Archive for June, 2014

Buildable boxes

Jun 24 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

I like to put many of my things in boxes.
For my tools I build special purpose boxes, typically out of plywood. It takes time.

Why not have box building pieces like lego, meccano and fischertechnik but more sturdy?

Say the pieces are built of 100mm x 100mm pieces. Then one could build a box in any multiple of 100mm size.
The best would be if the pieces weren’t glued together so when your box is too small, too big or your tool is broken and no longer needs a box – just rebuild.
Still, having a bunch of cheap pieces to just build a glued box is better than having no pieces.

One idea

Build the boxes like log house. The “logs” could be “small planks” with already made corners to fit to each other, like the log houses have, but more relying on fastening and less on timber weight.
The corners could snap together or be fastened with a rod going through or an outside fitting corner piece.

I am not necessarily thinking of only wood as material here; plastic or metal or sturdy paper would be just as fine, possibly even better with mixed material.

Another idea

The construction could be more like ordinary plywood boxes with metal edging but as DIY. The edging is easy – buy it in 500mm lengths and cut as needed. The plywood can be considered easy too, just buy a 2 square meter piece; but that only works if one has plenty of storage space. Instead have them 500mm long and 50 mm high; cut them as needed and fit together with metal edging and some sort of metal not-edging.

Yet another idea

One could get away with less tools if the pieces came in 100mm x 100mm pieces with fasteners already attached. Say continuous casted aluminium profiles made to fit each other with or without a third piece. Just join the pieces and have a box. This idea looks like it would possible to pick apart and rebuild too.


I found the OS project that solves many of the question regarding dimensions.

At Low tech magazine is an article that talks about modularity and reuse.

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Use your computer’s keyboard with your mobile phone

Jun 19 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

You’re sitting at your working desk and your desktop computer (or laptop).
Due to a reason or another you want to write some text on your mobile phone. But you don’t since all those keyboards suck.

Why not have your computer talk to your phone (for instance via bluetooth) and write your text on your big keyboard? This way one could do some real emailing and chatting on the phone.

An idea for monitor sharing is here.

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A (relational) database tool targeted towards developers

Jun 18 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

I am a developer and I most often use Sqlserver. The most common tool for working with Sqlserver is Sqlserver management studio and it does it’s job; which happens to be everything. Why not create a (relational) database tool targeted towards developers?

Things I normally don’t do

Now, as a developer I normally touch security at the beginning or end of a project. I usual handle just one of a couple of databases (database in sqlserver lingua, I believe it is called schema in Oracle) at a time. Space allocation is only used when doing backup and restore to create new or roll back a database. I have, unfortunately, never touched anything like sharding, replication, availability or other beardy stuff.

Things I normally do

I write queries, lots of queries. Depending on project I write stored procedures and triggers. I have also dealt with having DLLs inside Sqlserver. I do a lot of comparing schema and data with other databases.

What I want

I have a need for an IDE that leaves out all stuff I don’t or seldom use; whenever I need to dabble with security I can fire up Sqlserver management studio.

  • awesome intelligence/typeahead/whateveryoucallit in the query editor. Management studios intellisense has become better but I still lack functionality I get with Sqlprompt by Redgate.  There are semi graphical tools for aiding query writing but I haven’t taken a serious stab at using them; I should.
  • relations should be visible. When I work with a table I’d like to have indices, triggers and stored procedures in close vicinity, not through an “object explorer” tool window and a deep drill down tree. Say you are writing “select * from User” or selecting the User table in a list somewhere. Why not have a window, toolbar or menu automatically populate with depending tables, triggers and stored procedures?
  • drill down possibility. Way to often I write a query and another and another just to find out where data comes from or vice verse. Without spending any time thinking and designing I am visualizing that when a row, say of a User, is found, one can with a click or key stroke get all Roles related to said User through the UserRoles table. Another example is User-> Order-> OrderItem-> Currency-> Country-> Company-> User.
  • copy/paste update of table data. I also would like conversion of such copy or paste to a query to run on another instance.

What I want stuff that is really nice-to-have

  • global search. I sometimes find a guid or a part of a string that has fled its sanctuary and need to find where in the database it originates. Somewhere I have a stored procedure for this but I’d like to have it built in to the tool and with more intelligence like searching for guids in proper fields and asking before doing a free text search in a million rows table.
  • fast backup and restore. To take a temporary backup before doing a big or dangerous change. Then to restore said backup with ease. The Management studio dialogue for this is big, hard to use and error prone. By and by I need to create a copy of a database, say for branching a project, and that can too be made to be done with ease.
  • no install. I manipulate data in production and don’t want to have to install anything; an xcopy should be enough.


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