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i am a beginner and i want to learn how to be as good at making crap as you guys are.... my house has no materials whatsoever and even if it did, i wouldnt be able to make the stuff on this site.... how do you practice for this stuff? help please!!!!

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Dr. No (author)2006-11-10

If you want to learn about electronics and soldering, buy a kit that comes with a printed ciruit board and a soldering iron and instructions. Heres an excellent one http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/science/8546/ If you want to get into making other stuff, subscribe to Make.

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Dr. No (author)2006-11-10

If you want to learn about electronics and soldering, buy a kit that comes with a printed ciruit board and a soldering iron and instructions. Heres an excellent one http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/science/8546/ If you want to get into making other stuff, subscribe to Make.

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FrenchCrawler (author)2006-11-09

My answer is much like the others, if you want to learn something and have access to the internet (if not, hit the books), do some research (or find some free programs that will help teach you) and learn how stuff works. I don't know too much about electronics, so when someone (hybrid_syper) suggested using "multisim 9" to learn, I found a free 45-day trail and downloaded it to practice on...
Here's the link again (in case you're interested):
http://www.electronicsworkbench.com/products/proprod_dl.html

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mikesty (author)2006-11-08

Well people always ask me, "Mike Sty, how did you ever become so good at making computers?" My serious response is that I got to know how they work by reparing them, by taking them apart and exploring them. This same method will let you become very good at creating stuff. Just start out by playing with simple stuff and seeing how you can tweak it before you start to build something brand spanking new. If you lack materials, start with software on your computer. Make it faster, pimp it out. Crack it open and take a look at everything. Basically, just allow yourself a lot of room to explore and you'll be like "Wow, I just mastered system architechture the simple way." A lot of people profess that knowledge is contained in books and books alone. This is not true at all. If you hate to read books to learn things, then figure them out for yourself. For example, the A+ Comp Tech cert book was ~900 pages of material. I know probably 90+% of the material in the book just through basic study on my own. I've never taken the test, I'm sure I could pass without ever cracking open the book, but I figure I ought to know the nuances the book wants me to know. But disregarding the nuances, and in a strictly practical sense, you can teach yourself to be a very streetwise engineer of sorts, a MacGyver if you will, by just giving yourself rooom to play. Find some old electronics to play with :) Make something like a Skype phone :D That's where beauty lies, making something out of what was just considered nothing. If I was rich as hell and had all the resources in the world, I could piss away the fun in life by just buying everything I needed, but there is a distinct pleasure to actually creating and making something with very little. Not always the best or even the safest, but fun.

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trebuchet03 (author)2006-11-08

That is the question every designer has -- what am I going to make?

Typically - things you make are solutions to problems and your constraints are the materials you have (and cost :P). In some cases, your solution has no problem -- it's a problem seeking a solution.

As for materials -- most of us have the same problem (ditto for special tools). You might want to read up on how to recycle (readymade magazine has some cool things inside). You'll be surprised at how much "raw" material is hiding in soda bottles, old bed frames, etc. etc. The trick is finding a good use for it :)


Is there a project in particular you want to make?

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fungus amungus (author)2006-11-08

Decide on something you want to learn and research it.

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