Author Archive

HOW-TO: Add live websites to GIT without interruptions or security risks

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Over at the DEV site we've been using GIT repositories hosted at to push (deploy) changes to the live server instantly. It's way slicker than uploading changed files by FTP, which has no roll back if something goes wrong. It also solves one of our China internet problems: routing...

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Posted in #liveupdates, how-to, site | 1 Comment »

Trolling venture capital and the death of Hacker Camp Shenzhen

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

The sixth and final Hacker Camp Shenzhen begins in a few days. We'll do the typical tours, market shopping, factory visits, and lots of eating and drinking. There are around 30 purchased tickets, and another dozen repeat campers and locals coming along to help. Hacker Camp has been amazing because...

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Posted in Hacker Camp Shenzhen, Shenzhen | 27 Comments »

HOW TO: Chinese Driver’s License

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

China has huge factories, but there's also thousands of tiny factories hidden away on back streets and in garages. During production of The Expressway we had a lot of down time waiting for molds to heat so we explored the neighborhood. On one tiny road there was a compression molding...

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Posted in Shenzhen | 17 Comments »

Harmony t-shirt #1: Make a packing tape handle

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

In Chinese markets it’s super common to carry boxes with an improvised packing tape handle. It’s a simple idea: make four or five tape loops over the top of the box and then crush them together into a handle. Bunnie's new Huaqiangbei adventure kit even includes ‘please make a tape...

Posted in Global Geek, Shenzhen | 5 Comments »

Owning DirtyPCBs: an opportunity lost

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

With the Chinese company out of the way, I've had some time to work on projects and plan what to do next. One thing I have to do is own DirtyPCBs, I've failed at some basic stuff. was a joke. It started as a quick script so our team...

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Posted in #liveupdates, | 23 Comments »

HOW TO: Chinese work permit and residency visa

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

First we started a Chinese company, then we got a bank account and import export permit. The last major thing is a work permit and residency visa. Americans, Canadians, and soon Australians, all get an automatic 10 year multiple entry visas for China. It's quite common for foreigners to post...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Chinese Company, Shenzhen | 3 Comments »

HOW TO: Shenzhen Spring Festival/Chinese New Year

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

By 2016 most hackers have some idea that China shuts down for a month every year. If not, learn it: from some time in January to some time in February the world's largest country and manufacturing capital, one of the biggest economies, closes shop. Nothing is made or shipped. While...

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Posted in Shenzhen | 5 Comments »

HOW TO: China import/export permit and company bank

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Last week we described the painful process of opening a Chinese company. That was actually the fast and easy part. There's still a pile of paperwork and months of waiting ahead. This week we look at the proper, and improper, ways to export from China. A Chinese import export permit...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Chinese Company, Shenzhen | 3 Comments »

HOW TO: Start a Chinese Company

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

While Shenzhen is becoming “Hollywood for Makers”, and not always in a good way, there don't seem to be a lot of foreign open hardware/maker/start-up/accelerated/innovated/incubated people starting Chinese companies. As far as we know, we are the first foreign owned open hardware centric Chinese company in Shenzhen. With everything going...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Chinese Company, Shenzhen | 25 Comments »

Hacker Camp Shenzhen 2016 March 24-26

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Hacker Camp Shenzhen 2016 is on! Join us from Thursday March 24 to Saturday March 26 for fun, food and 3 solid days of electronics tours in Shenzhen China and beyond. Come to the world's electronics capital and experience Shenzhen like a local hacker. Tour the famous Huaqiangbei electronics markets...

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Posted in Hacker Camp Shenzhen | 32 Comments »

Dirt Cheap Dirty Reels: cheap component reels from China

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Component reels shouldn't be overpriced or difficult to come by. Dirty Reels connects you to cheap Chinese component suppliers in the Huaqiangbei electronics market. Add a reel of resistors to your next DEV shop order for under $4! A dirty reel of 5000 100ohm 5% 0603 resistors from a major Chinese manufacturer like...

