Help setting promoted items

I've been trying to set my best instructables lately, but it seems to be broken. All I have is a forever saving screen and it doesn't set my promoted items! I've seen that others also have this problem too. Can someone help with this?Thank you

Question by zakbobdop 


How to communication between arduino and computer? Answered

I am working on Fleet management and this with my project There are three possible states for the device which we need to implement (Off, Running, Configuration, Factory Settings) There should be a button to change the device status (only one button please). If the device is already off, pressing this button should bring the device in running mode. If the device is on, pressing this button for 5 seconds should bring the device in configuration mode If the device is in configuration mode, pressing the button for 5 seconds should restart the device, and pressing the button 3 times should set the variables to default values. If the device is on, pressing the button for 10 seconds turn of the device When the device is in configuration mode, we should be able to plug the device with a computer using USB. The device should start sending it's internal APN code with a specific sequence e.g. TRRT as soon as it sends this code to the computer, it should wait for response from the computer. The computer can sends back the code TRRT or no response. When the device receives TRRT, it should match the IMMI it sent and the IMMI it received. If both matched, then it should wait for settings: The computer will send data as TRRT where varname is e.g. APN, USERNAME, PASSWORD, URL, POLL_INTERVAL etc. the value after first : is the the value of the variable. The device should save these values to SD or it's internal memory immediately. Now press the button for 5 seconds, the device should restart and straight away enter into running mode. Now the device should connect to server using and sends GPS location and speed every interval set by the POLL_INTERVAL variable. Let's achieve this first, I'll add more functionality once we're done with this. Thanks,

Question by SulemanC   |  last reply


School Project - Arduino Personal Locator Beacon

Hi All, I'm currently in Year 12, undertaking my major design project.I have chosen to design and produce an emergency survival kit that comes with an in-built personal locator beacon. The personal locator beacon must have the capability of transmitting geolocation data to emergency services for atleast 72 hours. It must be able to work in remote areas.I have purchased a range of parts in order to help create this project, of which, I will list below.- Arduino Uno r3 Development Board- Arduino compatible Long Range LoRa Shield- Arduino Compatible GPS Receiver Module- 2600mAg Metallic Power Bank- 5/5.8GHz 5dBi Wireless Networking AntennaI have been experimenting with Ardunio & Components for a while and now understand the basics. I have managed to get the GPS module to work and receive geolocation data. However, I have only been able to do this when the Arduino is plugged in and powered by a computer. For my project, I need to be able to send geolocation data to a specific source, whilst on the go, in remote areas.I plan to power my components by using a portable power pack (similar to a portable phone charger), however, I am unsure of how to program the gps module to send geolocation data to the long range shield, which will then send the geolcationd data to emergency services (it can be a proof of concept but it needs to be communicated to something such as a cell phone or a radio frequency).I would really appreciate any advice or information that can help me develop this project or point me in the right direction. Kind Regards,Adam

Topic by awsomeclone2218   |  last reply


USB to Arduino USB Wirelessly?

I am currently working on a robot that has a deadline in about a week, and so far, there is only one problem we haven't solved yet: Communicating with it without a wired connection. Currently, we have a program on a desktop send the Arduino the gcode via USB cable. What we would like to do, is send that information without actually having it connected with a wire. Originally, we were going to have a Bluetooth module connected to the arduino directly, and have the desktop program communicate with it. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we haven't managed to get it working, and would like to move onto plan B: communicate through the USB port, and essentially leave the Arduino untouched.  I did a little googling, and I wasn't able to figure out very much on Bluetooth dongle -> Bluetooth -> USB that was actually positive and helpful. Currently, we have a few HC06 bluetooth modules lying around, as well as a few spare Arduinos. I was thinking of connecting one of the modules to another arduino, connect that arduino to the robot's arduino, and communicate with the first arduino via the bluetooth. Essentially, the first arduino would be an interface for the second one. Would this work? How would I go about doing it? In short: What would the best method to communicate between a PC and the USB port of an Arduino wirelessly be? Anything helpful is always appreciated, thanks!

