Friday, January 13, 2012

'Sup In Smoke

I was nearly asphyxiated Tuesday night, when the #1 son decided to try out some new invention he had hooked up to his fancy-schmancy camera.

He thinks I understand the gadget, having come to show it to me each step of the way. Not sure what his thinking process was on that. Surely he knows that I am not fluent in gadget, have had no formal instruction in gadget, show no apparent interest in gadget, and, quite frankly, lack even the most basic gadget bone in my body. And surely he does not give one whit about my input. I can only surmise that he was seeking approval for His Royal Gadgetific Majesty.

This, the latest steed in his gadget stable, is supposed to take a flash picture at the instant something interesting happens. I don't get it. That's perhaps the most gigantic understatement in the history of gadgetry. I don't know which comes first, the flash or the instant. #1 gave an example of water dripping off the porch onto the railing. He could get the drop at the instant it hit the rail, he said. But he's already gotten pictures of that, along with the whole sequences of splashing that's involved, with a much cheaper camera and no gadget. So maybe this has something to do with it being automatic, or having a flash. Like he could set up his rig and go annoy his mom for a while and let the picture take itself. I don't know.

So Tuesday night, to test his gadget, he went into the basement workshop, turned off the lights, and lit matches. Yeah. I'm pretty sure it wasn't just some wacky teenage cry for help. He showed me pictures later of gases and flame emitted by a freshly-struck match. I suggested a series of photos. A description of how he built his gadget from a variety of online-ordered parts. And how he could use it as his project in the local Science Fair that he won the Best in Fair prize in last year. Nope. This is nothing, he says. He has another project in mind involving texting and sound and speed of typing.

I fail to see the need for this gadget, unless it is all about inflaming the lungs of elderly women who like to type up their blogs in a smoke-free environment.


Chickadee said...

Wow. How old is this kid? And you should post some of those pics?

Incidentally, there is some sensor thingamajiggy that you attach to your camera and it will take photos of lighting the instant it occurs. It is crazy expensive too, like thousands of dollars.

Hillbilly Mom said...

He just turned 17. But he's been dabbling in the gadgetry for quite a while. In kindergarten, he hooked up six speakers and two monitors to his desktop. He was trying to run Linux and Windows as the whim suited him, with some partition dealybobber set-up. I'd never even heard of Linux. By fourth grade, he had networked all of our computers with a wireless router. Whatever that is.

Maybe that price is why he was making his own gadget. I couldn't believe he was reinventing the wheel. I was sure there must be some thingamajigger that already performed that function.