Key tool: label maker

RADD is a complicated system. It teems with cables, cords, dongles, boxes, and other miscellanea. After a point, putting a hand on the correct cable becomes all but impossible without labeling.

We would not have expected this, but an ordinary label maker has turned out to be one of RADD’s most important tools. We have used it to help tame USB-cord and power-cable chaos:

IMG_0158

We have also used it on our video and audio switches so that RADDers can pick the analog player they’re using without swapping cables:

Audio switch

Video switch

If you want to build your own RADD, I strongly encourage locating one of these handy little gadgets.

Washington County Historical Society

RADD’s first major project serves the Washington County Historical Society in West Bend, Wisconsin.

The prize of the collection, in my opinion, is this recording of the West Bend High School Concert Band:

West Bend High School Concert Band record cover

Much of the rest comes from the West Bend Corporation, longtime manufacturer of household gadgetry. The sales records (there are two) should be great to listen to, judging from the cover of this one:

"Selling is What You Make It" record cover

Also included, several VHS videocassettes (sample below) and one U-Matic:

West Bend VHS

And a substantial number of audiocassettes:

West Bend audiocassettes

“The work that 21st-century librarians do”

We were thrilled to have RADD chronicled as part of Isthmus‘s “Garbage Issue.” A lot of RADD’s parts and pieces are indeed donations or reclamations of equipment that would otherwise have ended up in a dumpster, or worse, as toxic waste shipped overseas.

Isthmus reporter Allison Geyer did a lovely job with the story, which appeared in the April 17 issue.