Back to school giveaway – POCKET REF!!

“If there was just one tool that no (back to school) Maker should be without, what would it be?” This may just be the tool we’d pick. This great little book is a concise all-purpose reference featuring hundreds of tables, maps, formulas, constants & conversions and it still fits in your shirt pocket! Packed with mathematical formula, tables, standard conversion ratio, scientific fact, technical specification, electric wire size vs. load, resistor color codes, Morse code, sun & planet data, earthquake scales, nail sizes, geometry formulas, currency exchange rates, carpentry, automotive, physical science, water friction losses, charts for battery charging, lumber sizes & grades, floor joint span limits, insulation R values, periodic table, and as they say, much, much more! It’s no wonder The Pocket Ref was featured in MythBusters…

To win one TODAY 8/21/07 – post a sentence or so in the comments how and why you’d use it at the end of the day (11:59pm PDT) and I’ll pick one, make it good! If you missed out today, we’ll do this again soon – or just get a Pocket Ref in the Maker store… Link.

230 thoughts on “Back to school giveaway – POCKET REF!!

  1. zieak says:

    How would i use it? Definitely not as a coaster. It would probably end up in my workshop next to my Make: zines. I would probably pull it mostly for geometry formulas, carpentry information, and hopefully to learn more about electronics (resistors especially). I stumble through that stuff and never want to venture to the computer for information. A pocket ref would be great to have on the shelf between your magazines and the quick square instruction manual.

  2. gtmcd83 says:

    :) Because I am the first Post! And as a student pilot it will be useful where ever I fly.

  3. jswilson64 says:

    I would use it to reinforce my reputation as a pompous know-it-all. [little would my unsuspecting victims know that I’m really just a pompous know-where-to-find-it-out-all] And I’d probably loan it to my high-school age child.

  4. DiGiTALMADDOG says:

    The best use I’d have would be resistors, planatary data and electrical info. I have a ton of projects to work on, spanning from wood and electrial to fiberglass and steel. Having a quick ref manual in the shop would be a handy tool for all my projects!

  5. kirbyppc says:

    Well I would definitely use it for school, homework, and studying because it sounds like it is a school book of all my school books with only the important stuff. Also because it was on Mythbusters!!!! (and because I’m poor and cant afford one)

  6. cmpalmer says:

    I already have one and I take it with me wherever I go in my computer case/backpack, but as I was trying to help my son memorize conversion formulas, chemical symbols, math facts, etc., I realized that he really needs one to carry around in his backpack.

  7. JPavleck says:

    How would I use it? Oh my, how wouldn’t I! I’m always trying to convert english to metric or volts to power or some other crazy idea and it’s a pain to interrupt what I’m doing just to go to the PC and do some googlin’, so this would be invaluable!
    I doubt I’ll win, as my luck doesn’t seem to be very strong lately but hey – I’ll give it a shot!

  8. verygeeky says:

    last week, i stood in a city park in (land-locked) bountiful utah and tried to convert fathoms to feet in my head.

    it’s scary the number of times i find myself doing conversions like that.

  9. wicker says:

    I’m always in need of this kind of thing. I find that, professionally, I need all types of pipe sizes, etc. And personally, I need to know EVERYTHING!

  10. DarrenLandrum says:

    I’m a 31-year-old ex-IT guy returning to college for a mechanical engineering degree. I can only imagine how useful something like the Pocket Ref would actually be to my everyday life.

  11. Mongpoovian says:

    I’m a grad student right now (a chemist) and I’m finding that I increasingly have to make excursions into the world of physics and engineering. Not only would it be fantastic to have a portable periodic table, but a source of such great wisdom close at hand in the lab would be a godsend. What bolts do I need to repair that vacuum pump? What parts would be useful for a UV LED lamp? What insulation do I need to maintain subzero temperatures in the reaction flask overnight?

    Additionally, my own more recreational pursuit of the MAKE ethos would be made even more delightful by all of the Pocket Ref’s delicious, delicious information. Perhaps I can make my girlfriend something nice that won’t set itself on fire.

    Besides, Mythbusters is the best show on television. If Adam and Jamie ever jump off a bridge, just show me where to sign up. Until then, I’ll have to be content to pine away for a Pocket Ref.

  12. KrashKing405 says:

    I’d use it to help me with casting metals, and building my lathe.

  13. IrishKnight says:

    How would I use it? Simple, I would use it in place of Google…the ref book clearly has all an incoming science student needs…and a hell of a lot more!

