Let's Make Robots!


How would anyone else feel about a pay-to-enter competition? Simple rules:

1) everyone pays a nominal amount (eg US$2) to enter (maybe to a centralised PayPal account or something?)

2) winner takes all - the person deemed the "winner" gets the contents of the PayPal account

3) the person setting the challenge is not allowed to enter (clearly, this person may already have spent years working on their design!)

4) the entries are judged by LMR members and these members must not also be entrants in the competition.

Enter Network Password

Anyone ever seen the "Enter Network Password" dialog appear repeatedly in MS Outlook? It's really starting to piss me off.

It comes up every few minutes. The password is already entered (asterisked out). Even if I click "Save this password in your password list" it still comes back.

I Googled it. There are loads of instances, but none of the proposed solutions works for me...!

Xmas Lights Tester

So, you accidentally stick a regular clear bulb in your Christmas lights (fairy lights [US] ?) instead of a fuse bulb. Next time there's a bit of a surge, there's no discernable weak point in your circuit and it takes out more than one bulb. Where do you start debugging that?

Sure, you could sit with a multimeter and probe all the bulbs to find the duff ones. Have you ever tried to attach multimeter probes to a fairy light bulb?!?! It's a nightmare. Specially when you only have 8 fingers and two thumbs.



This is (the bottom half of) my wife's great great grandmother's cherry wood sideboard. Ain't it a beauty? I trailed it 1500 miles from Normandy.


Here's how the door is attached to the cab:


Circled is a screw which I cannot access. The photo is a little deceptive. Looking down on it you can't see the screw at all.

LMR Theme Song

Who knows if this will come to anything... Here's a soundbyte to get started with. It lacks rhythm. In fact, it lacks any musical qualities, but there are some stunning compositions which have started with less.


LMR on an oscilloscope.

I used Chris Meighan's ScopeShapes program to drive my oscilloscope from my PC sound card.

The program was loaded with a DXF file created by Armin Müller's eleFont program.

This was a fun day!

Homebrew USB Frets on Fire (Guitar Hero -esque) Controller


All but the visually impaired will immediately notice that this isn't a robot. Nevertheless, it discusses some interesting electronic, interfacing and mechanical construction techniques.

The aim is to make a guitar-like controller for the excellent Frets on Fire game. I blame 668 for introducing me to this notion. Once you're addicted, I encourage you to blame him, too.

LMR Euro 2008 Fantasy Football League

Anyone like football? No, of course not. We're all geeks around here. I've been convinced to give Euro 2008 Fantasy Footbal a go by my colleagues. Anyone who wants to join a LMR Fantasy Football League, create and account here: http://en.fantasy.euro2008.uefa.com and join the league (under the "Leagues" button) by entering the league code:


Hey, even if you don't support any particular 11 overpaid idiots, sign in and pick a completely random team just for a laugh!