longwing: (Default)
Back in June, I ran into a few computer problems. Fragmented hard drive? Nope. Bad ram? No, my problem's a bit more unique;

My computer sprang a leak:

We've reached crush depth!

My computer is submersion cooled. Which means that most of the main components are suspended in a vat of non-conductive mineral oil. The oil cools much more efficiently than air, and lets me cool everything with a single radiator and fan. It's quieter, more stable, and a teensy bit screaming fast.

But it means my computer has a circulatory system, with oil as it's life-blood. So you can imagine my reaction when I woke up to a slowly expanding puddle of mineral oil on my desk.

Read more... )
longwing: (Modding)
Projector image.I've finally something to show for all my mucking about with my projector. The image links to a Flickr photo set of the monstrosity in it's current state.

I'm looking for a way to make uploading photos simpler and easier. For now, I'm going to try my hand at flickr. It's not perfect (for example, I still need my webspace to upload a thumbnail) but it's faster than crafting my own photo galleries from scratch.

While I vastly prefer the flexibility of the RAW format, I may also  switch the camera over to JPG. That would drastically reduce the needed steps for uploading project logs.

Sometimes you want to take beautiful photos, but sometimes you just want a snapshot so you can say "Hey! Wires!". It's all hypothetical right now, but I'd like to get some more pictures up. It's so much easier to show what I'm building than it is to describe it through text or voice.
longwing: (Modding)
I finished rewiring the projector yesterday evening. Photos will be forthcoming shortly. I'm very satisfied with the initial burn-in. All my tinkering didn't result in any broken components. Image, brightness, AND focus all came out worlds better than they had before. I'm getting a bright, clear, and sharp image. Corner to corner.

It's still not as bright as the EVO, but it's more than good enough for my purposes.

All-in-all, the result is quite satisfying. There are certainly things I need to correct, some light leakage issues and the such, but it's rare that my tinkering yields such overwhelmingly positive results.

Following some minor tweaks this weekend, the project will go on a one-month hiatus for burn-in. The burn-in period is designed to help find flaws and kinks in the design. Last time I built this thing, I made a number of assumptions that I later had to correct. This time, I'm going to put it through it's paces before I do anything permanent.

In other news, I'm on scene 54 of 67.

aaaaand back to work.
longwing: (Modding)
I caught the tinkering bug again, and decided to undertake a long-overdue project: Revamping my projector. So, here's a shockingly quick-to-make post about what I did. More forthcoming as the project continues. Image automation for the win.

Cut for images )
longwing: (Default)
Time to dip back into the real world for a bit. I've got projects to discuss. I would also have pretty pictures of said projects, but the people from whom I'd previously stolen borrowed cameras have unreasonably ended my months-long reign over their gadgets. If you don't particularly care about the details of my homebrew projector project, then skip this cut. )
longwing: (Default)
This is my 200th post, given how long I've kept this journal, I find that funny.

What's the Project?
A supercooled computer that runs below ambient temperatures through the use of Dielectric cooling fluid. Cooling is provided by a compressor, and the entire motherboard is kept submerged to prevent condensate from forming. The emphasis in design is on the case, as ideally it could be used with any ATA standard motherboard. At first, it will be run with a "disposable" board, either one laying around or one bought off eBay. Once a significant amount of testing has been done, my main computer gets dunked.

At that point, I will truly be the ultimate dork.

What's the Current Status?
The project is stalled, for a number of reasons. Frustration being high on the list. At this point, the wisest course I can come up with is to start fresh with a new design. The current design requires too much fluid, and doesn't take proper advantage of the compressor's available power. These would be mere nitpicks though, if the current design would only STOP LEAKING. I've repaired the main fluid chamber more times than I'd care to count, every time, it can only go a few hours without dumping fluid on the floor. Next time, I'm not using lexan, or I'm using it in smaller quantities.

I already have Ideas for a redesign, and most of the parts I need to make it work. I've thought about getting the shell professionally machined, but haven't even begun the research into making that work.

What's Holding it Up?
Money is a major limiting factor here, even though most of the pricey parts have already been bought. Raw materials for the new case, along with (possibly) a new compressor, mean that this project will take some saving up.

When Will We Hear More?
Well into next year. I'd like to come back to this project after I'm done with the coat and the projector.
longwing: (Default)
Huge Projector Update behind cut. )
For those who don't want the massively multimedia experience, I'll skip to more immediate news.

Wednesday Night TV: LOST is airing a new episode, ominously titled "Abandoned", which picks up where we left off two weeks ago. My door is open to those who wish to attend, provided I'm able to recognize you.

