Newest Apartment Addition

Posted on
One love story repeated through the generations is the budding romance between young adults and coffee. This is heard even more so for a generation growing up with a Starbucks around every corner, and that’s a statement I don’t exaggerate at all – there are five separate locations on campus where I can buy coffee after my morning classes, all of them under a 10 minute walk. A Nicholas Sparks novel can scarcely compare to the steamy romance I shared with espresso drinks during my freshman year of college. My roommate is more of a hardcore enthusiast. He snagged all the coffee paraphernalia that adorns our kitchen. The most recent addition is his espresso machine (which I recently began using – there is no turning back now). Of all the cool Starbucks signage we’ve been given, by far the coolest is the giant LED sign.

A drive-thru sign from Starbucks. There is no panel on the bottom of it, which is why light is spilling onto the wall.

Continue reading

Creating a Simple Alarm Clock

Posted on
Alarm clocks aren’t mankind’s favorite invention, but they sure are useful. I bet I would like mine a bit more if I created it. Maybe there’s a way to make it a bit more useful, too.

Concept

I’ve always thought alarm clocks could be done better. It’s pretty easy to ride the snooze button in a half-awake state, losing a critical part of your morning that could have been spent making more coffee. So I set out to implement an alarm that would be sure to effectively wake me up. I had a spare 315MHz wireless receiver lying around, so I figured I could use that to drive the killer feature of my alarm – wirelessly turning it off.

The wireless module I’m using. It’s pretty much plug-and-play. The D0-D3 lines go high depending on which button is pressed on the wireless transmitter for this module. VT goes high whenever any D-line goes high.

Continue reading