Video tutorial on how to play retro video games with a Raspberry Pi

In this video from Pi My Life Up you'll learn how to install and use software called RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi. RetroPie lets you emulate a bunch of different game platforms, like Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, and so on.

By the way, I co-wrote a book with Ryan Bates called Raspberry Pi Retro Gaming: Build Consoles and Arcade Cabinets to Play Your Favorite Classic Games, which has instructions for building a tabletop arcade machine. Read the rest

Tesla Cybertruck in LEGO

BrickinNick created this LEGO model of the new Tesla Cybertruck. BrickinNick posted it to the LEGO Ideas site. If enough people like the design, it could become an actual LEGO product. From the LEGO Ideas specs:

While its design may not be for everyone, many different elements and functions of the Cybertruck lend themselves well to an electrifying LEGO build. At this time, only the frunk (front trunk) and tailgate function. Opening passenger doors, a full interior, fold or slide out ramp, opening charging ports, steering, suspension, the Tesla ATV, and more could all be integrated (and are being worked on for future project updates) making for an incredibly fun building experience. LEGO motorization could even turn this into a truly all-electric vehicle in brick form!

Dimensions: 35.6 cm L x 15.2 cm W x 12.7 cm H (14" L x 6" W x 5" H)

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An inexpensive home sewing kit for repairing clothes

Costing just on Amazon, this small sewing kit contains everything you need to make minor repairs to clothing. The only other thing you'll need is access to YouTube, so you can learn how to sew on a button, mend a tear, or repair a small hole. Read the rest

Video: a simple guide to electronic components

I enjoyed watching this video by a fellow, who goes by the name of Big Clive, which explains what basic electronic components (resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors) do and how they do it.

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This guy hand-makes and sells giant LEDs

You can buy a giant LED from a guy who makes them at home. The cost about $70.

From his site:

My first Maker Faire as a maker was New York 2012, I brought a Giant Arduino Starter Kit (YouTube video Giant Arduino Starter Kit - A 10x Scale Model). Everything was ten times scaled up; the Arduino Uno, breadboard, resistors, potentiometer, LDR, jumper wires, and LEDs.

As the LEDs were portable, I would bring an LED with me to other Faire's, it has always been received well and many times people would ask was it for sale.

In September 2018 I decided to explore turning the rough model in to something that I would be happy to sell. The following YouTube playlist records some of the progress in Making a Refined Giant LED.

[via Evil Mad Scientist] Read the rest

Here's how to make a "computer on a card" from the 1960s

Michael Gardi says, "There were probably millions of CARDIACs (CARDboard Illustrative Aid to Computation) distributed to high schools and colleges in the late 60s and early 70s. Heck even my little high school in Northern Ontario got a bunch of them. But they are all but impossible to find now, so here is the next best thing."

The CARDIAC Instructable presented here is not a computer, it's a device to help you understand how a computer works. You the user will:

decode instructions by sliding panels up and down, move the program counter "lady bug" from one memory location to the next, perform the duties of an arithmetic logic unit (ALU), read inputs from one sliding strip, and write output results to another (with a pencil).

Along the way you will you will learn the internal workings of a typical Von Neumann architecture computer. Some fairly sophisticated programs can be executed (by you manually remember) on the CARDIAC. Stacks, subroutines, recursion, and bootstrapping for example can all be demonstrated.

Image: Instructables

Previously on Boing Boing:

CARDIAC: Bell Labs's old cardboard computer CARDIAC paper computer emulator CARDIAC paper computer unboxing New-old stock of Bell Labs's cardboard teaching computer, the CARDIAC Read the rest

Ultra-thin USB powered light box

A light box is an excellent tool for illustrators. It allows you to place a sheet of paper with a sketch on it, then place another piece of paper on top of it, and trace the original drawing. A lot of artists do a pencil sketch on a sheet of paper, then use a nicer piece of paper to trace the sketch in ink.

Andreas Ekberg, a wonderful illustrator who makes beautiful stenciled skateboards (like this Jackhammer Jill deck) and other things, told me about this USB light board. I already have a light board, and I've used it for over 30 years. It's a clunky metal box with fluorescent tubes and I used it draw illustrations for the early issues of the bOING bOING zine.