  14. juliANSR says:

    The PocketREF would of course take a place in my utility belt. During our daily adventures we would be found in grocery stores converting recipes found on international websites into US. After Dinner we,REF and I,would take a long walk on the beach where we would use a combination of the maps and solar data to figure out just exactly where we were in the great scheme of things. When we realized that the long walk had somehow managed to land us on an uninhabited portion of land, I’d assume i was on a deserted island. Then the ‘Fun’ really begins. Geometry, lumber data and lots of heavy thumbing later Ref and I’d have a veritable paradise!

    …but then i’d go back to my cubicle on monday and sound really, really smart to everyone who ate old pizza and watched TV all weekend while I was Reffin’ out.

  15. Vinnygx3pimp says:

    I’m going to get straight to the point I want it because it is cool and being in tenth grade it would help me out alot in math, science, and especially my technology class.

    thanks alot,

  16. FredZyda says:

    I’m a computer science grad student who’s trying to move towards making hardware so that I can have something physical to play with at the end of the day. A book like this would help me transition to physical things by allowing me to quickly look up all the things I’ve forgotten since undergrad physics class…

  17. DaveBarak says:

    Well, I’m an exhibits department volunteer at the non-profit USS Midway Museum in San Diego. I’m working on a project to make a vintage Univac computer and other equipment look like it’s working, so I’m constantly having to deal with electronic schematics and calculations, as well as physical measurement of dimensions, etc. I almost bought a copy at Radio Shack while I was picking up parts for the restoration, but couldn’t justify the cost since I was contributing my own moolah to the small budget I had from the museum.

    As an aside, some of the solutions I’m working on to make things look like they’re working might end up being good stuff for Make.

  18. ekenyon says:

    I’d use it to survive my classes as an Electrical Engineering sophomore. And, of course, as a trusty resource to try to keep the smoke inside the box. (Cause if it’s outside, somethings broken).

  19. Emrikol says:

    I would rip each page out very carefully, and scan them all into a wonderful PDF file! Then I wouldn’t have to worry about that whole “analog” thing again. If I were lucky, I could OCR the whole thing and have a really nice search function. With the leftover case, I could make a lovely Hipster PDA. (Although this would create some sort of digital-analog paradox of which I couldn’t ever escape…especially after I shrink and print out some of the aforementioned scanned pages to put into my Hipster PDA so I can use them for reference while I’m out and about)

    If that doesn’t pan out…I’m not sure what I would do with it yet. Obviously I would use it for refernce things…but I honestly have no idea all of the good things in it (because, I _don’t have one_ *wink* *wink*).

    Best of all though, I would have a Make: branded Pocket Ref that I could show off and help improve the lovely brand name for O’Reilly Media, Inc.

    If I would get one though (purchased or not…I really want one, and Christmas is just around the corner) I’m sure my wife would be mad at me because she doesn’t have a Craft: branded one…crazy women.

  20. StubleU says:

    i apparently need a life offline…this might be the solution to google…and…other…stuff? that and i could use the black cover to pretend i’ve got a little black book of some sort with numbers and stuff…mroe of that appearence of life…!

  21. lightkeeper54 says:

    I would use this reference to help reconstitute civilization after the apocalypse. With the wealth of information found inside I would quickly become the most powerful person in the world – after all, knowledge is power!

  22. PhirePhly says:

    I would love this. I’m starting as a Mechanical Engineer at UC Davis next month so I’m looking forward to many years of physics, chemistry, math, and engineering classes!

  23. weirdguy says:

    I would use to to prove teachers wrong! Who doesn’t want to do that? Another heroic use, to confuse them!

  24. Danick360 says:

    I live in England and im about to start my final year at high school. No doubt this pocket ref would aid me in my electronics, science and maths lesson work and coursework. Also im in the thought stage of building a Xbox360 arcade cabinet complete with live Vision camera and 3.1 sound (Left, Center, Right and Bass).

    P.S – I love watching Mythbusters although i hav’nt noticed a episode on Discovery for a while.

  25. StubleU says:

    i’m supposed to be getting a life offline…this could totally pull me away from google…and the black cover could make me look cool and like i’ve got a little black book of numbers…phone…numbers!

  26. HlfShell says:

    I’m a robotics engineering student at WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and a founding member of the WRC (WPI Robotics Club). We’re hoping to do a bunch of hands on maker-esque build your own robot seminars and since I plan on running some of them it’d be nice to have a reference like this handy to share with all of my peers. On top of that I live in a house full of technically gifted people that love to do projects -from making giant tesla coils and to building their own stereo amplifiers and robots.

