Skippy's Random Ramblings

The Random Thoughts of a Geek in Manchester



How I make a Screencast

I have been playing with Fusion 360 again… and as part of that I have been finding cunning tricks that I am thankful that I now know. Since I think I have a blog or something, I shall share those… Continue Reading →

The Particle Electron – First Impressions

A while ago I backed the kickstarter campaign for Particle (formerly Spark)’s Electron board, a IOT (internet of things) with a built in 3G modem (2G are available) with global data coverage, recently they shipped, Setup was as easy as… Continue Reading →

Last day of @makerfaire_uk #makerfaire

Photos from Day two of the UK Maker Faire in Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Life Centre for Life 2015:

First day of @makerfaire_uk #makerfaire

Photos from Day one of the UK Maker Faire in Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Life Centre for Life 2015:

Testing Zpanel CP

I have picked up a Xen VPS to test Zpanel Control Panel out on, at the moment I am with Bytemark using there Symbiosis control panel; which while lovely for my interfacing with my server, makes it harder to offload some administration… Continue Reading →

Automatic Panoramic Head – Part 2: Move the Camera

Following on from Part One, I have come across a number of ways of changing the focus ring via a servo, and if I was to use a Telephoto (Zoom) Lense on an SLR (Single Lens Reflex) Camera The Focal… Continue Reading →

My 3D printer

I have got the first parts of my Tantillus 3D printer, I got the outside parts lazered by Sham Glam (1st post). Here is the unboxing photos, these were taken at Swindon Hack Space, at the Swindon Museum of Computing: Just… Continue Reading →

Installing Lion on my Mac Mini – Part 3: Lion Server

Following  on from Parts one, and two, I now have a mac mini running OS X Lion, and will now be making Lofn into a Fulla replacement. Two small changes need to be made first though to make it less… Continue Reading →

Home Made Keyboards – Part 2: More Ideas

[toc]I have been looking around the internet for more ideas on Chording keyboards; and have come across more examples that I can use to refine my plan: The AgendA The AgendA is a British-designed organiser from the mid-80s. Its most striking feature… Continue Reading →

Installing Lion on my Mac Mini – Part 2

Following on from Part One, I finally got round to playing with this a bit more; however I still have not had any luck with running Mac OS X Lion on my Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz Mid 2007 Mac (an A1283)… Continue Reading →

Task 51 – Start my Own Business

On my Day Zero List is to Start my Own Business; I have been toying with the idea of this for a while; and while I do poke Just Vigilantes for a while I have always been running it via a VM… Continue Reading →

02 and the nanny state

I finally got an answer back from O2 regarding the blocking of my website; it would appear that they have unilaterally decided that // and // are Parental Controlled… The Website status checker [note] when you type in // gives you this screen: Which to be… Continue Reading →

O2 have blocked my 365

  My Project 365 site seems to have been blocked from being accessed over 3G by O2, I have written about my feelings on O2’s content blocking before, most people I assume have already got pissed off with it and bitten the bullet since and ‘verified’ themselves since… Continue Reading →

Home Made Keyboards – Part 1: Project Overview

A while ago I cam across the Stenograph system, and thought about making myself a Steno Keyboard or something smiler, looking into I found this: There are two types of keyboard used in the UK for STTRs (Speech to Text Reporter), the… Continue Reading →

Affordable Accessible Mouse – Part 4: Prototyping

After Running the code on my Teensy from Post Number Two, I moved onto mounting the buttons and joystick in a box, My Test device has nine buttons; rather than the severn that the finished product will have; plus the… Continue Reading →

Tool Review – Dremel Gas Soldering Iron

I first used my Dremel soldering iron (Dremel Hobby VersaTip 6 in 1 Heat Tool) when I was fixing my Ignition, I have subsequently used it for soldering a load of corroded wires together to try and get Steph to… Continue Reading →

ROV – Part 2: The Hull

As said previously most people use PVC pipe for the hull construction, Looking round the internet for ideas I have come across Ian Leverington’s site ROV Robot Submariner, that sells a how to guide for building an Remotely Operated Vehicle, complete with… Continue Reading →

ROV – Part 1: Project Overview

One of the things I fancy doing with my free time; and to help me learn to program/built awesome things is to geek out is to try and build an ROV (Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle); I am not sure why the “U”… Continue Reading →

Affordable Accessible Mouse – Part 3: Software for users

Baby Interface Device (via is something that i found while looking at the Teensy Projects page, there were two links of interest, linking to simple flash games that can be used with my Affordable Accessible Mouse Project, Fisher-Price Online… Continue Reading →

Affordable Accessible Mouse – Part 2: Teensy Mouse/Stick

I have found a Europeen supplier of the Teensy Micro controler; sell it from the Netherlands, you can still get all the details on how to use it from I am using the Arduino IDE (from and the… Continue Reading →

Affordable Accessible Mouse – Part 1: Project Overview

I have been reading online articles again, and came across The Utopia Open Source Braille Reader/Display aka ‘Audrey’ project, and as such decided to start writing about a project that I am working on currently. My mum works with a… Continue Reading →

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