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Showing posts from May, 2017

I got a car!

This is a Dooling "F" tether car. They were produced by the Dooling Bros company, in around 1946. What are tether cars? Good question! They're model race cars with tiny real engines, that are raced around a circular track, reaching speeds of up to 200mph. It was most popular back in the 1920's to 1950's, and there are still enthusiasts out there today.

The pressed-aluminum front grill. I think this actually serves a purpose, as the engine has to be cooled somehow...
  Last Saturday, my dad and I went up to Astoria to look at a Volkswagen Rabbit that was for sale there. (We did end up buying it.) On the way back, my dad decided to go look at a sailboat he'd seen on Craigslist. It was part of an estate, and since the guy who was there had been working in a barn full of stuff, I asked if I could poke around. I spied this in a box and was intrigued.


 Upon digging it out, I found that it was powered by a tiny little single cylinder engine. Anyways, the guy who …

Restoring a Commodore Minuteman 3 Calculator

It's a good thing it only supports 8 digits... That's all the Pi I know!
  A while back, I was browsing a goodwill and saw something in one bin of electronics that caught my eye. It was a vintage Commodore Minuteman 3 calculator. It had a great looking color scheme, a retro LED Bubble display, and, it was made by Commodore! So of course I bought it, even though it didn't turn on. (It was only about $3)


42 year old NI-CAD batteries are rarely found in working condition...
Upon bringing it home and taking it apart, I discovered what I had suspected was wrong with it. The 42 year old rechargeable NI-CAD batteries had leaked everywhere and were no good. So, I decided to restore the thing.

  After determining if the calculator still functioned when given power (It did!), I did some research until I found out what kind of battery it uses. It's a weird 2/3 AA battery, but it's plenty common on eBay, so I bought four, enough to replace the battery pack in the calculator. Wh…

Huzzah! "Happy Birthday" is finally in the public domain!

The original version of the song, which actually had different words.  In a different publication of the song, the lyrics to "Happy Birthday" were included as optional.
  One thing that's always irked me about having a birthday and being at a restaurant is how they never sing you the real version of happy birthday! It's always some cheesy sounding jazzy song, and while they're singing it, you and everyone else sits there, wishing they were singing the real version so you could sing along.

  It seemed pointless, but I never knew the real reason behind it until about a year ago. It's simple- the lyrics to Happy Birthday, until June 28th, 2016, were under copyright.

  Most people didn't even know this, that the song everyone sings at birthdays, a nationwide symbol of cakes, candles, and making wishes, was copyrighted. But it was. And so, restaurants couldn't sing it, because, while it was acceptable for small groups of family and friends to do so, anythin…
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