Optimized writing tools for travels

Oh, the never ending process of choosing the proper tools. I often have the feeling some fountain pens or too many inks add unnecessary complexity and weight, specially if they are not reliable.

As a theoretical experiment I drew the minimal equipment I'd choose for travels. Note I skipped a watercolor box. Instead I'd use ink from those two Lamy fountain pen. Lamy fountain pens are the key here since they allow two different thickness in lines and can be used for text and draw. These constrains would force me to master the basic tools and feel more and more confortable with them. On top of that the style of the pages will be more homogeneous and less mix of colors like a kindergarden drawing. As other things in life maybe the best option is trying it during a short trip and take note of possible improvements.

I already know it will not happen since there is always room for an extra magical pen to add in the last moment. I have to say I'm full in love with my new tiny watercolor box and I will not leave it at home. 


Collage is fun

Sometimes I feel I want to rest from writing and this is a good solution. I keep a box full of cuts. Unfortunately getting this kind of stuff is more and more difficult nowadays. Digital collage then? Oh, well...

Not sure if these kind of papers are good for the notebook's health. I mean cheap paper from newspaper or stickers could create a huge damage with time. Acid free glue won't help in this case. It's ok.


Xeon power. Homemade PC

Since the current situation forces us to stay at home it’s time to practice indoor activities. Time to make a computer! A Flinkstones computer...

First I have to say I'm not a computer expert. I just take ideas here and there and I was learning and solving problems as they appear.

It started as a joke and then I converted that initial idea into a little project with some goals: Update my knowledge in the computers state of art, experiment and have fun. And of course replace my current desktop pc from 2010.

There is special feeling in homemade things. They become your babies because you not only know how they were made but also you took many decisions in the process.

I was quite surprised when I discovered there is a wave of processors from servers used in personal computers now. How is this possible? Indeed Intel Xeon processors are sold cheap after years of use because they are replaced by newer models. And they are still very powerful today. The problem is there are not motherboards to place them in an easy way. And here is where Aliexpress enters in the show. Some sellers managed to create new motherboards where both processors and RAM from servers can be placed. All at incredible low price. Will it work? Will it still work after a time? This is a temptation too big to ignore. Bravo for their skills and ideas.

The processor I used is Intel Xeon 2689, 8 cores, 16 threats, 3,6GHz. RAM is also from servers, 16GB DDR3. There are processors and motherboards quite cheaper than these. Just use the magic word “motherboard x79” in Aliexpress and discover a new world.

The beauty of tech. It's not premium nowadays but it's quite great.

So I started to order parts. Actually each part from a different seller. The problems here are: Parts take a few weeks to arrive and…. If they are lost of not working, the whole pc will not work and more weeks of waiting new parts. This is the worse past of the process. Hopefully I didn’t have any problem and all arrive in perfect condition and not late at all.

The only parts I bought from Amazon or online shops are: the power supply, SSD and graphic card. I was a little skeptical about this project so I thought I could always use these parts in a more conventional PC with Ryzen, etc.

Also note buying graphic cards from those Chinese sellers could be risky. Luckily they smell to smoke and that means they were used in a cybercafe, the best case. Otherwise maybe they were squeezed for mining crypto.

First step were check everything works. And it did! No screens in Chinese letters and not need to flash BIOS downloading something from Russian webpages. 

First test and main structure.

Then I started to make the case, all with pieces of wood mostly I had at home. There is not saving money here because even those materials, buttons, switches, rubber legs, etc. cost more than a regular case. It’s for the sake of experiment and having something made with my own hands. And unique.

I managed to get a solution for each problem with the limited tools I own. Step by step.

Of course I added LEDs. LEDs are good. LEDs are happiness.
As a touch of additional functions I included an Arduino with a couple of displays. These red LED numbers are one of the most beautiful things in the universe. And they consume quite energy as well. Be sure they look superb in real. They remember me to Back to the Future Delorian.

I know using I2C removes many cables :)

Oh, the feeling and sound of these switches... <3
It's going better and better and I can see the end finally.

Back side for cables is a mess. It was much worse. Improvements can be done.

