Category Archives: Hardware Hacks

Insulators on a Plane!

Well, at least it’s not snakes. Then we’d need Samuel L. Jackson. Fortunately, for carrying insulators, all we need is a quality case and some foam.

Getting back into insulator collecting in 2016, I quickly started traveling to shows all over the US. Since I still have a day job (have to pay for all the glass somehow, you know), frequently the only way to get to shows on the east and west coasts in a timely manner is to fly. Unfortunately fragile century-old glass artifacts and airline baggage systems aren’t exactly a good match. So, before flying to my first Springfield, Ohio, show, I designed a carrying case to safely transport ~18 insulators as airline baggage and still stay under the 50 pound weight limit.

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Defeating that Screensaver While Working at Home

Defeating the corporate screen lock while working at home is just one little Arduino away…

Corporate IT enforces an inactivity timeout and a password lock on my laptop. That’s fine and responsible if I’m out in the world, but it’s really stupid and irritating if I’m stuck working at home for weeks on end – such as right now. There’s no great threat to corporate security in my house. Worst case the cats walk over the keyboard at night and delete some stuff I don’t have in version control yet.

I’ve been fighting it for the last week by looking over periodically and whacking the trackpad when I see i try to go to sleep, but I realized if I could just emulate small, harmless mouse movements, I could do the same thing. I mean I am an embedded developer, after all. However, I have real work to do, so I didn’t want to spend a couple days hammering it out.

Arduino to the rescue!

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