Making an oscilloscope kit suck less.

A couple of jobs ago I worked in an electronics lab that had all the toys - from tool cabinets as tall as I am to anti-static gear all over the place (and ruthlessly enforced rules for making use of it) to signal analyzers and oscilloscopes. Unfortunately, my job (and the project) were such that I couldn't just go messing around in there to teach myself to use the diagnostic instruments. If the 'scopes weren't in use at the time then they'd been set up specifically for the hardware we were working on. This means that messing around with the settings …

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Spending quality time with the Pi-Top.

A couple of months ago for my Lesser Feast I decided to treat myself to a toy that I've had my eye on for a couple of months: A Pi-Top laptop kit.  My fascination with the Raspberry Pi aside (which includes, to be honest, being able to run a rack full of servers in my office without needing to install a 40U rack and a new 220 power feed), it strikes me as being a very useful thing to have under one's desk as a backup deck or possibly a general purpose software development computer.  Most laptops have one unique …

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Haute armored couture?

For many years, body armor that was fashionable as well as protective was a trope of cyberpunk sci-fi. The ever-present black leather jacket lined with kevlar, dusters and drovers coats with trauma plates stitched into them, and even capes and cloaks which could turn bullets or the blade of a knife graced the pages of many a well-thumbed paperback book. Now it would seem that fashion designers have taken inspiration from these stories and helped make body armor, or at least the appearance thereof fashionable. It would seem that some subcultures have taken body armor as a fashion statement of …

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