Topic by RocketPenguin   |  last reply


Positions available at Instructables (October 19, 2018)

Working at InstructablesIf you don't see an open position that fits you, please don't hesitate to drop us a line and say hi. We are always actively building our network of curious, creative talent with a passion for making. To introduce yourself, please send your cover letter and resume to auctoramentum at instructables dot com with a fun, robot-related subject line

Topic by ewilhelm 


Gerber AR600

I am “resurrecting” an AR600 that I bought new in 1996. Been an issue using it over the years using the original Composer and ArtPath software, but managed by maintaining the XP software on an old computer; the last effort with WIN7 and a Virtual Machine - but no more - communication errors etc. are too much of a problem. I thought it was the AR600 control board, but had that checked out and it is all OK. I came across this website and perhaps someone can offer some suggestions on how to accomplish this.  Maybe I can get rid of that “ARC Station” and go with something that will run off of WIN7? (32 bit and/or 64 bit) Times and technology has changed muchly, so I look forward to hearing your suggestions…regards…Dave

Topic by S1gntist 


Tessel: a new quick-prototyping microcontroller, programmable in JS

I haven't been very active on Instructables lately because I've been a part of starting a company (technical.io)! I thought the Instructables community would want to see: Tessel is an internet-connected microcontroller programmable in JavaScript that enables developers to extend the reach of the web to physical things. Since Tessel is compatible with Node.js and leverages the Node Package Manager, adding additional capabilities is as easy as plugging in a Tessel module and npm installing its firmware. Get Tessel and start making smart, internet connected devices! We have eight days left of crowdfunding: http://www.dragoninnovation.com/projects/22-tessel, so you can see our whole story there. Since Instructables still has a claim on my heart, you've got an open line to me if you have any questions. Miss you! Selkeymoonbeam

Topic by SelkeyMoonbeam 


Marketing critique requested. How would you SEO/adwords my business? Answered

Hello Everyone. I love this community, as its helped me out a number of times in the past year. So I got to thinking, perhaps there are a few social media/SEO folks lurking about.... I build Musical Furniture, and have for quite some time. I've used adwords, art festivals, physical post cards, and the most successful... youtube videos (over 200,000 views). Currently, I only use a website, etsy as a store, youtube hits, and mailchimp to manage about 1200 newsletter readers. I was wanting to do more. I was dreaming of a flexible adwords campaign that could help me in slow times. I'm a one man shop and tired of uneven orders. I'm open to any and all critique. Let me have it. Http://www.musicalfurnishings.com Thanks! Tor  

Question by torclausen   |  last reply


"I Made It" Pixlr photo contest for Maker Month

Hey there! I work alongside the Instructables folks in our Pier 9 office as the community manager for Pixlr, a photo app that you may or may not be familiar with. Actually, the Instructables site uses Pixlr, so if you've submitted an Instructable, you have probably used our photo editor.  We know that the Instructables community LOVES contests, so I wanted to pass along this contest that is dead-simple to enter. We're celebrating Maker Month at Pixlr with a slightly Instructables-themed hashtag contest. You can read all about it on our site for the contest, but I will lay out the major details if you are interested in entering:  Take a photo of anything you've made.  Edit it in any Pixlr app (e.g., Pixlr Express). Tag photos with two tags — #imadeit #pixlrcontest — on Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Facebook. That's it. Super simple to enter. In fact, if you've ever submitted an Instructable, I encourage you to enter it in our contest by editing one of your Instructables photos with a Pixlr app and posting it with the hashtags so we can find it.  We're giving away 7 prizes through the end of May, and all winners get to pick a prize from this batch of fun prizes on our contest site: imadeitpixlrcontest.com. Lots of photo-friendly and just cool stuff on there, so you're bound to find something you like.  Happy to answer any questions you have, and I hope you join us for this fun little contest. 