I ended up buying a 5mm-thick USB powered light box for my daughter for Christmas a few years back. It works so much better than my old-school light box. The brightness level is adjustable, the LEDs will last much longer than the bulbs (mine currently has one burnt out bulb and I've been using it that way for years), and best of all, it is much more portable. Read the rest

How to build a button box for a toddler

The creator of the CodeParade video channel made an interactive pushbutton busyboard for his toddler.  He bought a bunch of knobs and switches, wired them to an Arduino, LEDs and beepers, and put them in a craft box. It has a simple mode, in which pushing a button triggers a sound or light, and an advanced mode, which includes a Simon game. It looks like something people of all ages would enjoy playing with. Read the rest

Young woman invents ingenious bioplastic made from fish scales and red algae

According to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, if current trends in single-use plastic continue, "there could be more plastic than fish (by weight) in the ocean by 2050." Having spent countless family vacations at the beach since she was a child, product design student Lucy Hughes, now 24, was distraught by the amount of single-use plastic she saw littering the shore and water. So she invented a bioplastic made from fish scales and skin collected at a fish processing plant. The scales and skin are bound together with red algae. For her product, called MarinaTex, Hughes just won a James Dyson Award recognizing ingenious design. From Smithsonian:

The resulting product is strong, flexible and translucent, with a feel similar to plastic sheeting. It biodegrades on its own in four to six weeks, which gives it a major sustainability advantage over traditional bioplastics, most of which require industrial composters to break down. In addition to utilizing materials that would otherwise be thrown away, the production process itself uses little energy, since it doesn’t require hot temperatures. One single Atlantic cod fish produces enough waste for 1,400 MarinaTex bags.

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Cool casemod of a Korg Minilogue synth

Love Hultén took a Korg Minilogue 4-Voice Polyphonic Analog Synth and modded it with a wooden case inspired by the Commodore SX-64 (1984). Read the rest

Luxury RPG dice set goes berserk on Kickstarter, raising over $1.66 million

Karen Wang launched a Kickstarter campaign yesterday for custom gaming dice with a modest funding goal of $20,000. Twenty-four hours later she's raised $1.66 million and the number continues to go up. I am especially enamored of the enamel pins she made:

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TV-B-Gone, the hidden-in-your-glasses edition

Facelesstech created a fun pair of "smart glasses" with an embedded a miniature attiny85 Arduino controller, and followed it up with a pair that concealed a TV-B-Gone (Mitch Altman's open source hardware gadget that cycles through all known switch-TV-off codes, causing any nearby screens to go black). It's a much less creepy use than the spy glasses with embedded cameras sold by Chinese state surveillance vendors. I'd certainly buy a pair! (via JWZ) Read the rest

Make a Game Boy inspired pendant with a miniature display of animated Mario clouds

Adafruit has a tutorial on how to make a pendant that looks like a tiny Game Boy and has a display with endlessly scrolling Mario style clouds.

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Video profile of a professional playing card stacker

Bryan Berg builds elaborate houses of cards. He's so good that he gets paid to do it. According to Guy Georgeson, the creator of the Coolest Thing I've Ever Made YouTube channel, Berg "holds 4 Guinness World Records including world's largest card tower (4000 decks) and world's tallest tower at 26 feet tall." In this video we learn about Berg, get his tips for stacking them, and watch him attempt to build a card tower outdoors, where a light breeze can be devastating.

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The Porch of Doom: a Halloween haunt that sends visitors to a billionaires' Mars where they are expected to do all the dirty work

Pete Tridish and pals made a hell of a Hallowe'en haunt this year: on their "porch of doom," trick-or-treaters were sent to a Mars colonized by billionaires where they were expected to mine Mars rocks and put them in Amazon Mars boxes at a sweatshop Amazon Mars warehouse; Pete notes that the haunt was partly inspired by my 2011 young adult novella Martian Chronicles, which was recently podcast in two parts by the excellent Escape Pod podcast! Read the rest

Great price on Arduino clone starter kit

Amazon has this Arduino UNO clone starter kit on sale for just . It's got the following components:

What is Arduino? It's a credit card size microcontroller that lets artist, designers, and others add interactivity to their projects. My book Maker Dad, has a useful Arduino tutorial. Read the rest

You can own a "DeLorean" hovercraft

This DIY hovercraft styled like the Doc Brown's DeLorean in the Back to the Future films is up for auction on Bring A Trailer. Current bid is $22,500, half of what maker Matt Riese was asking when I posted last year that the DeLorean was listed on eBay. Apparently he's done quite a bit of work on it since. From Bring A Trailer:

The vehicle was constructed with plywood and fiberglass built over a styrofoam slab. The seller reports it is approximately the size of a DeLorean DMC-12, and the bodywork was recently repainted. Equipment includes gullwing doors, as well as working headlights and side markers. Dummy tail lamps flank the rear-mounted fan.

The seller reports that the vehicle is capable of 31 mph on water under ideal conditions, with speeds in the high twenties being more typical. Hovering in choppy water is not recommended.

More: The Delorean Hovercraft

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