    On top of that – it’s always useful to have handy guide for the many technical projects my classes are going to give me :-D.

  27. BobofBobs says:

    I’m a High School Student in a post-AP chemistry course that’s entirely lab based. The Pocket Ref would probably be my right-hand…book. Furthermore, I’m the head of my school’s “Dead Scientist Society” which is effectively a hacking/experimentation club, and I imagine it would become a mini-Bible when we attempt projects that are enormously unsafe. Finally, I compete on a high school engineering team–carrying around huge reference books is killer, and the pocket ref would be a fantastic way to accelerate the absorption of material.

  28. SJester says:

    Are you kidding? I have every edition of this previously published, and they’re all worn through. My second edition even lists shirt sizes (written in) for myself and my roommates for when we’d go shopping. With this, a razor blade, 9 volt battery, and a flat head screwdriver you can be Macguyver. I’ve even called them with corrections. (Two spelling errors, one omission, and one update.)
    So, to answer: I’d use it to replace my current copy, and give that to someone else.

  29. lord.xeon says:

    i would use it to help me prefect my weather control device which in turn would allow me to take over the world.

    I will begin to use it by taking it’s knowledge of wire sizes and loads and use it to figure out the wires i need to connect the sand-deanalyzer(tm) to the parabolic array of awesome power.
    Once this is complete I will be able to use it’s maps and earthquake scales to find the most crippling area of the world to hit. Then I will use the currency exchange part to make the world market crumble as i make it rain, snow, hail, tornado, and everything else until the world recognizes my power.

    Then I will send out a Morse code message to the world declaring myself ruler. And in it, I would thank MAKE for with their Pocket Ref, it was all made possible.

  30. nobody6.1 says:

    I would carry it with me everywhere. Right along with my wallet and Swiss army knife. (Its a Victorinox Red Ranger Plus) I have often wished that I could carry around all of my make magazines, and put them in my pocket or something, but they are a bit large for this. I could use it in trig. this year, as well as physics, and Calc. next year.(I am in high school this year) When I work on my projects it would be an invaluable resource for resistor values, the unit conversion, wire thickness, and everything else. I have needed about everything that book has in it at one time or another this past year, and it is a pain trying to remember it or looking on the web or in my bookcase for the solution. Right now I keep them in project folders, but again, hard to carry around in a pocket.

  31. Ushanka says:

    I feel kind of bad that I’m playing the pity card, but I just talked with my counselors and I will be unable to take most of the classes I want to take. There will be no AP Econ class (Macro or Micro), the AP Calc B/C is the same period as some of my other (required) classes, AP Bio is at 7:00 in the morning every day, and AP Physics fits into my schedule just fine, but that’s going to be a really really really really REALLY tough class. Since I’m apparently going to be studying Econ, Calc B/C, and Biology on my own next year, I think I’ll need all the handy reference guides I can get.

    As long as I’m playing the Pity Card, I may as well start exaggeratin’. I’m an orphaned refugee from Molvanîa and I lost both my legs and four fingers when a rogue band of Barbary macaques pillaged our town. One of them bit me and now I have leukemia. I’ve been bedridden for the last two years. My only joys in life come from reading pocket reference material, but the hospital confiscated all of my old ones because they ran out of coal for the generator and needed more combustibles. Would you please help me get a new Pocket Ref? Even if you don’t, I just wanted to say that I love you very much.

    Well, I should go. My doctors say I need another finger amputated. Goodbye!

  32. Lugarshz says:

    Pocket Ref: an ode to you
    O what would I do with you?
    In the shop you’d be in my pocket
    whenever i’d need to fit a sprocket
    In school within my knapsack
    For when I need to give those problems a crack.
    Or In the kitchen to help MAKE a hardy snack.
    On my theatre’s stage
    When I forget that cable’s gauge
    O pocket ref, you are my love
    You I am not undeserving of
    Oh please magazine of MAKE
    Let me my love take.

  33. insert_expletives says:

    I would take it with me everywhere I went. In my last year of high school, I’d use it on homework and projects on the side. It would be immensely helpful when I go to college–a collection of fast facts quick. With money being an issue for any college bound student, I can’t afford to buy one. I would wear it out from love/use until the binding comes apart.

  34. samurai1200 says:

    I am a Computer Engineering student at California State University, Fullerton. This semester I have both Physics 227 (electromagnetic waves and optics) and Microcontrollers classes. From what I’ve seen and heard of the Pocket Ref, i’d be using it non-stop while doing work in these classes.