Topic by supereric   |  last reply


What soldering station do I get?

Ok, all, I've got a good one for you, and I'm sure all the diehard fans are gonna come out of the woodwork.  I've been looking for some time for a decent soldering station that I can start doing PCB/fine work with.  I used to have a Weller digital rework station a long time ago, but don't know what might be good now.  I've gotten back into doing small work, such as SMC, XBee, Arduino, rework, and the like, almost all on a very small scale, and I've pushed the Radio Shack special I've got to the limit, and managed to brick two routers. I need to know your opinions, on stations ranging up to $300 (preferably around $100 to $200), that would be good for me.  I know that this is more than likely going to upset many in the 'ible community, being willing to spend that much, but when I get started doing some of this major device hacking, I'm going to start putting my stuff up here.  I'm looking forward to a lot of cool stuff, but can't get it done without the right tools.  There are too many different stations out there, and not enough reviews, especially after searching for nearly a month.  Can anyone help?

Topic by tmoore4748   |  last reply


Enter the Snap, Style & Share Photo Competition

Hey there. I'm the community manager for Pixlr. Wanted to tell you about a contest that might interest you.  We recently launched a contest that celebrates not just taking photos — but editing them, too. It’s a contest that’s perfect for students, but just about anyone between the ages of 13 and 24 can enter. We’ll be giving away some great prizes like an iPad, an iPad mini, and an Olloclip iPhone lens (among many others). The contest is called Snap, Style & Share, and that’s about all you have to do to enter: Snap a photo with your smartphone or camera. Style it in Pixlr Express to improve and enhance it. Share the before and after photos on the contest site — and anywhere and everywhere else that you think will give you a leg up on the competition. Everyone will vote for their favorite photos, with a panel of judges choosing the ultimate winners from a big batch of popular finalists. We’ll be tracking (and showing off) some of the top photos here on the Pixlr blog in the coming weeks, as well as some of the more interesting ones that catch our eye. Whether you’re a serious student of design, someone who loves exercising their creativity, or just someone with some great photos sitting on their phone from summer vacation, this is a fun and easy contest to enter. So, enter now!

Topic by supereric 


Is it possible/can anyone explain how to transmit a USB signal through an "Ethernet over power" system.

OK, so we have seen "Ethernet over power" devices. In my home there is one with the "BT Vision" (its a UK thing). But I was wondering, does the input protocol of the signal in, allow you to send your own signal? I can understand if it can only send discreet digital signals, so analogue is probably out of the question. I'm sure you are all wondering what I mean. Well although my idea is for something completely different, involving a camera, and a mains powered reloading BB gun, I will appeal to the SPY cam enthusiasts, who are often very clever with lots of ingenuity. So you somehow manage to secrete a Spy-cam in somebodies stereo. How do you access the video? well there are 2 ways. one is to store is locally, this is limited by how bigger storage you can afford, and the limit of the device. The ones I know are normally limited at 4GB or so.  The other way is to use my suggested way, locate the AC input of the Stereo, implant the AC part of the "Ethernet over power" onto it, then plug the USB device into the Ethernet part.(probably with some kind of mods). Then at the computer in question, connect the output to your computer, there is bound to be a 5v supply inside the stereo, but if not, there are plenty of 5v regulators available. what does the community think?

Question by evildoctorbluetooth   |  last reply


Quick rundown various Linux and BSD operating systems:

