program that creates the colour palette of a film

      I saw these things originally on Reddit that extracted the average colour of frames from films and put them together to make a colour palette for said film, the original creator has a site called...

      I saw these things originally on Reddit that extracted the average colour of frames from films and put them together to make a colour palette for said film, the original creator has a site called The Colors of Motion. I thought it would be cool to try and create a simple PowerShell script that does the same thing.

      Here are a few examples:
      Finding Nemo: https://i.imgur.com/8YwOlwK.png
      The Bee Movie: https://i.imgur.com/umbd3co.png
      Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: https://i.imgur.com/6rsbv0M.png

      I've hosted my code on GitHub so if anyone wants to use my PowerShell script or suggest some ways to improve it feel free. You can use pretty much any video file as input as it uses ffmpeg to extract the frames.

      GitHub link: https://github.com/ArkadiusBear/FilmStrip

      17 votes
    12. I built a keychain LED flashlight to practice my soldering

      Someone recently asked me to replace the battery in their old iPod, and I found myself wondering what I should do with the old battery. It still works, but has less capacity than when it was new....

      Someone recently asked me to replace the battery in their old iPod, and I found myself wondering what I should do with the old battery. It still works, but has less capacity than when it was new. So I looked around my workshop and found some of these surface mount LEDs and decided to test the limits of my soldering skills and make a flashlight out of them.

      These LEDs are very hard to solder, since they're surface-mount and the pads are on the bottom of the LED. They were never meant to be soldered by hand, but rather placed by machine onto a specific amount of solder paste, which is then baked in a fancy oven at very specific temperatures for very specific times. To solder these by hand, you need to create a liquid puddle of solder and sorta float the LED on top, while being careful to not short the pads which are very close together as well as not overheating the LED. The temperature the plastic melts at seems to be only a few degrees higher than the solder melts at.

      I wired up 5 of the LEDs in parallel, each with its own 6.8ohm resistor wired in series with the LED. This should limit the current to 150mA per LED. I hot glued this in place, as well as a lithium battery charging circuit I got off ebay for a dollar. Here's one such listing.

      I slapped on a pushbutton, and Bob's your uncle! It worked first try!

      Here's a blurry picture of the finished product. I'm pretty proud of how it came out, considering how tiny and fiddly the soldering was. And, I think I'll actually get some use out of it too. The battery ought to last at least an hour of runtime, and the thing is seriously bright.

      Anyone here into electronics as a hobby?

      Edit: Better-ish pic: https://i.imgur.com/Kxqy1jg.jpg

      No potatoes were harmed in the making of this photo.

      9 votes