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This is a question Amazing Projects

We here at B3ta love it when a plan comes together. Tell us about incredible projects and stuff you've built by your own hand. Go on, gloat away.

Thanks to A Vagabond for the suggestion

(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 13:12)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Soldier ants
I’ve always thought that ants were pretty military creatures, so when building a farm for my lot I decided to eschew the traditional glass box approach in favour of making them their own little military base. Of course, military bases are usually pretty sealed-off, anonymous affairs, so if I followed the approach to the letter you wouldn’t be able to see a thing of what was going on inside.

However, this being the age of teh internetz and all that, a solution was at hand: all I’d have to do would be to mount teeny tiny webcams inside the farm, which would then broadcast wirelessly to my PC. Once I’d taken the decision to ‘technologise’ it, the rest followed naturally – inbuilt thermostat, weight sensors to measure the food and water supply, some discreet lighting placed at strategic intervals, etc.

And it works! I've moved the colony in already even though it isn't completely finished yet, and you can really see the little soldiers scurrying about in the corridors, just as if you were in there with them.

The only thing I have to keep an eye on is that nothing untowards goes into or comes out of the ventilation ducts, and in hindsight it might have been a bad idea to build the maintenance access routes wide enough to accommodate an X-wing, but I’m cautiously optimistic.
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 12:33, 17 replies)
The Psychodong
During a drunken conversation, a female friend who had formed an unhealthy obsession with the footballer Stuart Pearce (AKA "Psycho"), expressed a desire to have a dildo with his face on the end. Since I like making stuff, it was her birthday soon, and I was irresponsibly drunk, I offered to make one for her.

I carved it in plastecine, made a fibreglass mould from that, then cast it in latex. I was very proud that the face really did look like him, and pleased with the result.

Her face was a picture when she lifted it out of the box...

(Sorry, AFAIK no pictures exist. However I do still have the mould, if anyone wants to commission one...)
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 12:16, 3 replies)
I have too many projects...
I have an electric guitar half restored I've been carrying around since 1991. I have boxes of remote control model cars & planes in various states of disrepair, some dating back to 1983.
I've built quite a few motorcycles that I've bought as a box of parts.
My good old Hilux was rebuilt pretty much from the ground up after buying it off ebay and finding that the chassis was rusted out behing the auxiliary fuel tank, then the #1 big end destroyed itself, so, engine rebuild, diffs noisey. rebuild then too. It's still ugly though, as I didn't really do much to the cab except just make shit work as required, and I treat it rough as guts.
Currently I'm well into building my own aircraft, using my own drawings and engineering. When I'm finished, it should look like an F4U Corsair, but much smaller. However, having just moved house, I need to build my 3 bay kit shed first. The footings are almost dug, the slab should be poured by next week, with the help of a few friends. After that cures, hopefully it'll only be a couple of days and the shed will be useable.
This crap always takes longer tham planned as I fit it in between working shifts, and I always have to do it myself to save a few dollars and do it right.
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 11:10, 4 replies)
I've always
got a multitude of projects on the go. Some of you may remember the 'techno-diy' QotW a while back.
However, my latest is this:


Video of it working here: youtu.be/3BjWlcvNA7U

I have a soft-spot for old arcade games - Defender, Stargate, Lunar Lander etc... - probably a result of a mis-spent childhood in local arcades, however.

I also converted a USB keyboard into a controller for the buttons/joystick etc...


Now this works fine, but I forgot about the bounces that I'd get from mechanical switches - I press DOWN on the joystick and it sends TWO/THREE or more signals to the controller and in some cases makes the game impossible to play.
I phoned a local PCB making firm to find out how much it would cost to make the board for me - but this time with some 1uf caps across the switch to stop the bouncing. It took me days to solder that up and I just don't have the heart to do it again. They quoted me £5.50 per square inch. So that's not happening then!
I started thinking that it can't be all that hard to make my own PCBs at home.
I found snippets of info in the interwebs from others that have attempted to do the same.
Basically, I have a Konica Laser printer. Laser toner (for the most part) is made from plastic and is melted to the paper.
I figured that if I printed a circuit board out, then pressed it to a copper clad board with a laminater that the heat would melt the plastic to the copper. Then all I'd have to do is to get rid of the copper that was left displaying, then scrub the toner off the board and I'd be left with my copper print waiting for me to solder the bits into it.
So I tried it. I bought some Ammonium Sulphate on ebay for a few quid, disolved it in boiling water, added my newly melted toner-on-copper to mix. Shook it about a bit, and voila! The copper melted away. I scrubbed the toner off and it only bloody works!

