House of Hacks

Friday, April 26, 2019

How To Make Gardening Tools At Home: Long Dibber


Description

Interested in how to make gardening tools at home? Need a seedling planter for your garden? Want to make a simple DIY project for your gardening enthusiast? In this episode in the House of Hacks series' on DIY gardening tools, Harley shows how to make a long dibber, also known as a dibbler.

Springtime is upon us and making homemade gardening tools can be an easy workshop project for either yourself or a loved one. The dibber is an especially easy-to-make DIY tool to help plant seeds and seedlings that requires minimal tools and time and is particularly suited for kids and beginners. These simple tools make great gifts for the gardener in your life.

Inspired by this Charles Dowding video and his website.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How To Make Gardening Tools At Home: Long Dibber

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"
Incidental: "The Whip"

Transcript

Need a dibber to plant seedlings in your garden?

Want to make a simple DIY for your gardening enthusiast?

With spring coming upon us, we're going to make a long dibber out of this rake handle.

The dibber is an ancient tool that's been around since Roman times. It's also called a dibbler, with an L in it and it's used to plant seeds and seedlings.

It's a simple tool to make and we're just going to be using a belt sander primarily, after sawing off a piece of this wood for another project.

Hi and Welcome! If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we use our God-given creative skills, talents and interests to make things here in the shop out of materials like metal, electronics, photography and in this case, wood.

In a future episode, I'm going to make another gardening tool out of this cut off that I just took from the longer rake handle.

If you're interested in something like that, hit the Subscribe button and then hit the bell notification icon and YouTube will let you know next time that video is released.

I've got the rake handle here with the end cut off for a future project and I'm just going to mark about a hand width's circle all the way around this piece to give me a guide line to work from.

And now I'm going to use the belt sander to just grind down to the line and make a rounded point on the end.

This was about 10 minutes worth of grinding on the belt sander here and I'm going to put a coat of oil on it to kind of seal it and that can be reapplied each year as needed to kind of keep the toxicity down rather than trying to use Varathane or some other synthetic material like that.

Well that's a simple tool that should be useful for years to come.

I've got some veggies to plant and while I do that, YouTube has some videos over here that it thinks you'll enjoy.

And remember when making things...

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!

Friday, April 12, 2019

How To Find Lost Camera (Digital) - Use pet tags (Part 3)


Description

Ever lost a camera or other photo gear? Looking for ideas for how to find lost camera (digital)? This is the third in a series where Harley shows ideas that can help a lost camera find its way back home. These travel tips and hacks can help someone who has found a lost camera return it to you.

Engraved pet tags on Amazon (Affiliate link)

Other videos in this series.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to Subtract In Binary Using 2'S Complement

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Have you ever lost your camera gear?

Are you looking for ideas about how to recover your camera gear if it ever does get lost?

Today at the House of Hacks, I'm going to show you a strategy to help your camera gear find its way home if it gets lost.

I belong to a local photography Facebook group and occasionally people in that group will find camera gear that was left at popular shooting locations. Generally what happens is the person that finds the gear will post where it was found and who to contact to get the gear back. And many times the owner is a member of the group, sees the post and is able to get their equipment back.

Inspired by these posts this is the third in a series of ideas to help you get your camera gear back if it ever gets lost. The other ideas can be found in the videos in this playlist.

Hi! If we're just meeting, welcome I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we talk about workshop related items. Things made out of wood metal electronics and other things of that nature.

Today we're talking about photography gear.

The previous two tips were a bit on the technical side and required knowledge of the finder to go look for the information and they only worked for your camera and memory cards.

Today's tip is less technical and more obvious for the finder.

And it's this: go get pet tags for your gear.

You can go down to your local pet store and they have engraving machines where you can have anything engraved on little tags. You can then put these tags on your camera gear. At a minimum you probably want one for your camera and your bag but you can get one for any gear that you want to put it on. However you can't put much information on them. Just your name, phone number and maybe an email address.

Another place to get them is on Amazon they have a bunch of different vendors with a bunch of different styles. I'll leave an affiliate link below to a search query showing those different options.

I'd love to hear in the comments below if you have any strategies you use for identifying your equipment.

And remember it's a great idea to use a multi-pronged approach to identifying your gear. For example this way, while it helps for a lot of your gear, doesn't work for memory cards.

I'll see you in one of these videos that YouTube thinks you'll enjoy.

And when making things, remember, perfection's not required. Fun is!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

How Computers Work: Binary And Data


Description

In the Bits of Binary twos-complement video, Christopher Mast asked "what do you do about the fact that all the binary numbers you're listing in the negative are assigned to trigger special characters and foreign letters?" That's a great question and today at the House of Hacks, Harley will talk about how computers work binary and data.

References:

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How Computers Work: Binary And Data

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

In the comments on the recent video about subtraction using twos complement, Christopher Mast asked a great question:

"what do you do about the fact that all the binary numbers you're listing in the negative are assigned to trigger special characters and foreign letters?"