  35. teehud says:

    I would put it with my tools and stop getting my laptop all grimey will working on projects.

  36. paxswill says:

    I’m president of my high school robotics club this year, and I have a bunch of projects planned out for us to do. This would help the younger students make sure they have some concepts down.

  37. StubleU says:

    yay to first comments on here and not realizing delays to original postings and rewording things differently and looking the fool!

  38. MazinBenny says:

    If there was such a thing as ubiquitous wifi, I’d surely be able to look up anything I needed at any time; unfortunately, this is not the case.

  39. duncanbojangles says:

    I’d use it in the event I end up in a concrete phone booth.

  40. k0an says:

    I am a home brewer (all grain) and maybe it’s because I’m not European or because I like to drink my home brew while brewing (always a bad mistake) but I constantly need to remind myself of how to convert back and forth between metric and standard volume measurements. I promise not to spill any beer on it! My latest creation is a Cherry Chicha which I made by fermenting malted corn that I sprouted from seed myself.

  41. Dax420 says:

    My computer desk is slanted to the right due to the leg on the back corner being about 3/4″ too short. I believe this book would be perfect for propping up the corner of my desk to restore level order to my world.


  42. DZiems says:

    I am a fresman Electrical Engineering major at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and I would use this pocket reference primarily for my classes, notably my chemistry courses and ECE courses, but I would also use it for my IEEE@UIUC group which does robotics demonstrations and hosts workshops to pass on skills such as soldering to other students. A third use I would derive from this book would be to help with my electronics business that I am hoping to form. (Some of my work has already appeared on this blog, specifically my reMake of Ladyada’s Mintyboost using the SMD MAX1674 chip to improve efficiency and increase the available charging current. At that time I was under the name Ziemaginations. I pulled the home page offline to rework it, and never finished, but the project page is still available at )

  43. Puzzlerf says:

    It would allow me to finally graduate from home school. I’m in advanced study, and my parents can’t help me out. It’s been a huge pain to find references to work with. Saw this article and its like an answer to my prayers.

  44. ferrisb312 says:

    I’d probably place it on top of the toilet tank – reading useless trivia while taking care of business is getting old – time to learn something useful!

  45. r080 says:

    I would replace the one I have now. Obviously a true Maker can’t survive without current information.

    What happens if I need a year calendar beyond the year 2025 (where my ’98 version stops)? The old one still lists Pluto as a planet!

    If the air conditioning goes out on my car, my old version has recommendations for R-12. Isn’t that illegal now? I could be sent to prison, just because I didn’t have the newest Pocket Ref!

    What about the new Wind Chill Factors? I live in the Midwest, and if I use the old factors, I might overdress, sweat, get hypothermia, and then die. Please, save my life with a new Pocket Ref.

  46. unununium says:

    OOH!!! I’ve always wanted one of these, and It would be so helpful!

  47. fatkid says:

    As an industrial designer (, I would use my pocket ref to design products that can be hacked and manipulated by users, thus continuing and enabling the maker spirit. Plus, anything that makes me feel like MacGuyver is freaking awesome. Not to mention that it would be free, because we all know that the only thing better than getting something for free is getting two somethings for free.

  48. warhoofd says:

    I’d bring it to parties as a reference book to settle the usual disputes on geeky matters in the middle of the night.

  49. shovelbum says:

    My old one, I used mainly to get geometry formulas for woodworking projects, but I carried it almost everywhere with me in my backpack and it got a lot of use. The old one was stolen somewhere along the way along with the backpack, and I’ve progressed in my projects. Now I’m working on a project to build an automated rig for photogrammery of archaeological digs. I’d use it as a reference when some piece of mill or lathework had me stumped. I’d use it when something with the electrics had me stumped. I’d use it for all kinds of things just like my last one.

  50. david.gianforte says:

    Wow, that would be so useful for looking up mathematical and geometric formulas, as well as conversion tables and such. I would probably also learn morse code just for fun with a fine reference like that always at my side.

  51. X-Hunter says:

    I wish a copy…to make a spanish version…
    for my geek friends who talks spanish…or bad english like I

  52. Ceroill says:

    Let’s see…what would I use it for? Well, I could find out the exact value of the Canadian quarter I got stuck with in a handful of change, then work out just how bad that earthquake in Peru was, remind myself of the atomic number of Niobium, and finally check the accuracy of the morse code used in the western film I see at 1:30 A.M..

