HI and HP

(Home Improvement and Harry Potter)

The Parents came for a visit this past weekend. Dad and I got quite a bit of work done on two projects: a) in the kitchen, we finished converting a window seat into a cabinet with sliding doors; and b) we started putting some bookshelves on the walls in the loft. I finished painting the cabinet last night, and I think we can finally call that one officially Done. On the shelves, all that’s left is to secure the boards to the brackets .. I’ll pick up some screws and (hopefully) finish that off tonight. Can’t wait to get all the books around the house properly put away .. although, even with 24 feet of added book storage capacity, we’ll still need more shelves. Anyway, both projects look great .. pictures coming soon-ish. Thanks for the help, Dad! 🙂

Also this weekend, went for a couple bike rides. I need to find and reattach that little spedometer/odometer deal to see how far I’ve been riding.

In other-other news, I just finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince book .. not a bad story. Eagerly awaiting the next one now (and the movies). I’m finding myself less and less impressed with her writing style though .. but hey, I’m just an engineer. Speaking of, I went all-out nerdy again and read all but the first four chapters in digital form. We do own a legit hardcopy, so this should be legal. Even if the source of the softcopy is somewhat questionable. It would’ve taken me much longer to finish if I’d only had access to the large clumsy dead-tree edition. And now that I’ve read it I can go back and read all those blog posts and things labeled with ***WARNING*** ***SPOILER*** ( I can be a bit anal about that type of thing ;-))

Yesterday I picked up one of those cheap camcorders from CVS .. apparently they’re “quite hackable”:http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2005/08/cvs_camcorder_u.html 😀

It’s supposed to be a one-time-use/disposable digital camcorder. You buy it for $30, record 20 minutes of video, return it and pay another ~$10 for a DVD of what you recorded. You, the consumer, are supposed to depend on the store to get your data off the camera.


As shown in the MAKE article linked above, it is possible to eliminate the middle man (and the DVD). Just solder on a USB cable and download away … From the looks of this thing, it might be possible to attach a cable without removing the case — there’s a little sticker that says “Camera must be returned to CVS for DVD”. Under that sticker is a slot where the PCB is exposed and there are 10 pins showing. Four of these are USB Data+/-, +5V and Ground.

But that’ll have to wait .. because we’re off to Michigan tomorrow! Well, first we’re off to Houston tonight .. and from there, Michigan. whee