J. Peterson's Writing About Electronics, Reviews, 3D Modeling, etc.

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Reality Check (Fire, Part 2)

Siren chasers

Before heading to the hotel, we’d gone into the house briefly to retrieve a few items – some clothes, phone chargers, etc. It was well past 1am by the time we settled in hotel. I couldn’t sleep at all; anxious to figure what was going on, I got up early. My cell phone rang, I instinctively answered.

Caller: Hi, I understand you need a clean up crew at your residence for a fire…

Me: Uh, I contacted the insurance company, I think they’re taking care of that.

Caller: Oh no, you don’t want to use them, insurance just uses the cheapest people. We’ve got a crew of pros that can get right out there and…

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Fire (Part 1)

We’d run an errand, then gone out to dinner. We were out for maybe three hours, returning a little after 10pm. Our teen-age twins, eager to get home, ran up the steps from the driveway to our front door. “Fire! The house is on fire!” they called out. I ran up to see what was going on. Smoke was pouring out the front door.

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3D: Replacement Stove Knobs

knobsonstove

We have an aging Thermador gas range.  One of the original plastic knobs broke. Surprisingly, it was hard to find replacements.  Thermador no longer supplied them, and the 6mm D-shaft was an unusual size for generic replacements.  The closest I could come was some generic knobs off ebay.  But these didn’t have the proper stop inside the sleeve, so you couldn’t push the shaft in before turning it (a safety feature of the Thermador knobs). I kludged some stops with chopstick pieces, but it was clumsy.  Time to roll our own. read more »

Book Review: Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath

What would happen to a major metropolitan area – say, NY or LA – if the electric power grid completely failed, for multiple weeks at a time? The result isn’t pretty, and this is the topic long-time TV journalist Ted Koppel covers in Lights Out. The book claims the electric power grid is subject to a uniquely new threat: Attack by cyber criminals who can disable huge portions of electric power supply remotely. read more »

Czurtek ET16 Scanner Review

Czurtek ET16 scanner

This post originally appeared on Medium.com.

I like scanners. See, at one time I was really into books. But after a decade or two, you come to the conclusion books take physical space. Lots of it. So when my tax guy showed me his Fujitsu ScanSnap I was hooked. Mine ingested most loose papers, statements and documents. This cleared a shelf or two. I also scanned many books by sawing their spines off, and feeding them to the ScanSnap fifty pages or so at a time. It works great, and this cleared several more feet of shelf space.

However, there are some books I just can’t bear to saw up to feed to a sheet-feed scanner, and this is the niche the Czurtek ET16 falls into. I also had fantasies of using it to replace my slow, clumsy flatbed scanner. So, I signed up to the Indiegogo campaign, for $234.

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