Maplin’s Sale

Maplin’s prices have generally always been much higher than other retailers. This is probably a large part of the reason why they are closing down.

They have been slowly selling off all stock from their stores including fixtures and fittings. We’ve been going there every couple for weeks and looking to see if there were any bargains. Even with 50% discount much of their stock is better priced elsewhere but in the past couple of weeks they have been increasing their discounts and selling some stock at one-off prices.

We popped into the Slough branch yesterday and managed to pick up some bargains. A Samsung Smartthings hub for £50 (usually about £100), a Meccannoid robot for £50 (usually £200+. This one has no box was but was fully working), a MakeyMakey for £24.99 (usually £49) a Makerbuino about £20 (usually around £70) and an aluminium display stand for £3. Apart from the robot and sign, all new and boxed. The only thing you have to consider is they will not accept returns unless the items are faulty but you still get warranty with the manufacturers so this was not really a concern for us. Now to do something with the Makey Makey and get the smartthings hub working in our house.

Meccano Meccanoid Robot

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Shop display sign from Maplins £3

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Samsung Smartthings Hub £50

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Makerbuino ready assembled

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Makey Makey

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Virtual Computer Museum Project

The aim of the project is to get my whole computer and retro technology collection out of my loft and various other storage places, set them up, test them, play with them and finally use our Matterport 3d camera to capture images of all of them and convert these into a 3d virtual tour that can be viewed through a VR headset. Really, its just an excuse to spend the next few weeks playing games on computers from the 70’s through to current systems.

Virtual visitors will be able to view the collection set up on desks and click on information points to get information about the particular consoles, handhelds, computers etc. they are interested in.

I have already got most of the items to work in a storage area and have started cataloguing them. I just don’t have enough TV’s and monitors and space to set up them all up at once so have decided to capture them in batches based on Make/genre etc. The first scans i’m working on now are going to be for a display of Amstrad computer technology and will incorporate the following:

  • Amstrad GX4000 boxed with homebrew cartridge & other misc games plus spare controllers
  • Cpc464 plus
  • CPC6128
  • Dmp2000 printer
  • Games/software titles
  • Joysticks
  • TV modulator
  • Add- ons
  • Light pen
  • Amstrad CPC464 (57539)
  • Amstrad Colour Monitor CTM644-2 (541-7532830
  • Amstrad CPC464 (5316803386)
  • Amstrad CTM640 Colour Monitor (87360)
  • Amstrad CPC464 (185969 K31-58) – some keys not working
  • Amstrad PCW16
  • NC100 (Some keys not working)
  • Amstrad PC1640 with 3.5″ external HDD, dust covers, printer switch box
  • Amstrad DMP4000 Printer
  • Box of 3.5 and 5.25″ disks
  • Speech Synthesiser
  • Amstrad User Magazines

I will update this list over the next couple of days and post pictures when finished

Amazon Delivery

Just had a hilarious moment with our Ring doorbell. My phone vibrated to alert me that someone was at my door and had pressed the doorbell. He obviously didn’t realise that it was a smart doorbell.

The video camera showed the delivery man meowing back at my cat in something of a chorus before I managed to start talking to him over the microphone from work. He was however happy to leave the parcels behind our bin and would probably have not left them if I hadn’t spoken with him. Thanks again Ring doorbell.  One of my best investments in technology that just works well.

Had the Amazon guy been able to speak he would have known that my cat was asking to leave the parcel by the door and the cat was offering to sign for it!