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And we’re back with our tenth installment of Your Comments. Here are our favorites from the past week, from Make: Online, our Facebook page, and Twitter.

most useless machine arm Your Comments

John Gomm did some hacking and came up with an… er, interesting adaptation of the Most useless machine:

I rotated the design so it would open as a normal box, and then realized that I liked it better upside down. I hacked off a Barbie’s arm for style points and used boiling water to soften and reshape it (cooling in ice water fixes it pretty well). Everything used was found or scrounged, so it only cost me time and sanity. (youtube link)

There was an overwhelmingly positive response to our reporting the MAKE digital edition hacked!. Kerowhack had some kind words:

Thanks for not just talking the talk, but walking the walk. I wish there were more publications, both digital and analog, that had the type of integrity and commitment to their mission statement that this post shows. Come to think of it, I wish more people would, too.

Reading the story in funky remote control repair leads to electronics interest reminded Andy Johnson of a personal repair success story:

A few months ago, I bought a soldering iron and solder for my best friend on his birthday. Knowing I probably created a monster, I was elated to hear from him a few weeks later that I’d saved him $100. How? His car remote key fob had stopped working, and instead of throwing it in the landfill and buying a new one from the dealer, a simple solder reflow saved him $100 and strengthened our friendship.

The release of the (open source, open hardware) Netduino provoked some discussion about the relationship between large companies and these projects. Cuno had a fair observation:

I like your positive attitude. It’s easy to be dismissive of everything Microsoft-related, but this can lead to overlooking some gems. The .NET Micro Framework 4.0 was released under the Apache 2.0 license. This license can hardly be faulted as not enough open source like. There was criticism, since the added TCP/IP stack and cryptography libraries were not open source. The Microsoft guys not only promised to look into the possibility of replacing these components, they actually made good on their promise. I just took a look at the license texts in the current 4.1 release of the .NET Micro Framework SDK. In this release the lwIP stack and the OpenSSL libraries are provided, both open source with BSD-style licenses. The Netduino hardware seems like a solid piece of engineering, and it’s also open source (Creative Commons-Attribution for the hardware, Apache 2.0 for the firmeware). So there’s a lot of good stuff already on the table, which justifies a positive attitude towards this new platform. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt!

Make and Mend month is off to a great start. BigBertha is excited about learning to repair things:

This is right up my alley. I agree with Alan, I would like to see a “Fix” magazine. For me the thrill of bringing something back to life or making something better is very rewarding.
I especially like to repair things for other people, it’s a great way to help other people. People get really excited and grateful when you can fix something for them. I spend a lot of time helping people fix their computers or cars.
Fixing is not always as simple as replacing the offending part. Lots of the time fixing requires you to Make something, whether it be the parts don’t exist or the parts are too expensive to justify the repair.
I have too many repair stories to count. The ones that give the most thrill are ones where you learn something by fixing something you have never fixed, or never thought you could fix before. For example, my 10 year old tube tv stopped working. I didn’t even think about repairing it, until someone who knows me well asked me why I hadn’t fixed it yet. Once I took it apart and had a look around, I found the dry socket. A little solder fixed it right up.

Watching the ’60s design video featured in How-To: Design something without a computer left toyotaboy appreciative of digital tools:

As an engineer that spends his time in solidworks building everything virtually, exporting to 3d printers to verify design, it REALLY makes me appreciate what I have when I see all the work that went into product development back then (and these are just simple bottles). Imagine designing complicated things like automobiles.

And on Facebook, Lincoln Kamm had an interesting observation about the video:

Did anyone else notice that they were not using ANY safety gear what so ever? Kicking up plaster dust without a respirator, and no one was wearing safety goggles. They sure lived dangerously back then.

Also on Facebook, MikeandLisa Hahn had a great suggestion for improving the rainbow machine:

Do this with both wipers for a… wait for it… double rainbow

Over on twitter, Robotics Redefined had a short but accurate summary of the Maker Faire:

Detroit Maker Faire was awesome like whoosh! Thanks, @make!

Like these comments? Be sure to sound off in the comments! You could be in next week’s column.


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