<hint>This would be a good opportunity for some people to bring their leather coat that I'm supposed to be fixing.</hint>
longwing: (Default)
What's the Project?
A full length leather Coat, based loosely on the first trenchcoat I ever wore. The Idea is to make it highly refined, with a lot of the innovations that conventional tailoring have brought to the table (and that I consequently tend to ignore). Hiding the stitching, adding functional pockets, designing it so that it can be "thrown on" in a few seconds, etc. Being constructed from deep brown reptile print leather, I'm planning to put in an extremely deep back split to give the whole thing a very Draconic feel.

What's the Current Status?
Most of the basic construction is finished. The buttons and button holes are done, etc. There are only a few things left to do: Pockets, finishing the cuffs, attaching the collar, and finishing the split/bottom hem. I also need to glue the stitches (an important step in waterproofing and finishing a good leather garment). Finally, I need to integrate the near-finished lining. I may be hitting up [livejournal.com profile] katilyna for help on that.

What's Holding it Up?
Several things, but mostly time. I have two extremely high priority jobs taking up all my time right now. (Being paid for them, and I can really use the money.) Once those are done, the coat becomes my prime project again.

The lack of a workspace cannot then be ignored. My dining room table is a mess, my workshop is a warzone, and I have nowhere left to get this thing finished. Once projects one and two are done, I clean, then I sew.

When Will We Hear More?
Next week? That may be asking too much, but we'll see how far I can get. I'd love to wear it to Nations on Monday, but that may simply be too early a date. Once I'm at least working on it again, I promise pictures. I know, I'm always promising pictures.
longwing: (Default)
What the heck? I wake up, and it's suddenly three weeks ago. We were treated to the season premier tonight, despite having been promised a new episode last week. Checking the website, I find that we've got a rerun next week as well. Given how busy I've been lately, I may just drop next week's session instead of coming up with an alternate show. I honestly haven't decided.

[livejournal.com profile] katilyna wants to go to Nations on Monday for their Halloween event. I'm generally clubbing averse, as I have all the dancing skill of an electrified cockroach. Still, it can be fun to sit and watch the crowd, basically meditate to industrial music. Bringing along a clipboard makes the experience even better, I've had some really good writing come out of sitting around Nations.

I'm thinking I'll go if I can get my new coat into working order. There's honestly not that much left to do on it, I've just been dragging my feet.
longwing: (Default)
I'm putting a stop work on all new projects until all old projects are completed. I have too many projects to finish off, and I'm not starting anything else until the old stuff is complete. This may keep me busy for a very long time. In the coming days, I'm going to post updates to my current projects so that any curious people can know what's going on. A number of people often ask me about some project or another, only to find out that it went on hold months ago. I think it's time to remedy this situation.

To kick things off, I'm going to talk about my Projector. Ironically, the one project everyone's tired of hearing about.

What's the Project?
Build a projector from a disassembled LCD. The final device must be quiet, and perform at least as well as a monitor. Preferably, it will also be unobtrusive, either sitting at the back of a room, or sitting at less than chair height.

What's the Current Status?
My new (and hopefully final) lens arrived today. After yet another reconfiguration, I will be able to push the project against the back wall. Hopefully, this latest lens will also resolve a few lingering brightness issues without creating new problems. Once adequate testing is done with the new lens, it will be time to finalize the case design. At this point, there will be some rewiring, and cleaning up of current wiring. The controls will be finalized, the outer shell will be re-built, and the projector will be painted/decorated. I'm hoping to create a kind of Victorian-punk look for the final version, but we'll see if I have the money, the patience, the skill, and the time to pull it off.

What's Holding it Up?
At this point, my biggest obstacles are money and time. I am out of both. As this is a project with no real deadline, I can keep working things out for quite a while, but I'd like to show the finished project off before my funeral. I don't really have any chance to work on it until next week, and I can't afford any new parts until next month. (Probably until next year, November will be tight for me, and December's too expensive to do anything selfish.)

When Will We Hear More?
Once it's against the back wall, I'll post photos of the work thus far. It will be shamefully unpretty, but it will at least give everyone here a sense of how I've been spending too many evenings.
longwing: (Default)
While the information is not particularly functional to my apartment living self, I've always had a love for hidden doors and secret passages. The Winchester Mansion is a dream home to me. So of course, I found it both amusing and heartening to know that an industry has sprung up around my oddball interests. Companies like Niche Door Concepts and SpaceXDoors are making it convenient, if a little pricey, to conceal entire rooms.

I've always sworn that I'd build a secret room in any house I own, though knowing me, I'll probably be the one building and installing it myself. After all, why shell out a grand for a prebuilt device when you can build better for half that? I'm not the only one who's had that thought, Simon Shea sparked this post with this article about his own secret door. The Sherlock Holmes book is a particularly nice touch.

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