Author Archives: Jeremy Cook

A New Beest From MDF


Pushing the ‘Beest

If you’ve been following this blog recently, you may have noticed that there are posts about repairing things or trying things out, but not much in the way of original creations. I suppose this isn’t totally original, since this type of walking “beest” isn’t mine, but it may be the first one made out of MDF (medium density fiberboard).

I designed it to walk on eight legs as my first try using only four didn’t really work out walking-wise (but made for a nice display). Usually these kinds of things use legs, but that seemed like too much work both on me and on the motors. Four legs seemed like it almost worked, so eight would work, if not as smooth as twelve. Or so I thought.


Original notes and design on water-jet cut ‘Beest

MDF was selected because is seems to be mechanically more stable than normal plywood, and I arranged for it to be water-jet cut from a CAD file I came up with. This worked quite well, and the water didn’t affect it too much when cut. However, one thing I didn’t consider was that MDF is quite heavy. You can it being tried out, as well as more pictures of the process after the “read more” link thing.

I envisioned Read more »

A Great New HTPC Mini Keyboard


As you might have noticed from my last post, I’m constantly fiddling with my HTPC setup. As I generally enjoy that kind of thing, it’s a reasonable price to pay for having access to everything on the internet. My latest upgrade is a tiny keyboard called the Rii mini i8+ (Amazon).

If you don’t have time to read the rest of my review, if it were a stock I was reviewing, I’d list it as a “strong buy.” It seems to have been designed with the HTPC market in mind, and it reminds me of typing on a generously-sized physical phone keyboard. The keys are kind of a soft-plastic feel, but not too soft to be mushy like a remote control. F1 through F10 are present, which is really convenient if you’ve setup custom macros to launch a certain program or website with them (see this post on how to do this).

The touchpad is similarly setup well for media-PC use. Directions for operation are clearly printed on the pad, which could be useful if you have friends over that want to “drive,” and there are Read more »

New Quieter Fan for My HTPC

quiet fan HTPC vs old louder fanFor the last five years or so, I haven’t had cable, and instead use a computer (AKA HTPC) to stream everything off of the internet. I use a graphics card with no fan, which has generally worked well for me, but some streaming services* seem to cause the CPU to heat up, causing my main cooling fan to go crazy.

I’m not sure if it’s because it was getting old, but the fan that I had sounded like a jet engine. After doing a little research, I found out that I needed an 80mm fan. This is apparently normally measured by what the height and width of the square fan box is, but my fan was round for whatever reason. You can also infer this width by the distance between the holes. There is a handy chart here, so I made my best guess after taking the measurements.

After looking at reviews, I finally settled on this “ARCTIC F8 PWM PST” fan (Amazon) for under $8 as of this writing. It is seriously the most Read more »