1.  Debian - one of the older base distributions and currently one of the most popular.  Uses the "apt" package manager for software installation.  Excellent server distribution. 2.  Fedora - the free community edition of Red Hat Linux.  Sponsored by Red Hat Linux.  Uses the "rpm" package manager for software installation. 3.  openSuse - sponsored by Novell, originally developed largely in Europe. 4.  Mageia - fork of an older distribution called Mandriva Linux. 5.  PCLinuxOS - also a fork of Mandriva.  Looks to provide out-of-the-box support for graphics and sound cards. 6.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) - based on Fedora, RHEL includes many enterprise-level enhancements and is supported Red Hat corporation. 7.  CentOS Linux - free enterprise-grade operating system that is built from the same source code as RHEL without the proprietary enhancements or support from Red Hat.  8.  Puppy - very small Linux operating system that boots the OS and applications completely into RAM.  Can operate on older computer equipment.  Excellent for use in emergencies and to recover data from hard drives. 9.  FreeBSD - operating system that is based on BSD code. 10.  Ubuntu Linux - easy to use operating system that is based on Debian Linux.  Supported by the Canonical corporation.  Ubuntu means "humanity to others".  Excellent server distribution. 11.  Linux Mint - currently one of the most popular distributions, based on Ubuntu Linux.  Looks to provides complete experience by including browser plugins and media codecs (ie: Flash) upon installation.  Excellent desktop distribution.  Also comes in lightweight editions for older hardware 12.  NetBSD - based on BSD code.  Can be run on a wide range of hardware.  Currently there are 57 different hardware architectures that can run NetBSD. 13.  OpenBSD - based on BSD code.  Source code built from the ground up with security first and foremost as the goal.  Ships "secure by default", that is, all non-essential services are disabled.  OpenBSD has embedded cryptography throughout the operating system; it utilizes OpenSSH, Pseudo Number Random Generators, cryptographic hash functions, cryptographic transforms and crypto hardware support. 14.  ClearOS - server and network distro designed for small businesses.  Based on Red Hat Linux.  Web-based interface controls anti-virus, anti-spam, VPN, content filtering, bandwidth manager, file services, SMTP services, print services, SSL certification, and web services. 15.  Kali Linux - distro that specializes in penetration testing and security auditing.  Over 300 penetration testing tools.  Based on Debian Linux. 16.  Lubuntu - lightweight version of Ubuntu Linux for older computers and netbooks. 17.  Gentoo - highly customizable distro that uses a package system called portage written in Python.  Mascot is Larry the Cow.

Topic by matt392   |  last reply


hi!Mood is still naked!

hi!Mood is a wi-fi device which generates led patterns and plays music in sync with your mood. It plays the tracks which best fit how you feel directly from stereomood.com, associating to each song the coolest and most appropriate RGB led pattern matching your mood. You can interact with hi!Mood through a mobile app interface so that hi!Mood focuses only on what it can do best: playing music and generating colored light patterns matching your mood! hi!Mood is being developed by A-Pole, a mobile application development studio which is creating innovative mobile apps to know more about the world around you and interact simply with everyday electronic objects. A hi!Mood prototype was hacked together by A-Pole during Hackitaly 2012 (more info). A-Pole is taking care of the electronic core, the design is Desall business! Desall is a crowdsourcing platform that, through design contests, connects companies and private clients with a worldwide community of creative talents. Every designer can sign up for free and participate. If you are a creative or a designer, we ask you to imagine and design the hi!Mood case: it must contain the controller board (maximum length and width of an Arduino Mega2560 PCB are 4 and 2.1 inches respectively), emit led patterns and play music through a speaker. If you manage to combine style with functionality, proposing a uniquely cool product design there is a big prize for you! Check the brief to know more about technical requirements, conditions and submission deadline. Link contest Good luck! May the best designer win. Acknowledgements: A-Pole, Arduino, Desall, Hackitaly, Openpicus, Stereomood.

Topic by Desall 


How do you thin client ubuntu?

