Today the Australian Signals Directorate announced their 75th Anniversary Commemorative Coin, which is a standard Australian 50 cent coin with various cryptographic puzzles embedded in it. I'm not a cryptography expert, but I've always loved this stuff from the sidelines of physical pentesting and teen-years script-kiddying, so I thought I'd give it a go. Along with a mate in our local Hackerspace's slack channel, we started bouncing ideas back and forth, and below is a write-up of the eventual path to solving all the puzzles on the coin (though as you'll see, not necessarily in the order they intended).
Creating a hot-swappable USB-rechargeable LiPo battery pack for original Gameboys that doesn't require chopping up the console or any other modifications, and fits directly in where the original AA batteries go.
Due to my physical disability requiring my leg be elevanted for a majority of the day, and every recliner on the market ending at the calf (and therefore not supporting the leg properly), I decided to design and build my own leg rest that lets me sit at my computer chair more comfortably.
I designed a series of merchandise to help my local non-profit Hackerspace out. Due to me already having an established Redbubble (products on-demand) store set up, it was simply a matter of coming up with a series of designs in Inkscape and then creating the new products on my store. The idea was just to get a variety of merchandise that members/friends could buy for Christmas, and to help spread the branding for the Hackerspace a bit, so I kept it pretty simple.
Ping Pong Pixels were an idea I had a long time ago but took forever to get around to actually designing and building. The idea is super simple... create a modular 3D printable "chassis" for housing RGB LEDs, along with a diffuser (in this case a ping pong ball), and make them able to connect in various ways so you can create all different shaped lighty-uppy-stuff. The initial version just lets you create different size/ratio matrix grids, but I've also got an iteration in the works that lets you do cylindrical lamps, spherical lamps, and more.
A macro keyboard for OBS scene-switching (or other keyboard-shortcut shenanigans) made of arcade buttons and an Arduino Pro Micro. Acts like a normal USB keyboard, but each arcade button runs multi-key macros/shortcuts of your choosing. Also useful for racing/flight sims or anywhere else where you need a few big colourful shortcut buttons.
A toy fishing rod I made together with my daughters, using a piece of scrap wooden dowel, some yarn/string, and a few 3D printed pieces we designed/printed on the day. Optionally glueing some magnets on the end and to some 3D printed fish (or any other toys around the house) lets them go "fishing" whenever they want. They've loved these so much they've actually worn them out and I had to redesign and reprint a few parts to be stronger.
A quick one-day build of a desk for the kids to play Lego at. Made from a rescued set of Ikea drawers and some scrap Acacia kitchen counter-top slab. Nothing fancy in this one, we just sanded/painted the Ikea drawers and then attached the top, but I think it turned out disproportionately good for how little effort was required. It's now a unique "custom" piece of furniture that gets almost daily use.
The assembly of my Prusa i3 Mk3 3D printer, a Christmas present to myself. It took me way too long to finally bite the bullet and buy a 3D printer and it's finally here. What better way to celebrate than to print a whole bunch of useless crap I don't need (aka 90% of what all 3D printers are used for).
A visit to CSIRAC (*Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Automatic Computer*), the fourth computer ever built in the world and the only intact first-generation computer to still be around. Being in the presence of these huge old monsters and knowing that they aren't even really that old really puts in perspective how much technology has changed the world in such a short time. My watch is multiple orders of magnitude more powerful than this room-sized behemoth, and it's not even a smart-watch.
A very simple Solar System based theme I created for Android phones a while ago. Not fancy by todays standards, but I still enjoy its simplicity and clean look. Mostly posted here now for the memories/nostalgia.