• HOWTO: Ultra-cheap Sous-vide



    I'm a keen cook, and I've wanted to experiment
    with sous-vide
    forever. But "proper" sous-vide machines cost a fortune. So I was
    quite excited when my son pointed me to a Kickstarter for a cheap
    sous-vide, Codlo. The
    basic idea here is to use a slow cooker or a rice cooker for the
    water bath and an external thermostat to switch on/off the mains
    supply.

    (more…)

  • Fixing Network Attached Storage with commodity hardware and BSD

    Many years ago, I finally got sick of failing disks and the panic
    that follows them, so I decided to buy a NAS (Network Attached
    Storage). A fair amount of research suggested that ReadyNAS devices
    were cost-effective, flexible and reliable. So, I bought an
    NV+. Although its a little eccentric to configure (done via a web
    interface), it was straight-forward enough, and I could even install
    my own sofware on it, as it runs Linux. This was useful: I run
    Bacula to do my backups and I could install it directly on the NAS.

    Of course, the whole point of using a NAS is that the disks are
    replicated, so I should never have to deal with a failed disk again
    – just swap in a new one and the data will be recovered from the
    other disk(s). What's more, the ReadyNAS will even allow you to
    expand your storage by adding bigger disks as time goes by. What
    could possibly go wrong?

    (more…)

  • Hubsan X4 quadcopters: tiny cheap, powerful copter


    The Hubsan X4 quadcopter is a tiny, cheap copter with enough power to
    do flips, enough smarts to stay level and pointing right, and enough
    tough to drop from 50 foot onto grass without damage. It flies for ten
    minutes or so and recharges from USB. The separately available spares
    package include copious spare blades, a spare shell and a spare
    battery.

    It's cheap (under £30), includes a remote control and is an absolute
    blast to fly. It can handle quite a fresh wind and is fast enough that
    it's best fun outdoors, though it appears that people more skilled than
    I can also fly it indoors. Without hitting things.

    BTW, important hint: connect the power when the copter is on a level
    surface. If you don't, it's impossible to fly.

    Hubsan X4 H107 R/C Micro Quad Copter
    2.4GHZ
    [Amazon UK]

    The Hubsan X4 H107 Quadcopter Crash
    Pack
    [Amazon UK]

    Hubsan X4 H107 R/C Micro Quad Copter
    2.4GHZ
    [Amazon US]

    The Hubsan X4 H107 Quadcopter Crash
    Pack
    [Amazon US]