I got my Arduino!

My wicked cool bro gave me money to buy and Arduino for Christmas, and here it is:

Then I hooked it up to the computer. I installed the software to program it. Inside is a piece of code which makes the an on-board LED blink. Here it is:

Now, to infinite and beyond!

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A wonderful way to wake up

No one wants to get out of a warm bed when it’s freezing. Maybe there are a few people, but no one has ever admitted it to me. So here was my solution:

1) Acquire electric blanket.
2) Acquire electric socket timer.
3) Hack electric blanket to be always on when plugged in.
4) Plug blanket into timer.
5) Set timer to turn on 30 minutes before it’s time to wake up.

Result: I wake up nice and toasty.

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New Photo Section

I have redesigned photos, and updated the album that I had there temporarily. This new system is much better than the old one in every way, especially the fact that you can now get full resolution copies of my pics. Uploading is pretty easy too, so maybe I can get the rest of the family to start using it rather than the evil facebook.

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Efficient solar lighting for window plants

I have 3 or 4 pots of soil sitting in my bedroom window. Unfortunately, my taste in plants requires more sunlight than your usual windowsill plant. Having recently failed to grow papaya and avocado, I tried my hand at passion fruit. The seed packet was a birthday present from my sister. It advised full sun and warm weather, naturally. The packet also claimed that the seeds could take up to 2 months to germinate (which is not unheard of when using oldish seeds).

Having resolved to water the pot diligently and patiently waiting, I was delighted when a couple weeks later, a little seedling popped up to say hello. I made the mistake of planting all of the seeds in the same pot, but considering the super seed beat the others by eons (going on a month or 2 now), everything seems to be OK. However, for the first week or so, I wasn’t sure if it was a papaya late bloomer, or a passion fruit, or even a weed, since many seedlings look very similar.

As it began to thrive, it was obvious that it was a passion fruit, and obvious that I needed to give more care to it that I had to the papayas that met slow painful deaths. So I wondered how I could increase the solar light incident on the plant, and reflection popped into my mind. So I took a piece of aluminum foil, cut it to the diameter of the pot, cut a pie slice out of it for the plant, and placed it under the plant. Then I fashioned a little shield that I placed vertically on the side of the pot opposite the window. Now almost every ray of light that slips by the leaves gets reflected for a second chance at feeding my photosynthesis hungry baby.

I do sometimes supplement the sun with a plant light (which I did for the papayas to no avail). And my passion baby has grown quickly into a passion toddler.

Passion Fruit right side

Passion fruit plant with aluminum reflectors

The downside of course is decreased sunlight into the room. But bedrooms are for sleeping, so this isn’t a problem.

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New Links!

You can now find some links on the main page: brukba.com . The links for this random board, and “links” both work! The photos section is coming soon to a brukba near you.

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This being a relatively new site, don’t expect endless content just yet.  I great plans that include many photos and stories.  So come back later and check me out!

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