00.18.12 - Mark
It's always fun seeing where the mind wanders, and last night it wandered into beer bottle carriers.
It started as a quick mental though to see how much those bottle carriers cost. Since I started home brewing beer about this time last year, and give out some to friends those bottle carriers are a decent thing to have. Six pack carriers are simple to get - go to store that sells glass bottles of beverages and chances are it comes in a cardboard carrier. However, as a home brewer we may not want another breweries logo wrapped around a distributable brew of your own. A bit of spray paint can solve that problem, or if you develop finer tastes a store that lets you mix and match a 6 pack may offer carriers that yes, has a logo, but not one of a brewer's. If you're allergic to brand names of all varieties À la Cayce Pollard (from William Gibson's Pattern Recognition) blank six pack carriers can be had for less than a dollar.
Now while I have uses for 6 pack carriers, if I'm giving friends home brew I'm not so sure about giving them a full six pack. Putting fewer in a carrier works but it feels a little cheap to be a gift.
The solution my mind targeted on was 4 pack carriers. While big name brewers seem to prefer multiples of 6, a microbrewery (and the ones that didn't forget that they were) may make something different enough that 4 packs make sense. The blanks versions also exist, but I wasn't finding luck in anything other than bulk. Per piece they're dirt cheap, but I don't brew enough to want a couple hundred carriers for nearly a thousand bottles.
So the next mind journey was a template for making one. Which is where the cool things started showing up. I didn't find digital templates to download and print, but got reminded that a reverse engineering approach would work in a pinch. Mostly suggested for those common 6 packs, but true too for a four pack.
The next little discovery was at one point in history a glorified cardboard box once was patented. Or rather multiple times. While I was googling around for a 4 pack template, Free Patents Online popped up with a patent for a collapsable four pack carrier that aims for minimal gluing and materials with a PDF of all it's diagrams and details. It also lists it's past resources, including other collapsable 4 packs, to older 6 pack designs, to a patent for a Three-bottle collapsible carrier - which as a geek I love. It appears unpurchasable, but it maybe worth making one for myself.
Bluetooth Enabled Lasers
08.40.56 - Mark
I remeber seeing these in PopSci a year or two ago and was drooling over them then, but come on what geek can't be enticed with bluetooth enabled laser projected keyboards?
10.39.39 - Mark
Before all of my MySQL frustrations yesterday, I was having a fairly good day. I was fairly comfortable during my ecommerce class where the fools left me in charge of teaching (as in actually semi-planned me as the discussion leader, not the me as in hijacking the lecture and attempting to push it towards the unconference model). I would have liked some warning that I would be leading two classes as opposed to one, but I survived.
I also picked up a new 512MB USB drive for $20 afer rebates. Its amazing how cheap the things are getting, I think I $30 for my first one and that was 128MB. This one is going to be used for storage and portable applications so I can free up my iPod shuffle for other things, like podcast recieving and listning.
I've ended up running a few hacks to get it working, until I get the iBook and regular iPod fixed this will work. For podcast fetching, I'm using Podcatcher on a stick, which runs on windows, linux and OS X, and I'm using iPod Shuffle Database Builder, which is also windows, linux, and OS X friendly, to rebuild the database after I run podcatcher (at least thats the theory, I'm waiting for the podcather to finish its run at the moment)
I might have been on the constant verge of information overload with all my RSS, podcast, and vidcast feeds, but its feeling good to get back to automating some of these tasks. Manual downloading sucks.