Well, I have a computer running ubuntu 10.04 that I want to use as a server for a sun ray 1g thin client. If I can get it to work with your help I will get another client. I have a user set up for the thin client named test with the password as test. The thin client is hooked up to my network and has the ip 192.168.1.110 and when I turn it on the little box on the screen says the ip and that it found one server but then it fails and has a yellow message at the bottom that it cant find a server. When I open terminal server client in ubuntu on my server computer and type in the ip address, user name, and password it gets an error. What else do I need? it says domain, client hostname, and protocol file (they are all empty) Do I need to install any other software? Thin client manager gives me nothing since I cant get connected. I do have the thing that starts with like ltps or something like that installed through terminal. If I type in the ip address of the server in it will open up a window with ubuntu in it. I believe it is in a program called xpst or something like that. I dont know exactly but I found it in instructables here.  it also says 27b in the bottom left corner and 100f ofer something that looks like a sideways wifi thing that ubuntu shows.  ok, it looks like the image if you scroll down to 27 on this page but it says 27b instead of 27d http://wikis.sun.com/display/SRSS4dot2/SRSS+Troubleshooting+Icons I I found these websites about it but I would like something easier. http://wiki.sun-rays.org/index.php/SRSS_4.2_on_Ubuntu_9.10_(i386,_amd64) https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuOnSunRay

Question by TOCO 


Broken backlight on laptop screen - Project ideas anyone?

I'm opening up to this lovely community since your creativity never fails to amaze me. I've had a laptop that has been sitting in my closet for about a year (Its a Thinkpad T43 i believe) which was in fair shape until one day it would no longer function, hence the closet bit. I got a little curious when I was digging through clothes and found it again, and played around on it and noticed if you held a light directly on it you could just barely see the screen, so I managed to reinstall windows, hook it up through S-video to my TV, and voila. But I dont use it that much, so I wanted to do some kind of project with it. I've seen the DIY projectors made form overheads, which would seem like a logical choice since it'd be easy enough with a working screen that has no backlight, but the thing is I already own a projector capable of 720p/1080i so I'm skipping this one.I've seen people do multi touch with screens before (ie things like http://multitouch.fieryferret.com/2008/04/finished-table.html) . but I'd want to do something larger. Then there's things like https://www.instructables.com/id/Back-projection-56-inch-multitouch-television./which are cool, but i dont have the need for something large in that format. I'd like to do something like a large coffee table with multitouch (like Surface) but I'm not sure how possible that is to do. Here's a rough sketchup of the basic idea (very basic, very rough. I'm at work wiht only access to MSPaint, and should be doing work anyway :) but with the 56 inch they have that mirror setup and I dont think you could do that with something that low to the ground (like a coffee table), correct?i'd love to hear your thoughts on that, but also.. what do you guys think? Got any good ideas for laptop with just the backlight blown? I dont really need a fileserver, and I have another laptop, so if you guys have any wild ideas out there.. I'm game.Cheers,Ian

Topic by ianidas   |  last reply


Acer laptop, what mother board does it use?