  53. Nat1192 says:

    I would use my copy to help with my school works. I would also use the book to try to turn an ordinary roll of toilet paper, two rolls of duck tape, a radio, and a Japanese Cookbook into a solar panel to power my house. (and I promise to never use the power of the book, or any other book, to bring down the school’s network…again)

  54. ic349 says:

    First off I need something like that so that I can continue to Make things the right way and keep all of my fingers. I like to ‘eyeball’ things and that sometimes has interesting results. Hmmmm…perhaps I should be worried about my eyeballs too…

    Definitely a great guide. When I was in high school I used to keep a journal of such info, for the next time. It is amazing what you will find in it.

  55. cjtenny says:

    Well, I’d use it for a quick handy reference when working on our DIY Segway (I’m the guy in the orange shirt) and for our upcoming project that I won’t say anything about in case we don’t actually finish it.

  56. AP says:

    I’d use it as bedtime reading. Does that make me a loser?

  57. says:

    Because I would like one for my hubby–the original Renassaince/Make kind of guy. He’s always been someone who could come up with the answer to anything or make anything but always needed a handy ref to look it up in. And yes, if I don’t win one, I’ll have to scrape up the dough and buy one!!

  58. Tercero says:

    I’m the original maker. I’m always building something, but, have an extraordinary talent for translating the wrong size, weight, or part. I’m alway running to the computer to look up something, and have used MAKE as a source for everything from what voltage of LED is correct to use with a battery source to how to correctly align a pic when soldering.
    I’d love a MAKE pocket ref that I could use on a daily basis.

  59. RangerTim says:

    If a massive zombie infestation were to take hold of Longmont, Colorado, I would use the pocket ref to look up a resistance value, so I could finish my damn electronics project before I died.

  60. IronSausage says:

    I’d use it to strengthen my relationship with my dad. We live many time zones apart and being both a bit absent minded, I often call him way past his bed time to inquire about conversions, capacitance, IC pin-outs, and assorted electronic minutia. So please, let the old man get some sleep.

  61. H4T says:

    As for me, I would use it as a seeker uses a holy book; a resource for making sense of the confusing world around me, a reassuring collection of truths to fill my head with warm and fuzzy thoughts of “What Could Be.” It would most certainly help me rectify my lofty dreams of solar-powered robot samurai with cold harsh reality (something only numbers can do at this point!).

  62. tssparky says:

    I would finally have a one-stop reference for everything…and have more room for materials. Since my 6 month old is taking the house over, I need all the room I can get. Besides, I can give it to her after I memorize it all.

  63. Whosdadog says:

    I just started school as a High School Freshmen yesterday, and am in the Robotics Course. I think it would help me greatly to have a book like this to help me with building and programing robotics.

  64. bahro says:

    As leader of my schools FIRST Robotics Team, I think it would be useful for reference to engineering formulas during the construction of our robot. I would carry it in my pocket next to my graph paper moleskine.

  65. DrNick says:

    Well, until the next printing of the HHGTTG, I’m going to need a decent reference to to keep me out of trouble. One that says MAKE on it in bold gold letters would be perfect.

  66. RDAC says:

    I’d use it to smack some sense into my assistant, shouting “EAT COLD HARD FACTS, TROGLODYTE!”

    After that enjoyable exercise, I’d donate it to my local Linux group.

  67. soundonsound says:

    Well, like many here, I’m an EE student. I’m torn, really torn on all of this. I mean, would I carry it around in my backpack for easy reference for my classwork? Would I keep it on my workbench so I have it there?

    I’ll keep it in my back pocket and take it everywhere.

  68. a_swan89 says:

    As a mechanical engineering student, such a guide would be invaluable on practical projects involving construction in addition to general studies and the workshop of course.

  69. GriDLoc says:

    Oh… that book of wonders can have many uses like…
    -attitude adjuster
    -proving people (mostly teachers) wrong
    -finding out just how hot that chili you’re about to eat really is
    -mini bullet-proof sheild
    -appliance calibrator
    -blinding people with it’s shiny gold lettering
    -boredom cure
    -make-shift Hacky Sack (hey, you could if you wanted to)
    -not compleatly frying your last remaining LED because you have the wrong resistor
    -keeping that one door that always locks behind you open
    -The formula section alone is great for everything from bike maintnence to figuring out how many cubic feet of salt they have at the Morton salt mine’s stockpile.
    -figuring out how much voltage a tickle-me-elmo can take before it frys (don’t ask…)
    -Haven’t you just always wanted to custom cut your own A4 size paper? or know EXACTLY what type of mattress size you own?
    -how long does it take for the O’Reilly server to time out if it does at all… speaking of which, I’d better post…

  70. says:

    As a teacher, my students are constantly asking me questions that I have no clue about. You know 10 year olds, it’s: how much electricity would make my hair stand on end? or When is high tide in California? How much air pressure would crush a diver? What about a diving cat? Do they have zip codes in Puerto Rico? What is a wind chill factor?

