"In het verleden behaalde resultaten bieden geen garanties voor de toekomst"
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These are the ramblings of Matthijs Kooijman, concerning the software he hacks on, hobbies he has and occasionally his personal life.

Most content on this site is licensed under the WTFPL, version 2 (details).

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Twente Mini Maker Faire

Twente Mini Maker Faire Logo

I just returned from the Twente Mini Maker Fair in Hengelo, where I saw a lot of cool makers and things. Eye-catchers were the "strandbeest" from Theo Janssen, a big walking contraption, powered by wind, made from PVC tubing, a host of different hackerspaces and fablabs, all kinds of cool technology projects for kids from the Technlogy Museum Heim and all kinds of cool buttonsy projects from the enthousiastic Herman Kopinga. All this in a cool industrial atmosphere of an old electrical devices factory.

Also nice to meet some old and new familiar people. I ran into Leo Simons, with whom I played theatre sports at Pro Deo years ago. He was now working with his father and brother on the Portobello, a liquid resin based 3D printer, which looked quite promising. I also ran into Edwin Dertien (also familiar from Pro Deo as well as the Gonnagles), whom seemed to be on the organising side of some lectures during the faire. I attended one lecture by Harmen Zijp and Diana Wildschut (which form the Amersfoort-based art group "de Spullenmannen") about the overlap and interaction between art and science, which was nice. I also ran into Govert Combée, a LARPer I knew from Enschede.

Strandbeest by Theo Jansen

Overall, this was a nice place to visit. Lots of cool stuff to see and play with, lots of interesting people. There was also a nice balance of technology vs art, and electronics vs "regular" projects: Nice to see that the Maker mindset appeals to all kinds of different people!

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 13:11
/ Blog / DIY
Putting my office chair on legs

For a while, I've been annoyed by the height of my desk. It is slightly higher than ergonomical, which causes my shoulders to be always raised when I'm working behind my computer.

Since sawing off a bit from the feet of my desk was a bit too irreversible for me (and it's hard to figure out how much to cut off exactly), I looked for a way to raise my office chair a bit further than its normal adaptable range. I couldn't find a way to get the central pillar loose from the base (even though the pillar looks threaded, it wouldn't turn), so I looked for a way to extend the wheels a bit.

The wheels are fixed into the base of the chair using a pin in the wheel that clamps into a socket in the base of the chair ("klemstift").

Chair wheels

I was hoping to find a part that has a pin at the top, and a matching socket at the bottom, which I could use to extend the length of the pins of my wheels a bit. It seems these things don't actually exist, at least I couldn't find any online.

Looking at the wheels more closely showed me that the pin wasn't actually fixed in the wheel, but it was actually a two-side pin that also clamped into the wheel.

This opened up the option of replacing the pin with one that has one threaded end, which can receive a "coupler nut" (not sure how these things are really called connecting to another identical pin, which can be inserted into the chair base again). These parts should be available from a proper hardware store for less money than the webshops I linked, by the way.

Chair wheels

The end result is that I now have a chair that is around 5cm higher than before. It looks a bit weird and a bit fragile, but it actually feels more robust than it looks.

My legs are now pushed against the bottom of my desktop, so this is as high as it gets. For the perfect ergonomical position, I should be even higher, but that seems impossible unless I find a desk with negative thickness (I suspect this is because my arm length to torso length is a bit non-standard due to my above-avarage body length). Even so, I can already feel that this handful of centimeters greatly helps to improve my posture and removes a ton of strain from my shoulders. Yay!

Chair wheels

0 comments -:- permalink -:- 12:41
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