It is time for the United States to become more inventive. We need to stop depending on other countries for our needs. We also need to stop being bullies about patents and software copyrights. It is killing the U.S. in that it is not allowing the U.S. to compete against the world in the marketplace.

In my own situation, there was a tool I needed. I looked everywhere in the stores locally for a brace as I believe it is called. I just call it a hand drill/screwdriver. What I needed was to be able to work late at night building things without making a lot of noise. I also needed a hand tool I could use if the power was out. You still have to be able to work on computer equipment even when the power is down. Ironically, you can get most any other hand tool from a local store. You can get the brace from the web, but most likely it will have been made overseas. Not good enough.

Do not know who said it, but I think it makes real sense. If you can dream it, you can draw it. If you can draw it, you can build it. So it was time to do a bit of brain storming. What does an brace look like I thought to myself. Sort of a upside down U with long extensions. And need some parts that can swivel easily. Let me go to the hardware store and see if anything fits the bill. Looked at piping, but it was way to expensive. I really did not need anything that sturdy for what I was doing. Maybe I need to make a drawing, having something in mind now.

Good, let us use good old Tux paint. Then I realized, I need a drill chuck. Looked around and there was one for a very reasonable price at a local tool store that specialized in such things.  Now back to the hardware store for the other parts. Low and behold hit me like a ton of bricks. Why not use pvc pipe, It is cheap and easy to cut.  Here was the list.

1 – 2 foot section of 1/2 inch pvc pipe. (B, D, F, H, i) (1 – 1 inch and 4 – 4 inch)
4  – 1/2 inch elbows pvc  (C, E, G,  P) (ignore the cursor in C, I forgot to move the mouse)
1 – 1/2 inch cap pvc  (J)
1 – 1 inch tee pvc with the center part threaded.   (M)
1 – 1 inch extension pvc  (K)
1 – 1 inch cap for extension pvc  (L)
1 – 1 inch screw in cap for tee pvc (N)
1  – Drill chuck replacement and 2 inch mounting bolt.  (I used a 1/2 inch chuck) (A, O)

Came home and proceeded to get out the hack saw and ruler and started working on the project. Before long this is what I came up with:

Yes, the ultimate geek drill and screwdriver still works. For a little ingenuity and a few bucks, I did not have to depend on some other country to get me what I needed. It really is true that:  If you can dream it, you can draw it. If you can draw it, you can build it.  What can you do for yourself?


Most all of the computothought instructables we do that involve programming use Freebasic. One think I like about it is the ease of programming the parallel and other ports on the computer. There are certainly lots of other programming languages you could use (i.e., but there have been so many programs written for qbasic, you just hate not to be able to use them.

Freebasic is a derivative of the Beginners All Purpose Instruction Code aka Basic. BASIC (standing for Beginner’s All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was written (invented) in 1963, at Dartmouth College, by mathematicians John George Kemeny and Tom Kurtzas as a teaching tool for undergraduates. BASIC has been one of the most commonly used computer programming languages, a simple computer language considered an easy step for students to learn before more powerful languages such as FORTRAN. Ironically I learned Fortran before I ever new about Basic. Today, probably the web based languages such as Javascript, Python, or C might be more in line with what people are using.

You may want to install the c compiler first, if you have not already done so.
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential

You could see if this batch file works for you. You should be asked for your password. You will also see all the details of the install.

# Install Freebasic:
sudo apt-get install libfreebasic libxext-dev libncurses5-dev libx11-dev libxpm-dev libxrandr-dev
chmod +x
sudo ./ install
# Write a program:
echo print '"Hello world! "' > helloworld.bas
# Compile it:
fbc -lang qb helloworld.bas
# Run it:

$ chmod +x
$ ./fbinstall,sh

Hello world!


President’s Hangman game in Javascript.


