Thursday, January 05, 2006

MAKE MAGAZINE

IF YA'LL HAVE NOT SEEN THIS MAGAZINE YET, IT IS ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING I HAVE COME ACROSS IN A WHILE.
IT IS LIKE TAKING THE READY-MADE MAG AND ACTUALLY MAKING IT INTERESTING .
ALL KIND OF REALLY TECH STUFF

http://www.makezine.com/current/

THERE IS AN INTERVIEW WITH THE SEGWAY CREATOR.
HE GOES INTO A BIT OF THEIR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY AND PRESENT THE IDEA OF A "SOUTH POINTING CART"
AN INCREDIBLY INTRICATE WORK OF ENGENIERING FROM CHINA'S WAY BACK PAST THAT HELPED THE PEOPLE PULLING IT NOT GET LOST ALONG THEIR WAY, IT HAD A POINTER ON IT THAT WAS CALABRATED TO POINT SOUTH, AND AS THE WHEELS TURN, THEY ARE LINKED TO DIFFERENTIALS THAT ADJUST TO KEEP THE POINTER ALWAYS POINTING SOUTH.
HE THEN SPOKE ABOUT HOW THEY ALSO HAD THE USE OF RUDIMENTARY COMPASSES, A VERY SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE WAY TO NOT GET LOST.

HE SPOKE OF THIS BECAUSE, THERE IS A TENDENCY TO GET LOST IN THE LOVE OF A TECHNOLOGY AND GET BLINDED BY THIS AND SPEND LOTS OF TIME AND MONEY ON A SOLUTION THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ANSWERED MUCH MORE SIMPLY AND ELEGANTLY WITH ANOTHER APPROACH.

IT IS A GREAT MAGAZINE WITH LOTS OF HACKER-DO-IT-YOURSELF MAKE COOL SHIT KINDA STUFF. ALOT OF ELECTRONICS
BUT NOT SO OUT OF REACH AS TO ALIENATE THE UNINITIATED.

5 comments:

Pablo said...

Indeed it is a swell magazine. I remember adolph posting about this a while ago, and since then issues have been popping up at the office. neat stuff.

Also, this is an honest question, not a criticism, but is it harder to read all-caps ? it seems harder for me to read. But why? Maybe it is because my eyes give extra attention to the captial-letters, thinking that each capital letters denotes the beginning of a sentence, or a name- and therefore my eyes dwell on each letter, and do not parse the word holistically-instead, they assemble the word letter by letter, slowly and laboriously

Adolph said...

My DIY feeds are:Make Blog, Mavromatic and Finkbuilt. Sometime the Make Blog is waay too prolific.

Amber got me a soldering kit for Christmas that I haven't had a chance to use yet. I can't wait to make some USB-powered funk. Maybe LED Christmas lights for the monitor?

Engines of Our Ingenuity has a nice summary of the "South-Pointing Chariot." It kind of reminds me of reading about the M1A2 navigation system in the early 90's. Since GPS might be blocked or whatever on the battlefield, the system was designed to use dead-reckoning sort of like the south-pointing chariot.

(Dead reckoning is a method of navigation used in ships, aircraft, trucks, cars, rail engines, construction sites engines e.g. in tunnels and, more recently, mobile robots. Essentially it is used to estimate an object's position based on the distance it traveled in its current direction from its previous position.)

Pablo said...

all of this talk of dead-reckoning makes me think of playing ZORK and drawing out maps of the ZORK

Adolph said...

Also, if Dean Kamen is talking about being lost in the love of a technology, that is pretty ironic. The Segway is neat, but I think of it as a canonical example of a solution looking for a problem to solve.

colin said...

THAT MAY BE SO, BUT HIS EXPLANATION, IN THE MAGAZINE, IS PRETTY COMPELLING. HE WAS SAYING THAT THE AVERAGE SPEED OF CITY TRAFFIC IS 9 MILES AN HOUR, AND PEOPLE DRIVE CAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO WALK MORE THEN A COUPLE BLOCKS.........

BUT THE PROBLEM OF EXCESSIVE AND RANDOM TRANSPORTATION IS ONE OF THE CLASSIC ENGENEERING QUESTIONS.