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Weekend Project: Make a PDA Notebook


Forget the Macbook air, there’s a new lightweight portable in town – Join our new video Maker (Kip Kay) as he shows you how to turn a modified hardback book in to a PDA powered “laptop” with keyboard. MAKE 07 “Palm Pilot Notebook” & check it out in our digital edition too.

[Editor’s note: Additional formats are up! MP4 (iPod/iPhone/PSP/etc…)Quicktime (MOV)Please subscribe in iTunes and let us know if these are working properly and there’s a PDF too.

And lastly, we’d like to welcome RadioShack as a MAKE sponsor!

198 thoughts on “Weekend Project: Make a PDA Notebook

  1. Steve says:

    Great video, I love Kip Kay!

  2. william says:

    NO! Say it ain’t so! Kip Kay is the worst of the makers out there. His imagination and projects may be ok, but his style is all wrong with MAKE. He’s the annoying morning radio DJ, all smooth talking and no substance. We want underground hackers, not over the top smooth-talker!

  3. Sean St. says:

    I agree… bring back Bre Pettis or get someone else. I like the weekend projects, but I don’t like having someone talk to me like a child. I also don’t like the Bob Vila attitude. The other weekend projects had a sense of fun, experimentation, and the feeling that you were doing the project with him, seeing the mistakes and the changes. It was more like watching someone make something (which seems like the whole point), while this feels like I’m just being given a recipe. I like the project, and I’m glad they’re still going on… but I really don’t like the new direction they’re going in.

  4. Johnny5 says:

    I prefer Kip’s videos to Bre’s while Bre had personality the videos didn’t show you how to make things.

  5. schmexplosives says:

    Well, that was terrible. Terrible new look, terrible idea (how boring is that PDA notebook), and a terrible host. Guess I’m not watching those ever again. How disappointing.

  6. Dan says:

    Where did Bre Pettis go? Weekend projects NEED him.
    What´s up with the RadioShack add? :-O

  7. eccramer says:

    @ Dan: Bre Pettis is the video maker for Etsy Labs now, take a look at the bloggers side panel, he’s no longer part of the Make staff.

    I’ve never really liked the fast cuts and smooth talking DJ format of the KipKay series. If anything, I think that Mr. Jalopy should replace Bre as makes new video maker. But then again, what do I know.

  8. Bob Alexander says:

    This video is way too slick, and Kip sounds like a radio commercial announcer. The project is OK (though pointless – why do I want a *bigger* case for a PDA?), but find someone with a little more energy.

  9. Dave says:

    What’s the deal with dogging on the host? It’s a sin to have a good radio voice or something?

    Cool project. I like the stealth stuff, like can safes and repurposed books.

    I do roughly the same thing with a Palm foldable keyboard and a Palm IIIc, and I have to admit it’s not all that cumbersome that I’d need it to be permanently connected. One strong rubber band, and the two pieces are very portable.

  10. pt says:

    @everyone – i really valued bre’s work with us at MAKE and his videos were fantastic, but people move on to other things and this means there will be new people and makers in our community – please be a bit nicer and welcome kip. this is just the first project and while this one is pretty good they’ll get better each week — just like they did when bre did them.

    also, radioshack is now a sponsor – this *great* for us and for the MAKE community, it means we can do videos, hire people and do cool stuff.

  11. pt says:

    @ben cartwright – bre is working at etsy, we’re all friends, no one “dumped” anyone. bre left for etsy on his own, we all wanted him to stay of course.

  12. Kipkay says:

    I am happy to be partnering with MAKE since I have been a fan for a long time. You will always see something different from me not only sytle-wise but also with the projects. This first project was from an earlier MAKE issue and there was never a Weekend Project video for it so that is why it was chosen.

  13. Personman says:

    Yes Bre was great but people do move on. What is up with all the Kip bashing? I for one am glad to see the weekend projects back and don’t think this one was as bad as some are making it out to be.
    The only constructive criticism I would give, and i will repeat for some of the others out there constructive criticism, is it was nice to see the build process, errors and all, like the old format.
    Anyway thanks for the project Kip I look forward to more.

    P.S. Advertisements make content like this free for us because advertisers foot the bill for 5 seconds of our time. Too much to ask, you foot the bill.

  14. MoolC says:

    I like both kipkay and bre, but bre’s videos were of a different nature. Bre would program microcontrollers, build stuff and other technological type stuff. Kipkays seem to be pretty handy around the house but not make magazine style. If you cant bring back bre at least get someone like joe grand.

    A PDA laptop seems to be pretty unpractical.

