Hi, I'm Jake.

  • Undergraduate at Georgetown University
  • From San Jose, California
  • Computer & Data Science, Design, and International Affairs
πDough, The Newspaper-Fetching Robot

Google CAPE (Computing and Programming experience) was über awesome and a very valuable experience. Google took me and another couple dozen 8th-graders (soon to be high school freshmen) to their campus for three weeks filled with programming, building, discussing the future of technology with industry experts, and touring awesome places like IDEO and Stanford's D-School.

At the end of all of it, after more than a little time spent at home on my project, I ended up with a robot that more or less retrieves the newspaper for its user. I called it πDough (like Fido, because it's a dog, get it?!) and it's built with the chassis of an RC car and an Arduino with an IR LED and an IR-sensitive photoresistor for sensing distance to obstacles and the paper it seeks. It runs in a random pattern, covering the driveway like a Roomba vacuum until it finds what it's looking for, at which point it engages its lifter, a sophisticated rig composed of a coathanger bent into a scooper and a set of servos.

Read More

How to Repair the Apple IIe Power Supply

I've had my Apple //e for a few weeks; the first day I had it, the power supply catastrophically self-destructed. By that I mean one of the uber-fun paper AC filter capacitors blew, leaking out burning icky gook. I had to clean that off of the PCB eventually (or I just thought about it for a while, decided it wouldn't short anything out anytime soon (hopefully), and forgot about it). Yay.

I was in the garage writing some BASIC programs on my //e and heard a hissing noise; I thought for some reason that there was a snake or lizard in the garage, so I turned my back to the computer for a look around, only to turn back to the PC and find smoke coming out of it. Not a great sight. My garage smelled of burnt marshmallows for days. However, luckily, the computer was not damaged, and I wasn't worried because it continued functioning perfectly up to the moment I unplugged it, indicating that the cap's failure did not cause damage to the main motherboard and was not function-hindering.

Thus goes my adventure of replacing the old electrolytic capacitor in the Apple //e power supply, which is quite simple and an intriguing journey into a wonderful product's design.

Read More