We are pleased to announce the grand opening of our online store. It is a store unlike any other – either online or brick and mortar. Reflecting the diversity of the ProvideYourOwn website, our goal is to provide the resources you may need in your quest to reclaim your life from big corporations, crummy products and boxed-in living.
Our initial offerings are just the beginning. In the weeks and months ahead, we plan to add even more resources to help you. Here is just a taste of what we currently offer as well as future solutions we have in mind:
LEDs & Lighting
Here at ProvideYourOwn, we think that LEDs are the greatest thing since sliced bread. We have written some already about their wonderfulness, and will continue to do so. While LEDs still excel as indicator lights, in the near future we will be seeing them lighting our homes, landscapes, providing festive decoration and even personal ornamentation.
As is so common with many consumer products these days, most LED products available are poorly designed; providing a woefully inadequate and sickly blueish light. This realm is one where you can provide your solution that is far superior.
A … Read the rest
Posted in General
Have you ever wondered what a far away place looks like, but can’t find the means to go see it? Now you can. Google (who is constantly releasing new stuff that no one ever knows about) is now adding Street View panoramas of the world’s wonder spots.
This blog post from Google highlights their latest addition – the Grand Canyon. I gave it a spin, and it is pretty wild stuff – you can pick where to start and then hike down the trail, looking around as you go. It does get a little old after a while, so it might be nice to offer a side-by-side map view as well. Maybe they do, I just don’t know about it.
Google probably has lots of other scenic places photographed as well, but how you find them is up to you dear reader. Happy treasure hunting.… Read the rest
Posted in Education
Are you tired of having to throw away a perfectly good item just because some cheap plastic connector or other part broke? Like most of us, Matthias Wandel was just as frustrated, so he devised a novel way to repair these broken fittings.
The problem often faced when merely gluing the plastic piece back together, is that when under stress, any repair made will be weaker than the original one that broke in the first place. Matthias’s technique is to wrap the repair joint with nichrome wire that he melts into the plastic. His video shows how he does it.… Read the rest
Posted in Household
Tagged plastic, repair
Have you ever wanted to rivet a project, but didn’t have a riveter, or the right sized rivets on hand? Another drawback to rivets is their look – on a lot of projects, the modern cheap sheet metal look just won’t do. This great article tells how to make your own heavy-duty rivets from ordinary nails that look great and work well for many projects.… Read the rest
Posted in Skills
I thought this idea was really clever. Have you ever needed to keep some lotion on hand while you are out? Instead of dealing with a messy liquid container, these easy to make lotion bits are great to have on hand when you need them. They just melt in your hand.… Read the rest
Here’s a simple how-to for making your own cell phone charging station. The author takes a flat plastic bottle and hacks it so that it hangs from a wall outlet. It has a nice appearance and is tidy.
I have been thinking about DIY charging docks for awhile now, and I think this one can be improved by fashioning an actual docking base from Sculpy. Then glue the charging plug into it, and you can then just drop your phone into the holder.
Any other ideas out there?… Read the rest
Posted in Household
Tagged life hack
When I was a young man, I badly wanted to design and build my own stuff – even my own color television. One of my primary motives was a means to save money, of which I was sorely lacking. I was told by my elders that such thinking was incorrect. There was no way I could design my own television – that took a team of experts and that, in any case, I could not save any money in the process. I was better off to get a good paying job and just buy a television.
As I look back on that conversation, I have learned that the first statement was false, the second one true, and the third false. Let’s look at each assertion in more detail.
Building Your Own
In some ways I was ahead of my time. Designing and building a color television set was a daunting proposition back in the 1970s and 80s. Not impossible, but certainly difficult. Even with an electrical engineering degree the resources regarding color television design were slim to say the least. There was also no support from others for such a project when problems were encountered.
In modern times these limitations … Read the rest
Posted in Living
This great instructable – The Near-Perfect Tent provides exquisite detail on how to make your own camping tent.
Its author also gives a good summation of why we prefer to do things ourselves – to obtain something that meets our needs; something we can’t get from corporations. The reason for DIY is should not be to save money. Mass production and the division of labor is what gives us the abundance we have as Matt Ridley in his book posits.
What it doesn’t give us sometimes is something that meets our needs. Mass produced goods are only half-suitable for everyone and rarely ideally suited for anyone. Before you go camping again, be sure to check out this article first.… Read the rest
Posted in Living
Tagged camping, tents
This article describes some wonderful new applications envisioned for LED lighting. While many of the links don’t work, it still contains some great photos of LEDs being used for decorating buildings, night-time gardens and more.
I can’t help commenting on the article’s main premise – that LEDs will lead to greater energy use than incandescent lights. This is absolutely true, but it is not a bad thing. As pointed out in their excellent book any time energy efficiencies are achieved, greater energy use is the result. The main reason for this effect is because of new applications found for the new technology. LEDs are a perfect example.
Some might be saying, “but we are in an energy crisis, don’t we need to conserve energy?” The answer is that the energy situation might be in a state of flux right now, we are in no way in a shortage. The US is on the verge of developing massive petroleum deposits which will make it a leading producer in a few years, and the price of solar is dropping to the point where powering our lights and appliances is now at the point that almost everyone can afford it – even the … Read the rest
Posted in Energy
Tagged led lighting
I have been wanting a 10″ Android tablet, but they have always been too expensive. Sure, there have always been cheap Chinese knockoffs, but they have always been pretty junky affairs – until now.
My family recently bought me a . While this manufacturer does cut some corners, amazingly it didn’t cut the ones that count. It sports stereo speakers that sound better than the original Kindle Fire and has more memory as well. It even has a front facing camera and an HDMI output jack. Speed is decent and WiFi works just fine. It lacks the sensors of high end tablets and cell phones, but does have a microphone and accelerometer. It is perfect for viewing movies, PDF files, web browsing and Skype – typical tablet stuff. It also has USB input so you can easily attach a keyboard as well. You can also charge it via USB as well as using the supplied fast charger.
As for the downsides, there are remarkably few. Its ARM-based processor is only single core, and battery life is a tad less than the Kindle Fire, but decent. The biggest issue with this tablet is the lack of the Google Play store. Polaroid … Read the rest
Posted in Tech