  15. Personman says:

    Yes Bre was great but people do move on. What is up with all the Kip bashing? I for one am glad to see the weekend projects back and don’t think this one was as bad as some are making it out to be.
    The only constructive criticism I would give, and i will repeat for some of the others out there constructive criticism, is it was nice to see the build process, errors and all, like the old format.
    Anyway thanks for the project Kip I look forward to more.

    P.S. Advertisements make content like this free for us because advertisers foot the bill for 5 seconds of our time. Too much to ask, you foot the bill.

  16. Personman says:

    Yes Bre was great but people do move on. What is up with all the Kip bashing? I for one am glad to see the weekend projects back and don’t think this one was as bad as some are making it out to be.
    The only constructive criticism I would give, and i will repeat for some of the others out there constructive criticism, is it was nice to see the build process, errors and all, like the old format.
    Anyway thanks for the project Kip I look forward to more.

    P.S. Advertisements make content like this free for us because advertisers foot the bill for 5 seconds of our time. Too much to ask, you foot the bill.

  17. moolc says:

    @personman, why get ads from metacafe AND radio shack?

  18. makelover says:

    I have to agree with the naysayers. This wasnt an experimental project or very imaginative. Hopefully they get better…

  19. pt says:

    @makelover – this was a popular project from the pages of MAKE – there will be a new project each week, stay tuned!

  20. Personman says:

    @ moolc, Who cares, once again we don’t have to pay for the great podcasts and accompanying PDFs. No hike in subscription costs either. I’m good with that system. Maybe we can even look forward to bigger any better things with the revenue generated by the adds.

    @ All, sorry for the tripple post. technical difficulties ;) either that or I stutter paragraph style. you decide.

    P.S. I also would like to see more of Joe Grand’s projects or at least Joe Grand style projects. Electronics & microcontrollers = goodness.

  21. pt says:

    @Personman – there will be many many arduino and microcontroller projects and i’m sure we’ll have joe grand on the shows too.

  22. Gear Head says:

    I’m not a fan of the new format, and the slick delivery is too much for me to stick with the video all the way through. Doesn’t sound like I’m the minority either. It’s the voice of your customer PT, I hope you’re listening.

    and BTW the security code thing is almost impossible to read, this is the 5th time I had to reload it to a “Captcha” code I can see

  23. pt says:

    @Gear Head – i read every comment, so does kip and so does the rest our team, we’re listening.

    just a side note, when i met bre and later had him working with us a lot of people didn’t like his style either – i wish i could post the emails :)

    but that’s how it goes, over time bre got better and over time i think you’ll see the projects kip has are really good too.

  24. moolc says:

    I would certainly not complain if Joe Grand started hosting.

    yeah, the captchas do suck.

  25. Capitan Obvious says:

    Great… The guy who was all over Metacafe stealing other people’s ideas and videotaping them for his own profit has invaded MAKE.

    This does not bode well.

  26. Pavel says:

    Great video!

  27. pt says:

    @Capitan Obvious – you’re free to scrutinize everything we do here, if fact i encourage it. all the videos and projects will be from MAKE and the pages of MAKE — but please either back up your claims or be nicer.

    it’s disappointingly how you’d like to punish MAKE (and kip) for something in the future that hasn’t happened yet. how about you wait and see how things go here and *gasp* be positive.

  28. Mike says:


  29. your mom says:

    this comes off like an informercial. less slick, more DIY, please.

  30. llemarie says:

    Glad to have the Weekend Projects back! Thanks for posting again, we’ve missed you. A decent start for the new format.

    I’m not a fan of the intro theme. Bre’s intro was nice and short. How2.0’s videos also have a boring long intro that ruin the moment. Please either make the intro shorter, or improve it. Or both!

    Bre was very popular, it’s going to be a tough challenge for Kip to take over and keep the high level of quality that we’re used to. Using a popular project from the mag is a good idea, but it won’t save you every time (:

    I like Kip Kay though, I’ve implemented a few of his simple projects from MetaCafe. The musical keyboard is still going around the office, it’s hilarious. The Make projects are for a different crowd though. Looking at the recent most popular Weekend Projects videos re-posted on Make (biosphere jar, hovercraft, etc…), and the most popular Kip Kay videos (how to unlock handcuff, double your gas milage, etc…), it’s just not the same.

    One significant difference in style between Bre and Kip (apart from the voice, which has already been commented on), is the fact that we saw a lot of Bre’s face, whereas it looks like we’re set to see a lot of Kip’s hands… I’m not sure it’ll work as well.
    Bre was cool, he talked to people, he was naive (asking questions to knowledgeable people, sometimes obviously not knowing the answer himself), he was funny, he even electrocuted himself with a taser.

