Tim's Eclectica

A collection of my varied interests and projects. This site has neither a significant theme nor any products to sell. Everything on this site is free for personal, non-commerical use. I probably won't charge for other uses, but you at least have to contact me to find out (see the Copyright statement below). And please be careful (see my disclaimers in the Copyright statement below).

This site is driven by a fascination with problem solving and a skepticism about the motives of those who provide canned, easy answers to complicated problems.

Money Matters

Mortgage Calculators. Tools that may help you pay off your mortgage early! Last updated March 2006.

A Simple System for Managing Medical Expenses. A system to help make sense of medical expenses, insurance statements, and provider bills. I created this system to detangle my own! Last updated April 2005.


On Data, Information, and Knowledge. A (fairly) short treatment on how we use (and misuse) data and information to obtain knowledge. Last updated March 2006.

Computer/Network Stuff

Python System Admin Utilities. Tools to help with some system/network administration problems Last updated March 2008.

DB-9/RJ-45 Console Adaptors. An alternative wiring scheme for DB-9/RJ-45 console adaptors that that work with CAT 5 cable and support Cisco RJ-45 consoles. I built these in 2001 to reduce my serial console cable burden. Last updated January 2005.

Microcontroller Stuff

Arduino Demo Sketch of Andrew Rapp's Xbee-arduino Library. Using the Xbee-arduino Library with XBee ZNET 2.5 modules. Quite short and hopefully sweet. Last updated April 2009.

Updated AVR UART Library. An updated version of Peter Fleury's excellent AVR UART library. Hopefully improved. Last updated May 2009.

Other Interests/Projects:

Front Drive Indicator for 4WD trucks with Automatic Locking Hubs. Detects whether or not these pesky things work the way they're supposed to! I built this in late 2004 for our 1997 Ford F-250 4x4. Last updated March 2006.

Automatic Oil Burner Reset for Wood Gun Boiler. An automatic reset for Oil Burners attached to "Wood Gun" Boilers (formerly made by Eshland Enterprises, now made by Alternative Heating Systems). I built this in late 2002 to improve system reliability of our Eshland Wood Gun boiler when running on oil. Last updated March 2006.

Flue Temperature Monitor and Alarm for Wood Gun Boiler. An system to monitor the flue of "Wood Gun" Boilers (formerly made by Eshland Enterprises, now made by Alternative Heating Systems), and shut the boiler down if the flue gets too hot. I built this in late 2006 after we found that the flue seals can fail catastrophically when the flue temperature gets too high. Added November 2008.

Dawn Simulator. A system to make waking easier during months when the alarm goes off while it's still dark outside. Also, a way to built a very expensive light switch. I built this in late 2005. Added June 2006.

Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Race Start Interface. A system to interface recent serial-only versions of Grand Prix Race Manager to NHRA-style "Christmas Trees" and a starting solenoid . I built this in late 2007 and modified it in late 2008. Last updated Octover 2008.

Ok, so I have a butt-ugly Web site. Get over it. It's free!

Disclaimer. Any and all opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author. The author accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of data provided on this web site, nor does the author accept any responsibility for the use and /or misuse of information provided on this web site. It is the full and sole responsibility of the user to determine whether and/or how best to use the information provided within their own circumstances, and it is the full and sole responsibility of the user to accept any and all benefits and/or consquences of their actions. Please see my Privacy Policy.

Copyright 2001-2009, Tim Sharpe. You are free to use this information for personal, non-commerical use without restriction. All rights reserved for commerical, organizational, or government use. Questions or comments to tim@beaststwo.org. Flames to /dev/nul.

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