<body onload="count();">

<table border=1><tr>
 <form name="hang"><td align="center" colspan=13>
<font face="Comic Sans MS, Arial, Helvetica" color="teal" size="+1"><b>HANGMAN</b></font></td></tr>
 <input type="hidden" name="word" value="">

<script language="javascript">
<!-- This Script Created by D10n...(for Becky Flesher): -->
<!-- For this and 100s of other Free Javascripts, check out: -->
<!-- @ -->

var words=new Array();
words[1] = "JOHN ADAMS";
words[2] = "THOMAS JEFFERSON";
words[3] = "JAMES MADISON";
words[4] = "JAMES MONROE";
words[5] = "JOHN QUINCY ADAMS";
words[6] = "ANDREW JACKSON";
words[7] = "MARTIN VAN BUREN";
words[9] = "JOHN TYLER";
words[10] = "JAMES POLK";
words[11] = "ZACHARY TAYLOR";
words[12] = "MILLARD FILLMORE";
words[13] = "FRANKLIN PIERCE";
words[14] = "JAMES BUCHANAN";
words[15] = "ABRAHAM LINCOLN";
words[16] = "ANDREW JOHNSON";
words[17] = "ULYSSES GRANT";
words[18] = "RUTHERFORD HAYES";
words[19] = "JAMES GARFIELD";
words[20] = "CHESTER ARTHUR";
words[21] = "GROVER CLEVELAND";
words[22] = "BENJAMIN HARRISON";
words[23] = "GROVER CLEVELAND";
words[24] = "WILLIAM MCKINLEY";
words[26] = "WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT";
words[27] = "WOODROW WILSON";
words[28] = "WARREN HARDING";
words[29] = "CALVIN COOLIDGE";
words[30] = "HERBERT HOOVER";
words[32] = "HARRY TRUMAN";
words[33] = "DWIGHT EISENHOWER";
words[34] = "JOHN KENNEDY";
words[35] = "LYNDON JOHNSON";
words[36] = "RICHARD NIXON";
words[37] = "GERALD FORD";
words[38] = "JIMMY CARTER";
words[39] = "RONALD REAGAN";
words[40] = "GEORGE BUSH";
words[41] = "BILL CLINTON";

ltr=0; ltc=0;
for (i=0;i<2;i++)
 { document.write("<tr>");
   for (j=0;j<13;j++)
    { a='<td><tt><input type="button" value=" ';
      a+=alpha.substring(ltr,ltr+1)+' " onclick="';
      document.write(a+'letter(this);"></tt></td>'); ltr++; };
   document.write("</tr>"); };

var rnd=Math.floor(Math.random()*words.length);
document.write('<tr><td colspan=13 align="center"><tt><font size=+2>');
for (i=0;i<words[rnd].length;i++)
 { a=words[rnd].substring(i,i+1);
   if (alpha.indexOf(a,0)>-1) { a="*"; ltc++; };
   document.write('<input type="button" value="'+a+'">'); };

function letter(l)
 { a=l.value.substring(1,2); l.value="   "; dh=document.hang;
   if (a!=" ")
    { w=dh.word.value;
      b=w.indexOf(a,0); f=1; dhl=dh.left;
      while (b>-1)
       { dh.elements[b+27].value=a;
         b=w.indexOf(a,b+1); f=0; ltc--; };
      if (dhl.value==0)
       for (j=0;j<26;j++)
    }; };
function count()
 { dh=document.hang; dhc=dh.clock; dhl=dh.left;
   dhc.value-=1; v=dhl.value*ltc*dhc.value
   if (v>0)
    { msg="Congratulations!";
      if (dhl.value<0)
       msg="You Have No More Tries!";
      if (ltc>0)
       msg="Time Out! Answer:\n"+dh.word.value;
    }; };
<tr><td align="center" colspan=5>TURNS LEFT:<input type="button" value="10" name="left"></td>

<td colspan=5 align="center">TIME REMAINING:<input type="button" value="60" name="clock"></td>
<td colspan=3 align="center"><input type="button" value="Again" onclick="location='hangman.html';">


Pasta carbonara

Good day.