    Here’s hoping we get some Kip Kay/Joe Grand collaboration, some dangerous (jam jar jet) projects, some programming with bad pirate jokes, and more generally more great Weekend Project in the great Make style.

    Good luck Kip Kay! No Pressure (:

  31. Tim says:

    Bring back Bre Pettis!

  32. Kipkay says:

    Yes, my style is my style but it will always vary. You’ll see more than just hands even though I won’t be wearing any funky glasses. And I can’t change my voice. I try to sound professional yet casual. More great Weekend Projects on the way. Thanks for the welcome!

  33. Alex says:

    Bring back Bre Pettis.
    This video was about as fun as watching paint dry…

  34. Dave says:

    I miss Bre :(

  35. Uncle Shooter says:

    Gonna miss Bre but I think everyone should Kip Kay a break on his first video. My first videos on were pretty bad and I got suggestions to improve my efforts. I like Bre’s style with talking to people and getting involved even if it made it look a little out of it. I like Kip Kays hands style where you see the guts of the project. When Kep Kay starts doing videos with other I think we will see another set of differences. By the way whats wrong with a good voice? The Radio Shack add took up 10 seconds and for that I imagine MAKE gets enough to make these weekly videos much nicer. If 10 seconds of an ad for a place that has MAKER stuff is going to make you not watch then your going to miss the other 3+ minutes of materials,

  36. Is my feed reader broken? says:

    Is my feed reader broken, or was the story of a PDA notebook posted 7 times in 5 hours?

  37. lrh says:

    Sad to see Bre go, too, but too much of anything gets old. To everyone criticizing: create and post your own project build videos. If MAKE is supposed to be more “raw”, create your own raw build videos and start sharing. This is a community, after all – we’re not helpless. Create!

  38. doggy says:

    He needs enthusiasm

  39. Peter says:

    There’s a lot of animosity going around here. I think everyone needs to take a breath and give the guy at least more of a chance than just ONE VIDEO. I do prefer the old intro and I miss Bre’s style, but change is inevitable. @Kipkay, I think maybe the disconnect here is that your videos seem a little more professional (as you mentioned), which tends to clash with many people’s views of Make. I can’t find it, but I think I remember an article in a volume of Make about how to make a DIY video that might help to find a middle ground. While it was more of a “use that old minidv camera and don’t be ashamed of it” article, I think if you were to follow that as closely as possible for a while it might smooth things over. @All, I’m a little ashamed that this community is treating _anyone_ this way. I mean I’ll be honest, I was a little skeptical and I will be for a while but what ever happened to being polite? And no, “because it’s the internet” is not an excuse. I think if you have a complaint you should e-mail someone who can actually do something about it, not just publicly accuse him of plagiarism.

  40. anonymous says:

    my favorite part was the radio shack commercial… dont we get enough of those on tv

  41. anonymous says:

    my favorite part was the radio shack commercial… dont we get enough of those on tv

  42. paolo says:

    Hi, I’d like to voice out my opinion on this whole topic that’s now becoming this comment box haha. I’d first off like to point that English is not my first language, but more importantly that Make: is awesome. I read the blog everyday, or actually a couple times a day. Keeps me fresh and gets my mind working in the morning. :) As a member of this community, I feel it’s my duty to give out my opinion, a bit like voting.

    Firstly, I would like to point out that I feel make: lost a bit of it’s original feel : a good ole’ bunch of people interested in creating and modifying stuff and having a good time doing it. I felt that make: captured that in a really raw way. That’s what I really like about it. Though it seems that as of late there hasn’t been much of that… I find it feels much more like a popular mechanic type thing. Maybe that’s just because there hasn’t been much happening in that direction as of late. But I really like it when we see people that aren’t put on and really doing something. I actually like it a lot when we see the actual make: workshop. I always felt like I was part of a revolution : stikin’ it to the man and doing things that aren’t supposed to happen.

    It looks like this new weekend project and the radioshack “deal” is going towards this less make: , a bit more like recipes. That, to me, is not making. I liked Bre’s videoblog as most of the time it was not a very particular project and didn’t go into specific details as he knew that it would just inspire people to do something alike by using one of the technique he would have learned or some kind of concept. Bre also took for granted that makers are quite knowledgeable and were actually interest in the science behind stuff.

    I’m not trying to say that Kip should try to imitate Bre in any way. I think Bre is an exceptional orator and is really capturing, not something that everyone has. But I enjoyed the rawness and the tongue-in-cheek/pub feeling humor.

    Feel free to comment on my comment. I hope you can take my opinion into consideration. Keep it real, raw and fun :P Good luck to you all.

