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The Scavengers Workshop Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "The Scavengers Workshop" journal:

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February 9th, 2010
03:21 pm


UK - Mad Science Swap Shop
Okay, this seems relevant to this groups interests so I thought I'd drop it here. Hope no one minds!

Basically I got annoyed with ebay. Enforcing zero-postage costs on certain things means it's no longer worth it to list odd bits and bobs that may never sell and loose you money in fees. But the electronic odds and ends are still too good to bring myself to throw out.

I had a domain that's still good for a few months, so I've stuck a forum on it. I'd like to see if the idea of a sort of electrical/mechanical/scientific/oddity swap-shop could work out.

Keep a post on there about your own stuff you have to swap, and a list of the sort of things you might be interested in. If you're after something more specific, make a request post and see if anyone can provide.

It's been up less than 24hours, so it's not even early days yet, but I'd like to give it a shot.

Think of it a bit like freecycle, but without your post scrolling off the recent posts in 5 minutes and rather more tech-biased.

Anyway, be happy to get any opinions and/or interest, and hear if there's any other groups that might be interested in it.

Linky: http://www.madscientistsunion.org.uk/

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June 18th, 2007
09:47 am


Possible project?
I'd really like to have a solar dehydrator, to dehydrate various fruit, nuts and fungi that I forage. Ideally I'd like to document the design and building process, and post a summary with pictures over at <http://geekmeetsnature.wordpress.com">Geek Meets Nature</a>.

I already have a big square piece of double-glazed window; the rest of what I need would be wood for the casing, screens for the food to be dried and to keep bugs out, a dark background to increase heating, and so on. I might like to also attach a small solar-powered fan to the top to increase airflow and reduce drying time; something cobbled together out of 2xAA mini-fans and solar garden lights would work reasonably well I think.

There are several plans available on the internet. Ideally I'd like something fairly sturdy, that I can leave out in the rain without having to worry about it disintegrating - so no cardboard.

If we get into 'dreaming' territory, I'd like to also have a solar oven, using the same piece of double-glazing, and be able to switch between the two at will.

I figure if I were to get together with one or two other people, it would take a day for the planning to be done, possibly 2 or 3 good-weather days to scavenge enough material from skips etc (I can't carry anything heavy, so I would definitely need help with this!), and another 2 days or so to put the thing together.

Any takers?

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February 16th, 2007
04:24 pm


Thank crap for that!
Just checked the camera I was sent at last.
Exactly as I hoped. Horizontal hold on the viewfinder's gone. IIRC from the service manual, I pop the housing and turn one pot.

Will need a new mic cowl, eyepiece rubber and the handgrip could use a clean. It's worryingly.. sticky.

But woo! Two functional JVC GR-S707's!
If I can snag a second tripod at some point too, I'm pretty much a one-person producion company. :3
Or at very least, it opens up more options on the filming front.
Gotta see about getting the cheap and nasty camera lamp switched over to luxeon's or something though. It eats batteries.

And at last, a new batch of blank tapes is on the way! About bloody time, huh? Finally get some of the pieces finished.

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Apocalyptica - Path (feat. Sandra Nasic (Guano Apes))

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August 18th, 2006
11:57 pm


A better update
Today's not been too bad. While nothing got filmed, preparations for a piece on casting your own metal at home went pretty well. Earlier this week I had the good fortune to meet up with a lady from the Essex Beekeepers Association who I'll be calling back this weekend to see about interviewing.
Another bonus has been the sale of scavenged items on ebay for a very large sum, which will make an excellent example for the Getting Yourself Out of Dept segment.
An ebay find will also be helping, in the form of a 12volt to 9.6v car adaptor. With this it now means I'll be able to film without battery trouble wherever I have access to a lighter-socket. This includes something particular coming up in about a fortnight which'll be caught on tape.
This adaptor also means I'll be able to make use of the 12v sealed lead-acid battery pack I got from Lidl last year. At a 7Ahr rating, I should get about three times the camera runtime.

The end of the wine-making segment has also been delayed, but fermentation has stopped without any sign of contamination. It will be decanted within the week now the apropriate chemicals have been aquired.

Due to slow progress on the allotment (US translation: rented garden), it will probably now only be touched apon in the first series of the show, and instead have it's main run in series 2, presuming we get there! Depending on how things go over the next month or two, the aeroplane may also need relegating to S2.

The missing piece of the editing suite, a brand new SVHS VCR, will shortly be arriving here at Sci-Fi-Fox studios, where it'll be hooked up to serve as a dedicated capture machine. Although only a consumer-grade piece of equipment, I hope that it being new and it only being used for these new tapes will keep the playback quality very high.
With that hooked up, I hope to at last bring you a few tempting screengrabs of what to expect. This should be fun, in the masochistic sense of capturing and making use of footage taken back when we didn't know all the functions of the camera.

One last thing is some progress on the shows theme tune. While not exactly a priority, it's encouraging to know it's in the works. To help it along, I'm supply Danielle with a PC for sampling and playback. The fact she has memorised so many unique tune creations is both impressive and frightening. With this PC it means they'll be taken down for much easier editing and storage.

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August 11th, 2006
03:31 pm


A small update
Well now, hasn't been an update here for a little while, has there?
Please be assured that one is coming. Yes there are a few difficulties. Other angles of life have been taking priority over time and resources. Yes the show is still in production. Footage is still being filmed, although a lot slower than I would like. Other aspects of the show may need reighning in some, and other bits generally reshuffled.
But as someone once said, the Show Must Go On.

