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Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

dlleigh Binoculars (187 comments)

Don't buy a telescope. Instead, get a good pair of 10x50 binoculars and an intro astronomy book with pictures.

A telescope will always take some setup and you'll be less likely to go to the effort as time goes on. With binoculars, you just grab them and go. That's a much better way to keep beginners interested.

about 2 months ago
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The Lepsis Is a Terrarium For Growing Edible Insects At Home

dlleigh Effective? (184 comments)

I'm sure my HOA won't mind at all if I set one of these up and create a personal plague of winged insects to fill my belly and do my bidding.

"Fly, grasshoppers! Vanquish my enemies and bring back all the yummy meat from their refrigerators!"

Hmmm... This Lepsis thing might actually work.

about a year ago
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Old-School Keyboard Makes Comeback of Sorts

dlleigh A hardware solution for click abatement (519 comments)

Tactile feedback is very nice, but I hate audible clicks.

A couple of decades ago I worked for Wang Laboratories and extensively used their "workstations" (basically smart terminals with a proprietary interface). Wang was the king of word processing when the professional world was just switching over from their Selectric typewriters.

To make these users feel more at home, the workstations included a mechanical solenoid that would trigger on every keystroke. This not only produced a loud, typewriter-like click, but also yielded a a tactile, typewriter-like thud.

I'm sure some engineer worked very hard on that solenoid to make the workstation sound and feel just like a Selectric, but I hated the noise and implemented a hardware solution: I clipped a solenoid wire with a pair of cutters and regained blessed silence. Many of my co-workers asked me to perform this simple service for them as well.

Later workstation models would mimic the key click by playing a sound through the speaker, but I could turn that off with an option.

more than 5 years ago
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Interesting Uses For a USB LED Screen?

dlleigh "XX seconds without thinking about sex." (403 comments)

Kind of like those safety signs at industrial sites that brag about the number of days without an accident.

Program the display so that the number of seconds continuously counts up, and then resets to zero after a random interval -- say thirty or forty seconds.

more than 5 years ago
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Smart 'Lego' Set Conjures Up Virtual 3D Twin

dlleigh That was done eight years ago (63 comments)

You can read about it in the tech report. Although this system was not modifiable in real-time like the one in the article (older hardware), the model of the smart "lego-like" bricks was automatically slurped into Quake 2 and much FPS fun was had.

more than 6 years ago

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