This is the result:

imagebam.com imagebam.com

I've wired those LEDs into an Arduino and they all work fine. Incidently, to get more practice, I remade that little LED board with a resistor array instead of single resistors, I just don't have any pics of that.
So now that my little test is over, I have to repeat the process with the larger replacement board for the mini-arcade box and I've finally finished a project rather than getting it to about 80% and leaving it!

...and being able to print my own PCBs means that my house is now going to be full of little home-made gadgets that will no doubt please and delight the misses. Oooerr.

Yay me!
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 10:55, 18 replies)
Epic Hay Castle.
I grew up in the countryside where there were plenty of barns to muck about in. One summer we decided to make the most epicest hay castle we could get away with without being discovered by the farmer.

This required great stealth, sneaking across rooftops to get to the actual barn unnoticed. The barn was basically a corrugated roof propped up on 4 corners with no walls, so care had to be taken not to get noticed as it was directly opposite the main courtyard and farmhouse.

There were about 5 or 6 of us in there and after creating a good curtain wall all around proceeded to hollow out our den over a period of a few weeks. It had deadfalls, at least 1/2 a dozen rooms and even a panic room accessible by a hidden tunnel which we could 'lock' ourselves in in the event of an emergency.

After our epic creation was complete we felt the need to boast about it so invited some less close-knit friends to come and behold its awesomeness.

That's where it all went wrong. They were less than stealthy and within about 10 minutes were rumbled by a farmhand. One by one my friends emerged to be lined up against a wall like they were facing a firing squad.

But I'd escaped to the panic room. I'd escape punishment. Win!

Until one of my so-called friends ratted me out and said,'There's still someone in there.'


I kept my cool and hid, thinking they would get bored of waiting. But then the farmhand pointed out the obvious by bellowing,"If you don't come out when Billy gets back I'll just get him to dismantle the whole thing until he finds you."

Pfft. Rather than risking the wrath of the farmer I gave myself up and we ended up getting a good bollocking about how much each hay bale cost and how much destruction we'd caused to them (a lot) before being told we were going to have to wait until Billy the farmer came back to see what he'd do to us.

I hatched a master plan. I broke down into hysterics and gibbered and pleaded like a bitch until she took sympathy on us and told us to fuck off sharpish.

As soon as we were free I turned off the waterworks and my friends were impressed at how I'd been able to fool her with my crocodile tears.

The truth was the tears were real as I was shitting myself as my dad knew the farmer and I didn't want a pasting.
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 10:52, Reply)
Sadly not mine
But a friend of mine scupted this ..

It creeps the hell out of me, it's so fantastic!

She had fun with that one on the plane back to Norway, had to buy Joker a seat of his own. I pity the child that sat next to them.
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 10:31, 9 replies)
Six Phases Of A Project Mock Turtle style.
1.Wild Enthusiasm
2.Total Confusion
4.Search for the Guilty
5.Punishment of the Innocent
6.Promotion of the Non-participants
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 10:31, 1 reply)
When I were a lad
We were proper poor. Didn't have a lamp in my bedroom, and it was a hassle getting out of bed to turn off the light. So one day when I was about 12, I was idly scavenging round the cubby-hole when I found a light-fitting, with power-cable still attached. There wasn't a plug, but I found one without a cover - so go! I got the wires from the cable stripped, hooked up the plug, sellotaped the light fitting to the wall at the foot of my bed and hooked it up to the socket also at the foot of the bed, and I had a lamp! Wowee! I could read in bed even later than before!

The wall was right up against the foot of the bed, so I only had to tip my toe out the bed and practically touch the wall. It didn't take long before I hit the exposed plug and got an enormous fucking electric shock which practically made me bite my tongue off.

A few lessons learned, there.
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 10:24, 3 replies)
Back when I were a mere strip of a lad
...which was before the days of computer games and iPods, there was a playground craze for peashooters at my school. Basically pen tubes with chewed up balls of paper for ammo.

Being of a technical turn of mind, I decided that what the world needed was a repeater - a peashooter machine gun. So I built a ten-barelled shooter, with a sliding mouthpiece. You could fire, slide, fire, slide, or simply blow continuously while sliding to unleash a hail of bullets at your target.

It worked brilliantly. But it wasn't the triumph I hoped for, because a) it took ages to re-load each time, and b) I got the crap kicked out of me for being a smart-arse.

