This Week in Making: Crafty Drinking, Raspberry Spi Cams, and Engineering a Third Thumb

3D Printing & Imaging Craft & Design Digital Fabrication Raspberry Pi
This Week in Making: Crafty Drinking, Raspberry Spi Cams, and Engineering a Third Thumb

Craft and Drink

Do you ever have an inkling to drink wine, beer, or cider while working on a craft project? Well, if you are in the Portland, Oregon area, you can meander down to the DIY Bar. The bar provides materials, tools, and menus that outline possible craft projects.

The bar is becoming increasingly popular, so the owners ask that customers call ahead and RSVP if they want to reserve a table and craft while they have some drinks. However, walk-ins are more than welcome.

Always Vigilant

Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but it seems like every time I get home, something of mine is out of place. It’s not gone, I can just tell that it’s been used without my permission. But I can’t confront my housemates without proof.

Good thing it’s possible to build a working security camera with a Raspberry Pi then. You can find the full tutorial in the video below. This camera will notify you every time it detects motion, and send you a picture of whatever was moving. So far, that means everything from a person walking into your room to your cat scampering by. However, the creator (who only goes by Kenny), wants to add further programming to ensure it will only notify its user when it detects a person.

So Many Thumbs

This past Wednesday, 3D Hubs announced the three winners of their Student Grant. My favorite is easily the Engineering Winner: The Third Thumb.

Even though it does look a little freaky to see people with six finger hands, I ultimately think this invention is really cool. I just watched War for the Planet of the Apes, and now I want a super strong version of this prosthetic that’s adapted for the foot so that I can have prehensile feet.

Slowest Bitcoin Farm Ever

Ken Shirriff restored a Xerox Alto, a minicomputer from the 1970s, to run a Bitcoin farm. I’m flabbergasted it actually works.

According to Shirriff, “The Alto can hash about 1.5 blocks per second, which is exceedingly slow by Bitcoin standards. At this speed, mining a single block on the Alto would take about 5000 times the age of the universe. The electricity would cost about 2×10^16 dollars. And you’d get 12.5 bitcoins worth about $30,000. Obviously, mining Bitcoin on a Xerox Alto isn’t a profitable venture.”

Shirriff has the full tutorial of how he restored a Xerox Alto and got the machine to run a Bitcoin farm on his blog, if you want to replicate the process yourself. He also goes into great detail about how Bitcoin works, and explains how his Alto is probably the slowest/worst Bitcoin farm ever.

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Jordan has spent much of his life writing about his many geeky pastimes. He's particularly passionate about indie game design and Japanese art, but loves interacting with creators from all walks of life.

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