• 2 Posts
Joined 9M ago
Cake day: Jun 26, 2022


The thing a car replacement requires is weatherproofing. Otherwise you’ll take the car when it’s cold, when it’s raining, when it’s snowing, when it rained the night before. where I live, that means you can’t ride a bike for 9 months a year more or less.

Someday I’d like to build a recumbent electric bicycle with a heavy tarp shell to protect from wind and water. If it’s street legal and cheap enough, I think it could completely replace cars for a lot of people who don’t really need a big expensive thing that requires gasoline and oil changes and insurance and licensing and plates.

Unlike recreating the automobile, you could get away with a relatively inexpensive battery so if it dies you just replace it, and instead of burning energy to heat the battery all the time, you could just bring it inside when you’re not using it.

For extreme weather you can even go one step further and put in a drill battery powered heater to make the enclosure tolerable in the winter.

Our society has turned decadent, and so a lot of people have a bunch of skills that only makes sense within a deeply abstracted existence far from any relation to the fundamental stuff we need to live.

I think that across the board there’s a thirst to recover those skills, to learn how to be self-reliant without depending on an omnipresent and sinister machine.

Extremely interesting work, it probably isn’t easy getting so much stuff together to pull data out of so many different types of software.

For obvious reasons, I wish more places would migrate their communities to something that supports activitypub. FediBB looks pretty interesting for people who are used to phpBB.

Hopefully it ends up supporting porting to platforms that support ActivityPub in the future!

“It will come later to ejabberd Community Edition.”

That would be a game changer – I’m running a matrix home server beside ejabbered, but I would probably shut it down if my xmpp server could do what I wanted anyway!

After my experiences self-hosting, I think every house should have a low electricity server people do most of their stuff from. Not having to ask permission to use your own services is a liberating feeling.

I live somewhere that solar isn’t an option for about 9 months a year, but it would be awfully cool running my hardware using directly collected renewable energy for those 3 months a year!

True, repurposing low energy systems like those is a clear win.

A lot of people buy Raspberry Pis for projects that just need a cheap computer. To me that’s a shame, because there’s a lot of cheap fanless computers out there that are as good or better for the purpose of being a computer.

https://lotide.fbxl.net/api/stable/posts/11405/href This is a little project I worked on over the weekend once I realized that my Wii mini, which I previously didn't think could be very useful for me, could be set up with the homebrew channel using the bluebomb exploit. I own a nes mini, snes mini, and playstation mini, and they're all neat toys, but the problem with all of them is that I can't really use them in my living room. The TV is mounted on the wall fairly high up, and I don't have a shelf or anything, and I don't feel like running 100 feet of USB cables all over the place just because I might want to play some super nintendo games once a year. The Wii was a nice solution by itself. It's small, and you can plug a classic controller into the wiimote so you can play games wirelessly and tuck them into a basket for the 364 days you're not playing wii games. The Wii mini is different from the Wii in that it's a much simpler device. It doesn't have an SD card slot, it doesn't have a wifi transciever, it can't use Ethernet at all in its unmodified form. Also, the device doesn't have a frontloading DVD drive like the wii, instead it has a top loading DVD drive like the original playstation, so you can't just simply bolt it to the wall with a piece of wood or strap or plastic like you could with a Wii, because you won't be able to open the DVD drive. Being able to run homebrew was the final straw that made the project viable and interesting. My solution ended up being very simple: The sides of the wii mini are at an angle and come to a point. I measured the dimensions of that angle and created a wall mounted bracket, then printed 3 of them in PLA. A standard Wii has many mounting brackets available since the Wii was the most popular game console of that generation, but the wii mini was a last gasp and so it isn't really popular and there aren't really options out there, so this is a perfect solution for home manufacturing. I realized that the tolerances required to hold the wii mini using these was extremely tight, so I used a piece of lined paper to create a template by putting the Wii into its mounts sitting on the table, then I used a felt marker to mark drill holes. Even so, it wasn't as precise as I'd hoped, and I also had an issue with the anchors I used. I've used plastic screw in anchors on a few other projects and it wasn't a problem, but these anchors absolutely hated my living room wall, so that became way more complicated than I would have liked. It does work, but it's not perfect. If I were to design something like this again, I would remove the requirement to perfectly mount the anchors by printing a piece of plastic holding the three pieces in the exact spot so I didn't need to mount them perfectly. I would probably try to make it a hangable holder so I could just put a couple hangers on the wall and hang the wii holder off of it rather than try to drill securely into the wall. Regardless, it does work as you can see, and I'm happy enough with the results. My favorite prints are the ones that quietly become a permanent part of my life, and this is a great example of that. The Wii is being held behind my TV, hidden but accessible.

I am highly critical of electric cars as they exist today. We are building an electric version of an internal combustion engine car and in so doing we’re using tons of materials and the like building a simulation of something that exists.

For me, this is closer to what I think makes sense. We need to step away from the assumptions of the automobile, and start looking at what options we have available once we’re working with batteries and motors. I suspect that 90% of transportation could be taken care of by a small, light, enclosed vehicle with a relatively short range that sells for less than $5,000.

Something like that could revolutionize and democratize transportation more than even the automobile did. Get the price, and the parking requirements, and the insurance requirements, and the licensing requirements down, and suddenly people in lower classes who were never going to be able to buy a car could get 4-season transportation they have full ownership and control of. Even better, despite having many more cars on the road, stress to roads would be less, less material would be used overall, less energy would be used overall.

Tom Stanton
This guy does a lot of neat stuff. I watched a few electric bike videos he did where he tried building e-bikes with various features.