EricSkiff.com Open Source Everything

22Apr/083

What's your "Earth Day Fix"

Dog brushing teethLast night, Sara noticed that I always run the water while brushing my teeth, which honestly is a total waste. There's no need for it to be running, it's just habit.

Instead of "going green" or making some other token effort today, I'm going to actually make a small fix in the way I do things. From now on, I won't waste that water every day when I brush my teeth. It's a small thing, but it's a lot of fresh clean water going down the drain just because I've always done it that way.

So, this is my challenge to you: what one small thing can you change today and going forward that will make a little bit of difference. When you've figured out what it is, twitter it, and tag it #EDF (earth day fix).

(Photo credit: mms0131, CC-BY-SA)

17Apr/081

NYCResistor: The Knitting Machine

I shot this video of Bre's knitting machine as demoed by Kelly at NYC Resistor last night. They just don't make machines like this anymore! It's incredibly intricate and the pieces move and work together in amazing ways.

Crossposted from: http://www.nycresistor.com/2008/04/17/the-knitting-machine/

Yesterday, the awesome Kelly Farrell took some time to demo the knitting machine that Bre's got at the NYCResistor space. The machine looks incredibly confusing when you first open it up, but Kelly makes it look easy. She even fixes a problem on the fly in this video.

Want to see the knitting machine in action? Maybe if we ask really nicely Kelly will break it out again for a demo at our public "Microcontroller Study Group" meeting next Wednesday!

In this video: Kelly Farrell, Eric Skiff (behind the camera / CC-BY music), Raphael Abrams ("this machine is my grandma!"), George Shammas, and Bre's knitting machine.

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1Apr/081

The power of BricaBox demonstrated by an April Fools list

April Fools Joke Sites - BricaBox At about midnight last night, I realized that it was now April Fools and that the internet pranks were about to start rolling in. Right then, Gmail started boasting it's new "Custom Time" feature, a.viary rolled out their auto-aging tool "Dodo", and blip.tv added a new "rickroll" advertisting format to go with pre-roll and post-roll.

I knew I wouldn't be the only one to want a way to collect the gags I'd found and that others would find ones I hadn't seen yet, so I asked Nate to whip up a quick BricaBox for us. A BricaBox is like a really advanced plug-and-play website. Within 5 minutes, Nate had the site ready, including the ability for anyone to add a listing, vote on them, and add their comments and more info. The best listings will rise to the top, Digg style. The only way he could have whipped up something this functional that fast is with BricaBox, and that's what makes it so powerful.

We've done other quickie BricaBoxes, like the ResistorSource, which lists great food and drink venues near NYCResistor (also handy for BarCampNYC and PodCampNYC which happen nearby as well). When you're working with locations you can just add the google maps module, and all the places will appear on the map automatically. It's pretty freaking cool.

As BricaBox grows, Nate and his team will be making more modules that let you do even more with BricaBoxes at lightning speed. I'm really looking forward to seeing where the next few months take them as they focus on UI and functionality and a few big projects give them the opportunity to develop new modules.

For now, take a look at the April Fools Joke Sites BricaBox and add any gags you've discovered!