Fwd: Circuits: A Magazine to Do-It-Yourself

Richard Barth w3hwn at comcast.net
Sat Jul 30 15:29:52 CDT 2005

Anybody seen a copy of this?  Sounds interesting.

>If you have trouble reading this e-mail, go to 
>Thursday, July 28, 2005
>THIS WEEK IN CIRCUITS:  Digital Radio Basics
>A Magazine to Help You Do-It-Yourself
>A sample issue of a new magazine landed in my mailbox the other day. It's 
>not quite like any other magazine I've seen, and it reflects the 
>activities of a growing contingent of tech-heads. It's called Make, and 
>it's all about do-it-yourself technology projects and hardware hacking, 
>from "modding" (modifying and hot-rodding) your PC to cobbling together 
>your own TiVo.
>(By the way, Make is published by O'Reilly Media, which also publishes my 
>own computer books; anything nice I say about it could clearly be 
>considered a conflict of interest. So I'll pretty much just describe it; 
>to draw your own conclusions, consider checking up on its tone, approach 
>and list of articles yourself at <http://www.makezine.com>www.makezine.com.)
>I've heard all about this modding craze, and when it was still on the air, 
>I used to see sample projects presented on "The Screen Savers." (External 
>iPod battery in an 
><http://www.engadget.com/entry/2983335022376534/>Altoids tin, anyone?) But 
>even though I don't have any intention of taking on any of the 
>30-something projects in each issue of Make, I can't help being 
>entertained by the pure, out-of-control geekiness of the people who write 
>the articles.
>There have only been three issues of Make so far. And it's really pricey: 
>four issues a year for $35. (Maybe that's because there's no advertising 
>except a couple of pages around the front and back covers.)
>But you gotta grin at the kinds of hardware hacks they cover.
>The second issue, for example, included articles called "Podcasting 101," 
>"DVD, Uncrippled," "Webcam Telescope," and "Single-Use Digicam for Kite 
>Aerial Photography." The News section was the first (to my knowledge) to 
>break the story of a cockroach-controlled robot, a story that later 
>appeared in, for example, The Times.
>Issue 3 includes articles called "A Fusion Reactor for the Rest of Us," 
>"VCR Cat Feeder," and "Hack-O-Lantern: Extreme Pumpkin Carving." Other 
>titles aren't so descriptive, but their capsule summaries include "Adding 
>a Mac mini to a VW: a pro tells us how he did it" and "Turn your car into 
>a Wi-Fi hotspot, then use GPS and webcam input to map your current 
>location online and auto-generate a photo travelog." It also includes a 
>hack that lets you re-use the new CVS drugstore's disposable camcorder.)
>I can't help wondering what drives people to dabble in such dicey 
>experiments. Often, economics seems to play a role: why spend good money 
>on something that you can re-create on your own using off-the-shelf parts? 
>(That, for example, was clearly the inspiration behind "Make a laptop bag 
>from an old wetsuit.")
>Other times, "because it's there" seems to be the motivation. Or, rather, 
>"because we can." Fortunately, the tone is virtually never, "Because I can 
>and you can't" -- the whole idea is to show you, step by step, what the 
>authors dreamed up on their own.
>If I read one more article or hear one more speech about how this country 
>is losing its edge because not enough people are getting into science and 
>technology, I'll become officially depressed. In that light, it's 
>especially satisfying to know that, if the pages of Make are any 
>indication, the spirit of experimentation and geekiness-for-its-own-sake 
>are thriving in the basements and backyards of America.
>Join a 
>of David Pogue's columns.
>This week's 
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>Visit David Pogue on the Web at <http://www.davidpogue.com>DavidPogue.com.
>Radio Explained
>Over 450 AM and FM stations in the United States now broadcast digital 
>channels alongside analog ones, offering sharply improved audio quality. A 
>look at who is broadcasting and the equipment needed to listen.
>Reviews: Digital Radio
>One Stroke, Podcasting Hits Mainstream
>Apple's iTunes software now offers a gateway to 3,000 podcasts — audio 
>files from radio stations and upstart programmers that can be downloaded 
>to a portable player. David Pogue assesses whether Apple can do for 
>podcasts what it did for online music.
>  The Pogue Podcast
>Coverage: Digital Music
>Mouse That Saved the Planet
>These days, you can buy a socially conscious version of almost any product 
>for the Data Obsessed
>Recreational athletes love the new data-driven tools that monitor 
>exercise. Do they really help?
>Q & A
>the Mystery of a Mac's Sounds
>I hear the sound of a creaking or slamming door on my Mac OS X computer. 
>Does that mean something?
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Richard Barth *** W3HWN at ARRL.NET *** Silver Spring, MD 

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