Category Archives: Electronics

Steam Clock

Steam Clock Valve Software

Well the image pretty much speaks for itself, I reckon. I suppose you could fix it up to actually run on steam, but that’s way too over-the-top. There is one slight dig at Valve Software, so I hope they don’t suspend my Steam account (I need my Peggle fix to function).

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Star Trek Desk

Star Trek Tom Spina

Recently I had the privilege of collaborating with Tom Spina Designs, makers of the famous Han Solo in Carbonite desk. The gig was for another desk, this time a commission for a client who wanted something special for their office: a desk based on the bridge from the most recent Star Trek films.

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Geeky Custom Deskpads

Custom Deskpad Cover Office Trends

A few weeks ago my friends at ES Robbins (the makers of the excellent NHL 94 chair mat) asked me to try out their new website for custom deskpads and chair mats. The timing of this was freaky because I was in the market for a deskpad, thanks to the keyboard scratching up my desk surface.

I opted to upload my own design, but it took me several days to decide on what I wanted on my deskpad. Did I want an 8-bit NHL rink? The world map from Avatar: The Last Airbender? A RISK gameboard? A map of Middle Earth or Westeros? A giant Magic: The Gathering playing card? The control panel from the bridge of the Enterprise-D? My detailed plans for world conquest?  And on and on.  Read the rest of this entry

Skeets Lamp

Booster Gold Skeets Lamp

Thanks to Netflix I recently revisited Justice League Unlimited, and finally got acquainted with Batman: The Brave And The Bold. Both series feature Booster Gold and his sidekick, a hovering robot named Skeets.

And Skeets being such a versatile robot, he struck me as something that would translate to many neat products, such as: a webcam, virtual keyboard projector, night light, USB Hub, desktop speaker, digital projector, and so on. For now I’m happy to use Skeets as a lamp, mostly because he’d look cool and would also serve as a life-size prop of sorts.

Booster Gold Skeets Lamp

 

I’m a little surprised that there aren’t several Skeets products on the market already. In both shows he struck me as toy-like in his appearance, and his voice sounded like something emitted from a sound chip that are common in toys today. Lots of opportunity here in my opinion.

 A few notes: the lamp could collapse to show Skeets in his normal form (above right), and his red eye could be used as a night light perhaps? The lamp would use a doughnut-shaped halogen or LED light. And yes it would be cool if it came with a number of phrases voiced by Billy West (the voice actor who voiced Skeets in both shows).

Power Bar With Remote Fighter Pilot Switch

Power Bar with remote fighter pilot weapons cover

(Note: I posted this four years ago, but I am re-posting this today with new art and fancier words. I’m almost done with the cleanup)

I use a power bar for my computer and junk, and on a few occasions I have tripped its red switch with my foot, killing the power and my will to live. So I thought, why can’t that switch be tethered remotely? Something I can place on my desk within arm’s reach. And voila, this concept was born.

However my clumsiness prompted the addition of a protective cover for the switch, so I dreamed up this switch design that belonged inside a fighter jet. I feel it would look cool on your desk. Or would it look too cool? The temptation to press it might be overwhelming.

Not shown: the red light indicator would be embedded in the switch too, just like a normal power bar.

Power bar manufacturers: this design is not beholden to any intellectual property (e.g. Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters), so please run with it if you want.

Autobot Blaster Attempt Derailed

RCA RS2120i Hi-Fi System

You might recall that a few years ago I posted a mockup of a stereo that looked like Blaster, the popular cassette-playing Autobot (or Audiobot as I like to call him). It’s something that I always kind of wanted in real life, so I’ve kept an eye out for existing stereos that I could enlist for such a project.

Then a few months back I found an RCA stereo that could do the job. It had a midsection that extruded out just like Blaster’s yellow tape deck. The speakers were also ideal too (I’d flip them upside down if needed). So I placed an order for the stereo, and even ordered some Autobot stickers from Reprolabels. The plan was to meticulously disassemble and paint the stereo.

Alas my order was pushed back to June (even if I choose express shipping!), and all other reputable stores don’t have this in stock. I’ve decided to throw in the towel and cancel my order, clearly this 5 year old stereo model is no longer being made (attempts to contact RCA fell short too).

I thought it would be a fun surprise for the blog, instead I will just share the mockup and my aborted plans. I will continue to keep an eye out for a stereo system that will fit the bill, and I will also attempt to do more IRL projects going forward.

UPDATE: A couple of helpful folks on Twitter pointed me to a reputable retailer and I ordered one, will get it in a week…so things are a go now! (Here is the link – Canadian customers only)

UPDATE 2: Derailed again. The product is out of stock.

Toy Firetruck USB Hub

Toy Firetruck USB Hub

My desk is often covered with cables (especially when I am recharging my portable devices), so I thought it would be fun to help conceal the mess by using a USB Hub that looks like a toy firetruck. See, all the wires/cables would look like hoses when plugged into the side of the firetruck.

For increased functionality I would also include a headphone jack, card readers, and an LED lamp built into the extendable ladder. Lights and sounds would also be a fun touch.

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