Make Your Own Glass Whiteboard for Under $45

Purchasing a large commercial whiteboard can get expensive, but if you’ve got a home office or dorm room with a big white or dark solid wall, you can build your own glass whiteboard.

Instructables user johnpombrio did just that in his son’s dorm room. The result could be a lot more finished, and you need a white or dark background behind the glass to see the writing on it, but at $65, the price is right. He writes:

Does it work? Yes. Is it the best whiteboard my son has ever used? No. It’s the contrast. A white whiteboard with a black marker is, by far, the easiest to see and use. Unless there is a dark background or a white background, the writing is harder to see on a clear whiteboard. Glass White Board

Have you opted to built your own whiteboard instead of buying one? Did you use showerboard, glass, whiteboard paint, or another material? Share your secret in the comments. Magnetic Glass Board

A glass whiteboard [Instructables via Make]

News’ View: Following the human, not paper, trail

An August downpour flooded the News, ruining century-old archives. In its farewell, the Board of 2009 confronts this melting history.

At dawn one Saturday this past August, a cloudburst crashed down on New Haven.

Wind and rain overwhelmed a picturesque campus that morning, turning courtyard grass a shade of avocado, city sidewalks a murkier charcoal — and the Yale Daily News’ 130-year-old archive collection into waterlogged and disintegrating scraps of newsprint suddenly fit for the garbage dumpster on York Street.

The storm hit us Newsies hard.

Because of shoddy summertime construction of the Jeffrey Loria Center next door, our roof lost shingles — and many of its century-old records. The boardroom at 202 York St. flooded, its floor’s cork-colored (and stained) wood contorted and its archive-housing cabinets wrang with wetness and forever-lost first drafts of Yale’s history.

We attempted a search and rescue. But as we carried each drenched book to a bench nearby, we had to face the inevitable: the archives really were history now.

Opening to just one page told us about what we were losing: “Yale Log,” “Why they Swam,” “Try the New Fragrant Vanity Fair! Cigarettes and Tobacco,” “Gay’s New Book Store is the Cheapest in the State! (All the standard books.)” Well, not one page, but four: the water had smeared the ink, thinned the newsprint, spoiled the Yale Daily News of June 3, 1879. And the room, too, apparently: Yale officials would soon declare it a pseudo-biohazard — mold-infested and mildewed. Let’s just say we’ve heard better news before.

It seemed like an inopportune moment for a newsroom flooding. Some of us were already ashen-face with apprehension that the ghosts of News legends Briton Hadden and William F. Buckley would haunt our building if we carried out the redesign of the Oldest College Daily we planned for September. Were we abandoning tradition recklessly? Forgetting legacies of those who slogged through the night before we did? Disintegrating history?

Then epiphany: Although the archives were soon removed altogether — destination: freeze-dryer — photographs of 129 past editorial boards remained unscathed on the boardroom wall. And as we, the 130th board of the Yale Daily News, prepare to pass the everlasting News torch to the 131st, we are reminded that it is not the paper trail, but the human trail, that made our many nights here worthwhile.

The loss of archives, then, was superficial. Nearly every Sunday through Thursday night for the past year, we reached for a goal set out at the start of our tenure: to bring the News closer to its audience through our college, sports and city coverage, Cross Campus and (quite) colorful interactions on the online comment boards. We considered our responsibility as set forth in the first edition of the Yale News, Jan. 28, 1878: to publish a daily sheet of pithy and relevant news — even if twenty pages now, not one as before — “justified by the dullness of the time and the demand for news among us.”

But what ultimately connects us to you, the readers, is that we signed on to the YDN for the same fundamental reasons that Yalies have been getting involved in campus organizations since 1701.

And what’s that? Let’s just say that if in 130 years, another storm were to wipe out our board’s volume — 2007-2008 — we wouldn’t lose sleep over it. We — indeed all Yalies — are here, in the end, for the next ones and one another, not ourselves.

whiteboard clock

Here’s a clever design: a whiteboard clock that erases your appointments as they happen. The lack of a minutes hand robs it of some of its usefulness, but the concept is still sound.This would not work for habitually late people. I have a couple that I always schedule 30/45 minutes in advance of actual NEED time so they may actually be there when they are needed. (PS-Be late for one of my meetings and you get the sh*t assignments. It has a way of making people change their tardy ways.)

[Il-Gu Cha via Make]

New whiteboards to appear in classrooms

The new Wiimote Whiteboard, operated by Wii remotes, was installed in the Morse-Stiles Crescent theater last week. Photo by Rahul Kini.


A student-led initiative is using standard Wii remotes and free computer software to give classroom projectors the capabilities of a SMART Board at a fraction of the cost.

The new technology ­— known as a Wiimote Whiteboard ­— was installed in the Morse-Ezra Stiles theater last Sunday as part of the Yale College Council 10K initiative, said Pedro Monroy, Information and Technology manager of classroom technology and event services. The project received $500 to install four Wiimote Whiteboards at approximately $100 apiece, not including taxes and other installation costs — about one-twentieth of the average price of a SMART Board. While ITS aims to install the remaining three units in William L. Harkness Hall by the end of the term, ITS administrators are still deciding how best to place and secure the whiteboards in classrooms.

Each Wiimote Whiteboard requires free software called “Smoothboard,” an infrared pen and a Wii remote — like those commonly used in video games — to transform a standard projector into the equivalent of a SMART Board. An older form of interactive whiteboard, SMART Boards came to Yale in the mid-2000s and let users edit documents projected onto a large screen with stylus-like pens.

Once the Wiimote Whiteboard setup is configured by installing the Smoothboard software on the necessary computer, attaching the remote to a stand and pointing it at the projector screen, the user can touch the red pen to the projector screen to make changes that also appear on the screen of the connected computer. The Wiimote Whiteboard uses Bluetooth to connect computers one at a time to the rest of the device.

Rahul Kini ’14, a Stilesian who proposed and is leading the initiative, said the new technology is geared toward students and will give artists and engineers a larger screen to work on, freeing them from the constraints of small mousepads.

“Someone could be given a presentation and on the spot make edits with their hands,” he said. “There are so many limitations that come with a computer and sometimes you just need to pick up a pencil.”

Kini said members of Morse and Stiles will have access to the device in the shared theater, which has been installed permanently. ITS has yet to determine whether the Wiimote Whiteboards in WLH will be fixed permanently in classrooms or designed as portable units that can be checked out from Bass Library and used in any room that has a projector, Monroy said. ITS’s first priority is ensuring that the devices are safe and secure from theft, he said, adding that ITS administrators will meet with Kini on Friday to continue discussing student access to the devices in WLH.

Kini said the uses of Wiimote Whiteboards are endless, noting that engineers can employ the technology to modify designs, set designers to project background scenery in plays and section instructors to email class notes directly from the board to students.

Kini said he was inspired to propose implementing these devices at Yale after watching a TedTalk video last summer with Johnny Lee, the inventor of Wiimote Whiteboards.

“There is no better place to put this technology than in the hands of creative students,” Kini said. “This technology, it’s endless, it’s cheap and it’s now in the hands of kids who I know will be able to use it to extraordinary measures.”

Linsly-Chittenden Hall currently has six SMART Boards installed in rooms on the third floor.

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