    PS : to Kip, your hand-type presentation made me think of zachari vex’s presentations. Okay, he presents guitar effect pedals but I like his style. You might want to take a look at some of his stuff if you’re looking for insparation.


  43. Bertigoid says:

    Quicktime? Blegh! Where’s the youtube link?

  44. Steven Boger says:

    Agreed KipKay sucks. I never want to see him again. Bring in stumbling geeky makers with cool, brilliant ideas. If you need a host to pull the geek through the project then find another Bre.

    I will not even click on any KipKay Make video’s from now on unless the text description totally blows me a way…

  45. lurkeebee says:

    i agree with paolo.
    and theres something about the bre videos that made it feel like a something new. like next generation byond TV shows. this one felt like infommercial and looked pretty muddy. I thought this was a joke about pda stuff. just a thought, i hope theyll get better?

  46. Dan says:

    Bring back Bre! This guy sounds unreal, while Bre has a personality connecting him to the audience. Judging by the other comments, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Without Bre, I’m never coming back to watch these videos.

  47. Wooden Planks says:

    This is a terrible move by MAKE.
    While KapKay is…… well, he is terrible.
    Too clean. Get raw again.

    I will never watch a Weekend project again. I felt like shooting myself in the head at about one minute into it, and what was this shit about Radioshack!??

    FUCK YOU MAKEzine!

  48. Vermin says:

    Wow! You lot hate change. The video is fine, and having to put up with one small add is a small price to pay for keeping this excellent series free.

    Learn how to pronounce soLder properly though :)

  49. moolc says:

    @PT bre’s early videos were great! eg
    also, i prefer bre over kipkay but i don’t think either are bad at all. Its just that kipkays videos are SOOO different.

  50. Johnathan says:

    Well, I for one welcome the change. Bre’s videos were ok, but more fluff than content. I like Kip’s direct and to the point style. Bring it on, Kip!

  51. Brian says:

    WTF? Two points:

    1. I’m not a 5 year old, I’m a MAKE-er. Bring me an idea, a concept. Set the audience down a path, and encourage experimentation. Ask to see my work in the MAKE flickr pool. (Bring back Bre, or at least someone from his generation and style)

    2. Don’t do a switcheroo and not address the change. I feel like you think the audience is dumb enough not to notice the change. We notice, and we think its crap.

  52. doug says:

    radio shack is sponsering make? clearly this is the end!
    i feel even more justified choosing not to renew my subscription this year.
    radio shack? way to insult your base, make.

  53. Ryan Rose says:

    No offense intended towards Kip, but this just feels wrong. I feel like I’m watching a late night informertial when Kip Kay does his thing. Sure, his hacked-up-diy videos have made him somewhat of an internet icon, but this does not feel like “Make:”.

    Sorry Kip, but you and Make: were better off on your own.
    If RadioShack is spondoring you now, you can afford to pay Bre what hes worth. Get him back.

  54. Holly says:

    That was completely retarded. It was a waste of a Palm Pilot, and the final result looked inefficient and stupid. Sheesh! Kip Kay is an assclown.

    Get Bre back!

  55. rd godwin says:

    i think everybody should grow up

  56. cyenobite says:

    I miss Bre too. :(
    I wish O’Reilly would make him an offer he couldn’t refuse to bring him back… But if Bre’s happy where he is now, then I’m happy for him.
    I’m willing to give Kip a few more attempts though, so I don’t want to be negative about him here.
    As other’s pointed out though…
    Radio$hack? That was a surprise.
    I know, I know… trying to keep the content free and all that, but I feel like we (the readers) are getting hit over the head now with all these new sponsors. First the Honda thing (which I didn’t get at all). Then the “yahoo buzz” buttons scattered all over, GoogleAds infringing into the content area, now the Windows mobile, and now radioshack (just stuck right in the middle of the video too)? What happened to my limited advertisement Makezine?
    A long time ago, I dumped my subscription to macworld, when I sat down and counted the pages of ads vs the pages of content. I felt I was paying to subscribe to a catalog. I HOPE Makezine doesn’t follow this path.
    On a design note, the blog is starting to look junky with all the ads, and odd white spaces. If the blog needs a re-design with all the new ad content then it should be done. It’s starting to look like an igoogle page gone wrong.
    One more…
    Well said Paolo… I totally agree! For what it’s worth you speak English better that I do :)
    I always got the sense from the beginning that Make had an “attitude” that was sort of anti-corporate. (which I liked!) but now I’m seeing all these corporate advertisements and I’m getting an icky feeling.
    I don’t feel like Windows products fit in with the line of thinking – “void your warranty”. Nor, walking into my local radioshack and not being able to buy electronics parts anymore. I will admit though that I bought some solder wire at RS, only to learn later that I paid almost double than had I ordered it online.
    If you HAVE to get advertisers get ones that embrace the maker attitude. (Sparkfun, Jameco, etc…)

    My apologies, I know this sounds really negative and like a rant. I don’t mean it that way. I’m just trying to say that I like the older formats better. Some have used the term “raw” here and I like that.

