Author Spotlight: Frenzy



Gregg Horton, known around the site as frenzy, is Instructables' QA Engineer. He is our testing overlord! When he's not testing all the things, he makes lots of neat stuff. From twitter coffee pots to musical underpants to improvised gas masks, he's got it covered. You should really have a look at his whole catalog of instructables - he has so many quirky and fun projects! :D

How did you first discover Instructables? Were you an author before you worked here?

I first discovered instructables i'm pretty sure through google continually searching "How To X" but i also was exposed through adafruit and Make given that i was just starting learning how to solder and build electronics. I was an author for a while before applying for an internship, i had about 9 projects. A year before applying i set an intention that i wanted to work at instructables so i made sure to beef up my profile with the stuff i was working on. I guess it worked! ;-)

Which of your instructables projects is your favorite?

hmm, i'd have to say the one that i'm most proud of given the amount of work through and time it took to make would have to be the tweet-a-pot. The concept was about 4 months old before i actually implemented it and went through a lot of different ways to get a computer to give me coffee. It is also a project that allowed me to flex some coding skills as well as work with hardware. In a close second would be my "BP Oil Spill Clean Up Worker Costume" which was so fun to make, and to shoot the final photos for, and it was also very timely.

You've published instructables of all different types - what are your favorite sorts of projects to build and document?

I really enjoy my electronics projects as sort of milestones in what i can progress in, but the food ones always have a great finished product that i can share with anyone.

When did you first get started with electronics and arduino? What was your first project?

My first start with electronics was wanting to build my own mp3 player in high school, i didn't get that far but the idea of it sparked something. It wasn't until i met Mitch Altman at the Musicians and Electronics swap meet in berkeley where he got me very excited. He was selling kits of his flagship product the "TV-B-GONE" which i had heard of through Adbusters years back but never bought one. I got the kit, and that day went to radio shack and got a soldering iron. That pretty much shot me into electronics world and made me buy almost all the adafruit kits and as a result wanting to try arduino. luckily i have a good friend Jerky who is much more talented in electronics than i, so this results in me asking him weird questions when i get stuck on a project, he actually supplied the horns for my first instructable "Car Horn On A Bike"

Is there anyone or anything that has been particularly influential towards your work?

I would have to say Mitch Altman as someone who is able to not only do what he loves but help others around the world do the same thing. The most inspiring element of my creativity is the instructables lab, without the constant barrage of impossible ideas made possible, i don't know where i'd be.

Do you have any ugly duckling/too crazy/complete failure projects that will never see the light of day on Instructables?

I don't really reject a project outright, one project i've never been able to consistently put together an instructable on is my mobile music cart i lovingly call the "iRiot" which has been know to be dragged to various protests in oakland/berkeley and has such features as remote mics, radio station, and cell phone charging. It is currently in disrepair, but a rebuild would make a great instructable. i'd really like to document the work that goes into building a sound cart out of found parts.

Are we going to see any instructables starring bacon anytime soon?

Hmm we will see, but i'm pretty sure bacon is on its way out. Kale is the New Bacon. :D