Category Archives: Ask Hackaday

Ask Hackaday: What’s The Perfect Hacker Smart Watch?

Since Dick Tracy all the way back in ’46, smart watches have captured the public imagination. After several false starts, the technology has gone through a renaissance in the last 10 years or so. For the average consumer, there’s been a proliferation of hardware in the marketplace, with scores of …read more

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Posted in Ask Hackaday, clock hacks, Interest, Original Art, pebble, smartwatch, wearable hacks | Leave a comment

Ask Hackaday: Does Your Car Need an Internet Killswitch?

Back in the good old days of carburetors and distributors, the game was all about busting door locks and hotwiring the ignition to boost a car. Technology rose up to combat this, you may remember the immobilizer systems that added a chip to the ignition key without which the vehicle …read more

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Posted in Ask Hackaday, automobiles, bluetooth, car hacks, cars, interent, Interest, killswitch, Original Art, trucks, Vehicles, wifi | Leave a comment

Ask Hackaday: What Good Is a Robot Dog?

It is said that Benjamin Franklin, while watching the first manned flight of a hot air balloon by the Montgolfier brothers in Paris in 1783, responded when questioned as to the practical value of such a thing, “Of what practical use is a new-born baby?” Dr. Franklin certainly had a …read more

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Posted in Ask Hackaday, autonomous, boston dynamics, canine, Current Events, dog, Interest, military, robotics, robots hacks, safety, spot | Leave a comment

What’s in a Name? Tales of Python, Perl, and The GIMP

In the older days of open source software, major projects tended to have their Benevolent Dictators For Life who made all the final decisions, and some mature projects still operate that way. Guido van Rossum famously called his language “Python” because he liked the British comics of the same name. …read more

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Posted in Ask Hackaday, gimp, Hackaday Columns, open source, open source ethics, perl, python, Software Development | Leave a comment

Ask Hackaday: How Would You Build This Flight Tracker for Kids?

You’ve got to hand it to marketers – they really know how to make you want something. All it takes is a little parental guilt, a bit of technical magic, and bam, you’re locked into a product you never knew you needed.

This prototype flight tracking nightlight for kids is …read more

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Posted in api, Ask Hackaday, DLP2000EVM, flight tracker, projector, Raspberry Pi Zero W | Leave a comment

Ask Hackaday: Experiences With Capacitor Failure

Regular readers of Hackaday are intimately knowledgeable about old electronics, and whether it’s about that old oscilloscope sitting in the pile of other oscilloscopes, or the very rare vintage computer made in a Soviet bloc country, someone somewhere knows how to fix it. One of the biggest problems with these …read more

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Posted in Ask Hackaday, capacitor, capacitor plague, Hackaday Columns | Leave a comment

Ask Hackaday: How Do You Draw Schematics?

The lingua franca of electronic design is the schematic. I can pick up a datasheet written in Chinese (a language I do not read or speak) and usually get a half-decent idea of what the part is all about from the drawings. Unfortunately, even as my design experience has grown …read more

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Posted in Ask Hackaday, cad, schematic, Schematic Capture | Leave a comment

Ask Hackaday: Earth’s Magnetic Field Shifting Rapidly, But Who Will Notice?

Just when you though it was safe to venture out, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an unexpected update. Magnetic North is on the move — faster than expected. That’s right, we know magnetic north moves around, but now it’s happened at a surprising rate. Instead of waiting for …read more

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Posted in Ask Hackaday, compass, Current Events, earth's magnetic field, magnetic field, science | Leave a comment

Ask Hackaday: Is There a Legit Use for Operator Precedence?

Computing is really all about order. If you can take data, apply an operation to it, and get the same result every single time, then you have a stable and reliable computing system.

So it makes total sense that there is Operator Precedence. This is also called Order of Operations, and it dictates which computations will be performed first, and which will be performed last. To get the same results every time, you must perform addition, multiplication, power functions, bitwise math, and all other calculations in a codified order.

The question I’ve had on my mind lately is, does this …read more

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Posted in Ask Hackaday, C language, c programming, dennis ritchie, Obfuscated C Code Contest, operator precedence, order of operations, precedence, Software Development | Leave a comment

Ask Hackaday: Help Me Pick A CAD Package

Of all the skills that I have picked up over the years as an engineer, there is one that has stayed with me and been a constant over the last three decades. It has helped me work on electronic projects, on furniture, on car parts, robots, and even garments, and it is likely that I will continue using it periodically for the rest of my career. You see, I am a trained PAD expert.

PAD, you ask? OK, it’s an acronym of my own coinage, it stands for Pencil Aided Design, and it refers to the first-year undergraduate course I …read more

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Posted in 3D CAD, 3D design, Ask Hackaday, cad, design, Original Art, tool hacks | Leave a comment