    Good luck Kip, I hope you can keep it real and raw.

    oh, and I too vote for Joe Grand :)

    (PS> Second attempt to post this due to failed captcha misread)

  57. J2ez says:

    I liked the video, why are there so many jerkoffs here?

  58. Slingshotkid says:

    I am happy to see the new weekend project. Kip really has some good projects, but they are a little different from makes normal style. My Biggest fear is that kip will not get out and mingle. That was a strength that Bre had that will be hard to match. He was able to go out and talk to people and get real insider info, and even more so, he was just as uninformed as the rest of us. It made it a group learning experience. He was on the same level as a weekend warrior. Kip is like watching an instructional DVD. Less Socratic more Government. I wish the best for Kip, but from what i have seen, Make: is for the love of tinkering and joy of learning, sharing, building. I would like for kip to stay, more power to him, but he needs to loosen up and enjoy it with us.

  59. Kipkay says:

    I appreciate everyone’s comments and understand that adjusting to change is sometimes difficult. I do plan to be an integral part of this commmunity and you will see me vary my style. This first video is not indicative of every video you will see me produce. If you have seen my work, you know that I always “change it up”, have a sense of humor and try to put out the best possible videos. Thanks for all of the suggestions.

  60. jonouk says:

    What’s going on. I can’t stand Kip Kay’s presentation. Also, adverts? long, drawn out video intros?

    Wher’s Bre

  61. anonymous says:

    The sense of adventure you got watching Bre Pettis has completely gone in these new Weekend Projects.

    Before with Bre Pettis you actually felt like you was learning something other than the project at hand, as well as learning from his failings along the way.

    The weekend projects now feel too clinical and uninformative, not to mention patronizing.

    It would be great to see someone such as Joe Grand as the new presenter.

  62. Carlos says:

    I hate to be a complainer, but I won’t complain about the new presenter or the content, but on the format.

    Compared with previous files, this one is much less compressed, which makes files much bigger and download much more obstrusive:
    It takes five times as much space (250 MB vs. 50 MB), and then five times as much time to download. Ok that many people have already bigger broadband pipes, but I don’t… and 1 Mb/s should be enough for a 5 min podcast.
    It also takes much more CPU to decompress, bringing my Mac mini (powerpc based) to its knees…

    Yes, quality improvement is noticeable, but I would give that bit of quality to make it more watcheable and faster to download.

  63. Captain Vegetable says:

    Kip’s soporific delivery is an unfortunate choice. Kick it up a notch, Kip! Think Bear Grylls, not Bob Ross.

    re: Radio Shock’s sponsorship – What I think is most disappointing to everyone is the way Radio Shock went from a semi-respectable electronics store to what it has become in recent years – a glorified cell phone store. The fact that RS has started to pay attention to the community that laments its loss can only be a good thing. Let’s give ’em a chance. The truth is that in most parts of the US, it’s the only brick-and-mortar that even resembles an electronics component store anymore. If they’re encouraged to improve, then so much the better for all of us.

  64. acidrain69 says:

    You people are being way too critical. It’s ONE VIDEO. No, it isn’t practical. But come on, it’s a Palm 3! You know how old those are? This project is about style, not practicallity. Since day 1, there have been projects in MAKE that are more about style than usability. It’s fine. If you want to do more “bare-metal” stuff, skip the style projects.

    I almost feel embarrassed for the community right now. Someone comes in, replacing a maker that you liked, and you blast him for it. Kip didn’t make the Palm project (AFAIK), he is just the presenter. Give him a break. If MAKE looses it’s “edge”, then by all means, complain away. This project seemed to be around before Kip tho.

    As for the advertising, it’s inevitable. And it shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. This is just video ads to supplement the print ads that have been in MAKE since issue 01. It’s a sign that Make is having some success. And like Capt Vegetable said, if radio shack goes slightly back to their roots, it will benefit us as a community.

    Take a pill people. One video (out of hundreds of projects) shouldn’t make you shun the site.

  65. Anon says:

    I will never watch these videos with Kip. Just as I never would watch his vids on MetaCafe, they are lowest common denominator. If he is going to explain how to do a extremely simple project from the mag, why is anyone going to watch? (Why am I going to pay for a subscription?) I did not really like Bre either. His stuff was pretty much fluff. I do not like the Hipster personality of most technology personalities like Bre and Xeni Jardin.

