Category Archives: Household

Lenovo X220 i7 with eGPU! (diy ViDock)

My new Lenovo X220 laptop should be arriving soon. While it has a nice i7 CPU, it only has only has an integrated Intel HD 3000  for the video card 🙁  This severely limits 3D performance, therefore I will be adding something known as a DIY eGPU -or- DIY ViDock. This is a simple little project that is similar to the commercial “ViDock” product but at a lower cost and potentially with more capabilities. Basically it is connecting a desktop video card

PV photovoltaic skylights: energy production & UV reduction together

Image source: OnyxSolar, please visit their site below… My long time buddy, and most excellent architect, John Odom forwarded me an interesting email about PV skylights. He tries to keep me abreast of the latest architectural trends and while “BIPV” or Building-integrated photovoltaics has been around for a while, it is DEFINITELY a popular topic today! Here’s a brief intro to the subject of BIPV and its components: Skylights – an integral feature of modern architecture We are probably all familiar with skylights

Sample Off the Grid Solar Power Systems and Costs

Going off the grid A friend’s dad is serious about going off the grid and doing it with solar. This man has worked hard for a long time and is ready for a new challenge, I think part of that challenge is to be more self-sufficient and independent. There is definitely something to be said for being self-sufficient. 🙂 I am not going to get into the merits of on-grid vs off-the-grid, but I can say that for particular situations

Small always on green RAID system for NAS

Our family is looking to upgrade our “always on” network storage. Criteria include: energy efficiency, data protection, unobtrusive design, cost. Here is our past and future setup… Currently we use a Linksys NSLU2 with a 16GB USB flash drive. Pros: +super-low power usage (nice since we live off the grid) +compact size +simplicity +SSD (flash drive) for reliability +silent +cheap Cons: +SLOW Planned upgrade: Thecus N4100 Pro (2) 750GB 2.5″ 7200RPM SATA laptop hard drives Upgrade to 1GB RAM (supposed to

Two ways to save at Lowe’s and Home Depot

If you are starting a big remodeling project on your home or office here are a couple great ways to save money at Lowe’s and Home Depot! #1 Lowe’s 10% off “project starter” coupons I rarely go to Lowe’s without one of these coupons. It just does not make sense to buy without them! Save 10% on your entire purchase, up to $500 in savings per coupon (so you can use the coupon for up to $5,000 of stuff per

Do DC (direct current) air conditioners exist? [yes, they do exist]

UPDATED: 2011.06.16 added a new DC air conditioner producer… Recently I wrote about air-conditioning in off the grid environments. The approach I outlined uses solar panels which output DC [direct current]) and an inverter to convert to AC [alternating current] which runs a conventional air-conditioner. A commenter on twitter asked the reasonable question, what about using a DC air-conditioner instead? This is actually a great idea as it reduces the need for a heavy duty inverter and it also would be

Air conditioning using off-the-grid solar [sample setup/install]

Summary: brief article describing a setup for running a good sized air-conditioner using solar in an entirely off the grid environment. My family has lived off-the-grid for a number of years and generally it has been a wonderful experience. However, summers in Missouri can get rather warm so this year I set out to cool our entire house with AC. Previously only our bedroom was air conditioned and the other rooms had ceiling fans or stationary fans. Prior to the

Momma Molly’s delicious Sugar-Free Banana Bread or Muffins (mirror)


NOTE: this recipe is from Momma-Molly and is only posted here because her site appears to be permanently down. 🙁 Sugar-free Banana Bread (or muffins!) 4 medium over ripe bananas – mashed 2 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1/3 cup honey 1/2 cup milk 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1 cup all purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. cinnamon Mix eggs, oil, honey, milk and bananas in a large bowl. Add the rest of