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Ask Slashdot: a Good Geek Project For My Arthritic Grandfather? 122

An anonymous reader writes "My grandfather is a retired electrician whom I've been trying to keep mentally busy. Together we've gotten an Arduino kit and have been working on some simple projects. He does the wiring and I've been writing the code. Recently his arthritis has been getting worse and he's been unable to work with the tiny components that the Arduino projects require. Does anyone have a recommendation for something similar we could work on together that would be easier for someone with his compromised manual dexterity?"
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Ask Slashdot: a Good Geek Project For My Arthritic Grandfather?

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  • by trum4n ( 982031 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:24AM (#40384123)
    Build a damn tube amp. Build lots of them. You can make a killing selling them to audiophiles and guitar players.
  • Re:Switch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DdJ ( 10790 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:49AM (#40384415) Homepage Journal

    Depending on how bad his arthritis is, you could take over the wiring and he could start writing the code.

    You beat me to it! Let me elaborate on this by suggesting that each of you should spend time teaching the other the missing specialty. Don't just take over the wiring, have him teach you how to do it right, while you teach him to code.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:49AM (#40384425)

    grandfather is a retired electrician

    Almost painfully obvious answer is "teach grandson how to do home electrical work".

    Attention to detail is kind of important in this line of work, and a second set of highly experienced eyes is probably very helpful.

    A noob can't do a worse job than the average illegal alien construction worker, so doing it yourself is not going to be any more dangerous than your average new McMansion subdivision. No time constraint and no need to nickel and dime to make the boss more profit means you can methodically make it right.

    Obviously if you live in a nanny state where you require endless licenses and union membership to plug in an extension cord, this doesn't work so well, but in a free area its not too unreasonable.

  • by meowris ( 1988866 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:51AM (#40384443)
    You're a good grandson.
  • Re:Dear Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:27AM (#40385749)
    All joking aside, the answer is to find out if your grandfather is working on these projects because he wants to wire arduino boards or because he enjoys spending time with his grandson. It's probably the latter. Now, if you don't have other things to do together, then keep at it and maybe take others' suggestions to work with tube electronics or something else with relatively large components (warning, though: tube sockets can be just as tedious to wire and solder as IC sockets). But if you do, then try those things instead.

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