    The next time a student asks: Which really is colder Greenland or Iceland, I’d be thrilled to toss them the book and say: “Look it up yourself – and convert it to celcius for our friends in Singapore, will ya!”

  71. Aud1073cH says:

    How? I work as a stagehand, and we seem to work with just about everything technical… Electric power (lighting) waves and optics (audio, video), carpentry (scenery, staging), engineering (rigging, truss, etc.) fluid dynamics (rain, fog, snow machines, etc.) chemistry (pyrotechnics, fog, etc.) and much much more.
    So when I’ve got to figure out what size cable to run to a 10kW fresnel, and how to support it with the scraps of 2×4, 2″pipe, and 5/16″bolts, at exactly the right position, and how to do it all safely,…
    I would love to have a reference that I could use for all of it.

    Why? It won’t run out of batteries, or lose signal like a computer on wifi or a cell PDA (no monthly charges either), and its compact size will fit on my utility belt – right between my USB thumb drive, and my Leatherman. (DIY MAKE Pocket Ref holster with Alice clips to be made right away!)

  72. zwild1 says:

    muhaha! Using the infinite source of knowledge *ahem “Make Pocket Ref” I could conquer the world! Or on a lesser note, use it to look up conversions as opposed to leaving my project and fighting an ancient computer to get what I need.

  73. retteb.ti.ekam says:

    I am studying for my PhD in Neuroscience, working in an electrophysiology lab with little-to-no funding. As such, I will use this guide for the good of science!
    To construct lab equipment
    To fix the (almost always broken) equipment I’ve inherited
    but most importantly…
    to MAKE

  74. Mirell says:

    Calculate the flight speed of *both* an African and European laden swallow, of course! Thereby allowing me to put an age-old joke finally to rest.

  75. thomasmccarthy says:

    I would use it to aid in my hunt for the elusive wumpus

  76. ed.b says:

    I’d use it while homeschooling my two junior MAKErs and for myself while tinkering and MAKE-ing in the garage.

  77. DuFace says:

    I’d use it to MAKE myself into MacGyver.

  78. wave_power says:

    I would us this book for various DIY projects like pneumatic ice firing cannons, trebuchets, etc.

  79. shmagoogin77 says:

    My dad is always asking me conversion rates, formulas, and other things of the liking. I could use this book to answer his questions and to use in my MAKEr lab. On the door of my MAKEr lab I have the MAKE rules posted so everyone knows what rules must be obeyed before entering. I could use that handy resistor value chart when building various circuits. And I could use things such as earthquake scales and sun and planet data to stay safe from the harmful environment. I could also use the lumber sizes and nail size to make my balancing skateboard. I could use the battery charging charts to make things such as potable cable tvs ( and homemade mini laptops. I could use the Morse code if I ever needed to communicate an important message to the government retain national security with a keyboard and some telephone wire like they do in Transformers the movie. I could use the electrical wire size vs load section so I don’t kill myself when dealing with high power. And finally it would just be amazing to win something like this. Iv never won any raffles or giveaways and this would be one that would be nice to remember and would fit great in the breast pocket on the first day of school.

  80. jbhaber says:

    I’m a dad. I have a 17 year old teenager. I would give my copy of this book to my son to show him how cool I am. Okay, this ‘ol man can dream, can’t he?

  81. Redbluefire says:

    Honestly, I’d keep it in my backpack to help me pass my 4 AP classes, and 3 honors classes.

    Hey, a pocket ref is 1000 times better than several textbooks.

  82. massens says:

    Currently working with FEMA disaster relief efforts in Minnesota and Wisconsin. On more than one occassion I’ve had a need for information and a Pocket Ref would have come in handy!
    Looks like something I’ll need to add to my toolkit ASAP. Helping me help others would be a good reason for getting it!

  83. technick29 says:

    If I got my hands of this glorious text, I’d probably use it with all of the projects I work on. It would make me more precise when doing circuits to be more efficient.

    It would also be incredibly useful for my robotics team when building the bot’s electrical system and physical frame. Any time wasted looking up conversions online or in other hefty texts hurts the team due to the time limit imposed on teams competing in FIRST.

