Posts in category 'hacking'

  • Fun with themes

    For kicks I wanted to build a dark mode for my blog, which led me down the garden path of CSS custom properties and easter eggs... #hacking

    One of the many things that attracted me to tech, back in the day, was the total DIY freedom of hacking computers to do whatever I wanted. And when you’re a kid, it’s even more fun because you aren’t looking at your pet projects through the lens of “value” or “product market fit” or “differentiators”. You just… do stuff, simply because it’s fun!

    Or, put more simply: You play. And as adults, we have play beaten out of us. And that is just a darn shame.

    Well, one of the fun things about running your own blog on your own server with software you control is that it’s a wonderful place to play! Heck, the re-design of this blog started off as just me screwing around for the fun of it.

    So, while on vacation, I thought it would be fun to build a dark mode theme for my blog using the technique outlined in this post (which it turns out is one of many).

    If you want to see the results… well, first off, if your OS is set to use a dark mode theme, you might already be seeing it! Otherwise, the little lightbulb icon in the navbar toggles the themes.

    In addition, if you poke around in my site, you might find an easter egg that enables a couple of additional retro themes designed to honour the computers of the past that inspired me and lead me to where I am today!

    Continue reading...
  • Astronomy Hacks

    Tonight I decided to get my Red Green on and hack together a really crappy camera mount for my telescope! It’s made from various pieces of vacuum tubing (which happens to be 2” in diameter, the same diameter of the eyepiece holder on my scope), some hardboard, and much tape (unfortunately not the duct variety… yes, I am ashamed. I had to settle for electrical). The end result was this thing:

    Camera Mount

    Yes, it’s as hackish as it looks. The idea is that it sorta fits over the eyepiece holder and has a separate sliding component which allows the mount to adjust for the camera lens position, differing eyepiece lengths, etc.

    So, with it, I decided to take another crack at lunar photography. I captured the following image with my wide-field 25mm eyepiece (for about 60x magnification) (in this image, north is to the left):

    I’ve sharpened the image to adjust for some atmospheric turbulence and poor focusing on my part. In addition, there appears to be some blurring toward the left edge of the image which is probably a result of the camera not being evenly positioned against the eyepiece.

    After staring at a Lunar Map for quite a while, I managed to identify some of the more interesting features. Among them, toward the right edge of the image you can see the famous crater Tycho (it appears smaller than some of the others, but has a prominent central protrusion). This particular crater is the epicenter of a set of lunar rays which, while not incredibly prominent in this image, are visible.