    Radioshack is never going to stock electronic components like they use to, or at competive prices.

    It is insulting to see more ads. How about a subscriber’s page with the same content without the ads?

  66. bowman says:

    this SUCKS!! what do you do with this stupid old pda notebook. and whats the deal with metacafe, it sucks, go back to youtube

  67. nc says:

    My 2 cents —

    1. Radioshack???!! and in the middle of the video???!!!

    2. After watching the video my first reaction was to track down why Bre was gone and if he was coming back. I’m sorry to see he’s gone.

    3. I saw this project done a while ago. It’s a clever idea, but what kept me from saying that’s awesome and doing it myself was the fact that it’s tired technology. My phone is more powerful and practical. Let’s take the book idea up a notch.

  68. failrate says:

    I would like the intro to be cut down in length. The multicolored squares tell me nothing.

  69. Jake says:

    Damn it………………… I cannot believe Bre is being replace by kipkay.

    The video’s I’ve seen by kipkay have all be exaggerated or completely fake. I can also GUARANTEE hes only on MAKE to get the extra hits for his metacafe videos.

    This is immeasurably lame. Bring us back Bre!

  70. gear head says:

    @PT Yes, you’re right about Bre’s early work.. I didn’t care for it at all and I did comment on it only because the style wasn’t (in my mind) suitable, not the message or the project. I was happy to see that Bre’s production work got more polished and the projects became more fun. They were still a bit raw, more engaging, and a lot more original than KipKay’s work has been to date. And what is with hosting the video through MetaCafe? KipKay gets revenue from us watching that whether we like the video or not.. I’m sure a lot of the disenchanted folks are going to love that.

  71. DF says:

    I think a lot of these comments are completely out of line, and unfairly single out Kip. Both MAKE and O’Reilly exist because the can wring a profit out of this community using the magazine, this blog, and everyone’s orders to the “Maker Store.” You may think Kip’s videos exist only because he can turn a profit: so tell me, what’s the difference?

    Do individuals that have projects featured on this blog get a cut of the ad revenue that is generated by all the junk on this page that my Firefox adblocker kills?

    If you want to really criticize people that are “in it for the money,” then take it straight to the people that are already feeding you re-packaged content that was freely available from somewhere else on the net.

    BTW, welcome, Kip. I look forward to next weekend’s project.

  72. AC says:

    Wow the new podcast is craptacular! If the next one is still hosted by a 2-bit radio DJ wanna be I’m gonna stop downloading the podcast. Great advert by the way, I use podcast to get away from the constant barrage of ads not to get more.

  73. Rich says:

    You know, I don’t mind Kip that much, it’s just that this new weekend project doesn’t feel like a weekend project, it just feels like a project :-(

    But we are all makers here, so I welcome Kip and a new wave of weekend projects.

  74. Seth says:

    I started watching the video before reading who the new guy was. I almost choked when I heard that god awful DJ voice. Its probably more my association of Kip with his terrible “hack” videos on meta cafe, but I really can’t stand him. Unless the format changes and becomes more “real” I wont be watching more of these.

  75. Gabe Oi'lova says:

    You should of changed the name to Weekend Boredom.
    This guy is terrible.

    What happened to you make?

    Im not renewing my subscription due to:
    Radioshack as a sponcer??!?!?
    the new Weekend Projects.

  76. SD says:

    Radio Shack ads INSIDE a Metacafe video (not to mention the long self-branding hypno-intro) makes me feel like the Make community is being monitized. I’d like to think my value to the Make community is more than that of a consumer, used to enrich Kip’s metacafe account and generate more Radio Shack in-podcast views.
    Make doesn’t have a monolopy on the creative hacking community, if they alienate their base enough, they will find more hosipitpal venues.

  77. The Thompson Five says:

    I knew that whoever took over (unless it was Action Girl)was going to be in for some post Bre’ backlash, but wow! I have to admit I did not dig the high degree of polish or the Rick Dees / Mr. Rogers delivery, but not being familiar with Kip Kay’s work I think I will give him at least two more chances before savaging everything in site. Try and keep a little perspective. It’s just a blog fer chrissake.

  78. spiff says:

    Wow, this feels like an infomercial or a cheesy training video.
    I’ll give them another shot, but if they continue like this one, I’ll won’t be back for another weekend project.

  79. casey says:

    A few notes on this…

    I like the presentation. It feels like time was put into it. In these days of iMovie, there’s no excuse for anything but quality. Kip’s voice is fine. His presentation is even and easy to follow.

