Make: Talk 007 — Charles Platt, Electronics Fun & Fundamentals


Here’s the 7th episode of MAKE‘s podcast, Make: Talk! In each episode, I interview one of the makers featured in the magazine.

Our maker this week is Charles Platt. He writes the Electronics Fun and Fundamentals column in every issue of MAKE. He’s also the author of the O’Reilly best-seller, Make: Electronics which, in my admittedly biased opinion, is the best introductory electronics book ever written. He has a knack for clearly explaining what so many other people cannot express without using a lot of incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo.

Charles is also a science fiction author and a designer. Here’s a fascinating interview with Charles about his work as the art director and graphic designer of the groundbreaking British science fiction magazine New Worlds in the 1960s and 1970s.

Charles has many talents and I am a huge fan of his.

In this episode, I also talk a bit about TED2012, which I attended this week. I was a happy to see a lot of makers on the stage, including Gregory Gage of Backyard Brains, Ayah Bdeir of littleBits, and Bre Pettis of MakerBot. Go team!

Here’s are some projects Charles has written for MAKE:

Plastic Desk Set
Screen Shot 2012-03-02 At 5.19.36 Pm

Anti Dog-Bite Siren


Crystal Nightlight


Extreme Zap-a-Mole


MAKE Flickr Pool Weekly Roundup

Thanks to everyone for the helpful and constructive feedback on last week’s Flickr pool roundup. We asked, you answered, we listened: We’re sticking with the old format. Enjoy!

This week in the MAKE Flickr pool we saw…

Dry Ice with Soap and Water #1 from Mr. Bell.

Solar cell from okini393939.

apple iic logic board backlit from charles_mangin.

Static electricity detector from peter-rabbit.

A Brief Interlude from senseless_.

Laser Cut Bud Vase – close up from b_light.

Drile from Pete Prodoehl.


DIY Wooden Gaming Pedals

Redditor Soonermandan‘s first DIY project is this set of three wooden pedals which he built to use while playing Battlefield 3. The pedals let him use his feet to control the keyboard commands for sprinting, crouching, and lying prone. He used magnetic reed switches to sense when the pedal is depressed and a Teensy USB to send the appropriate keyboard command to the computer. He posted his code in the comments and says that the Teensy USB “is extremely responsive with no perceivable input lag.” No word yet if his project has given him a competitive advantage during gameplay.

Google Reader pedal


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