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TV and Radio Appearances

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It has been quite an eventful couple of weeks, which all started when the BBC came out to visit the workshop to play with the repurposed BT payphone I've been working on this year. The interview was a great deal of fun to do and they also managed to get many soundbites and video footage of both myself and the project. The interview can be listened to below. The edit is a pretty good one considering I have a habit of rabbiting on when I'm nervous. The really great news about this radio interview is that it got picked up and played on other local BBC radio stations across the country, not just Wiltshire and apparently achieved the "Best of Local radio" title. Footage that was filmed during the workshop visit then made it onto the BBC News website , which just blew me away when I saw the project published here. I now understand that CBS America want to use this content and as a result the BBC have passed it on. To top it off further, the video they made has been circulat

Generating a Passive Income - An Experiment

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The phone box project and the development of my new telephone network RocketTel has increased the readers to this blog to a level where I where I was recently notified that I qualified for Google's Adsense service. I have to admit, it did take a little time to set up the accounts and link them to my Blogger account, which is where this blog you're currently reading is hosted with. This actually made the process a little easier with both services, Blogger and Adsense are owned by Google, although the process was still a little clunky and I'm left wondering what it's like to set up an independently hosted blog with Adsense . As you can see from the side panels, I was able to activate the ads and once this had happened I then set about writing another blog post about my project update. I fully appreciate that I'm not going to get rich quick, nor is anything going to happen overnight, so I parked the Adsense experiment for a few weeks and set about looking at other

New Workshop and Hacked Payphones

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As projects grow in size, so too must the workshop to accommodate them. It's taken a while and a great deal of effort but things are finally starting to take shape. The previous owner left a few nice tools and containers that housed every nail, screw, hook and bracket you could ever want. It's like a hardware store now, with everything in one place. Apart from the odd bump and scratch, most builds survived the move, including the phone hacking project. This is one project that is taking pride of place at the moment as interest continues to grow. Just through Facebook alone, I have been able to verify hundreds of active telephone numbers thanks to the kind people all around the country who ventured out to track down the single-use endangered high street furniture and report the numbers back to me. I have recently been able to push a huge update to the new telephone network and it's incredible. You can read the previous project update here . I am now ready to properly put it

Payphone Project

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 I nteresting routes my latest project has taken me down during the last month. It would appear the  #RecodeThePhone  payphone project is now going places. Not only is it designed to save the old phone boxes from extinction by repurposing the payphones within them, I have had such a great response from people helping me verify the telephone numbers of the payphones still out there, with a plan to ring them all at once at strategic times of the year when we know the number of suicides spike, to play messages of hope and reflection raising awareness of mental health causes. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to work all the payphones in Salisbury let alone reach boxes across the whole country! I even made the local paper here . This is both unbelievably fantastic and a little bit scary at the same time. I am now connecting with support organisations who will help develop the message. The video I made a couple of months ago where I stepped through the options of the new phone sys

Summer Holiday Computer Exhibitions

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We have previously visited an excellent arcade event in Bristol at the beginning of last year and it was really nice to stumble upon another such exhibition in the same city this week. Titled, The History of Video Games , this is similar exhibition packed full of consoles charting the evolution of the video game whilst also allow visitors to play on various classic games in their arcade. We found the one game that I spent hours and hours on when I was younger, Point Blank. This game brings back happy memories of the wife and I battling it out when we were at university together and despite it being a rather old game, it still holds up today and was great going up against my son. They even had Area 51 too, another great game that I used to play endlessly, usually drunk in the student union bar. The following day we visited Swindon and took a quick detour to the small but really interesting Museum of Computing . I have a soft spot for this museum as it's something I could imagine set

Community Phone: Finished Build

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It has taken months of hard work, both sat at a computer screen and in the workshop but the community payphone hacking project is now complete. It's been a huge amount of fun, despite it being a steep learning curve in integrating with old technology but I now have a working model of a hacked payphone and it's a delight, if not a relief to finally get to this point. It still holds true to the main point detailed in previous posts but as the project has evolved so have the features it now offers. The main idea behind the #RecodeThePhone project still remains, to save the disappearing phone boxes by repurposing the payphones that reside within them, whilst offering free calls, mailbox facilities and access to helplines to the people who need them. Previous versions: The #RecodeThePhone operating system now offers the following options: Option 1 : Free phone calls for registered members Option 2 : Free mailboxes for registered members Option 3 : Help and support lines Option 4 :

Community Phone Update

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This project has just stepped up a gear! Not only is it prepped and ready for the competition in a couple of weeks but I am now the proud owner of an old BT payphone. It's always been the aim to integrate with original hardware. If the main aim of the project is to save the old phone boxes from extinction by repurposing them in some way, then integrating with the original hardware is what needs to be done. For me, this is like climbing Everest. I have always enjoyed poking around old tech and I've been really interested in how this pay phone has been put together - The locking mechanism alone is a work of mechanical genius. The downside it that this thing is a tough nut to crack, it's built like a tank! Play the video below for the latest update on hacking the BT payphone. I first needed to get into the handset to understand how it works. I have huge admiration for the drunks and vandals who make this look so effortless but I just could not get into the receiver without the