How do pinball machine solenoids work?

Solenoids are common electromechanical devices. They're used in pinball machines to make the ball shoot away when they hit a bumper. If you've ever have the opportunity to touch an energized pinball bumper, you will immediately gain an appreciation for its explosive power. — Read the rest

Commodore 64 keytar weilded by rollerskating hacker

Legendary hardware hacker Jeri Ellsworth (world's most awesome C64 hacker and all round happy mutant), entertained attendees at the Maker Faire with her brilliant Commodore 64 bass keytar, which she played while wearing rollerskates.

Ellsworth noted via Twitter that it uses the SID chip and is based on an FPGA – a re-implementation of the Commodore-64 computer using reconfigurable logic chips.

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How to make a spike-knuckled butyl rubber glove wired to discharge a disposable camera flash cap across the spikes

[Video Link] Sean Michael Ragan says:

Responding to criticisms that their new no-trolling-allowed policy lacks teeth, Hack a Day writer Jack Buffington threw down the gauntlet Monday, announcing that, henceforth, anyone leaving a nasty comment about one of Jeri Ellsworth's projects will receive a visit from the Pain Fairy.

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Misogyny is alive and well in technology circles

Geek heroine Jeri Ellsworth put up a YouTube video explaining how she might build a $10 version of the $5000 audible turn warning system recently installed on Portland public busses. In the comments, someone posting as "peterbartek" (the name of the CEO of TranCert Marketing, the company that installed the $5,000 systems under discussion) told Ellsworth that her video had "set back the progress of women 100 years" by criticizing the company's products. — Read the rest