Category Archives: Cool Tool

To build a better Keyboard

I can’t tell you how excited I am that Jesse and Kaia’s kickstarter launched yesterday, and met their funding goal in the first 12 hours. A couple of years ago I caught up with Jesse at reunion and heard about the beginnings of this project. He was experimenting with building his own keyboard, and wasn’t really sure where the project was headed. He commented that it was interesting that every other part of Doug Engelbart’s Mother of all Demos has come to be a normal part of our technology lanscape, except his chorded keyboard. Maybe we were missing something. Maybe there were good ideas about keyboards that we just left on the drawing table.

Over the last couple of years he and Kaia went down this journey to build a better keyboard. Moving out to the west coast, doing a 4 month stint at a hardware incubator, many trips to Shenzen. All the interim steps have been amazing to watch. And the thing they created at the end of the day just looks outstanding.

They are now running a Kickstarter to fund the production of their first consumer unit, the Model 01. It just looks amazing. If you spend 8 hours a day at a computer, you owe it to yourself to take a look.

A Better Beer Growler

We’ve now got quite an explosion of local breweries around Poughkeepsie. So I’m now finding myself wanting to pick up beer on Friday for the weekend. I’ve got a ton of classic glass growlers but by day 2, the beer in them is getting noticeably flat.


Lifeline 7508 Silver Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Double Wall Barrel Style Growler - 64 oz. Capacity
Lifeline 7508 Silver Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Double Wall Barrel Style Growler – 64 oz. Capacity

This growler is different. I was originally turned onto these by my brother in law Andy Tveekrem, who knows a thing or two about beer. With the rise of all kinds of local breweries in Poughkeepsie, I finally picked up one of my own. Filled on Saturday, and Tuesday night things were only starting to lose carbonation.

Available on Amazon.

Google Goggles Magic

Last night a friend complained about a curry recipe gone wrong, so I decided to offer up the one I used to make with a certain amount of frequency. It’s from a 1970s Time Life cookbook that I vaguely remember swiping from my friend Jehan in college. I took a picture on my cell phone to send it along.


The page is sufficiently stained with turmeric to realize how often it was made.

A little while later I noticed a Goggles Alert on my cell phone, it had scanned the image, and returned the following URL as a hit:

Dead on. The future is pretty awesome some times.

Cool Tool: Kreg Jig

Kreg Jig Pocket Hole System

One of the reasons that I started getting so excited working with wood this summer was because of my purchase of a Kreg Jig. I was introduced to this tool at the IBM Day of Service by a few folks that built furniture as a hobby. With it we were able to build a quite nice cabinet out of 3/4″ furniture grade plywood without any additional supports.

I’ve used this on the coffee table and the white board frame that I’ve built so far, and I’ve got many other projects in mind that this will come in handy for. It’s definitely the kind of tool that opens up new avenues of construction, even for the novice like myself.

Highly recommended. Available from Amazon, or locally at Lowes in this neck of the woods.