GeekDad Review: Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Push Mower

Fiskars push lawnmower

My life has come full circle, at least in terms of lawn care. When I was a kid, I started cutting grass using my grandfather’s old reel mower. More decades than I care to admit later, I’m once again using a push reel mower and I couldn’t be happier. The Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower is a little more high tech than the one I started with, but the reasons for human power — reducing air and noise pollution while providing exercise — are more important than ever. Continue reading

Final Hours: PancakeBot Kickstarter

PancakeBot Kickstarter

The first time I saw the PancakeBot in action, I was hooked. It was at the 2012 Maker World Faire in New York and it was just fascinating to watch in action. Voluntold by his kids that he needed to create a robot that could print in pancake batter, Miguel had created a machine that actually prints in pancake batter. Continue reading

A Great Weekend Project — DIY Arcade Controller

Mockup

While writing projects are in full swing, I often tend to collect small DIY projects that remain stacked on shelves until I have some of that free time… I’ve recently finished up writing two books that are now heading to the printer, and I find myself with some free time. I should be putting together a proposal for my next book, but instead I’ve reached for a small box of parts.
This past weekend’s project was quick and simple (relatively speaking), and I had a very easy gauge for determining its success or failure … would I be able to play the classic Atari 2600 game, Adventure, as it was meant to be played? Continue reading

Calling All Makers: Be a Part of the Denver Mini Maker Faire

DenverMakerFaireBanner

Fire up your soldering irons and sharpen up your scissors. The 2015 Mini Maker Faire is returning to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science June 13-14, and they want you. Continue reading

Two Budget Tablets Worth Your Time

NextBook and Kurio

My dear grandfather, the man who instilled within me a love of technology (and specifically consumer electronics), is fond of telling me that you just can’t skimp on hardware. Frank Zappa, on the other hand, famously declared “If we can’t be free, at least we can be cheap.” Continue reading

Doing the Two-Smartphone Shuffle

2 iphones

You know who I’m talking about even if I’m not specifically talking about you. This is the person that comes into a meeting at work and plops down a stack of smartphones on the conference room table. I have recently joined the two smartphone club, and because I see so many others like me struggling to do this dance properly I thought it was time to help make things a little easier. Continue reading

Kickstarter Reminder — DuinoKit Jr. Electronics/Arduino Project Kit

DuinoKit Jr2

This is just a quick reminder that the DuinoKit Jr. Kickstarter project is down to less than a week. It’s already reached its funding goal, so any stragglers out there who might be looking for a fun all-in-one electronics style kit that teaches Arduino and programming, take a look at the DuinoKit Jr.

Project owner, Dan Alich, has finished two successful Kickstarter projects previously, both larger versions of this kit called the DuinoKit Essentials. Dan understands the issues with manufacturing and shipping, so he’s got the experience needed to delivery the products on time for a May 2015 delivery. Continue reading

My Private Solar System

Our Solar System

I’ve wanted my own solar power system since the first time I learned such a thing was possible. A year and a half ago, I learned about a great program called Solarize Seattle. They team up with local installers and community organizations to make solar more accessible to homeowners in and around the Seattle metropolitan area. And more importantly, they help educate homeowners on how solar in Seattle was possible. Continue reading

Adayo Projector Puts a Big Screen in Your Pocket

Adayo in hand

The Adayo Smartphone Projector is a pocket-sized projector currently seeking funding on Pozible. It has already hit its goal, but there are a few weeks left in the campaign in case you want to preorder one. I got a review sample on loan to try out; here’s how it works. Continue reading