Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Glone V1

A big apology for the wait. This has been sitting complete on my desk and I have not yet taken pictures of it in action (thanks Pops!).

As you can see it is fully functioning. The buttons on the fingers give control of buttons 0-9 and call and end call. The mic and speaker have been added to the base of the thumb and the end of the pinkie. I have trialled it and its been generally good, but there's a lot to change for version 2. Some of the major issues are:
- The primary speaker is broken, so there is no ringing tone, and it must be switched to speakerphone to take calls.
- There is no vibrate function (as it was part of the primary speaker's functions)
- The sim card slot is hard to get at because it is under the pcb.
- The pcb is hard to keep attached to the glove as its screw holes are only semi circles on the edge of the board.
- The speaker is rather fuzzy (electrical tape is helping, but something of a bodge).

Additions for version 2:
- ribbon cable to cut down clutter
- a box to hold the main board
- a vibrate feature
- smaller buttons fitted to the side of the glove
- copper sheeting and rivets
- better housing for the speaker & mic.
- More art work (perhaps watch gearing built into "windows" on the main box)
- If it's a Nokia, could you wire the vibrate piece in to the fly wheel of a watch?
- No buttons on the pcb. It looks scrappy and is awkward to get to. Instead they should be mounted on the box's top

Anyways, some images:

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Hero: A trilogy in three parts. My autobiography

When writing about oneself, it is important not to underestimate the impact you have had on the world. Indeed would we be anywhere without the motor engine, the atomic bomb or wheel? But all these things have one thing in common; their creators are unable to invent anything else. Their pinnacle accomplishments have been reached and accomplished.

I believe this is where I have the opportunity to stand above all of these people. Einstein may have helped revolutionise modern thinking on the universe, but no more than that. I on the other hand, have still time to do far greater. In this respect, I am far greater than Einstein.

But this was not always the case. Indeed my early years were not spent enlightening peers nor bringing peace to the inner city. Many days were spent arranging coloured plastic bricks and staring at the television, but even then I knew that the rest of my life would not be this way. The plastic bricks would one day become bricks and mortar that would form shelters for blind orphans or go to describe the abstract form of DNA that will help medicine cure death.

Many of you whom I know from the medical world will know that this is still not yet the case. Despite many medical advances over the last few centuries, the death rate in humans is still estimated to be at 100%. I am therefore writing my autobiography in the future tense. I'm sure many of you realise that as an eccentric billionaire, I have little time to sit in front of a typewriter and produce my life's work in such elegantly simple terms that even someone of your literary stature can comprehend the revolution I have brought about, so instead I have chosen to write it now to get it out of the way, and therefore free myself up to changing the world irreparably for the better.

The trilogy begins.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Confessions of a plug socket repairman wannabe

I have a confession. I have no idea what I'm doing. But I'm in too deep now to admit it. I thought that I would make some fast cash but it so quickly spiralled out of control.

My name is Josh Cuppin. I'm 36 and I'm in advertising. I didn't mean to be. I didn't mean to be in advertising and I didn't mean to be 36. Both just happened. It started with when I was having a job interview to be a plug socket repairman for Gringer and Gringer advertising consultancy Co. During a discussion of which mnemonic I use to remember the order of the coloured wires in the plugs, there was a knock on the office door.

A young chap with glasses that made his face look like the front of an Oldsmobile, poked his head around the door and said that he didn't mean to interrupt but their meeting was in its 5th hour and they were no closer to cracking what to do with their 2 in 1 dishwasher tablet problem.

"what problem is that?" I asked, partly out of curiosity.
"They have a 2 in 1 dishwasher tab, but sales are flagging. We're stumped where to go from here". The man looked close to tears. In an attempt to lighten the mood I flippantly said
"Why not a 3 in 1?"

I wake up in the night crying from the nightmarish recollections I have of these moments. Why couldn't I just shut up? Why was I so desperate to impress the guy for a job that primarily would involve unscrewing plugs. But no. I had to suggest a rubbish idea. And they loved it.

Before I knew it, I was in the meeting room, surrounded by tacky suit wearing morons all chatting insipidly about the idea of a 3rd bit on the dishwasher tablet. Eventually it came to pass "The powerball". I didn't sleep that night. I couldn't help but think that I was part responsible for the introduction of an entirely unnecessary invention that doesn't do anything. But I also had a large envelope of money plus a job offer of advertising coordinator. I also had the admiration of the others in the room who I assume would have lost their jobs if they had come up blank. I also got the offer of having 2 of their wives and one of their husbands.

So I sat in the office the next Monday knowing that I would have to help again. That I was part of this machine that I got annoyed with every time adverts came on between my programmes. Now yes, I would have technically helped by fixing their plugs to allow their electrical items to facilitate their awful dreams and ideas, but now I was more directly involved.

