Sarcasm is notoriously difficult to distinguish in online communities. So much, in fact, that a famous internet rule called Poe’s Law is named after the phenomenon. To adapt, users have adopted several methods for indicating implied sarcasm such as the
/s tag, but more recently a more obvious sarcasm indicator has appeared that involves random capitalization througout the sarcastic phrase. While this looks much more satisfying than other methods, it is a little cumbersome to type unless you have this sarcasm converter for your keyboard.
The device, built by [Ben S], is based around two Raspberry Pi Pico development boards and sits between a computer and any standard USB keyboard. The first Pi accepts the USB connection from the keyboard and reads all of the inputs before sending what it reads to the second Pi over UART. If the “SaRcAsM” button is pressed, the input text stream is converted to sarcasm by toggling the caps lock key after every keystroke.
For communicating in today’s online world with rapidly changing memes, a device like this is almost necessary for making sure you aren’t misunderstood on whichever popular forum you like to frequent. We don’t know how long this trend will continue, either, but until something else replaces it to more concisely communicate sarcasm we expect it to remain relevant. The build is also a reminder of the various interesting ways that microcontrollers can be programmed to act as keyboards.
Thanks to for the tip!
A while back, [Heavydeck] remembered stumbling across the worst CAD package ever, which is a schematic editor whose existence was purely intended for use to make quick circuit sketches for documentation, presentations and the like. All good. But, being based on low quality JPEG graphics, which when blown up to projector size on a big screen, they look really rough. After deciding that the original nasty, clunky interface was just nasty and clunky enough, [Heavydeck] then proceeded to reimplement the idea over the course of an afternoon, and came up with Kludge (possibly the second worst CAD package ever) making an actually useful tool even more useful.
You see, whether you make website content, YouTube tutorials, or just need to write technical reports, if you’re in the electronics business, you’re going to need to make high-quality editable schematic images at some point, and Kludge might well solve some problems for you. Kludge lets you do so many things; you can save a schematic, you can load a schematic, you can even export it to an SVG file. Actually, that’s all you can do, but it is actually just enough. Once you’ve got an image as an SVG, you can whack that into Inkscape to add some more details and you’re done. We demonstrate this with the image above, which was not annoying at all to create.
So here’s to Kludging your way around a problem, and hoping that the somewhat limited symbol library may expand a little more in the future!
Harkening back to a not-so-distant past where duels settled arguments, [Joris Wegner] put a twist on the idea of quarrels with a gun that damages your online persona rather than your physical one. The controversy of social media is nothing new, but most people today have a large percentage of their lives online. A gun that can destroy your social media by deleting your account feels far more potent than most would like to admit.
At the heart of this build, each gun contains a battery-powered ESP8266 that connects to another ESP8266 in the gun case, which in turn is connected to a computer. When a trigger is pulled, the computer deletes the Facebook account with the credentials stored on the gun. It offers a new look at the importance of one’s social media presence. While the concept of being attacked on social media is nothing new, the idea of digitally dying on social media is perhaps something new. This particular project was put on hold when [Joris] realized that Facebook accounts can be reactivated after 30 days, which renders the gesture less potent.
Playful and interesting twists on the idea of a gun are nothing new here on Hackaday. We’ve seen also [Joris’] work before with a MIDI-controlled video distortion box.
The good news is that as of today RadioShack has officially been purchased by Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV), giving the troubled company a new lease on life. The downside, at least for folks like us, is that there are no immediate plans to return the iconic electronics retailer to its brick-and-mortar roots. As the name implies, REV specializes in online retail, having previously revamped the Internet presence of other bankrupt businesses such as Pier 1 Imports and Dressbarn.
While the press release doesn’t outright preclude the possibility of new physical RadioShack locations, it’s clear that REV believes the future of retail isn’t to be found in your local strip mall. As the US mulls further lockdowns in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hard to disagree. There will be millions of bored kids and adults looking for something to do during the long winter nights, and an electronic kit or two shipped to their door might be just the thing.