    What concerns me is the content. Kip does quite a few things in this video without explaining his reasoning. Remember, Makers want to know “WHY?”

    Specifically, when discussing the serial cable, Kip says: “I actually had a few other wires, but they won’t be used, so I cut them off.” I found this sentence to be jarring. How did he know which cables to cut? What are the other wires used for? Is this from the RS232C spec?

    He then spends more time telling us about the bright orange cover sheet for the screen (7 seconds) than he does explaining connecting the keyboard and serial connections to the PDA (5 seconds).

    Finally, and this seems like more than just an oversight, can we actually see this thing working?

    I guess what bothers me most is that I really don’t feel that he intends anyone to actually do this project from watching the video. I understand that this is a sample of work to come using a project from the pages of an earlier issue of Make. I’ll have to check my back issues, but I would expect links to the specifications. We have all grown to expect a bit more meat from Make.

    As an aside, I don’t mind the Radio Shack commercial. If Make can help pull RS back from being a glorified Verizon store, fantastic!

  80. pt says:

    @gang – please give kip a chance, after a few videos maybe then you can decide not to watch a video or not.

    as far as radioshack being a sponsor, we’re extremely pleased radioshack is doing things with MAKE — we want to do MAKE for as long as we can, compensate people fairly and pay the bills – if you don’t like radioshack, then who is “good enough” for you? i’m curious what sponsors are “ok” with such a critic.

    as far as metacafe goes, i have no problem telling everyone here we don’t make any money on our videos, and that is a stupid business model we need to fix. metacafe is an experiment, as is youtube, direct downloads and — unfortunately none of these would pay for lunch for the MAKE team… for one day.

  81. casey says:

    @pt – just to clarify my comment on Radio Shack. I didn’t mean it to be sarcastic. I checked out the site from the ad and I was pleasantly surprised by the direction.

  82. anonymous says:

    So what is the big surprise here? Sounds like both sides have something to gain off of the deal. Kip Kay will get more hits on his videos, and in return he will probably drop the name Make in all of his videos, video descriptions, etc.

  83. clamoring says:

    Why is everyone so mean and resistant to change? If nothing else think about how you would feel landing a job at Make only to find people talking about you this way? Why don’t you tell Make and kipkays what you’d /like/ to see instead.

    To kipkays – Bre was awesome and you’ll never replace him but that doesn’t mean you don’t have something valuable to offer. Major change takes time. I hope you can take something constructive away from these comments regardless. I agree this video felt a little “Discovery Channel” where many of us are looking for “Survival Research Labs”.

    To Make – shame on you for not addressing Bre’s departure immediately. Your fans are ridiculously loyal and you can’t possibly think they wouldn’t notice your *star* had gone missing. I hope you learned from this mistake.

  84. Teve Torbes says:

    This is very lame. The sum of of a project should be greater than it’s individual parts. However, this project is worth less than it was before. What a waste of time.

  85. Teve Torbes says:

    Why not just save some time and throw a PDA, PDA keyboard and a book in the trash. It’s what you’ll end up doing with the end product of this project anyway.

  86. B Armstrong says:

    As far as Bre vs. Kip goes, I could care less about who is presenting the project as long as its something interesting… which this project was not.

  87. Erik says:

    Cheesy Music. Bad disco floor graphics. Radio shack ad. Casey-Kasem-esque narrator. Old, pointless project. No more Bre…


  88. lego man says:

    Come on give him a chance he dose very good videos and at
    least walked you through the project. I just didn’t like that didn’t show me what it can be used for and the pdf could be a little better, but he is a very good innovator.What will his next project be? a diy satellite phone? anyway i thought it was a great video and you all can keep your insults to yourself.

  89. gear head says:

    @lego man

    C’mon dude, we didn’t even get to see the ‘project’ work… what are we supposed take away from that?

  90. jake says:

    @pt look at how much kipkay has made on metacafe, don’t tell me thats completely inconsequential. Not to mention, with the advertising you get just by putting those vids in the blog I can guarantee you’ll make enough when these get established to really make money.

  91. Peter says:

    After listening to all of this fuss, I decided to _actually watch_ some of KipKay’s videos. They’re pretty sweet. Ok, so they do have a bit of an infomercial feel, but they’re not bad. I think anyone who has a complaint should at least see his side of the story and not make empty threats to boycott Make. Just because you didn’t like one video doesn’t mean they all “suck”.

    I’d also like to point out that if we’re going to take money from a corporation, it might as well be Radioshack, right? I mean we’re not going to _actually_ go there unless we have to. Even if RS doesn’t improve, we get Make. And we should all have a large enough attention span to sit through a few extra seconds of ad.