This is a great question!

I gave a brief answer but wasn’t terribly satisfied with it.

So in this video, I’m going to dive a bit on how computers use numbers to represent all the different types of data that they work with.

By the way, Christopher has a great channel called “Legion of Weirdos” where he covers topics for your party time conversation so you don’t have to talk about your day job. Check it out.

At their core, computers just work with binary numbers.

As we saw in the Bits of Binary series, we went from 0 to 255 with 8 bits and that's all zeros to all ones with only 8 zeros or ones.

As computers got newer and more bits were added, each time they doubled the number of bits, from 8 in the old computers to 16 on some newer ones and they can count all the way up to 65535.

Adding more bits to 32 bit, again doubling, it can count all the way to 4 billion.

And with 64 bits it can count all the way to 16 billion billion, or an exabyte.

But in the end, they're all just positive integer numbers from zero to all ones, depending on how many ones there are.

So, how does the computer deal with characters?

Or negative numbers?

Floating point numbers?

Or any kind of data for that matter?

This is the topic for this video.

But first, if we’re just meeting, I’m Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we use our God-given skills, interests and talents to make things in the workshop out of things like wood, metal and electronics.

Part of making new things is understanding how old things work and so that’s why we’re looking at computers so we can have better understanding for future projects.

The most basic answer to Christopher’s question is: everything in a computer is just a positive number and we use those positive integers in different ways, with different mappings, depending on context.

Let’s get into some examples.

As we've discussed, computers only deal with binary numbers, in this case 8 bits, from 0 to 255, all zeros to all ones.

When a programmer wants to use numbers in this range, they just define the memory as unsigned and when they do that, the computer will treat 0 as 0, 1 as 1, all the way up to all 1s as 255.

When a programmer needs negative numbers, then they define the memory as being signed, and when they do that, the computer will treat all binary numbers that start with 0 as positive integers from 0 to 127 and it will treat all numbers starting with 1 as negative numbers from -1 to -128.

And as long as the programmer maintains this context of treating these numbers as signed then everything works out just fine.

Now, let’s look at characters.

In the early days of computers, there were a number of different ways of treating characters inside the computer.

At the end of the day, the one that ultimately won out is something called ASCII.

And it breaks down the numbers into groups of 32.

0 to 31 are what are called control characters and these were used in the early mechanical input devices to physically control the input. Things like moving the carriage to the beginning of the line and ringing a bell for the operator notification. Things of this nature. They start out with 0 as null and continue down to 31 for special characters.

The next group of 32 was for special characters and numbers. It started with space being defined to 32, exclamation point, quote, hashtag, the numbers were in the middle here, and at the end at 63 was a question mark.

The next group of 32 were the capital letters. It started with an "at" sign at 64, capital A was 65, capital B was 66, capital C was 67 and so forth down to 95 which was the underscore character.

And the final group of 32 were the lowercase characters. It started with a back accent character, "a," "b," "c" being defined as 97, 98 and 99, continuing on down to 127 which was treated as a delete character.

Now to get to Christopher’s point, the extended character set came in later and it defined numbers from 128 to 255, which happens to correspond to the negative numbers that we saw in the twos-complement video.

These characters are things like an "a" with an umlaut over it or "u" with an umlaut over it for foreign languages and special line drawing things on CRT screens.

The way the computer differentiates between whether it should treat it as these special extended ASCII characters or a negative number is basically just the context of what the computer programmer has told that memory should be treated as.

Whether it should be treated as a signed number, in which case they're negative numbers, or whether it should be treated as a character in which case they're part of the extended ASCII sequence.

So it's really just the context that defines how these numbers are being defined and mapped, and how they're ultimately being used.

And any kind of data in your computer really is treated the same way.

Floating points are just ultimately numbers that have special meaning assigned to them when they're told that the context is floating point numbers.

And any other data is the same way.

For example, this video that you're watching, the audio and the video that you're seeing are just numbers inside your computer that are being displayed on your screen and output through your audio devices.

If this sounds confusing, occasionally it is, but generally it’s not too bad. Context is a real good indicator of what's going on.

And it’s not completely without precedence. Consider spoken language.

Here's a combination of letters in English that has two meanings, the same spelling and different pronunciations.

It could be "minute" meaning a unit of time or "minute" meaning a small amount.

And here's another combination of symbols. The same three letters.

But if you're in English it means one thing.

If you're speaking Spanish it means something else.

And if you're in trig and math, it means yet a third thing.

Same symbols, different meanings, different contexts.

Thanks again Christopher for the great question and don’t forget to check out his channel up here in the cards.

Also up there in the cards is a link to the Bits of Binary playlist if you're interested in a deeper dive into binary number systems and over here are some videos that YouTube thinks you'll be interested in.

I'll see you there and in the mean time, remember when making things...

Perfection's not required. Fun is!