The Half-Bakery

The Halfbakery is a website that collects curious ideas people have. Now, I’m not really up for that much public scrutiny, but as The Cathedral and The Bazaar famously says, “Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer’s personal itch.”

I, too, find myself itchy often enough, and not for lack of personal hygiene. It’s more of a head-scratching “Why isn’t there a decent solution for what I’m trying to do?” Well, this page is dedicated to collecting these occurrences, and if I ever find the time or proper idea to solve it, link it here.

Maybe you (as a reader) stumble across this page trying to, or even better, having solved the exact same thing. Please dare to get in contact. I will be mostly throwing things onto here for personal reference, but maybe I will luck out and find some help. That said, onward!


  • Self-hosted modern survey system.
    Sure, there’s Google Forms, but some surveys I wouldn’t trust the “be no evil” company (or any other hosted solution) with keeping the results. Sure, there’s LimeSurvey, but yuck, Web 1.0 much?
  • Tablet remote control for digital mixing consoles. (In progress, to learn node.js)
    Newer mixing desks already come with Ethernet for control, and there’s usually an App for that. Access point, presto. Since I do this stuff for a hobby, I don’t have upwards of 2.5k€ to blow on a new desk. Old desks thankfully usually do MIDI control. There’s StereOSCope, which is commercial, and only converts to OSC, so it needs an OSC client. Web Browser might be a cool thing to use.


  • SCSI to USB mass storage adapter. (Available as SCSI to SD)
    Older Hardware (especially Music production) often has a SCSI port to access external hard drives, or even such “exotic” things as Zip Drives. While otherwise still fully functional, it’s very awkward to integrate such devices in a modern workflow. They could easily live a productive life for a few more years. Funnily enough, USB Mass storage still uses the very same SCSI commands and packets, so “all” one needed to do was protocol-convert on the equivalent of the data-link layer.
  • Cheap mass TOSLink/CAT5 converter. (In progress, to get back into EE.)
    These are actually available as commercial products, but with ridiculous price tags (130€ upwards) for what is essentially an optical transceiver (2€) hooked to a differential transceiver (5-10€) for a single link. Theoretically, CAT cable could carry up to 4 unidirectional links each. Devices that do that sell for 300€. Ugh!
  • Digital Audio Multiplex converter.
    4 times ADAT from/to AES50 from/to DANTE, etc. If Behringer would make a thing with two slots for their X-(MADI/ADAT/UF/DANTE) adapter boards, and an X-AES50 module, I’d love it.
  • Lo-Fi Amplifier with Trigger input
    My AV Receiver has 3 zones, but only enough speaker channels for 2 of them. I’d like a little box that does two channels of amplification from line level to speaker level. That’s easy, you can find those as brand-of-the-day fallout from China with your favourite electronics retailer for around 30€. The catch is, I want one that turns on and off when I switch the Zone. My AVR has a matching 12V trigger out. But amps with trigger in are only available as “Hi-Fi” components, (probably) with platinum plated diamond rubber feet, and therefore start retailing at about 300€.
Last changed: May 6, 2015