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Magazine Review: Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 23

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What an education Make: technology on your time is for those of us who can’t be trusted near power tools and soldering irons. While millions of people are familiar with resistors, 555 timer chips, and gearmotors, there are a whole lot of us who never even heard of potentiometers. However, by reading Make: technology on your time, the technologically impaired can at least say, “I think I’ve heard of that…” 

Make: technology on your time is a wonderful resource for do-it-yourself technology buffs. Its articles, although often technical, are clearly written and fairly easy to understand, even for those who don’t have engineering degrees or similar life experience. It is filled with delightful projects for all levels of craftspersons, although I suspect that even “easy” projects would be hazardous in my hands (okay, not “suspect,” “know”; and not “hazardous,” “deadly”).

But wouldn’t you just love to learn how to make a magic talking mirror, a guitar amp bulletin board, or a hula hoop pool warmer (which seems to be identical to expensive pool warmers I saw in SkyMall, the in-flight catalog for really bored travelers)? There are 18 “fun how-to projects” included in Volume 23 of this strangely enticing magazine. And for those who need the furniture to invent on, there are instructions for building “your own inexpensive yet sturdy worktables and shelving.” As for me, I think I could manage the construction of a hypsometer—if you don’t know what that is, you’ll have to pick up a copy of Make: technology on your time.

You may not be interested in creating a totally useless machine (though I’m fascinated!), or in creating anything at all, but there are also profiles of people who have designed amazing things, hold patents, and were never taught the meaning of “can’t.” Um… I guess you’d call them “inventors.”  Or “geniuses.” What they seem to have in common is a passion for what they do. What’s even more exciting is that they are willing to share information and directions for replicating their achievements.

Additionally, there are product reviews, brain teasers, and “heirloom technology” (in case you’d like to “Transplant a big tree with a giant two-wheeled dolly.”). Recyclers will find instructions on how to make CD/DVD Parts Containers (“a new twist on the old baby-food jar organizer”). Just what I needed — another excuse to hoard junk.

One of the intriguing aspects of Make: technology on your time is the advertisements. If you are not technologically inclined, you will find that there’s a whole world of products and services you could never have imagined.

That’s the fun of picking up magazines devoted to things you can’t do. They offer such an education, mostly about how ignorant you are. (I am also mesmerized by woodworking magazines, and nearly any that involve making things with dangerous tools. I am awe-struck by the people who can actually accomplish the projects within their pages.)  

For those looking for new ways to channel their creativity, or who simply would like to look into a world where people can, Make: technology on your time is a fun, maybe even productive, read.

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