Here a list with items and prices, shipping included. Note the most expensive part is the graphic card, which is considered medium level. The whole cost could be reduced a lot using a second hand or lower graphic card.

The result is a powerful computer with a futuristic touch. I'm sooooo happy with it! I don't think it will never be finished because it invites me to modify this or that. And it shows room to place some tiny and cute beings, a nice home for them. Coming soon.


Lovely pastedowns

Styles of pastedown used in my last notebooks. This is a magic thing which adds personality and style to the whole journal. 

I specially like the chosen one for The Nautilus Manuscript (left up in brown tones). I’m considering using a flat color next time.
Well, I finally used a yellow color for my new handmade notebook. I will post it soon.

Little auxiliary notebooks

These are the little notebooks I've using during last years. Most of them are a kind of "sidecar" notebooks with temporary notes and others are related to some specific projects as Donau's Journey notes. So many memories and ideas lost here! Only a few ideas pass the filter to be developed. I guess that's good since it means ideas flow well and the "better" ones have been selected.

I found tiny Muji notebooks the most confortable and stylish solution for this task. I never thought of them as a collection or even something valuable but when I see them all together in a box I feel I need to take care of my little babies.


Helmut the Bureaucrat

So fresh and full of energy. Use him as a model to guide your path to exit.

Make your own robot

Not a regular robot but a destroyer robot. If you are too lazy to destroy the world by yourself this cute robot can do it for you. 

The project can be done with Rapberry Pi. Remember the steps: 1: Make an assistant robot to help you to make the destroyer robot. 2: Make the destroyer robot.

Extra tip: Use 9V battery to increase the destroy power.


Cutcut the Hairdresser Robot

My old Flickr account

Flickr has been my number one favourite webpage for years. That was time ago. An infinite fountain of inspiration, a window to enjoy other's creativity and a place to show my first photos.
I leave here the link to the album with photos of my round the world trip (2007-2008) so they can be seen in better quality. 


Mutant Ladybugs

Evolution finds unexpected ways. Maybe in other worlds ladybugs pollinate mammoths. 

These particular kind of ladybugs flight at Mach 0.8 and they could mutate at will to reach Mach 3. Nothing is weird enough in the development of life.

2050 cards project. Second print test

I did the second print test to see how both a new case and back of the cards look like. See the first print test here.

The result is quite visual.

Still working a lot to develop the cards. Many new ideas and details to polish. I think the number of card will be increased from my original plan of 64 to 100.



Wisdom listens

The pill

In the right page there is something will happen for sure. A new drug with high addiction properties irresistible for everyone, included the ones who create the law and the ones who own the factories. Once the brain is know in detail, a custom drug can be designed. In this scenario maybe a group of humans don't react to the drug's effects and they could take the power in the middle of the chaos.

Mass consume. People control become even more easy. They will always need more and if you need something, that thing owns you.

Doctor Stone is great

Great way to spread the value of science. And with Japanese touch and style!

Somehow I'm more into fantasy, science or futuristic worlds than in this "real" reality.



Eventually humans will discover they live in a simulation. 

The scientist proof of that will come later. First the creator of such simulation will appear in different ways. For example through dreams. Of course humans are far to understand even a part of its complexity. They are just primates with a brain in the first stages of development. However they can feel and they will perceive the creator existence translated into forms they know: animals, familiar shapes, etc. 

Same as an artist leaves a part of himself in his artwork, the creator leaves its signature in its creation.

In the last years several people without connection between each other had the same dream. They describe the same kind of being. Someone took the time to draw it. A mock-up of that is the following image:

Named as Omnispero, it could be the bridge between the reality and our simulated existence. He has the power to imagine and create. We are its creation and that's our reality.

Below the first and second version of Omnispero. 
Once the idea is there, ingenious scientist found the way to rigorously demonstrate in fact we live in a simulation. 

But that belong to another card and story. I just tell in advance the paradox: Advanced civilizations could develop the ability to create simulations. Humans do it now in basic and limited video games. Later they will do it better and faster. Thousands of simulations running in each computer, each one with its own beings. That means the number of simulations is far, far higher than the number of "real" worlds.

2050, The Last Days of Mankind.