 I have a acer aspire 5542, And would like to know the mother broad it uses Thanks for your help Brand Acer Model Aspire 5542 Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit Processor / Graphics AMD Athlon II Dual-Core M300 2.00 GHz ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 Series Memory 4 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 SDRAM 667 MHz Hard drive SATA 500 GB HDD 5400 rpm Display / Resolution 15.6-inch HD 1366×76 resolution high brightness Acer CineCrystal TFT LCD, 16:9 aspect ratio, 8 ms response time, 60% color gamut Removable Storage 8X DVD-Super Multi double-layer drive Wireless Support Atheros AR5B93 Wireless Network Adapter 802.11 n, b, g Communications Broadcom NetLink Gigabit Ethernet, HDAUDIO Soft Fax Modem with SmartCP, Acer Video Conferencing with Integrated Acer Crystal Eye Webcamer featuring 640×480 resolution, Bluetooth 2.1 Input Devices Full-size keyboard including number pad, Synaptics touchpad with Multi-Gesture support Power 6-cell Li-ion with up to 3 hours of battery life Accessories Extra battery, external USB floppy, extra AC adapter Security software/features Acer Backup Manager1, Acer Bio-Protection1, Acer eRecovery Management, McAfee® Internet Security Suite 2009 Trial, MyWinLocker®, Nortonâ„¢ Online Backup Other Software Acer Arcadeâ„¢ Deluxe featuring Acer CinemaVisionâ„¢ and Acer ClearVisionâ„¢ technologies, Acer Crystal Eye, Acer GridVistaâ„¢, Acer Launch Manager, Adobe® Flash® Player, Adobe® Reader®, EarthLink®1, eSobiâ„¢, Google Toolbarâ„¢, Microsoft® Works with Office Home and Student 2007 Trial, NetZero®, NTI Media Makerâ„¢, Oberon GameZone, WildTangent® Memory card reader Media Card Reader supporting SD, MMC, RS-MMC, MS, MS Pro, xD Accessible memory slots 2 slots Maximum Memory Expansion Up to 4 GB Ports Headphone/speaker/line-out jack with S/PDIF support, Microphone-in jack, Line-In jack, Ethernet (RJ-45) port, Modem (RJ-11) port, DC-in jack for AC adapter Additional Ports None Audio Dolby®-optimized surround sound system with two built-in stereo speakers, Optimized 3rd Generation Dolby Home Theater® audio enhancement, featuring Dolby® Digital Live, Dolby® Pro Logic® IIx, Dolby® Headphone, Dolby® Natural Bass, Dolby® Sound Space Expander, Dolby® Audio Optimization, Dolby® High Frequency Enhancer technologies10, True 5.1-channel surround sound output High-definition audio support S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface)11 support for digital speakers, MS-Sound compatible Built-in microphone ENERGY STAR Qualified Energy Star 5.0 Weight 6.16 lbs (2.8 kg) with battery Dimension 15.1 x 9.9 x 1.03 to 1.5 inches, 383 x 250 x 26 to 37 mm Thinness 1.03 to 15 inches, 26 to 37 mm Network Card Broadcom NetLink Gigabit Ethernet, HDAUDIO Soft Fax Modem with SmartCP PC Card Slot None Webcam Acer Crystal Eye Webcamera featuring 640×480 resolution Multimedia and Entertainment Acer Arcadeâ„¢ Deluxe featuring Acer CinemaVisionâ„¢ and Acer ClearVisionâ„¢ technologies, Acer Crystal Eye, Adobe® Flash® Player, NTI Media Makerâ„¢, Oberon GameZone, WildTangent® Warranty Limited 1-year and 90 day warranty options available depending on country, 1-year limited warranty on primary battery. Optional HP Care Pack Services extended warranty

Question by andreblue 


Typo-Squatting (Misspelled Domain Name scams)

Here's a Very interesting article about of of the most common internet problem: Typo-SquattingTypo-squatting is the practice of creating domain names that are often misspelled names for bigger brands.For example: Runescape is a popular free MMORGP (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). There are sites which names are misspelled versions of Runescape. A few I encountered while playing:RuenscapeRunscapeRiunscapeThese misspelled sites are mainly used for either- online scams- pay by click ads - which feature popular search terms for the original site. The misspelled site gets payed every time someone clicks on one of those.- Spyware and AdwarePopular targets for this practice is google, apple, microsoft,For example, I will demonstrate the case of the iphone:from McAfee:By the end of 2007, at least 8,000 URLs using the word iphone will be registered, according to a well known domain expert. The most valuable iphone.com is owned by Apple itself, but when Steve Jobs announced the product early in 2007, Apple didn't own the iphone domain yet. One expert estimates that Apple paid at least $1 million to buy that piece of valuable Web real estate. Among the 8,000 registered URLs incorporating iphone are community fan sites, rumor and hack sites and, of course, scam sites. Freeappleiphonesnow dot com claims to offer free iPhones and variants that don't even exist (like the iPhone "shuffle" and "nano".) The URL is nothing more than a redirect to royalsweeps dot com . When we tested the site, we received debt consolidation offers, get rich quick solicitations, "free" cell phone prizes and other questionable e-mail. Many of the iphone-related domains are misspellings, or typos. Iohone dot com, for example, was registered on January 9, 2007, the day Apple officially announced the iPhone. In August 2007, the site consisted of pay-per-click ads for iPhone-related Web sites. Microsoft says that on an average day more than 2,000 domain names are registered that contain Microsoft trademark terms.According to the US Government Accounting Office, at least 8.65% of all domain names are registered with false or incomplete Whois information, a practice that makes domain squatting easier. More recently, in September 2007, the managers of the .eu top level domain suspended 10,000 domains registered by a Chinese woman who was accused of being a cyber-squatter. The first two Images are from the domains Freeappleiphonesnow and Iohone The other images are from microsoft dot cm and another website that results in 482 spammy emails a week. The last image is from McAfee

