Dan Fixes Coin-Ops is a user on mastodon.social. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.

Dan Fixes Coin-Ops @ifixcoinops@mastodon.social

His example was a plastic-wrapped mackerel. You'd hold your smartphone up to it and an app would say "Do you want to open this mackerel," and you'd say yes, and then it'd send current through a heater wire to melt open the packaging. And the guy was SO ENTHUSIASTIC about this stupid idea.

Listening to Radio 4 podcast "Putting Science to Work" on the way in today. It's a really neat format - host gets £1,000,000 of imaginary research grants and has to decide how much to give to each of three scientists who present competing solutions to the same problem. This episode had me shouting abuse at my radio because the problem presented was the proliferation of hard-to-open single-use plastic packaging, and one guy's solution was to put a computer in each package for self-opening.

The clocks go back tomorrow in the USA, and later in the month they go back in England too. Now is a good time to check all the things in your house that use batteries! If you find corrosion or leakage, if it's not too bad you can neutralize it with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar and a bit of scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Unless it's in a smoke alarm. Don't mess around with smoke alarms. Happy time-travelling!

Louisville Arcade Expo went well. My new apprentice got plenty of opportunity to see and fix. Had some neat ideas. Hung out with some lovely people. Drank some good bourbon.

USA politics, gun control, dark humor, tobacco Show more

Today I drive to Kentucky for the Louiseville Arcade Expo! I'll be teching the Replay Foundation's pinball tournament over the next few days, starting tomorrow. Stop by and say hello if you get the chance!

Things that are for old people:

2018: Landline phones, desktop computers, optimism
2019: Cable/satellite TV
2020: Physical keyboards / laptop computers, employment
2021: Alternating current

We're ready, but it's still sad. Please keep us in your minds about half an hour from now - maybe the combined love of a few thousand Improbable Island players will help Leo die gently, maybe it won't, but it couldn't hurt.

Those who were online on the Island earlier may know that Improbable Island Official Cat Leo is currently enjoying his last hours. The vet called to say that her last appointment had overrun, so she would be late. We have maybe half an hour left, and we're all getting in some extra cuddles. The black cat here is Stewart, Leo's boyfriend and soon-to-be Improbable Island Official Cat. mastodon.social/media/l3h1PLXu

"how nerds destroy the world" (pictures for sad children) Show more

Injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, to prove that you are not a robot. Show more

Even in a sealed container full of poison, assaulted by heat and radiation, life will find a way to form, flourish and evolve into something complex enough to fuck up your telly. Isn't that amazing.

Over time, bombarded with X-ray radiation, that tiny catalyst of organic material became algae, which now obscures the picture. Life of this sort cannot survive on only red light, which is why only the blue (and, to a lesser extent, the green) is affected, making the picture turn orange.

...so between the face of the tube and the lens that magnifies the image to super-big, there's a reservoir of cooling fluid. This cooling fluid is poisonous and conductive, so you really don't want to mess with it unless you have to. It also serves as part of the X-ray shielding arrangement.

One failure mode of these TV's is where the blue seems to diminish over time, resulting in a warm, orangey picture. This happens because a factory worker left a thumbprint on the reverse of the lens.

Fact for when you're feeling blue:

CRT-based Rear projection TVs have three monochromatic cathode ray tubes, one for red, one for blue, and one for green. They're like little seven-or-nine-inch black-and-white TV's. Because they're black-and-white, they have no shadow mask or aperture grille, just an even coating of phosphor. This means they're very clear (no pixels) and very bright (nothing between the electron emitter and the phosphor). This also means they can get quite warm...

Have people been keeping up with the Billy Mitchell drama? It's delicious and nutritious!