How to get Free Electronic Components…

electronic circuits

I’m currently working on a personal project for my shop.  It’s always a pain, when you’re working with electronics to set up a proper power supply.  So, tooling around Instructables the other day, I was inspired by several posts.  Instructables has several posts for building a dedicated benchtop power supply from old desktop computer components.  You see, desktops use a spec called ATX to ensure compatibility between components and power supplies.  This spec simply ensures that that shiny new 500 watt power supply that you bought to power your AlienWare gameing system can be plugged directly into your case without worries.  What it also means is that the connections are well documented for power supplies that can generally supply 3.3V, 5V, -12V & 12V.  These power supplies also have several advanced features already built in, like 110V – 240V switching, thermal overload protection, standby power etc…  Since benchtop power supplies generally run several hundred dollars, I was inspired to build my own.  You can see some of these Instructables at:

So, I went down to my local dump and pulled out a busted up Compaq desktop and started tearing into it.  I’ll be posting my progress, and I may even write my first Instructable based on this, although there are already several existing.  Old computers are excellent sources for parts, especially CD & Floppy drives, since these contain motors, switches, etc…  Today, I just tore everything out of the case, and started sorting parts.  I’m starting to plan my system, and I’d like to figure out a nice case using parts from Ponoko.

Here’s the Picasa stream of the pics that I took.

Hibbitts Consulting is now TechnoPoetic

a new direction

Welcome to TechnoPoetic, the new home of Hibbitts Consulting.  For some time now, I’ve felt that Hibbitts Consulting was becoming too much of a constraint, so I’m moving in a new direction with TechnoPoetic.  The purpose of the change in venue is to give me a bit more freedom.  A client said to me recently, “Rich, you’re a man of many talents.”  And TechnoPoetic is going to be a place where I can stretch  myself and explore some of those talents.  Hibbitts Consulting was a place that really focused on web development and business tools.  TechnoPoetic is going to be a place where I can explore a bit more, and hopefully share some of my passions with the world.  I’ve migrated everything over, so hopefully you’ll be able to find anything that you need.  Hopefully you’ll find plenty to keep you interested as I head off on this new path.

Thanks for stopping by,


New SitePoint contest announcement

I just wanted to quickly post about a new contest at Sitepoint that I’m judging. It’s called the “Personification of Software”, and it asks the entrants to imagine their favorite software as a person. You don’t have to be an artist to enter. We’re mainly judging based on concepts, not on execution. First prize is your choice of ANY SitePoint book, plus ANY SitePoint course.

So, good luck to all, and I hope to see your entries.
Read the official contest announcement

5 reasons why I got rid of Adsense

If you’re a frequent (or even repeat) visitor then you may have noticed a slight change. That’s right, no more advertising on the site. In the past, I thought it would be a good idea to run Google Adsense, in addition to a couple of affiliate programs. The thinking went something like this: “I get lots of traffic to my site. Most people don’t mind seeing some advertising, and it might make me a bit of extra money.” Well, frankly I’ve always been uncomfortable with it, and I recently decided to get rid of the advertising completely. The reason that I decided to stop advertising on my blog is trust. That’s right, trust. My blog is my social currency; I use this forum to help demonstrate my skill to potential clients and to establish myself as an “expert” in the field of technology. Running cheap ads on the same site just cheapens it, and gives potential clients that little bit of creepiness that comes from knowing I’m trying to make money off them. I make money by selling my skills, expertise & experience in the field of web development. I don’t need to run advertising alongside that. If anything it justs waters down my message, and causes my main form of advertisement (my website) to lose focus. In the end, I want potential clients (and everyone else) to feel good about visiting my website. I want them to get my message, and understand what Hibbitts Consulting is all about. I certainly don’t want to give them the impression that I’m trying to use them for advertising revenue.

Now, I still own other websites where advertising is more appropriate. I haven’t sworn off advertising, and I may still review & recommend services & product that I really believe in, but I will not add confusion to MY marketing message by advertising on my own website.

Of course, I lied. There aren’t really five reasons why I stopped running ads. I figure the one big reason counts for as much as five small reasons.

Upgrading to openSuse 11.2 from 10.3

I run a completely Windows free shop. That has it’s good points & bad, but I’m not going to get into that question. For now, I just want to talk about my recent experience upgrading from openSuse 10.3 to 11.2. openSuse 10.3 has been my OS of choice for quite some time. Sadly, however, it has reached the dreaded “end of life” stage wherein all support, repositories, updates, etc… have disappeared completely. I have to admit that I dreaded the upgrade process, having more experience with Windows upgrades than with Linux. However, I am happy to report that this upgrade was the smoothest thing since lubricated ice. Continue Reading…

Family Guy sells out to Microsoft

For the upcoming Family Guy special, you won’t see any commercials. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be bombarded with advertisements. It just means that the advertisements will be woven into the show itself. This is not a new concept, in fact this is a retrograde step to the early days of television, when Lucy and Ricky would break the fourth wall to tell their viewers about Ovaltine or Lucky Strike cigarrettes. However, given Family Guy’s brand of irreverent humor, I’m afraid that this is not going to work. As you can see from this preview, it’s just not funny.

Microsoft seems to have forgotten a fairly basic rule of advertising: Tailor the message to your viewers. Of course, I may be wrong and the special may make comedy history, but if it doesn’t, then it will serve as a reminder to all businesses. Make sure your advertisements reach your target market.