    Naturally, this would also help out with my physics and other science classes. Conversions would be easier and faster to do, leaving me more time to read and execute projects seen on Make: Blog and in the magazine.

    Thanks for your time!

  84. TheSams says:

    At the end of the day, it would be great to watch a sci-fi/action movie, so that I can sadistically ruin the special effect scenes for my other engineering friends by looking up the co-efficients of reality!

  85. mhafter says:

    Hi, my name is Mark Hafter. You may remember me from the “Exploding Hydrogen” video posted here a while ago. A free pocket ref would sure come in handy at school, especially at the student-run recording studio called ‘Soundtraks’, that I am in charge of. We do 32 channel audio recording, and up to 8 cameras for the major concerts at our school. I could sure use some reference tables for that industry. I am also in advanced Bio and Pre-calc, and I would always get a kick out of looking up all those annoying formulas in a Make Pocket Ref! It would sure make doing my homework much more fun.

    Thanks for reading!

    -Mark Hafter

  86. TheBpem says:

    Having another Pocket Ref that I could keep at school in my research laboratory would much better than taking back and forth to school everyday.

  87. boopyboopers says:

    Well, I would use it to make something that goes back in time and stops everyone from posting on this link so I would win it for sure! Hmmm, reason doesn’t quite meet logic here….

    Plus – I would promise not to change anything to avoid embarassing anyone who might wake up with 5 eyes, a wife, the opposite sex, not wake up at all, etc.

  88. CaptainRotundo says:

    I would use it to finally learn some of the 50 most common knots, so that come December I can finally not look like a moron when I attempt to help the dude secure a Christmas tree to the top of my car. Don’t worry I’ll still tip him well, it is during the “holiday season” after all. I would also learn the correct proofreading marks to use to correct all the terrible grammar I see on various yard sale signs and billboards are town. Man, I could think of a hundred ways this book will improve my life.

  89. twistedspinster says:

    Two words: Homeland Security. My hubster is a genuine rocket scientist in the Defense industry, so not only COULD he use it, he WOULD know how!

    One of the projects we’ve dubbed Dog Turd Net. Strew around some networked devices disguised as something ubiquitous that no one will bother. Come 2am, they come alive to relay needed surveillance data. (I have this image of little antennae coming out of dog turds, and sprouting little legs to walk around to talk to each other!)

  90. reddeye says:

    I would let it run my life, and I would fully abide by its precepts.

  91. weirdscreenname says:

    i am going back to school, but as a teacher. one of my biggest jobs is to find practical applications for middle schoolers and a conversion table like this would go a long way in letting me think up real world problems for the students.

  92. ha3rvey says:

    How would I use it: to make things, of course. Since I switched from software to hardware (career-wise) I’ve been jonesing to start building electronic gizmos like my cousin and I used to build when we were kids.

    Why? Because I miss building stuff. Radios, clocks, tiny electic cars, Digg buttons, headphone amplifiers (my next project), you name it. The Altoid tin headphone amplifier is my next project. I’ve got my circuit board right here.

    Besides, if I win, I’ll ask Phil to autograph it at the Austin Maker Faire.

  93. FreakCitySF says:

    This pocket reference along with dental floss and toothpaste will get me out of my 6 x 6 jail pad. When I’m on the outside I will need this book to survive on the lam. Think Badlands meets Instructables minus Sissy.

  94. DJMayhem says:

    PocketRef? sign me up!

  95. krollins says:

    I need to figure out the specific gravity of Chile, I feel like the PocketRef could help.

    And by “need,” I might mean “want.”

  96. futileissue says:

    I’m currently recycling some solar panel units I picked up for free at Volkswagon dealerships. The units will be supplying all the power to my college’s small farm. The Pocket Ref will be exceedingly useful as I try to rig up a power inverter and other electrical calculations for wiring up the site.

  97. rich.thomas says:

    I would violate several agreements, laws, copyrights, warranties, seals, security fasteners and other legal, moral, ethical, and religious laws, principles, and general behavioral guidance and direction directives to hack it into some sort of electronic format so I could carry it around on my Palm phone thingie, and look up stuff whenever I needed it without having another little book to carry. And maybe give it away to the world so everyone in, on, and above it could make a better world one tech spec at a time. I might need some help but I would get that done to the general betterment of life and pursuit of happiness.

  98. pepik says:

    Let’s see, projects this will help with…. 1st will be a rocket powered toy car. 2nd will be a deck for the house. 3rd will be a a bike helmet-cam for mountain biking. 4th – 6th are my top secret inventions. 7th — moonshine still, or maybe just a homebrew setup. And, if for nothing else, it would make a great coaster!

