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What’s a Family Worth?

December 26th, 2005
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We had a great Christmas this year, and got to spend some time with both sides of our family.At the end of Christmas Day, we had taken some pictures by Mom’s Christmas tree.

We then decided to check out the pictures on the computer and see how they turned out.

It was then very clear just how much family is really worth. This is the photo of my Aunt and Uncle, and my two cousins.

LED Nightlights

December 15th, 2005
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I make these from time to time, whenever I get a inkling to do so I guess.On the next batch I will take how-to pictures, but this will give you an idea.

The LED’s themselves I salvage from LED Christmas lights. The one in these pictures is from a set of blue ones I bought about 4 years ago. They have a long tapered lense on them, so they work very nicely for nightlights.

I’ve made Red, Blue, Green and White ones. The white ones I use a regular white LED that I salvage from those LED keychains you find at your local *-Mart store. Usually the keychains are about $2.99 which is cheaper than the $4.99 from the local supply store.

Here are some pictures in the meantime:



Kiki’s Christmas Clothes

December 13th, 2005
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We all need something warm for those Chilly days, here is what Kiki wears.

Led Nightlight

December 11th, 2005
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This is a ridiculously simple mod.It came to mind during Christmas 2004. My mother and I were in a store and saw these “7 Color” Nightlights. They were on sale for something like $2.49 so I grabbed a couple to check them out.My original idea was to discover if they were using a single LED or 3 different colored ones. Turns out it is a single RBG LED, which I was happy about. Then the idea was to hack out this LED from the nightlights to use somewhere else.I never got around to it, and after Christmas, the Nightlight was put away, since it had a Christmas theme to it.

Then I was kind of bored one day and thought about replacing the Acrylic insert in the nightlight and re-etch a new design into it. I never got around to re-etching, but I did replace the acrylic.


Turn over the light and note the 2 screws and the shiny sticker on the bottom.
Remove the two screws from the light, but leave the sticker intact. This will allow the two halves to open on a hinge point, and once re-assembled will leave no indication of the mod.
Once open, remove the acrylic carefully, taking care not to damage the pillars it rests on.
Cut yourself a new piece of acrylic, making sure the width is the same as the original. Thickness should also be as close as you can purchase, to ensure it fills the hole in the nightlight. You must remember that these things have 120V inside of them, and you don’t want someone hurting themselves because your new piece of acrylic is only half as thick, You can make it any height you want (within reason). The optimum seems to be about the same size as the piece we removed earlier. Drill two holes carefully where the pillars are to make it fit. Add a third hole where the LED will sit.
Line up the new piece of acrylic, and file the LED spot smooth, and the two edges as needed to make the new piece fit properly. You can see where I wasn’t careful enough and broke the acrylic where the LED sits. Apon re-assembly, it didn’t seem to matter, I suppose the LED’s focused light beam only needs the top curve of the notch to be nice.
Close the nightlight back up, SLOWLY.. you need to make sure the LED is going to sit inside your notch properly.. you may need to file it a bit more to make it fit.
All done! Still looks and works just like the factory one.
Below is an animation of the finished product.. The real nightlight holds each color about 10 seconds, but I have sped this one up to show all 7 colors.

Christmas Tree

December 10th, 2005
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This is a shot of our Christmas tree this year,

We’ve almost converted everything to LED lights, just the star left to go. I have not been able to locate one yet, but I think next year I’ll just buy a string of LED lights, a regular star and make my own LED star.

The great thing about these LED strings of lights is they do not get hot. I know they save on power, but let’s face it.. nobody really cares how much electricity their Christmas tree uses. It could be the same as a 100watt lightbulb, and people are still going to lite it up.

Nope, without a doubt I’d have to say its the “Cool-to-touch” thats the best.. no more worries about how close the tree is to the curtains, or how many hours its safe to leave it lit up.

Code

December 8th, 2005
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Super Simple Code Encryptor

Occasionly, I have found that a simple encryption is useful.

One of the easiest methods is a simple letter shift.
For example, a ‘Shift by 2? would render

“abc”

as

“cde”

Type in your Sentence in the middle box, then at the bottom left choose your shift amount. It will display both a + shift and a – shift.

The “Seek” button will allow to to seek through the combinations at a certain rate (Default: 1250 ms) to try and decode something that has been shift encoded, but the amount is not known. Press the seek button again to stop the seek.

Color Picker

December 6th, 2005
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Color Picker

I found myself in need of a simple color chooser when I first started learning HTML.

I had looked around and found lots of choosers, but I did not like any of them. Several were bloated, a couple had a full Installshield routine (Why?!?), and a few were so complicated, it was stressful.

This program is very simple, and runs anywhere you place it. Simply double-click on the colored square on the bottom of the program and it will present a standard windows color chooser pallette.

Hit Okay, and you will be presented with the color choice as:
– individual RGB components,
– R G B selectable,
– Radiant compliant (Red 0-1 Green o-1 Blue 0-1)
– Hex string, formated with the #.

Screenshot:

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