Deadzone and WH40k Minatures

This is one of those hobbies which those who pursued would have done in their teenage years. Well, I missed out somehow (not willing to embrace my geek nature perhaps?) but it won’t stop me from giving it a go as a forty year-old man.

Bottlehead Crack Valve Amp

So around five years ago Dee bought me a birthday present that I was equal parts enamoured with and terrified of: a point-to-point wired valve amplifier kit from the Bottlehead company.

Agent Bingo Robot

A couple of years ago, Jules got given a cheap toy robot, and it wasn’t long before it broke. He wasn’t too fussed1 and eventually let me tear it to pieces.


Oh man, this is cool: a benchtop brewery/brewing robot out of the US. Can I get one please? (Probably need to find our dream home first.)


I worked for a “data discovery and analytics platform” company1 for a couple of years, and got to see first-hand the power of graph-based datastores for analysis, hypothesis-testing and pattern discovery.

Mechanical Keyboards

As the primary user interface for many generations of computer users, the humble keyboard surely deserves its place in the history books as one of the twentieth century’s greatest inventions. From the surface, at least, it appears to be largely unchanged since the electric typewriter of the ’30s, with the layout even older still — a lattice of switches which, when closed, send an appropriate electrical signal to the computing device — and as a frequent, heavy computer user, I should probably have paid more attention.

Craft beer

Ah, beer – the great civiliser. As noted in the New York Times: Current theory has it that grain was first domesticated for food. But since the 1950s, many scholars have found circumstantial evidence that supports the idea that some early humans grew and stored grain for beer, even before they cultivated it for bread.

Clock Radio

Idea: Replace the guts of the (US-voltage) vintage clock radio I have with an Arduino (driving the display) and a radio circuit. Hacks/Ideas Self-dimming clock display e.g. get brighter gradually towards the alarm time Input: existing controls Gut a portable DAB radio (~$50, ebay) and integrate Add a smart bulb (lumen, phillips hue) to my bedside light and make an easy “dawn light” Voice activation/control(!