Hackaday Links: March 27, 2011

Magnified glasses

A late hacking session, and parts-on-hand came together as the inspiration for [BadWolf’s] magnified glasses with LED lighting.

Pendulum Printer

This orb, when swung like a pendulum, prints images by dropping ink out the bottom. A processing sketch works in conjuction with a Wii Remote and an IR LED in the orb to sense when the print head is in just the right position for dispensing ink.

ITead PCB fab house tips and tricks

[Flemming] uses a PCB fab house called ITead Studio. We hadn’t heard of it before but if you consider giving it a try make sure you look over his tips and tricks about the service before submitting your designs.

Katamari Bookmarklet

[Spi] wrote in to let us know about this Java Bookmarklet he came across that lets you turn any webpage into a Katamari Damacy level. It’s a pretty clever bit of code.

Color-picker pen

Here’s a pen concept inspired by Photoshop. On one end there’s a scanner that lets you pick your color from any physical object. Then just turn it around and write with the exact same color. Now go out and make this reality! [Thanks Frank]

23 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: March 27, 2011

  1. I don’t know what happened to Hackaday over the last year or so, but there is way too much ‘low grade’ article. Things like difference between Java and JavaScript should be understood by everyone writing article here. Hackaday is not in my daily websites bookmarks anymore.

    JavaScript is a web ‘programming language’ used to interact with a webpage in your browser.
    Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems that can be used to make software that run on a Java Virtual Machine…

  2. iteadstudio is *so much* look alike to seeedstudio.

    I remember, sparkfun revealed some of its copycats on their website and it AFAIK being a copycat is something *bad*.

    To sum up, i think iteadstudio is a big copycat of seeedstudio. Designwise and also productwise.

    I dont know why dont anybody hasen’t been pointed it out yet?

  3. Not sure if anyone realizes, but that color picker is just EXCELLENT for colorblind people who want to do some art lol.

    In my experience with art, I ended up coloring people’s skin green without realizing it, among other things.

  4. Copycat? Are you sure you didn’t mean “competitor”?

    ITead and Seeed both use the same prototyping factory, there is absolutely nothing wrong with both of them reselling that service.

    In fact, it’s a great advantage having several competitors in a market, because that tends to drive the prices down, why any sane person would try to limit the number of competing suppliers they have to choose from is beyond me.

  5. “being a copycat is something *bad*.”

    Not true. If a copycat can offer the same quality service for less, then it is more efficient and will overtake the original. This is how the free market forces businesses to strive for efficiency and keeps prices low. How is that bad?

    Granted, there are rules and regulations to keep some unethical an unfair practices (like sweat shops) from happening, but generally, a ‘copy-cat’ is not bad.

  6. @Flemming

    I said copycat by looking at two firm’s website designs side by side. Either on of each copied the design.

    By looking at the prices, i might say that iTeadstudio offers generally lower prices, especially for PCB service, and i admire it.

    But, come on, why do they have same design look with seeedstudio? That is what bothers me.

  7. “That pen is the typical “designer” drivel that floods the internet. Anyone who’s ever taken a photo understand that can’t be done”

    Why not?

    Of course it can be done, because you can control every aspect of the process. You can even take a whole spectrum sample by illuminating the sample with LEDs of different wavelenght and picking the result with a B&W camera that is sensitive to all of them. Then calculate what would give a similiar result with your inks.

  8. Measuring the color is relatively easy (XYZ or a small set of spectral samples, say 8).

    The problem is storing the 5 or more inks you need for a decent spectral match, then mixing them in the right proportion in such a small space.

    > You can even take a whole spectrum sample by illuminating
    > the sample with LEDs of different wavelenght and picking the
    > result with a B&W camera that is sensitive to all of them.

    No, that only works for samples that are not fluorescent in any way. Several companies have tried that approach, and fail badly when there is any fluorescence (like, say, in most paper and cloth).

  9. I like the pen concept, but I can see a prototype version taking a different route:

    Instead of the pen having the primary ink colours inside and then mixed on-the-fly, you use a scanner tool to pick the colour your want, then plug that into a device that can fill an empty pen with the colour your scanner tool picked.
    That way you could easily have a few pens with custom ink colours. I know it’s not the one-pen-for-all-colours goal but it’s a start.

  10. I’d rather it be a separate tool, because this looks like you lose the eraser.
    Maybe an actual eyedropper shape, shining a true-white light down the tube for illumination and the sensor is at the fine-point tip – or a small camera in the bulb focused on the aperture of the dropper, and the aperture has a fine cross hair in it (visible through the glass of the dropper) for an accurate sampling point

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