Happy 2010 to you all! We trust that you had a happy and (reasonably) healthy holiday, and that you managed to find some time for yourself to make something.
Making time, figuring out ways of organizing ourselves, and changing our mind-sets so that we have more time for DIY projects is actually going to be a focus of ours in 2010. On Make: Online
, we'll have articles and projects geared towards this theme. This year, we're going to have themes and meta-themes on Make: Online, as a way of bringing a certain thematic order to the content on the site. We've always had themes, that we didn't necessarily make public, for each month. Usually, they were broad and centered on a science or technology (physics, chemistry, water and watercraft). This year, our monthly themes will be more practical and overt. For instance, the theme for January is "gadget hacking," covering all the various ways you can modify, improve, combine, and repair the gadgets in your life. We also have quarterly special themes. The first quarter special theme is "Maker Business" and we'll be running a series of pieces by different successful kit makers, folks running their own fabrication job shops, mom and pop electronics shops, and the
like. We hope it'll inspire others who've been thinking of taking the plunge into starting a small/home business.
We also have a number of "internal themes" this year, ways for us editors and authors to think about the character of the site and the direction in which we want it to go. One of those themes is "Maker Community," i.e. reaching out more to local maker (crafter, hacker, citizen science, etc.) communities, and getting them, and YOU, more involved in the creation of MAKE magazine, Make: Online, and CRAFT. So, stay tuned for more about these themes and the direction that Make: Online is headed in 2010. One other big item on the agenda for 2010 is a redesign of the site, a la the fabulous redesign of CRAFT, which we're loving and, based on the feedback we've gotten, our readers are too.
As always, if you have any input on all of this, I'd love to hear from you (email@example.com).
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The Maker's Dictionary explores the world of DIY through its technical terms, jargon, and slang. We cover emerging terms you might hear floating around (but don't really know the meaning of), the tried and true argot of various technical disciplines (that all makers can benefit from knowing), and fun slang that helps paint a picture of DIY subcultures. If you have any terms or slang you want to share, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. --Gareth
Special Retro All-Letterpess Edition!
I got such a great response to my last Lost Knowledge column, on "Artisic Printing," a short-lived style of letterpress from the 1870s-80s, that I thought it'd be fun to do a Maker's Dictionary column devoted to letterpress terms, as it is enjoying a revival among craft printers.
Cliché -- In letterpress printing, term given to words or phrases used a lot, which where subsequently cast as a single slug of metal type so they didn't have to be recomposed, letter by letter, each time. Also called a "stereotype." "The French word “cliché” comes from the sound made when the matrix is dropped into molten metal to make a printing plate" (Wikipedia).
Freaks of Fancy -- In the waning days of artistic printing, disparaging phrase leveled on practioners of an artform that came to be considered gawdy and overwrought.
Furniture -- The bits of wood, of varying shapes and sizes, used to hold the metal type and graphical elements firmly in place in the type bed.
Leading -- Used to refer to the added vertical spacing between lines of type. Now usually called "line-spacing" in word processing programs, but the term is still used in computer page layout programs. It comes from the use of actual strips of lead to create such spacing in letterpress composition. Also nicknamed "interline."
Tramp Printer -- A type of itinerate printer, especially active in the 19th and early 20th centuries, who could travel from town to town in the U.S. (and into Canada), using their International Typographical Union card to get a job in any union shop. Many colorful characters worked as such "tramp printers." Issue #6 of Steampunk Magazine has a wonderful article on these characters.
Wrinklers -- A manual pressing device used for bending and curving brass rule and other embellishments for page decoration. Also, letterpress printers who couldn't afford commercial wrinkler presses and did the curved elements by hand, with pliers, were themselves dubbed wrinklers.
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Gems Unearthed from Deep Within the Data Mines of Make: Online
There's a lot of great content buried deep within the data mines of Make: Online, five years of material, some of which you've probably never seen. In this regular column, we dig up some of these gems.
In celebration of gadget hacking month, here are some gems gathered around the topic by Make: Online contributor Matt Mets.
A conversation with Mitch Altman -- After the 2008 Maker Faire in Austin, anti-gadget gadget maker Mitch Altman sat down to talk about inspiring people to build their own things, and shows off some of his own cool projects.
Circuit bending - Make: Video Podcast -- Bored with your latest noisy gadget, but don't want to throw it away? Why not try circuit bending it? In this Make: Video podcast, Bre Petis and Justin Gerardy explain the basics of circuit bending, and use it to bend a Speak & Spell and a toy harp.
Open Source Hardware overview -- A slideware presenation, by Limor Fried and our very own Phillip Torrone, offering a primer on open source hardware and hardware hacking.
How-To - Remove logos from your PDA/cell phone with sugar -- Banish those unsightly logos from your gadgets using the simplest of materials, sugar!
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Our pal Kent Barnes likes to do what he calls "5-Minute Hacks." In fact, he was the inspiration for this Project: Quick n' Dirty column. Kent is a fan of the Maker's Notebook, so much so that he's rebranded several smaller notebooks as Maker's Notebooks. He did the memo pad seen here and a mini Moleskine
. Of this Make: Memo he writes:
I picked up this memo pad at a fun place called Dasio, the 100 yen store ($1.50 USD). I love to carry something to write on at all times and this had 5mm squares. I scanned a Maker's Notebook, and using Gimp, sized it to 65cm x 120cm. I then printed it on glossy photo paper, removing one page from the pad for a template. Using a leather hole punch to match hole size, I punched the seven holes needed to attach my new printed cover, and slid it through the rings on the pad.
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