July 01, 2007

LED Bench Illumination (Geek)


I got sick of the area under my workbench shelf from being dark, so I started to look at lighting options for this ~25cm high space that is eternally shielded from my workbench light.

Light bulbs and CF bulbs were excluded from the start, as they're way too bulky for this space. I needed something slim and low profile. A CCFL tube was employed for a while, but didnt quite have the brightness and diffused illumination I wanted. But then whilst eBay browsing I struck gold - white LEDs!

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Posted by Ben at 03:11 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2007

Cara wants steak (Life)

Cara was given a lamb chop today. She graciously took it, posed for a photo, then hurried off to bury it for a snack later on.

Posted by Ben at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2007

The QRM900 Tesla coil (Geek)


My major project over the last few months has been the construction of a small Tesla coil, having wanted to make one for many years now. My first experience was at a demo day at UNSW over a decade ago, and since then I've always had a bit of a fascination for them. Since moving back to Sydney from Holland, I've had plenty of spare time, so what better to do that to finally build the coil?

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Posted by Ben at 02:10 AM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2007

My nixie clock (Geek)

For the last couple of years I've been keen to build a nixie tube clock.

Nixie tubes are those early (1950's-70s) display tubes often used in industrial and commercial applications, before the advent of LEDs and LCDs. They novelty and attractiveness led me to finally wanting to build one, but it wasn't until after I'd moved back to Sydney from Holland that I was able to get around to it.

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Posted by Ben at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2006

Linux on an HP Compaq NC6400 (Geek)

Update: I've started an HP Wiki, dealing with Linux on HP notebooks

A week ago I bought myself an HP Compaq NC6400 notebook, with the express purpose of running Kubuntu Linux on it. Whilst it includes a couple of features that are definitely not supported, I don't need them anyway.

Overall, it works very well - just about all hardware works out of the box, with only some minimal tweaking required for some. About the only current issue is related to suspend/resume..

This page documents my experience in getting Kubuntu working on this notebook, and I hope that this is useful to anyone else trying to do the same. Specifically, this model is an RA270AA.

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Posted by Ben at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2006

Sodium in water? Bah..try Caesium! (Geek)

Back at high school, I took chemistry, and one class proved to be very memorable.

It involved the old sodium-in-water experiment, where you get a rice-sized piece of sodium and put it in a little bit of water and marvel at it fizzing around, reacting with the water. During this class, me and Affa decided to super-size it, chopping off a piece of sodium as large as an M&M. At the time, we were allowed to do it ourselves, but they banned students doing it after our attempt...

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Posted by Ben at 08:51 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2006

I'm off to Lugradio (Geek)

I'm going to LugRadio Live 2006

Posted by Ben at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)