As someone who has a collection of tube radios, I found this article interesting for a number of reasons. The author has a huge collection of tube amplifiers, and was looking for a way to resurrect them. He bought a device called a variac, which is basically just a power transformer with adjustable input. In the article he explains how he used a variac to slowly bring the capacitors inside old tube amps back to life by slowly increasing the voltage applied; this sounds like another interesting project.
Hi, I’m Bill. I’m a designer, illustrator and photographer, working on the web since 1997 and writing online since 2001. I’ve had a pretty varied career, including contractor, print designer, game artist, webmaster, consultant, design director, head of my own small studio, Creative Director, and adjunct professor. I graduated from MICA at the exact moment paste-up and rubylith gave way to Quark, which meant I was trained in the old ways and the new.
In 2001, I looked around and saw that other folks were starting weblogs, and I decided to give it a try. For the first couple of years I coded and posted everything by hand, uploading via FTP, because I didn’t have database or CGI access on the server I was using. In the middle of March 2005, on or about the fourth birthday of this weblog, I bought a domain and hosting plan and switched over to Moveable Type to maintain the site. After searching for an available domain name, I finally settled on Idiotking, a shortened version of one of my favorite Soul Coughing songs and also something separate from my namesake site, which I was using for commercial purposes at that time.
I used Movable Type for a couple of years until I got tired of the increasing complexity of redesigns and upkeep. In 2008, I migrated to WordPress in search of more flexibility and ease of use.
This weblog is a dinosaur in the age of Facebook and Twitter, but the purpose for this site hasn’t changed since the day I started writing it. The whole point was to have a single place to keep all of my writing, pictures, and links instead of spreading them out across different sites, so this remains the best place to find me.
My wife, daughter and I live outside Baltimore in an ex-doctor’s office/house with two rescue cats, an insane rescue dog and a truckload of plaster dust. I’ve been brewing beer for about eight years now, and while I’m by no means an expert, I can brew a pretty decent IPA. I’ve owned two International Harvester Scouts over the course of twenty years. My current Scout is ugly but runs like a top and will probably remain four different colors. I bought a Travelall in the winter of 2023 as a new project vehicle.
I take photos with a Nikon D7000, Fuji X-T10
, Canon 5D, 7D, (new-skool) a Minolta X-700, Rolleicord, and various antique 620 format cameras (old-skool.) Here’s a link to my Flickr account, and one to my Instagram account, if you haven’t already found them.
Some random factoids:
- I’ve had a goatee since 1997 and a full beard since 2015;
my chin has not seen sunlight since the Clinton administration. Streak broken; I shaved everything off after chemo in December 2017.
- I hate Pearl Jam.
- I drove a tow truck to high school.
- I performed on stage in 1987 at Carnegie Hall in a tuxedo and checkerboard Vans.
- As of 2017, I’ve been to Bimini, Italy, Ireland, Curacao, the United Arab Emirates, England, Mexico, Paraguay, and Colombia.
- I love eating but dislike cooking. I do make a mean guacamole, though.
- I can pick locks, but I’m out of practice.
- I’ve been driving stick since I was 14.
- I love baked goods but will not eat anything with raisins inside.
- I’ve been published in the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, Detroit Free Press, and Los Angeles Times.
- I’ve never met a celebrity, D-list or otherwise, in person.
- I’ve marched in a parade down Main Street in Disney World behind a bass drum.
- I failed math in 9th grade.
- I had a 5.5 lb. tumor removed from my abdomen in 2017.