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Posted in Chinese Company, components | 33 Comments »

DP 2016: Live from China!

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Today Dangerous Prototypes is a legal Chinese company! 100% legit with import/export license, work permits, visas, and an office in Huaqiangbei (the world's largest electronics market). It is likely the only Open Hardware centric WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise) in Shenzhen, and perhaps China. It took over a year to...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Chinese Company, Shenzhen | 21 Comments »

Mobile site on desktop?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Had a few reports of the mobile site showing up on desktop views. Sorry for the issue and thanks for the reports! We're checking it out. Deleted any cache, checked cache settings and mod rewrite rules, etc. It's not happening for us, but if it effects you please let us...

Posted in site | 7 Comments »

Help with Xvfb, Eagle, and permissions on Ubuntu?

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Trying to get Eagle working on a headless Ubuntu box using X virtual frame buffer. It sometimes kind of works, and there's a general feeling that permissions are involved. xvfb-run -a /opt/eagle-7.3.0/bin/eagle -C'EXPORT IMAGE schematic.png 600; QUIT' /var/www/dangercore/temp_upload/bp.sch xvfb-run -a /opt/eagle-7.3.0/bin/eagle -C'RUN /var/www/dangercore/eagle/ulp/bom.ulp; QUIT;' /var/www/dangercore/temp_upload/bp.sch Two commands need to be...

Posted in #liveupdates | 16 Comments »

Bay Area Maker Faire 2015

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Please have a free Sierra Nevada for us at Friday night's Maker party, we're skipping this one. Too much going on here in Mom's basement to venture out into the sunlight. If you're at the faire early you can still check Noisebridge hacker space and recreate the Mission District Taco...

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Posted in #liveupdates, Maker Faire | No Comments »

3D model .STL to .PNG preview

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Bing search sucks. Tried a bunch of ways to get image previews from 3d model .STL files. OpenSCAD does a decent and fast preview, but you gotta figure out where to put the camera for a good scene. The Linux repositories with OpenSCAD are outdated so you have to compile...

Posted in #liveupdates, site | 4 Comments »

CNC3020 assembled in 30 minutes

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Got it bolted together in less than an hour. Works. Except the safety stop that is, it does not work at all. Next the software.

Posted in #liveupdates | 9 Comments »

CNC3020 milling machine arrives

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Hacker Camp Shenzhen volume 4 was a huge success! It seemed like half the hackers were playing with CNC mills of some sort. On the second day of camp I spent an awesome afternoon brainstorming CNC PCB making with Drew and hunting Depu market for copper clad, rivets and other...

Posted in #liveupdates | 4 Comments »

Free PCBs massive fail, now shipping

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Late last year I spun off the Dirty____ source code into a free PCB fulfillment system (Filthy Hole). The system is modeled after - print packing lists and prepaid shipping/address/customs form on 10x15cm labels. It is way easier for the back office to pick and pack, and follows the...

Posted in Free PCBs, PCBs | 7 Comments »

On the second day of Taobaomas

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

It is 8:30pm in China. Time to review today's Taobaomas haul. Taobao recently started taking foreign debit and credit cards, so for the first time I feel fully Taobao-enabled. Today we have another load of food imports. Hope thus isn't annoying you too much, I just want to show the...

Posted in #liveupdates | No Comments »

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Recent Comments

  • Geert Jordaens: I'm not sure what kind of licensing I have to add since it is a fairly straight forward implementation of the adaptive Huffman Decoding. For...
  • erich: For anyone interested, I've added some c++ code for adaptive huffman decoding in the git repository.
  • Sjaak: I would add some more protection in the used trigger file (on the serverpilot site) then not using a standard name :) hopefully they use...
  • Pete Castagna: My friend Charlie who worked in synthesizers at a DOD type of place made a modification to this avalanche pulse generator that allowed him to...
  • Sam Catchpole: Yes please :D