Author Archives: Ed

Lego Watch Winder Mk1

For those following my winder project 3 years ago… I’m sorry.

The acrylic rig binded and squeaked, the photointerrupter died… and as soon as I got myself in gear ordering replacements, etc… Wifey got pregnant, and being a first time expectant dad, I ran around like a headless chicken doing this and that.

And so died the Gear Winder Project…

Timmy is almost 2, and about 2 months ago I thought I should revisit this project. I got some a lot of inspiration from this guy. I can’t build something like that! I don’t even have 4 automatic watches! I also decided that this new iteration would be made using Lego – my childhood love.

I dug up the old Arduino, ordered the bits and pieces, and here is Mk 1.

Here’s a video of it working.

Mk 1 runs on an Arduino Uno, with a Easy Driver board and driving a stepper motor. The watch carrier is a piece of 2 3/4″ aluminum tubing painted black and a white line down it for a line sensor to detect and count revolutions. A left over real time clock shield is also in place for future expansion.

The belt drive system is prone to tension and slippage problems. This can be seen in the choppy watch carrier movement in the video.

I have torn Mk 1 down and embarked on Mk 2, which will have direct drive. Here’s a sneak peek.

Direct Drive

Changes planned for Mk 2 include a LCD screen, and some control mechanism. And a 3mm Acrylic cover, which should keep wifey happy. ;-)

Advice dispensed at the Camera Rental place

So I was at the place I rent lenses to experiment with – picking up a Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 DI VC USD for the weekend.

There was this young chap renting some equipment, apparently going to shoot for a wedding. He was asking the customer service guy if this or that lens was appropriate. The guy behind the counter was trying to explain to him that each photographer is different, with different styles and preferences – so the choice of lens was the shooter’s to make.

Young chap then asked about the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II. Since I had some experience with that piece of glass, I decided to chime in a little. This is my side of the conversation.

That lens focuses like a sloth… I think its a great portrait lens, if your subjects will hold a pose for you. If you’re going for candids, you may miss a lot. At minimum focus distance of about 1m, your DOF is about 1cm – so if your focus is on the nose, then the eyes are out of focus… Oh yeah no question – the bokeh is excellent! But if you miss focus, then EVERYTHING is bokeh!…

I hope I helped… I left before he made his final decision.

Alton Brown’s Bloody Mary

Even if I didn’t use fresh tomatoes or prepare a tomato-vodka…. I subscribe to a simple version. No celery, no pepper, no other garnish…

  • 1 shot vodka
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 can tomato juice

Nom nom! Pretty much the only alcoholic drink that’s savory rather than sweet.

RIP Old Aveo

Its a year to the expiry of the COE on the Aveo. J who has been driving it for the last 4 years has decided to pick up a 2008 car because the current numbers on a new car are just ridiculous.

So we paid up the outstanding loan on it and scrapped it. Got a princely $100 from the scrapyard. Now to get the PARF and COE rebates from the government….

Old Aveo (aka Blackie) – Sometime July 2004 to 10 May 2013

Assimilation – Resistance is Futile

So… this company S2T has been hired by the National Library Board to write and operate a ‘bot to hunt down and invite owners of local blog sites to join the “Singapore Memory Project”.

I’m quite certain it is a bot because this one decided to comment on a blog post rather than email me, and it decided to comment on a post about Thai food.

Dear The Mad Edition,

On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project as part of efforts to collect memories that are already manifested in existing online channels.

The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) is a national initiative to collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s knowledge materials. Spearheaded by NLB, the SMP aims to build a national collection of content in diverse formats (including print, audio and video), to preserve them in digital form, and make them available for discovery and research.

By pledging your blog to SMP, you are affirming that every memory matters. Whether your posts are an account of your daily life, or an expression of your thoughts, the SMP hopes to find a home for your memories so that it can help build towards an understanding of Singapore. You will also receive a badge that you can display on your blog in recognition of your contributions.

Contributors to this blog pledging initiative will be listed on Singapore Memory portal’s blog pledging webpage. All blogs pledged to SMP will archived using NLB’s web harvesting software, in addition to images of each blog’s landing page.

If you are keen to pledge your blog to SMP, simply fill up our response form at this following URL:

You may find out more about this initiative at

We are looking forward to your contribution. Do also let your fellow bloggers know about this initiative. They can pledge via the URL above.

|Simulation Software & Technology (S2T) Pte Ltd 583 Orchard Road #14-02 Forum The Shopping Mall S(238884) w:

I read thru the links, and thought about it. It’ll take 2 months to list/delist my site from the registry, and registration requires your full details.

Nah. My memories are mine, and I am comfortable about the way things are going now without having to think about whatever I write (or wrote) being syndicated somewhere else. Not saying I might not change my mind in the future… but it is what it is now.