The year of DIY SOS

First of all,

Happy New Year!

Now that all that Christmas nonsense is out of the way it’s time to attempt to get back to writing posts a bit more regularly. Before anyone gets too excited that is likely to mean a lot of rambling on about fixing up our new house; 2011 was the marathon house buying year but 2012 is going to be a whole Olympiad of jobs that need doing on the house of many leaks!

Given the number of leaks we already have, one job that I’m not planning to do myself is replacing the bathroom. We’re still trying to figure out the best way to fit everything in without everything looking odd or squashed. My pencil and paper scribbles have evolved into a highly realistic 3D rendering quick 3D sketch in Second Life to see what it might look like. Apart from our bathroom looking extremely small when dropped in the middle of a field on its own, it was a very simple way to get a rough visualisation.

I haven’t quite managed to use bathroom sketches as an excuse to buy a Galaxy Note… yet… maybe if it was just a little bit cheaper!

The other project I keep contemplating is whether to put in some structured wiring. While decorating and pulling up floors would seem like the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately there’s no obvious place to put a so called ‘node zero’. I guess I could put a patch panel in the loft and defer choosing the final location until later. Would that work? And is there an easy trick for running cables behind dot and dab dry lined walls? Using 8 or 16 pair cable seemed like it might make things simpler than pulling through multiple cables, but that doesn’t seem particularly easy to get hold of in the UK. There’s a good chance decorating will just overtake any ideas about installing ethernet cables but I haven’t completely given up the idea.

Next job: sanding.


Nanode 343

I got hold of a Nanode kit after the excellent OggCamp last weekend and yesterday I got round to putting it together, just sneaking in before the Nanode’s first anniversary!

Nanode connected to Freeduino

It’s not doing anything exciting in that photo (just connected to a spare Arduino board in the absence of an FTDI cable) but shorty afterwards, thanks to Andy’s post, it was turning an LED on and off using the power of the internet! Ok, so maybe a Pachube dashboard is overkill for an LED, but I have a weather feed I’ve been meaning to connect to an ambient orb for a while… except I seem to have packed that for moving house already!

The Nanode is a great kit and eventually I’d really like to get it hooked up to the central heating, but I expect other DIY projects will delay that for a little while.

Update: check out this brilliant video of @knolleary building Nanode 349! It took me much longer!! (25 August 2011)