Best of Hackaday – 2011 edition

2011 was an interesting year here at Hackaday. We have about 24% more viewers now than we did last year. We started producing our own video content and we have shown some pretty interesting projects in our daily posts. In this post, we are gathering together the best of the best.

Our #1 post for the year with 175,000 views is about a 1 megawatt laser pulse pistol. Not only does this build work but it also looks cool. It’s definitely one to take a look at.

Coming in with 157,000 views is a post about how to insert your logo into a QR code. This one was done by our own [Brian Benchoff] and was a runaway success from the first week that we posted it.

In third place with 151,000 views is a post that could help you if you are trying to pick a development board to learn a new processor with. This post breaks down the various development boards available at the time of its writing into three different categories organized by price.

In fourth place with 114,000 views is one about an unique lock composed of color changing buttons. Your pass code is a series of colors instead of digits in an ordinary code lock. This build fits behind a standard wall plate so that it can be mounted cleanly using off-the-shelf hardware from the hardware store.

Wrapping things up at fifth place is a post describing how you can download books from Google using an utility called Google Book Downloader. We have no idea of the legality of this one. The original link is down but it seems that it is still available elsewhere on the internet.

Comments

  1. mi6x3m says:

    Cheers, Hackaday! You are my favorite website and you inspired me to learn electronics and make cool stuff. You are fun and entertaining, you know what humor is, you know how to be sarcastic nicely outlining that not everything in this world is meaningful, but hacks preventing robot invasions certainly are. I wish you all the best, I wish your readers all the best and may we all have a nice 2012 full of decent hacks. Be creative people! Thank you!

  2. Dino says:

    Happy New Year Hack A Day! Thanks for all the great posts and for sharing a few of mine. :)

  3. MS3FGX says:

    Did anyone ever get to the bottom about how much power that laser pistol actually puts out? I remember when the project was first posted the general consensus was that 1 MW was pretty unlikely; and when asked directly the guy who created it admitted he really didn’t know what kind of power output it had.

    It seems like 1 MW should be considerably more damaging than what the video shows. Nothing in that video couldn’t be done with a stock Bluray laser module.

  4. Unix Tech says:

    Here’s to a great 2012. :)

    Can’t wait to see what happens in 2012. So many interesting projects are going now. The possibilities for awesome hacks next year are pretty incredible.

    Happy new year all!

  5. TD says:

    Did any else think it odd that two of the “Best of 2011″ posts were a combination lock article posted in 2008, and Google Book Downloader article posted in 2009?

    • Whoops. Sorry about that. They were actually in that order with the number of views but I should have looked at the post date. I’m blaming it on my hurrying because of sky high internet fees since I was sailing the high seas near central America when I posted it. :)

  6. MrP says:

    Hmm, places 4 and 5 on the list, seem to be from 2008 and 2009 :)

  7. adam says:

    I loved the logo in the QR code post, Now my business cards have a logo in them :) also the engineering department at my school is now putting them on all of their business cards, even some of the class projects are using them.

    also @MS3FGX the laser isn’t very powerful because it is only a 1MW pulse, with the time between pulses it only averages out to the equivalent of the milliwatt range for a continuous laser beam

    • MS3FGX says:

      The question is about pulse power. The comments on the original post seem to agree that a more likely pulse is 1 KW, not 1 MW. That is a very big difference.

      On Laser Pointer Forums the guy who built it (AnselmoFanZero) says he really has no idea how much output the laser has, and just said it was 1 MW so that people used to seeing lasers measured in mW would be impressed, he had no numbers to back it up. He has since adjusted his claims to 10 KW, but it looks like some people are doubting even that.

      It’s unquestionably a nice looking build, but the 1 MW number looks to be completely made up so I don’t think we should keep pushing it as that.

  8. N0LKK says:

    A great 2012 to all. A thank you to the Hackday staff, I know of no one who does what you do better.

  9. Ad says:

    You can blame me for a TON of the keycode pageviews… When I bookmarked this page I bookmarked that article and it took about a year of viewing that as the first link on this page before updating my bookmark :)

  10. seriously says:

    Google Books Downloader? That’s “best of the year” worthy? It’s probably not legal, and certainly not ethical. Nevermind that it hasn’t worked in months (there are tons of pages missing).

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