New Apple II blog

I decided to spin up a new blog to put all the fun stuff I’m learning about the Apple II. If you want to follow along on my journey than head on over to fastram.org.

Big Cartel is amazing

I’ve never used their product before but I came across their merch store today and I was blown away. I’ve never seen such amazing goods displayed in such an amazing way. Their site blows me away. The attention to detail, the photos, everything is just amazing. I don’t even know what to say. I would pay $482.93 to meet the people behind the Big Cartel merch store so if anyone knows who they are please let me know how to make it happen.

New Atom theme

I found this theme on Dribbble today and I’m in love with it. Purple is my favorite color lately. You can grab it here.

shit I like: cassettes

The way we consume music has changed drastically in the last couple of few years. My first memory of listening to music was back in elementary school. I only had one album, it was the D3: The Mighty Ducks soundtrack. I loved that movie so much that I had to buy the cassette tape (I didn’t get a CD player until a few years later). I listened to that tape over and over again. My favorite song was Grade 9, which I didn’t know until I was prepping for this article, that it was by the Barenaked Ladies. If I had known that back in the day I’m sure my 11 year old self would have had a good laugh about it 🙂 .

Back when I was a kid I was always broke and music wasn’t cheap (to me). So I didn’t buy much and when I did I would listen to it over and over again. I would get so I knew all the words to every song, I would read the liner notes and really get into it. I don’t really do that anymore. Now we have subscription music services where for the price of a single CD you can listen to anything you want. While that’s amazing for so many reasons it also makes me a bit sad. I don’t feel as connected to the music anymore. I’m not saying these services are bad, in many ways they are super awesome, but I still feel like we’ve lost something.

That is why when I heard about these little indie labels who were bringing back cassettes I got really excited. Not only does it allow me to experience something physical, something retro, but I could experience music like I use to. Cassettes might be more expensive and less convenient than digital music but they are also so much fun. Sometimes I like to order five random tapes and see what happens. The music I get is sometimes crazy awesome and often terrible but always a lot of fun.

I also like supporting these small labels/artists. I have a real respect for people who are passionate about something and pursue that passion. Neither the artists or labels are making much on these cassettes, they are doing it because they love it. Not only do they create interesting music but they also put out some gorgeous tapes. You’d be surprised how much effort they put into the packaging. Sometimes I’ll buy a tape just because it looks so damn cool.

One column I’m going to start doing on a regular basis is reviews of the tapes I buy. I come across some really neat labels/artists and I want to share them with you. All these artists sell digital versions of their music so you don’t have to embrace the cassette culture to get into the indie music scene but I want you to keep an open mind about getting the cassette version. You don’t have much to lose. You can get a cheap portable tape player for a few bucks at a thrift store and these tapes only cost $5. Try something new and I think you’d be surprised how much fun you have.

Here’s a preview of the first artist/tape I’m reviewing later this week:

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/8907563″ params=”color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

hello world!

Do you like super fun shit? If so, you are in the right place. Just keep mashing the refresh button until you see something you like.

I’m going to be talking about:

  • Retrocomputing
  • Video Games
  • Vintage Action Figures
  • Indie Music
  • Whatever else pops into my head.

Two Years

As of today I’m been working full time for Automattic for two years. Time really flies. In the past two years I’ve traveled 70,537 miles and made hundreds of pieces of swag. Now I’m starting a new chapter at Automattic as a member of the Akismet team. I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Electronics Repurposing

I’ve been looking for a hobby for a while now and I think I stumbled across something fun. I’ve always admired the people on etsy who were able to repurpose old or broken things into something neat. I’ve always wanted to do that. So a few weeks ago I had an idea. I wanted to get a new external SSD hard drive but I wanted it to have a really neat enclosure. So I found this mSata SSD drive that had the perfect form factor for me.

I then started racking my brain to think of an electronic device that was around that size. iPods came to mind but all the modern ones I have around the house were way to thin. Then I remembered the iPod mini which was kinda thick. I looked around ebay for a bit and I found one that was in great physical condition but broken for only $15.

2014-02-24 19.34.22 When I took it apart it looked like it was almost the perfect size. The SSD plus controller board was almost the exact same size as the iPod PCB. My original plan was to attach the SSD board directly to the iPod PCB but when I removed the dock connector and attached the two, the combination ended up being a bit too high. So in the end I just used the screen and the SSD and ditched the original iPod board.

2014-02-24 22.47.38 Also as luck would have it the dock connector was just about the same size as the USB 3.0 connector on the SSD so I ended up not having to modify the iPod at all. All the compentents fit in there perfectly (with the aid of one small piece of double sided tape) and I ended up with this.

2014-02-25 13.06.46

I’m pretty happy overall and I’ve already got my next project. I’m going to put an Ouya into a GameCube shell. It should be a bit more of a challenge and I’m looking forward to it.

Akismet at Conferences

Do you know what I think would be really fun to do? Get a booth at one of the bad SEO conferences and make two kinds of t-shirts. Have ones to give out the the attendees that say “Team Spam” and make ones for us that say “Team Akismet”. What do you think?

Akismet Colophon Badge

I’ve always thought that the Typekit colophon badge was kinda cool. Its small, unobtrusive and lets users of your site know what fonts you are using. I thought it would be neat if something similar could be made for Akismet. You could have a little badge at the bottom of your site letting people know that you use are a proud Akismet user.

You could set it up to show your stats or you could just provide a link so people could get some more info on Akismet. I through together a quick & simple badge and put it on my site so you can get an idea of what I was thinking with this.

Tinkering

Tinkering is what happens when you try something you don’t quite know how to do, guided by whim, imagination, and curiosity. When you tinker, there are no instructions—but there are also no failures, no right or wrong ways of doing things. It’s about figuring out how things work and reworking them.

Contraptions, machines, wildly mismatched objects working in harmony— this is the stuff of tinkering.

Tinkering is, at its most basic, a process that marries play and inquiry.

EXPLORATORIUM.EDU/TINKERING

New Theme on My Blog

I decided it was time for a change so I switched to an awesome new theme by Elmastudio with a bit of custom CSS to make it my own. The color scheme is based on the midnight WordPress admin theme which I love.