Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   DIY pinhole lens
Monday, March 13 2017
A huge winter storm was predicted for tomorrow, so I handled some important chores before it arrived. I brought in some dimensional lumber from in front of the garage that I didn't want buried. I also brought in around a week's worth of firewood, which was a fair amount of work. Finally, I cleaned up all the dog shit I could find in the yard. It's nice for those surprises not to be waiting to surface in the big spring melt that can't be too far away.
This evening in the bathtub, I'd brought only my smartphone and two 802.11n wireless routers (all of which I was careful to keep out of the water). Both routers had seemed close-but-not-quite-able to be reflashed with DD-WRT open source firmware, and I wanted to know if they were now old enough that someone had made a DD-WRT image for them. But sitting there in the tub with the available light, my middle-aged eyes couldn't focus on the tiny writing on the backs of the routers, and this was information I needed to read to do the research I was hoping to do. I was having particular trouble with the Asus RT-N66R, whose writing is tiny and is in grey on a black background. Whoever designs these things isn't spending even a moment to consider the needs of the aging hacker. Without my glasses, I was at a complete loss. But then I tried an experiment, creating a tiny pinhole with fingers and looking at the bottoms of the routers through that. Like a miracle, this technique allowed me to read without the assistance of any lens at all. Though it cut down on the light available, I could more than make up for that by bringing the text very close to my eye; I was able to read with it less than two inches away. The reason this works is that the pinhole creates a very deep field of focus. This was a liberating discovery; now I know that in a pinch, when I have no reading glasses available and am in a store trying to read the tiny writing on a box, I can use this technique to read what I need to read.

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