    One more thing. I keep getting the whole “captcha” error message. To get around it I opened the image in another tab, and typed that in. I hope it helps.

  92. TRUTH says:

    @pt @EVERYONE who loves make – please listen:

    You’re being HUSTLED by a web scam-artist.
    # It is very easy to write posts under different names/IPs. It is in Kip’s best interest to do so here. His aliases have similar styled names and ways to reference him i.e. “KipKay”

    # In this thread, he is saying things like ‘I love KipKay’, ‘I miss Bre’, & ‘I hate ads’ to confuse the issue. He was most likely chosen for Make by some unwitting executive, fooled by false popularity.

    # If he ever needs a diff IP, easy as well. Kip himself shows us how to “Trace any IP Address or Website!” in another metacaf vid. The website featured in that clip offers many IP spoofing options. He is most likely fooling metacafe’s video servers with this trick as well. Plus nearly all of his metacaf viewers/commentors appear to be spectators, NOT MAKERS. Few ever try building these projects.

    Most likely he will write a post trying to discredit this message, change his style or confuse/change the issue. If you want him gone don’t post here – EMAIL O’REILLY.COM & PT!

  93. inedible says:

    just thought I’d chip in my two cents…

    I’m on the very anti kipkay side of the fence here, I couldn’t concentrate on the words in the video at all, it just sounded like another sports report… just drones on like a radio dj and I couldn’t learn a thing… well not to mention there’s not much to learn by plugging a keyboard into a pda and taking off the plastic. Kipkay seems to have the wrong attitude for make entirely. gives the place a sleazy, moneygrubbing feel.

    The single biggest controversy in the history of make was about dangerous laser projects without enough precautions and disclaimers.
    Kip consistently makes videos telling people how to make dangerous lasers capable of blinding people in a hundredth of a second, without mentioning a single safety protocol or warning. Not to mention he does it all wrong and sticks a sensitive, expensive laser diode directly onto the battery, at best giving you maybe an hour of use.
    He suggests you spend $60 on a blueray diode, then just wire it directly to a 9v battery with a pushbutton switch.. no mention of how incredibly ESD-sensitive these are and the fact you should thoroughly ground yourself, then solder the pins of the laser together with a special esd grounded iron at the first possible opportunity so you don’t accidentally fry your expensive diode with static. THEN you build a driver circuit to ensure the laser never receives more than precisely 4.5v at 38mA. any more than that and you have just wasted a lot of money. DO NOT hook it directly up to a 9v battery, that’s just all kinds of stupid. the pushbutton is even stupider. with no regulation that pushbutton will create voltage spikes up to 15v. I repeat, never drive your diode with more than 4.5v at 38mA. Trust me, listening to this man has cost me a lot of money.

    Following kipkays instructions will cost you hundreds of dollars and the use of your eyes. Do not watch any video produced by this dangerous moron. Do not tune into Make weekend projects ever again.

  94. Kipkay says:

    Sorry but I must defend myself. Normally I just let everyone said what they want but not now.

    1. The MAKE project I did was in the MAKE Magazine. I did not invent it. If you have a beef with that project than you have a beef with MAKE.

    2. “Kip consistently makes videos telling people how to make dangerous lasers capable of blinding people in a hundredth of a second”. WHAT? I made ONE video with a burning laser out of 94+ videos. And that one is 8 months old!

    Sorry you wont be tuning in ever again but I think your two cents is a bit over the top.

    Take care.

  95. lego man says:

    its ok kipkay. i like your videos. what did you do with your pda notebook?

  96. Dan says:

    What a dumb way to trash a book, a Palm, a cable and a keyboard all at the same time! Once you need to change the batteries, you need to take everything apart. Plus, it’s larger and less portable and less functional than before! Hey, the video doesn’t even say anything about the power button that needs to be somewhere.
    To be honest, Bre’s videos were not all that great, but they had this certain adventurous edge and often contained stuff that hadn’t been done before. And when he built weapons, he emphasized safety. I didn’t like Bre’s handwaving (literally) and I certainly don’t want to be told what’s awesome and what’s not–I can decide that myself.
    Kipkay, I think it’s great that you’re reading the comments and replying!

  97. BREW Ninja says:

    How bout salvaging my old folding Palm IIIe keyboard into a better use than for my Palm?

  98. Amused. says:

    @Gay Maker:

    Best. Post. Ever!
    …And it’s true, Bre definitely gets points for being rather kind on the eyes.

  99. says:

    Looks like I don’t need to leave my comment – all folks above said it all.

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