I had a birthday a while back and very kindly some friends who know me well bought and posted a lovely gift.
LCD baking pans. Basically little cake cases to make the cells that create the numbers on a calculator. Nice eh? I think so too.
It has taken some time but finally I had the opportunity to get a little project going that included some of my favourite elements. Baking, photos and nerdery.
The baking was great fun. I was using a stock box of cake mix from the supermarket. Mostly because it’s easier, creates a smooth cake mix and leaves part of my addled brain free to think about the rest. Quantities were the initial problem, clearly I don’t need to fill the cases to near the top as the cake mix rises well. As they rise, they make a rounded top – tasty but not great as I needed them to lie flat in order to create the numbers. Timing was also a bit fluid as they cases have instructions for microwave baking (which is against my kitchen religion). I’m accustomed to baking freestyle – so I simply used sense of smell (yummy!), keeping an eye on the cakes and a clean knife to check when they were done. They don’t take long to bake.
Once baked and cooled I let the cakes rest (time to do the washing up!) Then used a sharp knife to level the cakes into nice flat shapes and take some photos. As you probably know, if you have enough shapes to make an 8 you can make any of the other numbers. The figure 8 is a seven segment display – you need seven bits to make the number.
I had company in the Knight Patisserie too – albeit virtual. Many people dropped into twitter to comment on the twitpics and Flickr images as I uploaded my progress. It’s lovely to have that kind of support and discussion, without of course everyone under my feet in the kitchen 😀
Is that all? No Siree! Anyone who messed about in maths as much as I did, no doubt learned very little (as I did) but, also played games with a calculator. Enter the right numbers, turn the calculator upside down and you can read a word.
I had no idea there is a name for this. Apparently geek slang says it is “Beghilos” – but I have yet to find a source for that. It’s not a bad example as it uses nearly all of the numbers 0-9 apart from 2. If you do know the origin of the word – please let me know.
So – cake numbers became cake number photos. Then I found a resource which lists 250 calculator words and I was ready to go. I had a little chart to help me work things out in photoshop. Each of my numbers was in an image 200×300 pixels and this helped me work out how big to make a new file to drop each one in to make a word.
Here are some examples….
So from being distracted in a classroom decades ago, to loving making cakes, a birthday present from people who know me well though miles away and a few funny words made of numbers on a red breadboard. It’s funny how things come around.