Hackaday Links: The 2017 One

You screwed everything up last night. The end of 2016 had a leap second, so instead of the seconds going up from 57, 58, 59… 00, there was a 61st second in the last minute of the year. Yeah, 2016 just wouldn’t quit. [Michel] built a device to keep track of 2016’s leap second using GPS, and everything worked beautifully.

Remember MechWarrior? There’s a reason those mid-90s games used mechs instead of more organic characters. Computers couldn’t draw that many polygons, making MechWarrior a stylistic choice driven by the limitations of technology. Here’s a real MechWarrior that could rip your head off without trying.

The Hackaday Retro Edition is a Web 1.0 version of our main blog, and a challenge to retrocomputing enthusiasts. [PK] recently got his Psion Series 3a surfing the interwebs with a little help from PPP and a Raspberry Pi. He also got a Psion Series 7 online using the same method, but that was a little more anti-climatic.

The NES Classic Edition costs too much, the cords are too short, and you can’t play anything but the pre-installed games. There’s a solution to this: [Andrew] has been working on the Beagle Entertainment System for a while now, and it’s ready for a proper release. The BES uses the SNES9X, VBA-M, and Nestopia emulators, with the original ROMs, and has a ‘shield’ for SNES gamepads. You can’t do better than this, and it’s cheaper than the NES Classic Edition.

Vacuum pens, or vacuum pickup tools, or whatever you want to call them, are really useful when working with SMD parts. You can build your own out of an aquarium pump, duct tape, a lighter, paperclip, and a mechanical pencil, but that lacks the elegance of a footswitch-operated, solenoid valve pickup tool. [Dave] built a great version of a vacuum pickup tool from scratch for less than $200. There’s NTP fittings on here, so you know it has to be great.

fundungeonTerrible news! I’m in Vegas next week for CES. While I’ll be spending most of my time figuring out ‘which internet of things is best internet of things’, I might have some time for a Hackaday CES meetup.

The best idea I have for a Hackaday CES meetup is the Fun Dungeon in the Trashy Castle. It has Skee Ball and Crazy Taxi. If you have a better idea of where Hackaday fans and aficionados can meet up for an hour or two, leave a note in the comments below.

21 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: The 2017 One

  1. I saw a good number of people questionioning that mech…

    Very little background on the company, some odd visual effects the video, some fuzzy links to a CGI designer…

    My comment is that huge hands don’t make a vast amoubt of sense to me on a robot. Objects that benefit from interaction with a hand are generally.. well, (normal) hand sized.

    They seem a relatively complex investment in engineering compared to other design choices made on the design .

    1. Don’t underestimate the flexibility of the 5 digit hand. Gather a list of material handling implements, and emulate them with your hands, enforcing limitations using say tape, mittens, etcetera. use your hands like that for an entire regular day.

      1. This is just the point I’m making…

        Can you show me the list of material handling implements that are scaled to match such a huge set of hands?

        Hands are *great* for interacting with objects that have been designed to be interacted with, by normal hands. I’d love to see this thing try and use a can opener…

        Also, again, I’ll re-iterate, a 5-digit hand system, with any feedback, at that scale, is quite the investment in engineering time and resource, compared to the rest of the mech. It just simply doesn’t look like it’s a choice that any rational engineer would make.

  2. MechWarrior computer games were based on a series of very popular board/paper RPG games, so it was not a „stylistic choice driven by the limitations of technology”.

    1. That comment struck me as a little weird too. Not every game used er… mechs because of the limitations of the technology at the time. Last I checked, game developers didn’t give a flying cactus fuck about “limitations of technology” when they wanted organics.

  3. The reason they had ‘mechs is because they’re friggin awesome! Nothing to do with polygons. There were a couple of 2D top-down Battletech games before Mechwarrior, and Virtua Fighter had enormous chunky polygonal humans.

    Now due to some legal nonsense with somebody or other, there hasn’t been a Battletech game for something like a decade! All that money, waiting for someone to write the game that’ll make it. All those ‘mech pilots, sat at their computers playing multiplayer Mercs from 10 years ago, with what few pathetic tweaks they can get into it. Very annoying.

  4. Don’t diss the fun dungeon! It’s just like gambling but you can actually win! I won a rubber ducky and a wind up car! Just don’t try the ring toss bottles, not rigged, but really really hard. I can’t imagine a better place for (inebriated) hackers and engineers to meet up.

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