Makercraft: Making isn’t always glamorous

While all of us makers love to create awesome things, sometimes what we’re making is far more mundane. In fact, I’d guess my own mundane creations outweigh my awesome ones 2 or 3 to one.

Cases in point: I recently build a simple plastic reel holder for my 3d drawing area out of a couple of 1x2s. Hardly glamorous, but it’s functional and provides easy access and some much-needed space to my shelves and desktop.

 

Another example is an old section of countertop I recently repurposed into a desk using a leg set I bought off Amazon.

The underlying theme is that making has its roots in thrift as much as it does awesome. The endeavor should contain some of both.

DLH

Read more at my Makercraft site...

Science and Technology: Pocket computers and the scourge of e-waste

In my last post, I talked about my complaint that the computers we carry in our pockets are still being designed as if their primary purpose was to be a phone. To me, one of the main reasons this is a complaint at all is that they are designed to go obsolete after a time.

The fact is that most smartphones are still very capable computing devices when they get replaced. Yet, because they are designed imagining their primary purpose is to be a phone, they are also designed to be locked to a manufacturer, locked to a carrier, and locked to an operating system. As a result, when they cease to fulfill the requirements of any one of those considerations, they’re unable to do much more.

Yes, it is possible to “upgrade” some modern smartphones with newer versions of the operating system they’re locked to, and some few can be upgraded beyond that, but almost always only if you’re a technical expert willing to mess with some very technical stuff and possibly destroy the device.

The first and best thing smartphone manufacturers, carriers, and OS makers could do is end their tyranny over deprecated devices. Providing a way to repurpose these devices after they no longer able to meet other requirements would extend their lives and allow them to perform untold numbers of other tasks.

The best driving purpose behind such a repurposing would be to end the scourge of e-waste that otherwise still useful but deprecated devices represent. We could keep millions of smartphones from becoming waste simply by giving them a way to do something else.

Yes, that means that some may take new smartphones and do exactly that. So what? We don’t do this to any other computing device, so why do we do it with smartphones?

It’s a simple solution that could unlock all sorts of potential we haven’t even imagined yet. The question is not whether we should, but when we will.

DLH

Read more at my Science and Technology site...