So the first day. I had bought a gaudy shirt and tie and "ironic" cuff links to try and blend in a little. The team market meeting provisional leading supervisor took the stage and showed us the first slide to outline the new issue. Gillete.

The room was awash with initial ideas of what to do. Apparently it wasn't masculine enough. That somehow Gillete's image was vaguely feminine. And all the while I sat there, doing nothing. Petrified. Afraid that someone might at any minute uncover me as the fraud I knew I was. After 5 minutes, the room got progressively quieter, as each idea fell from grace.

Finally Ron, the vice-chair manager of advertising turned to me and said "Well Josh?". Time seemed to stop. The air in the room stopped moving, as if too waiting for my response. Finally Ron spoke again. "What is more manly than the 2 bladed Gilette razor?".

"um..... a three bladed razor". Silence. Nothing. No one dared move. Then sudden unleashed furore. "Superb!", "the machismo of it!", "It's like having 3 penises!". And that was it, my fate was sealed. Now all I do when I'm in a meeting is wait for as long as I can, ready to perform my one trick again and pray that no one finally says "Hang on, aren't you just adding 1 to it each time?! A 2 year old could do this!".

But no, just more money, more offers of money cars and spouses.

I just wanted to fix plugs.

Friday, 17 April 2009


So there was this idea that comedy was easy to write, so a while back we thought that we could write something based on parodying stereotypes in universities. Below is a script using a few of the ideas. Please don't copy any of this and turn it into a Bafta winning award without contacting me first!

The exciting life of students-

(from exiciting clubbing scenes cuts to V and T in front of the television. V coughs out some food and it lands on the floor. Lengthy pause. )

V: I'll give you a pound if you prod it.

(another lengthy pause)

T: (Goes to say no), yeah okay then


(Cut to R sleeping slowly zooming in on face with Mozarts dies irae playing. Suddenly alarm goes off and music stops abruptly. R gets up and out of shot and turns alarm off. Returns to bed and music starts again as soon as he closes his eyes).

Eventually R goes down stairs in Dressing gown to the living room.

T: (not averting eyes from television) How goes the revision?

R: It's starting tomorrow

T: (looks confused) The exam's tomorrow

R: Well what are you doing about it?

T: I've revised.

R: So you know it all?

T: I think so.

R: Could you help me?

T: Bit busy at the moment

(long pause whilst T watches TV)

R: Oh shit. Shit, shit.

T: You're a 2nd year Chemistry student. You can't expect me to help you out at this late stage.

R: I only need enough to pass. Besides, if I fail then who will you live with next year?

T: Other people whos housemates have also dropped out?

R: I hate you. (walks back out)

T: Hate you too mate.

(R goes to V's room)

R: Evening

V: (not looking up from pc screen) Hey

R: I need help on my exam.

V: I'm busy

R: (looking at screen) What you buying ?

V: Hobnail boots

R: Why?

V: Dunno, just always wanted some.

R: Have you revised yet?

V: For what?

R: The exam tomorrow!

V: (Finally turning from the screen), I don't have an exam

R: Yes we do! at 1pm.

V: But I'm not in your course

R: (speechless, stares at V for a few seconds) Aren't you?!

V: No

R: But why were you in my exam last year?

V: I was bored. I was trying to get some others chucked out of the exam and so increasing your chances to get placed higher in the class.

R: (another long pause) ah thanks mate.

(V turns back to the screen)

R: So what do you do?

(Flash back to Vietnam fighting)

V: Media studies

R: Really?!


R: So so can you help?

V: Not really. I don't know your subject and I need to stay in all day tomorrow until my boots arrive

R: ...shit.

(R returns to living room to find T joined by J)

R: Hey James, how was last night?

J: Hmm?

T: potatos

(J gets up and runs around the couch before sitting down again)

T: He said how was the hypnotherapist show?

J: Oh, no I didn't go in the end.

R: ...ahh.

R: James, have you got any tips for revision?

J: yes, start early.

R: Any others?

J: Cheat

R: Cheat?

J: Cheat

R: How?

(J leans over and whispers in R's ear)

T: No, they'd spot a mile away

J: Not by whispering Tom

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

St. Edisson's fire.

Frank never liked light bulbs. He wondered about darkened rooms for hours, preferring to bruise his shins on coffee tables rather than operate the light switch; useless thought this would be anyway as the lamps were bulbless.

For Frank knew more about light bulbs than anyone else should. He lived with the knowledge everyday and every sun set he would once again relive the moments when he first discovered the horrible truth.

Filaments, we are told are merely a coil of wire designed to generate resistance to the current, and so convert the energy to heat and light. From there it caused the gas in the bulb to glow. An inert gas. To glow... this bothered Frank so he read into it.

