Archive for October, 2010

 Happy Halloween

This year’s addition to the haunted garage is a simple-looking throne with a hidden secret. A motion sensor concealed in the skull at the top detects when someone reaches into the bowl for a piece of candy and triggers both a pneumatic cylinder to strike inside with a loud crack and a strobe light just behind the bowl brightly flashes. It does a pretty good job of scaring most of the people who tried it. More pictures are available in my photo album. Check out the video to see this year’s haunt and to see the new prop in action.

 One Day On Earth

Last month I signed up to participate in the One Day On Earth project, which is a collaborative media project where people from all over the world submit videos of their activities today, 10/10/10, and then all of these will be compiled into a single movie documenting the human experience. Here is my submission. It’s probably not as fancy or as poignant as some submissions from today will be, but I hope it serves to capture what life on Earth was like today in our little corner of it.

 Rooftop Antenna

I’ve not had much luck with antennas as part of my Home Theater PC build. Up until now, none of the models I’ve tried have worked very well. This latest one, a Channel Master 4228, did not fare well inside my attic, so I finally had to admit defeat and mount the thing on my roof. So far so good. The overall signal strength doesn’t seem any higher on the meter, but I haven’t noticed any dropped signals or pixelation either, and, most importantly, we seem to finally have a strong and stable PBS signal.

The rooftop mount is an expensive option, even when you do the install yourself. The antenna, mast, cable and various connectors, along with grounding hardware, totals somewhere around $200. So if you can get a signal with one of the other options, I would recommend you try them first.