Some important life-lessons there, I feel.
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 10:02, 6 replies)
I think I was 8 or 9...
We had a nice T.V in the living room, but as yet we didn't have one with a remote, or even a remote on a wire... And obviously I didn't want to have to get up and walk 4 feet to the t.v?! So I fashioned a pointing device. This was the two snooker cues from my table top snooker set, stuck together with brown packing tape. I then added one of my old Knight Rider 'biker' gloves to the end (making sure it was stuck in the 'point' position, and I could flick between 4 channels til my tea was ready.
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 8:47, 11 replies)
What is that smell?
I have a weakness for old electrical stuff. So when I saw one of these at a car boot sale recently I had to have it. £12 later it was mine!

It needed some attention, and google told me that it was electrically lethal, but after a few hours of shed time and a few pounds worth of components I was ready for the big switch on.

It worked!

After a short test in my shed, I carried it triumphantly into the living room and set it up in it's new permanent position.

Thing is, as it warmed up the room was filled with the unmistakable aroma of the previouse owner who was clearly a piss soaked old man. It took months before I could leave the thing on for more than 10 minutes.

Still. Cool radio though.


And phase 2 of this project is near completion,

I’ve made a little MW transmitter some time ago, and I’m going to collect a little archive of old radio programs and play them through the radio for absolutely no good reason at all…Apart from freaking out my Father In Law next time he visits, when I get him to switch on the radio and it picks up The Light Program.
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 7:47, 10 replies)
Projects, hey?
I'm good at deciding something needs to be done right and embarking upon making it that way. The majority of times I do this because it's something that's quite big (e.g. has a lot of data, etc.) and will streamline my working processes ten-fold, if I spend twenty-fold the time making it right before I begin.

Unfortunately I'm very lazy so throughout my life I've ruined quite a lot of things by doing this and getting bored halfway through and giving up. However as I get older I'm getting to know how likely I am to do this, so either choose not to do it at all, or actually follow through which has it's own rewards.

Some of the projects I've taken on over the years:
- Wolf 3D MapEdit
I had the full version of Wolf3D but the map editor for only the demo version (the first chapter). There were a lot of objects in the remaining 9 that weren't in the first chapter, so it resulted in my borderline-OCD youthful self loading the map editor, placing about 5 objects, saving and closing, opening Wolf3D, looking at and jotting down what they were, closing Wolf3D, opening the map editor's .txt data file and editing it, save and close, rinse and repeat.

I did finish that one but by then it was about 1996 and Wolf3D had been surpassed by many, many computer games. I also found out the map area wasn't in fact big enough to make a floor plan of my school (small as my school was), and the decor of my school looked nothing like that of Castle Wolfenstein anyway, so you'd only have known if someone had told you.

-mp3 iD3 Tagging
I refused point blank for years to get an iPod. This was largely due to a tongue-in-cheek PC vs Mac feud I had with one of my best friends growing up, but even now I don't buy into the whole pomposity I view apple users to be. Even though I did buy myself an iPod last year but ONLY because they're the only device with over 80GB hard disks in them. The first mp3 player I ever had was a Creative Zen. I quite liked it but soon realised the importance of tagging files properly as it was quite hard to find stuff if it wasn't. Also, that Creative player had a major fault in that if your mp3s were, quite logically, tagged with track numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,...19,20,21,22 etc., the player wouldn't recognise the first 1-9 so would play 1,10,11,12,13,...18,19,2,20,21 etc. Pain in the arse. Especially if you listen to a lot of mixtapes like me. So I found en editor and set about renaming the files, and renumbering them 101,102,103 etc. The I found a program which could do whole directories of songs with one easy push of a button, instead of doing it manually, one by one. I remember thinking 'there must be a program that makes it easier' but the insane thing was I never looked until I was up to date with it at the time (about 40gb) and found one instantly! I really, really pissed myself off with that and it still haunts me a bit!

