How to add USB Gamepad support for your Android phone or tablet

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I was almost at the point to buy a playstation or xbox controller to use with my tablet, since they seem to be supported out-of-the-box. But actually I still have an old USB controller lying around, which would be more than good enough for playing some games. Interestingly my gamepad did in fact work partly, but only the left analog stick and one or two buttons, and the rest did not. My hacker spirit told me that this must be fixable somehow.

So I started hacking around and added support for my old USB gamepad for my android tablet. In this post, I’ll show you how I did it and how you can to add support for any gamepad to your phone or tablet as well!

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DIY: Black Rolls/Trigger Point-like foam rollers for myofascial release

Black RollsFinished DIY version

I am a big fan of using foam rollers for myofascial release, especially after workout.

There are a lot of foam roller products for myofascial trigger point treatment out there, but I am too cheap to buy a piece of recycled plastic pressed into a cylindrical form for 20 EUR or higher. This is one of the easiest DIY projects possible, so make your own! Continue reading

Samsung Galaxy S3 repair – Glass screen/digitizer replacement and why it is not recommended

Glass screen replacedA friend asked me to repair her friends Samsung Galaxy S3 mobile phone, that had a broken glass screen/digitizer, so I had a closer look at it. The process of replacing the glass screen/digitizer on a Samsung Galaxy S3 is straight forward and not many tools are needed. However, what you really need is patience… a lot of it.

This post shows how it is done and why I still would not recommend it anyway.

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DIY: “barefoot”/natural running shoes

Finished sole

At the end of last year I went to a sports and health fair, where I wanted to have a closer look at the available natural running shoes, especially the ones from Vibram (FiveFingers) and Leguano. Both type of shoes were comfortable and seemed to be of good quality. However, with an above the 70 EUR price range, they are quite expensive for a shoe that aims to be like no shoe at all. In fact, they are more like a pair of high quality socks with a special thin rubber layer glued to the sole (whereas the Vibram FiveFingers also seem to have some supportive structure integrated, which is kind of a contradiction to the barefoot philosophy). Making a custom fitted version should not be that hard, so I decided to make my own.

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Building a simple goban (Go board) DIY

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I am a big fan of the old Japanese board game Go. Some time ago I wanted to get my own Go game, consisting of a Go board (goban) and black and white stones. Unfortunately, I found out that wooden Go boards are quite expensive, by far exceeding the price range I was willing to pay. Actually, gobans are quite a simple piece of equipment. It is nothing more than a (wooden) board with a grid of 19 x 19 lines on it, why should I pay over 100 euro for it? So I decided to build my own and just buy the stones, which are cheap to come by.

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DIY: Building a Japanese shoji-style ambient lamp – the nerd way

This is another old project that I made a while ago. I have to admit, the idea itself is stolen from instructables.com and you can see that the outcome looks similar at first glance. But I wanted to take a different approach. While I really like the shoji-design, I wanted my lamp to be more solid and long-lasting. Besides, I preferred the size (and ratio) of the DIN-A4-format, so that I can easily replace the paper without trimming it first, in case it gets damaged or i want to change the color. It has a beautiful ratio (297 / 210 = √2). The length of the sticks within the frame are chosen in a way that the rectangular pattern on the frame also has a ratio of √2.

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RAID5-Server to hold all your data – the NAS alternative with software RAID

This was an old project of mine. A few years ago I had a huge load of data comming in (~4 TiB) and the amount of storage I needed suddenly more than dubbled. Until then I was using two 1.5 TB HDDs which I mirrored by hand using rsync, because I’m paranoid of loosing data. It was annoying to always copy all data to each disk to have redundancy – and certainly not a smart solution. Now that data wouldn’t fit onto the two disks anyway, so it was time to think of a new solution. I had enough of wasting my time with copying files from one hard drive to another.

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