Xenon and other inert gases can not react in ways that other metals and non metals might due to their electron stability. They can not join in with others, make exciting molecules or worthwhile structures. And although they must have been made at some point and ultimately decay to energy-less particles later in life, their midlives are simply redundant.

They do however hold other properties. When pushed together, they can change their formation to create a tetrahedron, much like plastic balls do in a ball-pool. Each can only close so far to another atom until they are pushed through and come out the other side. The electrons must be excited to have anything to happen, but the electrons are too close to the other sub atomic particles to ever be excited enough to jump to the next level (a process known as the glass elevator).

As the electrons can not therefore function as natural electrons might they are known as mute-electrons or faux-particles.

Scientists knew that these duds were of no use, but then realised that there lack of use gave them a purpose. They were reliably mute and could be trusted to never react. Early uses included fire proof mats, test tube beakers and babies' dummies. But when Edisson wanted something to hold his electric fire in place, he did not know the repercussions. He filled a beaker with what is now called St. Edisson's fire and ran a current through a wire contained within. The result was a disaster.

The room began to glow with uncontrolled mute electrons. Edisson tried to shout but the mute electrons that had been emitted in to the room absorbed the vibrations, unable to react as standard electrons might. Opening a window the electrons finally dissipated in the sunlight, killed off by the holy nature of the photons pushing them down to the ground from their impacts.

The Edison haze was unable to move from the floor and he could finally speak. But he didn't want to. The haze was at least contained in the room. Controlled for now at least. He knew that when the sun faded, the glow would start again and he would once again be surrounded and subdued by the great mute. He would not call anyone in to the room as it would let the haze out to his family's rooms. He stood in his room and awaited his death.

Today the bulb is in every home, under every bed, in every loft. We don't think about its contents whenever it operates and we rarely think of the consequences of breaking one open. But Frank Edisson does. He is still in the room by himself waiting for the sun to set again.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Painted signs... why?

I feel a weird experiment coming on. Firstly I want to find something that I care about enough to go somewhere with a big sign and shout angrily at no one in particular. Secondly I want to be given the mindset that this is not only a worthwhile action, it is the best thing to do to bring about resolution in my favour.

This is of course in reference to the recent G20 summit (I wonder if I'm on the FBI list for writing this yet?). It seems a weird hobby to have.
"What do you do?"
"oh I'm a telesales person with Ensleigh insurance"
"Really, what do you do when you're not working?"
"I like painting and attending large rallies to protest global political situations".

I assume that this is the same state as Nazi vegetarians or militant recycling police (people who tell you off for not putting a crisp packet in the special recycling bin). They must be aware that nothing changes because of their choices; animals still die and the world is still becoming more polluted and damaged, but their stance puts them on the side of "right". They are not to blame for the bad because they aren't a part of the problem. That's fine, I don't mind this. Of course if they start protesting that they are a better person than me because of it...

But protesting struggles to fit in to this category. You are not changing your life to be different. You can't protest against the reluctance of the uk to remove its nuclear deterrent in the same way because you are not on the same level. You can't say "Look, my world is free of nuclear weapons and I haven't suffered any military or political repercussions". The argument doesn't fit. Now if you were a country with strong military ties to the world and then you removed your reliance on nukes then yes, that would make sense. But you don't. You're a car mechanic from Ipswich with 2 kids.

But I guess that's where it comes from. It's born out of frustration. You can't change the uk's businesses risky capitalisation on fluctuating markets because you are a nothing in their eyes. Your opinion is irrelevant and won't be listened too. I feel like I might be close to sympathy (a first).

So close and yet so far. I still don't see why the only solution left is to stand in a street with a sign near the house of someone who might be able to make a difference to your cause.

Someone in that amount of power will be basing their decisions on advice from people in the know. Influential people that may very well politically and financially support this person. They must base their suggestions on the repercussions, like a move in chess affecting all the other pieces on the board. They will not however, ever look out of their window and read your "no nukes in Britain" hand painted sign and think "oh yeah.... I hadn't thought of that".
So maybe the satisfaction is just from being there. You won’t make a difference, but that’s okay. You are surrounded by people who believe that doesn’t matter either and in front of you is a line of police stopping you progressing. As if just beyond this line is a point in which you would make a difference. Just another 50 foot forward and your point would be taken on and changes would be made. But if it doesn’t matter what you protest as nothing will happen, why not chose a new subject. “Kittens make good pets!”. Who knows, maybe that will stick in the head of those in charge more easily and Mr. Brown may have a couple of lil’ cats by next week.

On a separate note, I now have mentioned nukes, G20, 20th century fascists and nuclear weapons in this article. That should get me a few more hits.