- Built some boxes to fix my Technics turntables
OK fast forward some 15 years and I buy myself a pair of 1200 mkIIs for $150 off someone on Craigslist. I think he mugged himself off a bit really, but I definitely screwed him over a bit as he'd asked $250 in the ad, I knocked him down to $190 and when I got there one wouldn't turn on so I hummed and hawed until he dropped the price in a 'OK, as long as you get the f*** out of my house NOW' kind of a way. The thing about Technics, that anyone who's ever taken one apart will know, is that the top plate is the base for which all the components are attached; the black rubber bottom is actually the first thing you remove to expose all the bits inside. The problem with this is that the tonearm is then bearing the (rather considerable) weight of the whole table. Some people online suggested placing them on a pillow, but I went one better. Down to the DIY store I go and buy some 2x4's and make some frames to hold just around the edge on. It's not like I made them with dovetail joints or anything but I am proud of the things. I also put some pegboard over the top so now I turn them over and it gives me some extra height to the turntables which is definitely needed with my 6'3'' stature. You never really realise how low pub tables are until you have to lean over them playing records all night. I painted them and they may not look like the finest woodwork ever, but they're pretty bloody sturdy and I'm actually really proud of them!

- Master Keying my Houses
I manage vacation rental homes near Disney. 35 of them to be exact, and the more homes I took on, the more completely ridiculous my key ring was getting. Over the past few years it's gone from a key ring to me buying a length of chain to keep the keys attached to in a linear fashion - with a couple of links in between each home's respective keys - to me trying to make another of these with just one key to each house, to me now having a carrier bag full of the buggers. Needless to say I let it get a bit out of control. Not to mention the danger that if I ever lost this bag o'keys (for instance, if my car ever got stolen (knock on wood it won't)), I'd be completely screwed. Like last Christmas eve when I locked them in a house by accident just as a call came in saying one of my guests has snapped his key off in the lock. Took $270 to get them back, which stung a bit. I spoke to a(nother, more reputable) locky who said he could master them for me for $10 a lock. Bearing in mind I have 35 homes, most of which have 2 locks on the front door alone, means it could be up to $700 or more I'd be spending on something which was a bit of a luxury. Screw it I thought, and taught myself to do it. Brought the kit off eBay of pins for 2 main types of locks and have been steadily rekeying all the locks for the past few weeks. You'd not know the relief of knowing all I need is this one (well, two actually - one for Kwikset one for Schlage) locks on my car key key ring!

- Tidying the house
I work from home and am not the cleanest person. I'm not dirty by any means, but often I'm in a hurry, so I will take all the crap out of the car, put it in a box and fling it in the garage. Meaning I had bags and boxes full of petrol receipts, notes from the pool guy, pizza menus, empty rizla packs, small tools I forget to put back in the tool box, napkins, half empty rizla packs, etc.

If it kills me (which hopefully it won't) this house is going to be completely spotless, tidy and 100% organized BEFORE 1/1/12.

- Spare Room
I'm also cleaning out the spare room (read above, except this also included me emptying the dryer full of clothes onto the spare bed and taking things when I need them). I've decided I'm going to make it into a Rumpus Room (I'm only calling it that to piss my mate off, although I know he'll never read this). He (my aforementioned friend) is getting rid of his sofa set so he said I could have it, I recently acquired a 50" flatscreen which I need to fix (another project) and I'm going to move all my records into there. One project for this room is that I'm going to build a cabinet/shelving unit which will fit all my records underneath, as well as being the right height and sturdiness to keep the turntables on top of. I'm thinking of being a show off and seeing if I can build it completely without screws or nails and just use proper joints like dovetails, but the fact that the only thing I've built since my GCSEs - DT being my lowest grade at a D after I built the worst bit of crap imaginable with wood and then covered it with black cloth to try and cover the bad joints, but in the process getting the cloth covered in PVA glue making it look worse - is the Technics frames as I've said above, and also that this is the second time in this post I've mentioned wood joints and can only come up with dovetails, am thinking this may be a little ambitious...

Actually, none of those above went unfinished - some I'm not up to date on as are works in progress and will never finish (unless, for example, I stop downloading music) and some I've not started yet, but this has made me feel a bit better about myself. Thanks, B3ta!

Length? Probably too long and may have been a bit boring but I am quite tired and about to go to bed so maybe I'm being a bit rambly. Sorry, B3ta! :)
(, Fri 18 Nov 2011, 5:08, 6 replies)
need pics of all of these...
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 23:56, 1 reply)
When I was 9
I made a blow gun from an aluminum tube with a hat pin as dart. With a good blow the pin would make it half way down the tube. I got tired of shaking the dart out so I tried sucking it back. Of course it got to the back of my throat and I choked and swallowed it. It would have been far too embarrassing to tell anyone so I suffered for two days waiting for it to stick me in a vital organ.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 22:47, 3 replies)
Human Tripping Apparatus
When I lived in Tucson, Arizona, I was troubled in my sleep by cockroaches running across my bare belly in the stifling heat. I'd snatch the cockroaches and hurl them through the dark, and listen to a satisfying chitinous crack against the wall. Still, there had to be a better way to deal with the roaches.