    See you in Austin!

  99. jwoodjr says:

    I’m a father with a 5 year old daughter who talks more than Silent Bob’s life partner Jay, and 98% of the time she’s asking questions about things, the pocket ref would allow me to not only make sure I’m giving her correct information, but also make me even more of a “super cool” dad for knowing everything.

  100. sam666 says:

    Rather than post what I would use a pocket ref for, let me give you a little taste of what goes through my head on a daily basis. “If gas is 98 cents a liter in Canada how much is it in the U.S.? If a potato cannon is most efficient when the volume of the barrel equals the volume of the chamber, how long should a 1.5″ barrel be if the chamber is 3″ x 8″? How much less do I weigh on Mt. Everest than in Death Valley?” etc.

  101. fotosis says:

    Engineering is all about getting maximum results with minimum effort. I applied this maxim during my four years at university and so only learned enough formula to barely pass exams. Now I only know half the things I should know as an electrical engineer. A pocket guide with more than V=IR, the most useful formula since hangover + power tools = disaster, would be perfect for ducking behind broken machines and emerging with intelligent answers. Please help me Make…

  102. gnatman says:

    I’ll use it all the time in my physics classes. I always need a hand little pocket book with conversions and constants.

  103. CarTeacher says:

    I’m an Industrial Technology teacher, my students an I use my years old copy a few times a week. It’s in sad shape now so we need a new one!

  104. iheartADSR says:

    Ah, the pocket ref… I never saw this on Mythbusters because I don’t watch t.v. unless I’m playing Ms. Pac-Man on the Atari 2600. {plus, isn’t Mythbusters a cable program? who pays for t.v.?}
    I would, however, use such a lovely little guide for looking up resistor values (while circuit bending) and aiding in the completion of building my brain machine (MAKE issue 10) or working on programming my new Arduino Diecimila for sound sculpture installation projects.

  105. Mike_Youngberg says:

    I’ll be installing windows in a house Real Soon Now and need an adjustable shim (5 pages, 25 pages, 48 pages, etc.) to level things out. :-)
    -thanks, mike

  106. rancar2 says:

    • Homework
    • Senior Design Project…maybe a Multi-touch Monitor…including the entire embedded system (hardware and software)
    • and Exams…well if it’s open book that is…sure
             : )

  107. mastershake916 says:

    I would use it at school for general stuff, at home on projects, and at the non-profit bike shop where I volunteer.

  108. Charlie.b says:

    hmm, this would help with cooking, seeing as i make my own recipies, and as im an amatur at electronics (most complicted thing i can do is solder a led to a battery, which shortly overloads…) this would be a great help to get me on my feet in that area, hacker wise, im pretty creative, i could imagine this being more of an insurance in that area….

    hope i win =P

  109. ten-seven says:

    I’ll probably give it to my son. Life is short, and there is probably a thing or two I haven’t been able to teach him yet. A book like this will fill in the holes.

  110. mvd says:

    Doesn’t it bother any one that this isn’t original?
    I’ve got the same thing sitting on my desk right now “compliments of dura systems passive fire specialists”

    in fact you can get them to say anything.

  111. sdedalus says:

    i’d use it to help answer the questions of my five kids build a robot and figure out what the geophysicists are talking about when they say cross-line azimuth for my side work(excuse to learn about signal processing and paralel computing) or what the business folks are talking about in my day job(excuse to post to the makezine blog).

  112. gmunchkin says:

    How I would use it: as a pocket reference book

    Why would I use it: because if I have it, it wouldn’t make sense to just leave it lying around.

  113. gsarssshadow says:

    I would use it to make a crossbow out of a leafspring and a 2×6, a high voltage generator out of a flyback transformer salvaged from a broken tv, a ghillie suit, night vision headgear from a digital camera and infrared led’s, balsa and tissue model planes, model rockets “maybe with warheads”, and some type of high tech perimeter control system that I haven’t really figured out yet, upgrading my 8′ potato cannon to make it more accurate and maybe shoot farther than 250 yards, and possibly building a geodome that’s bigger than my bedroom. These are all real projects that are in different stages in my garage and bedroom I am in 10th grade and build cool stuff in my spare time. If I don’t win one of these books I will probably buy one anyway. HOORAH GSARSS!!!

  114. johnny law says:

    mainly to help me build a pocet pain generator

  115. johnny law says:

    mainly to help me build a pocket pain generator

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