REV says they plan to relaunch the rather dated RadioShack website just in time for the company’s 100th anniversary in 2021. As of this writing the website currently says that sales have been temporarily halted to allow for inventory restructuring, though it’s unclear if this is directly related to the buyout or not. Getting an accurate count of how much merchandise the company still has on hand after shuttering the majority of their physical locations in 2017 certainly sounds like something the new owners would want to do.
Like most of you, we have fond memories of the Golden Age of RadioShack, back before they thought selling phones and TVs was somehow a good idea. To their credit, they did try and rekindle their relationship with hackers and makers by asking the community what they’d want to see in their stores. But we all know how that story ended. While it doesn’t look like this news will get us any closer to having a neighborhood store that stocks resistors, there’s a certain comfort in knowing that RadioShack kits and books will still be around for the next generation.
If you like to rely on the web to do your electronics and computer math, you’ll want to bookmark FxSolver. It has a wide collection of formulae from disciplines ranging from electronics, computer science, physics, chemistry, and mechanics. There are also the classic math formulations, too.
Continue reading “FxSolver Is A Math Notebook For Engineers”
Your eyes pop open in the middle of the night, darting around the darkened bedroom as you wonder why you woke up. Had you heard something? Or was that a dream? The matter is settled with loud pounding on the front door. Heart racing as you see blue and red lights playing through the window, you open the door to see a grim-faced police officer standing there. “There’s been a hazardous materials accident on the highway,” he intones. “We need to completely evacuate this neighborhood. Gather what you need and be ready to leave in 15 minutes.”
Most people will live their entire lives without a scenario like this playing out, but such things happen all the time. Whether the disaster du jour is man-made or natural, the potential to need to leave in a big hurry is very real, and it pays to equip yourself to survive such an ordeal. The primary tool for this is the so-called “bugout bag,” a small backpack for each family member that contains the essentials — clothing, food, medications — to survive for 72 hours away from home.
A bugout bag can turn a forced evacuation from a personal emergency into a minor inconvenience, as those at greatest risk well know — looking at you, Tornado Alley. But in our connected world, perhaps it pays to consider updating the bugout bag to include the essentials of our online lives, those cyber-needs that we’d be hard-pressed to live without for very long. What would a digital bugout bag look like?
Continue reading “Ask Hackaday: What’s In Your Digital Bugout Bag?”
If you were lucky enough to have a Commodore Amiga or one of its competitor 16-bit home computers around the end of the 1980s, it’s probable that you were doing all the computing tasks that most other people discovered a few years later when they bought their first 486 or Pentium. So in the mid 1990s when all your friends were exclaiming at Paint Shop Pro or their Soundblaster cards you’d have had an air of smugness. Multitasking? Old hat! Digital audio? Been there! Graphics manipulation? Done that!
There was one task from that era you almost certainly wouldn’t have done on your Amiga though, and that was connect it to the Internet. The Internet was certainly a thing back in the late 1980s, but for mere mortals it was one of those unattainable marvels, like a supercomputer with a padded seat round it, or a Jaguar XJ220 supercar.
Later Amigas received Internet abilities, and Amiga enthusiasts will no doubt be on hand to extol their virtues. But the machine most people will think of as the archetype, the Amiga 500, lacks the power to run most of the software required to do it. If your 500 with its tasteful blue and orange desktop colour scheme is languishing though, never fear. [Shot97] has produced a guide to getting it online.
It’s important to understand that an Amiga 500 is never going to run a copy of Chrome or play a YouTube video. And he makes the point that any web browsers that might have surfaced for hardware of this class delivered a painful browsing experience. So instead he concentrates on getting the 500 online for something closer to the online scene of the day, connecting to BBSs. To that end he takes us through setting up a PC with Hayes modem emulator, and connecting it to the Amiga via a null modem cable. On the Amiga is a copy of the A-Talk terminal emulator, and as far as the Amiga is concerned it is on a dial-up Internet connection.
The PC in this case looks pretty ancient, and we can’t help wondering whether a Raspberry Pi or even an ESP8266 module could be put in its place given the appropriate software. But he has undeniably got his A500 online, and shown a way that you can too if you still have one lurking in the cupboard. He has also produced a video which we’ve put below the break, but be warned, as it’s nearly an hour long.
Continue reading “Getting The Amiga 500 Online”