One day, I learned cockroaches sink and drown in soapy water. So, I placed pots of soapy water throughout the apartment, and baited the pots by suspending meat chunks above the pots, using wire hangers as meat skewers.

I never caught any roaches, but quickly learned these devices were perfect for tripping people in the dark.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 21:58, 6 replies)
I was particularly proud of the hill climb part of the track...

(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 21:04, 16 replies)
A pond, a yachting club and a golf course.
Our projects in the past 10 years:

1) summer 2001: sweating in the garden, we decide it would be great to have some place where we could cool down. So we built ourselves a 80 square meter natural pond in the garden, all by ourselves.

2) summer 2002: not satisfied with this, we thought it would be great to have a seafront house (we live in the Bavarian Alps, so this is certainly not easy to realize). We found ourselves tied into one of our dumbest projects ever: since we couldn't increase our swimming pond to a size that would trick us into believing it is the seafront, we rather cunningly put a 6m catamaran on our pond, and took some photos just at the right angle to make our house look like a seafront resort. The look of disbelieve on the faces of our neighbors will live in our memories forever.

3) summer 2003: Since having a sailing vessel on the pond meant we are into sailing (we actually aren't, we just know someone who owns a boat), so founding a yachting club kind of made sense. We founded the first, and only, yachting club in our town (mind you, no major bodies of water in a 30 km vicinity, so no real point). We dubbed it "Segel Club Unterer Markt" ("Lower market sailing club"). This nicely abbreviates to "S.C.U.M.", which we printed on pirate themed t-shirts now proudly worn by my wife and daughter (both blissfully unaware of the English meaning :-)).

In the following years we have
- 2005: built a 3 hole golf course in our garden (no, the garden is not that big. You just need to be clever with the layout)
- 2009: doubled the size of the swimming pond because we were sick of mowing the lawn (thereby loosing the golf course)
- 2011: used a stretch of farm land adjacent to our garden to build another 3 hole golf course, because our friends missed the S.C.U.M. golf tournaments.

Redwine, President of the S.C.U.M.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 20:24, Reply)
despite nearly 20 years of being together and 10 years married my amazing project to have more sex has failed completly

(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 20:23, 6 replies)
Hardly a project but unfolding as we speak
My 18 year old brother and a few friends are currently on a coach on their way to Amsterdam. All of them are quite big fans of the 'erb. They're on the coach with about 30 other lads (I'm assuming some student arranged thing)

I've just mocked this up in paint, took a photo of my laptop screen and sent it to all them. They're fucking fuming to say the least, my brother text me and I've explained it's because of the "Euro zone crisis".

They'll find out the truth in a minute but it's all good fun for me.

(I know it's awfully done but as you can imagine, on a small phone screen it looks legit)

edit: got rid of my bloody postcode
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 20:02, 9 replies)
Space, baby, yeah!
I am in the middle of constructing one of these

so I can print the custom parts I need to attach one of these

to one of these

It's called a ballocket. This is my first attempt at it, so I'm starting at a small scale (which won't get into space, but will get high enough to see the curvature of the earth).

Eventually I plan to start a business firing people's ashes into low-earth-orbit, hence making millions while at the same time stuffing up satellite TV reception.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 19:27, 10 replies)
I built THE BEST playhouse EVER EVER EVER to have been built in my back garden. By me.
So I'm ***SERIOUSLY*** proud of this... no plans, no picture to copy. Built all of this bad boy purely from rough timber from the near by yard.

I do have the right to be pretty chuffed, right??

(also built the sandpit and did all the wood chipping, but meh, that's easy...)
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 19:17, 31 replies)
I'm still proud of this one.
My annoying neighbour "Albert the Knob" has this adorning my shed on his side;

I'm thinking of lighting it up for Christmas...
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 18:53, 66 replies)
Death Ray.
I once had a go at making an Archimedes Death Ray. You can read about it here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes#The_Archimedes_Heat_Ray
although, Wiki calls it a heat ray.

Here is a video of the results.

