Many of my projects are not born of necessity, but out of amusement or curiosity. Well, here’s one that does both. Without tools, I can be pretty forgetful, especially of mundane things. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at knowing this about myself and coming up with solutions. This is the first physical solution I’ve built, though. Meet the Pill-minder. I’m pretty terrible at remembering to take pills, even worse on weekends when I don’t follow my normal morning routine.
As some of you might know already, I like to nerd out about input devices. I’ve had the desire to build and try out a chorded keyboard ever since I first watched The Mother of all Demos. Chorded keyboards have had some popularity with wearable computing enthusiasts due to their one-handed use, but I thought they might also be interesting for ergonomic reasons. Building a chorded keyboard would also be a great learning experience as a deep dive into the workings of USB HID devices.
… is a secret gift for Janice, so a lot of what I’ve been working on lately, I haven’t posted. I can say (since she saw the packing slip) that it involves this box of 64 [ShiftBrites](http://macetech.com/store/index.php?main_page=pro duct_info&cPath=1&products_id=1) from MaceTech. Man, I wanted to go all Scrooge McDuck, and just dive into this box. These little things are pretty sweet, they’ve saved me the work of wiring up a ton of RGB LEDs and shift registers.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for more power for your electronics project than a typical wall wart gives you, your old GameCube power supply will give you 12V at a whopping 3.25A from a fairly small package. The voltage seems pretty steady at 12.19V, so you might even get away without building a regulator circuit. And all this without mangling the power supply’s wires!