Category Archives: News

Not even copper washers work

Steve came up with a great idea yesterday: copper washers!Copper is a number of times more conductive than stainless steel (or even zinc, as we’re not sure if any of our many different washers are electroplated steel) so it makes sense that copper wash… Continue reading

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Another almost success with the electronic board game

This board game designing is harder than you’d think. Not creating an actual game, just getting the mechanics of tracking pieces around a board with electronics. It’s proving quite difficult!Our inspired idea, using washers which drop into place and ar… Continue reading

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#BuildBrighton – Printing in 3D

I’ve been pretty dismissive of 3D printers, chiefly because I view them as complex, fiddly, erratic, temperamental and inelegant machines.If you want a lumpy thimble made very, very… very slowly they are perfect.If you want anything even moderately u… Continue reading

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Margate Games residency kicks off

2014 is off to a great start and my first project is an artist’s residency in Margate in the run up to the Geek Festival. I’ll be working on it over the coming weeks and writing up my progress on … There’s more
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Furniture design with OpenSCAD

In my last blog post I started to show off something I threw together in OpenSCAD in a few minutes, and I have been playing around with the application a bit more since then. So I had a rough idea in my head of some furniture I wanted to build to improve my bedroom, and since I haven’t touched a CAD application in quite a while, doing it in code just makes sense to me. Continue reading

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Review of 2013

Review of 2013 As the new year starts I like to reflect on the past year, and it’s become quite the annual tradition. Clearly this is quite a self indulgent activity, and I do it more as a reminder to … There’s more
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What Developers Can Learn From Columbo

“You know, sir, it’s a funny thing. All my life I kept running into smart people. I don’t just mean smart like you and the people in this house. You know what I mean. In school, there were lots of smarter kids. And when I first joined the force, sir, they had some very clever people there. And I could tell right away that it wasn’t gonna be easy making detective as long as they were around.”

Columbo (1977)

Software developers work in the mental arena; they use their mind’s eye to abstract over concepts that often don’t exist in the physical realm and manipulate them to capture business rules and models. Consequently, they are notoriously careful about preserving the image of their own intelligence, substituting personal development for narcissistic self-preservation. Maybe if they were a little bit more like the fictional character Lieutenant Columbo, they could turn their intellectual naivete to their advantage by using it as an opportunity to learn from their peers and colleagues.

Columbo’s Skill

The characterisation of Columbo is an excellent study in Socratic irony — to the suspects in each episode he is a fumbling, feckless, frump of a man but to the audience he has no less deductive prowess than Baker Street’s finest. His comfort with his outward stupidity is what keeps others underestimating him and is what ultimately leads to their demise. Put as as coldly as this, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was a manipulative wretch, but he is otherwise professional and warmingly disarming.

What Are You Hiding?

Have you ever rebased a new feature to within an inch of its life because you didn’t want anyone to see the stupid commits in your feature branch? Pretended to know exactly what a colleague was talking about when you started at new company because you were afraid of being exposed as an imposter? Pushed an entire hobby project to Github in a single commit because you swore at yourself in a three of the original commit messages for being a bit of a shit gibbon? Sound familiar? If it does then you traded the opportunity to have a discussion for vanity.

Get Comfortable With Your Own Stupidity

It simply isn’t possible to be well-read in all areas of computer science, nor is it possible to be familiar with the ever-growing set of tools we have at our disposal. But by being open about, and accepting of, your lack of knowledge you open up yourself to the opportunity of having a discussion with your peers and colleagues — don’t preclude this by trying to save face because you’re the only one who’ll lose out.

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I have not really had a chance to start blogging anything recently as I have been too busy with Christmas, New Year and being back at work (with a lot of things going on). I am planning on posting up some more blog posts around a load of JavaScript I have been working on, and once things settle a bit more, I will do some more electronics posts! Continue reading

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New method for creating board game sections

Another evening at BuildBrighton means another go on the laser cutter and another PCB/mdf combo for our new-style board game sections. Having spent a while designing the PCB so that it can be made from a single piece of single-sided copper board, (mean… Continue reading

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A new approach for New Year

Having decided that we need some steel parts in the construction of our board game sections, it was once again time to try out a new idea.This time we’ve tried to focus on easy-to-source materials, rather than trying to focus on the long-game and manuf… Continue reading

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