(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 18:21, 8 replies)
you never know if you can until you try
as i've mentioned before, i like knitting. i tend to make small things, such as scarves, bedsocks and baby blankets. until last year, the biggest thing i'd ever made was a blanket for a single bed which, over the years, has stretched to fit a double bed.
then, i happened to mention on /board that i love to knit. fellow b3tan cakie asked me if i'd ever done a commission piece. i hadn't. he gave me a fantastic design for a HUGE blanket. i really didn't know if i would be able to make it, but i decided to give it a try.
after 4 months of knitting, sewing and searching all over liverpool for a single ball of orange wool, it was finally finished. it was big enough to hang over a king-sized bed on every side and almost hit the floor. it's a beautiful aztec-type design which i can look at whenever i want, thanks to cakie making me a lovely coaster in exactly the same design, which i keep next to my computer.
it was a lot of hard work, but if i hadn't been asked, i'd never have known i could do it. since then, i've made myself a gameboy/tetris blanket and yesterday i started on a space invaders blanket. that should keep me busy till christmas!
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 18:16, 6 replies)
Cat climbing frame perch nest thingy
I finished this bit of carpentry recently. I'm rather proud of it. 2 weeks on and it hasn't fallen down yet.


Cat inspecting the quality workmanship...

Laser kitteh demanding to know why the carpet lining isn't properly installed yet...

Kitteh deciding the nest is adequate. For now.

The topmost ledge, the nest, is about 2.1m above the floor. It's all made with about 26 quids' worth of Swedish pine and held together with steel brackets and screws. Very sturdy, hardly any flex (cats like steady surfaces). And before someone comments, the door isn't used, it leads into the kitchen (and is blocked on the other side by a cupboard anyway) so I decided to use the recess for kitteh.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 18:08, 7 replies)
Bonemaster 3000
Current project was prompted by a friend saying she'd 'quite like a sybian'.
After looking at the cost of those buggers, I put some tips gleaned from years of machine-porn to good use - one thumping big AC motor & speed control, crank wheel, and cobbled-together but surprisingly effective linkage later, the Bonemaster 3000 is ready to roll.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 17:39, 16 replies)
It was mostly for the kids...
When we moved to our current house I decided that we needed something to keep the kids' outdoor crap (or the kids themselves I wasn't too fussed). Hence the creation of:

(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 17:07, 2 replies)
Corporate Mallet
My windows domain at home recently passed its ten year anniversary. I've been running a windows domain controller at home since Windows 2000 days. It's now up to Windows 2008R2.

For many years, it lived under the stairs (like Harry Potter, but more useful and not as horcruxy). These days the ankle biters have left home and it now has its own "comms room". Mrs.Booce even put in a patch panel and hardwired the whole house for 1GB Ethernet.

It hosts the family and friends user accounts, a mail server, a webserver and a full implementation of Citrix running remote applications.
It's my PVR and stores 4 terabytes of movies, TV, music, over a decades' worth of digital photography and home movies. It's also a UPNP server serving multiple different device types (xbox, smartphones etc). It has a VPN and I can access anything on it from anywhere with a net connection. It's also connected to a webcam covering the front door and so acts as a security system too.

It's massive overkill, I've spent many many months working on it over the years, spent thousands of pounds on it and I love it. It's my technological folly.

Much like the golden gate bridge, it'll never be finished, and as it's a Microsoft product, it'll never be perfect either. The ideal project for a man.

Sad, I know, but to me that classes as an incredible project.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 17:01, 12 replies)
I was directing a one act play about Jack the Ripper
and the only bit of set I needed, which had to be portable, was a free-standing door in a frame.

I went to B&Q and bought a couple of big sheets of MDF and a cheap door, I made a box frame from the MDF on a nice floor plate, and hung the door. I filled my house with sawdust in the process, but I ended up with a rather serviceable door & door frame that would grace any stage. The frame & door screwed to the base plate with a couple of brackets, so it was easy to take down.

So far so good, except I didn't have time to properly test taking it apart and putting it back together.

On show night, the rules of the festival where we were doing it said we had 10 minutes to put the set on stage. I just squeaked into that with seconds to spare and we moved the thing into position. Then I went and say in the auditorium and waited for the play to start.

The first time it got used, the fucking thing wouldn't open. The cast who had to use it all tried repeatedly to use it, and ended up walking around it.

It turned out it just needed a few millimetres planed off the bottom of the door - once that was done, it worked like a dream. A dream about a working door, obviously, but it worked. Eight years later, the theatre company I built it for still use it from time to time and whenever I see it my first thought is annoyance with myself that I didn't get it working first time around, then pride that it's still in top nick despite eight year's worth of dismantling and rebuilding, knocking about in the backs of vans, etc.
(, Thu 17 Nov 2011, 16:41, 2 replies)

This question is now closed.

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