Anyway, I'll be damned if I waste seven and a half hours+ of raw footage. A lot of it's ending up gonzo-style, in that I don't think we'll see a lot cut out, but it's not quite diverse enough yet.

Current Music: Perry Farrell - Song Yet To Be Sung

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May 26th, 2006
07:16 pm


Via the Onion

Pisces February 19 - March 20

While oneman's trash may be another man's treasure, there's really no reason whyyou should be wearing that dead kitten as a crown.

Yes, I know, I know. But not a lot's happening in regards to show production at the momment. The next big thing will be the convention, though I may snag some usefull footage of tires and earth-pounding.

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May 12th, 2006
08:09 am


Yesterday saw the sucessful commitance of my grandfathers wonderfull apple tarts to film. Almost used and entire tape doing so, but for his first time on camera he did very well!

He's also expressed a desire to show how to sharpen drill-bits, convert them from one type to another, show how to sharpen blades and so on. Provided the camera can zoom in and show the detail well enough, which it can.

Current Mood: goodgood

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May 9th, 2006
12:43 am


Possible change to reproduction agreement in the future
This isn't definitly something I'll be doing, but I just read through pseudomanitou's most excellent daily news-digest of something coming down the pipe pretty fast.

If I may quote from http://donkephant.blogspot.com/ and the EFF report on the matter..

The proposed broadcasting treaty would create entirely new global rights for broadcasting companies who have neither created nor own the programming. What’s even more alarming is the proposal from the United States that the treaty regulate the Internet transmission of audio and video entertainment.

If I understand this correctly, that means a plausible series of events could be..

  1. The Scavengers Workshop launches on the internet! Horray!

  2. TV company decides to show the show on their channel, since it's under Creative Commons

  3. TV company now has the legal power to prevent TSW from being distributed over the internet (or by any other broadcast companys or means), as by showing it on mainstream media they now have absolute reproduction rights

  4. Sci goes to jail for trying to continue distribution anyway

So, should this go through, I'll be changing the reproduction agreement to a full copyright. It won't stop the above chain of events, but at least adds the stage "Sci counter-files for breach of copyright by TV company".

And for anyone who's enjoyed the dystopian visions in internet radio-theatre "Tales from the Afternow", they may understand why I say this feels uncomfortably similar to the Listeners Licence. Only, perhaps, fundementaly worse.

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May 8th, 2006
11:09 am


What do you get if you cross The Avengers theme tune, with "Back to Mad" by Texas Faggot and the theme-tune to Read or Die?
I don't know yet either, but it'll probably be the theme tune for the Scavengers Workshop!

Finally had an opertunity to get the example tracks to Dani last night. She listened to each of them and seemed happy enough. In fact, I think her exact words were; "This is the sort of thing you can really have fun doing, because noone's there to tell you when to stop."

That said, the show will still need incidental and background music. I've already concidered the option of just going in and picking things from OC-remixes.com, but that would just be silly.
I think what I'll end up doing is recording people jamming on their instrument of choice. A little light guitar, a bouncy low bass strum (I'm looking at you wardy!), maybe some saxaphone or something too.
Asside from historical archive footage (which I need to contact the Imperial War Museum about. Does it cost?), I really want to make sure the show is origional content. No snippets of otherwhile copyright works to hook into pop-culture.
All fresh.
So, if you feel like you want to contribute, or maybe even promote your band a little? Contact me.

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May 6th, 2006
12:44 am


Status report
First up, a little bit of fresh content. I've uploaded a new version of the Episodes page. It lists the current episode titles and lists a few of the things that should be apearing in each episode.
And beleive me that the "..And more!" notation, really means it. The master layout is chock full of stuff. Frankly, a lot of it may get lost for the first series, but wether that's because I don't get the chance to film it or wether because there's no more room in the episode remains to be seen. Some of the segments are looking like they'll run a lot longer than I'd previously thought, and I really don't want the running time for each episode going over 1 hour. Guess it makes a second series almost ineviable from the start though, eh?

The idea was to do each episode around 45-50 minutes in length, then it led to the possibility it could be easily shown on TV (as they'd need to fit in advert breaks every 15 minutes and round it up to a 1-hour slot). Since I'm now planning to release it under CC though, I wonder how that would effect redistribution, even if noone received any money for it? Afterall, the TV company would still get money from adverts shown during it.

Oh well, 1 hour's a good ball-park figure and doesn't need altering until it actually comes down to editing everything together.


Unfortunatly, due to a long day dealing with the job centre, I was too exhausted to make it to the London 2600 meet, and instead stayed home and made fruit smoothies. Ice cold fruit smoothies.

The first bout of filming with Nige over the weekend went okay, though was cut short. We'll be heading back in a month or so, and hopefully doing something a bit more in-depth before I head off to relax at a certain convention in Pittsburgh, USA. Outside the convention, there are also more interveiws to be conducted. I'll be seeing if I can get some more on board for that shortly.

I so love fresh content.

The stationary engine is on the allotment for the self-suficiency and gardening segments. The winemaking segment is now shot as far as it can be, and the wine is happily fermenting away in a warm corner of the kitchen. The Laundry Lifehack is also now on tape, though I could use a few more of them. The lifehacks are intended to be only about a minute in length, but very usefull. My grandfather has a tonne of these, though they're more biased toward toolmaking and engineering skills, so don't quite qualify as Lifehacks.

Current Mood: tiredtired

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