I bought another Android smart phone on EBay to use on Ting Mobile. This one was a Samsung Galaxy S2 "Epic 4G Touch" SPH-D710. All excited, I looked in the phone information screen to get the MEID serial number, and entered it into the new phone activation screen on the Ting website. Ting told me it couldn't activate a Boost Mobile clam shell phone. What the phreak?!?!
I got a Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G SPH-D710 (Android smart phone) to use on Ting Mobile, a Sprint MVNO reseller with excellent service and prices. (Get $25 off using my referral code.)
There are a number of methods for getting root access into the phone documented on the Web, because the specific method changed over time during the popular life of the phone. Of course, I bought it for cheap after its useful life expectancy was past, so I'm documenting the final method that applies, as of December 2013.
I had a metal-clad rubber hose which came from a hand-held water nozzle (either from a shower or a sink faucet; I forget which). The hose is about 5 feet (~ 1.5 m) long, and the metal housing is chrome-plated. The connectors on each end are brass, but they did not match up with any common U.S. pipe fittings I had in my junk pile. It still seemed like a pretty nice hose, too nice to throw out.
I recently acquired a small air compressor from the Habitat For Humanity ReStore. It is not very fast, but it is very quiet. Anyone who has used an air compressor understands that quiet is nice.
It is pretty old. It was made by DeVilbiss, with an Ingersol-Rand pump head. It doesn't have a date on it, but the label on it says "Toledo 1, Ohio", which means it was probably made in the 1950s, or 1960s at the latest (before ZIP codes).
Over the years I have accumulated a growing pile of pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, and other miscellaneous small tools. It long ago outgrew the little toolbox I have, turning into more of a tool pile or perhaps a tool dumping ground. I needed a new, bigger toolbox. Having recently built some new toys, namely a bending brake and spot welder, I knew I needed to build my own toolbox.
I wanted to make some metal boxes and trays. I have plenty of scrap sheet metal from things like old PC cases and microwave ovens. I already built a sheet metal bending brake. Now I just need a way to fasten parts together. Something easier than drilling a bunch of holes and screwing or pop-riveting. Something less messy than soldering or glueing. Something where I can just magically zap the parts and have them stick together instantly. Eureka! Spot welding. Time to dig through Google. And the trash can.
I got a new pen plotter recently, an HP 7585B. New to me, of course-- this thing was built around 1987.
I have wanted a larger printer for a while, for printing sheet metal designs and similar miscellaneous uses. Of course I can print on regular 8x11-inch letter-size paper or 14-inch legal-size paper, cut the unprintable margins, and tape pages together, trying to get them straight. That, my friends, is annoying.
According to the backyard foundry experts, the most useful casting metal that's even easier to melt than aluminum is zinc. It melts around 420°C/800°F, so you can even melt it on a hot stove. It casts harder than aluminum for better wear, and zinc/aluminum alloys can approach cast iron in strength and durability. Sounds great! All you have to do is buy some nice clean zinc ingots, and... Whoa nelly, what?! Buy ingots? I'm way too cheap-@$$ frugal for that. We're going to melt our own. Easy as pie, right? Turns out that melting zinc is easy. Cleaning it? Not quite so much.
I've always liked XMMS as a music player program on Linux. It had enough features, but the basic interface was always simple enough to just work. Unfortunately, it is not maintained any longer, and in my latest Ubuntu upgrade to version 8.10, I found it was no longer included or supported.
The XMMS project continued with a successor, XMMS2, but it is much more than just a simple audio player. I looked at it and got lost fairly quickly. I just wanted something simple like the original XMMS.
I built a stylish energy-efficient desk lamp, entirely from scratch. I have always enjoyed Art Deco and Machine Age industrial styling, and was inspired to use it for the lamp when my son and I were watching Batman, the Animated Series. A desk lamp worthy of Wayne Manor was in order.
We had a short power outage, and when the power resumed, the fan in our iMac (intel core duo) was stuck on full speed. It sounded like a jet plane. I waited a minute or two for it to slow down, but it didn't stop. Even rebooting didn't affect it.
After some Internet searching, I found that there is a chip which controls the fans, which can get stuck like this. Fortunately it can be reset also.
Here is my crazy aviator costume from Halloween 2008. I was inspired by a recent steampunk ornithopter picture.
I made the aviator helmet using a leather jacket from the thrift store and the goggles from last year's explorer costume. I made the pattern for the helmet by taping newspaper to my head. Then I cut out pieces from the jacket to match and sewed them together. The copper buckle is household solid electrical wire.
Here is my crazy explorer costume from Halloween 2007. I was inspired by old pictures of European explorers from the late 19th and early 20th century. Finishing touches included a pith helmet with goggles, a latern with a working flashlight in it, and a ridiculously oversized gun.