Topic by Keith-Kid   |  last reply


Instructables in the Telegraph -- Weird and wonderful inventions

The Telegraph ran a great article featuring online DIY culture and Instructables. Weird and wonderful inventions by Chris StevensMeet the DIY enthusiasts using the internet in their fight against throwaway society.The internet has spawned a new breed of extreme DIY enthusiasts. They build jet engines in their garages using instructions downloaded from forums, and they upload videos of the explosive results. They weld together rollercoasters out of scrap materials and household items. They teach themselves taxidermy to build "The Mouse Mouse", a real mouse with electrical innards. Or, like 17-year-old Thiago Olson, who built a fusion reactor in his house, they're scouting for parts in their local B & Q. The online DIYers are rebelling against a consumer society that has convinced many of us that everything is bought, not made. "It's a reaction against a mass-produced culture," says Eric Wilhelm, founder of Instructables.com. "People want to express themselves and show their individuality - building something cool that you can't buy and showing how you did it is a great way to express yourself."While the traditional DIYer is overjoyed to have put up a set of shelves without losing a finger, the extreme online DIYer spends the weekend with an angle-grinder turning a supermarket trolley into an armchair, or building a Guitar Hero game controller from scratch. Online projects show you how to make your own USB charger, extend the battery life of your laptop, or use a Mont Blanc refill to transform a £1 pen."People are passionate about all sorts of things," says Wilhelm. "From the wacky, far-out jet engines and taxidermy to the everyday stuff like how to tie your shoes or manage washing your laundry most efficiently."The projects are uploaded by users, who offer each other step-by-step advice on everything from the sinister to the charming. The extreme DIYers dare each other to create increasingly elaborate projects, posting photos and videos of near-misses and successes. The internet is perfect for this kind of experimentation; it's a place where inquisitive geeks meet friends with power-tools. All these projects have gorgeous colour photos to go with them, and the strength of interest in these extreme-DIY sites has led communities to meet offline. This year, Makezine.com held a fair in the US attended by 45,000 "makers"."Besides the skill of building and the exchange of ideas, it's a lot of fun," says Phillip Torrone, senior editor of Make magazine. "We seem to be in an era of thinking more about the things we buy, make, consume and cherish. The result of that is people making things - it's more gratifying." Scandals over rip-offs, such as the recent study that showed ink-jet printer cartridges wilfully waste more than 50 per cent of the ink (tinyurl.com/2957jw), make Torrone's DIY ethos all the more appealing.If you're the sort of clumsy oaf that regularly snaps USB keys off in their sockets, these DIY sites also offer advice on repairing consumer electronics. Wilhem's favourite DIY project is the dachshund wheelchair (tinyurl.com/ytc6bb). The DIYer who made it explains: "Our dachshund hurt his back, so for rehab we made him swim a lot, and I built this chair until he could use his back legs again."Online DIYers have an enthusiasm for science and exploration, and many are simply reacting to the low-quality of mass-produced goods, especially consumer electronics. They object to our modern throw-away culture. The DIYers also upstage technology manufacturers by demonstrating easy ways to fix what would otherwise be thrown away. "It's really more about problem-solving with more people", says Torrone.More news articles about Instructables here.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply