Friday, 17 July 2015

JACS - baby carrier

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of meeting the creator of JACS. Which is currently on kickstarter

It's a carrier aimed at men however, there are some really great features to this carrier for both parents. If you are carrying a baby/toddler all day being able to take them out without taking your backpack off, carrying an integrated backpack or even being able to take a sleeping baby off from a back carry without having a sofa/bed to slump them onto would be very handy. 

There are slight issues with the design at the minute, the straps aren't as padded as they could be and would be fine for a small baby but when they start to get heavy could potentially be painful on longer carries. The crotch isn't as wide as I'd like it, especially as Nate was still in a carrier up until last autumn and would still be in one if it wasn't for driving to most places at the minute. This is more a piece of mind issue but putting safety elastic around the multitude of buckles, the buckles are very unlikely to fail but just for that extra piece of mind. The chest strap possibly needs to be height adjustable to make it fit most people, as a height which is good for me might not be for a tall man or even for a shorter woman. Lastly a sleep hood, especially when they are on your back little heads loll about and can end up in strange positions. 

Now that list possibly sounds like it's all negative and that's not at all the case. All of the carriers I have ever used there have been tweaks to make them even better. There are some great positives to this carrier. It doesn't matter what carry position you are using you can attach a pouch or backpack so you have storage solutions (I'm now wondering if you could attach the backpack to your front if it was being used in the back carry position). The biggest positive for me is the ability to possibly buy the central vest separately as this is the piece that you adjust to you, meaning that I could have one adjusted to me and Nates dad could have one adjusted to him. The breathable back section, no getting hot and sweaty. This is possibly both a negative and a positive as being able to just pull Nate up into the ergo when he's been determined he doesn't want to be carried nor walk has been a benefit but when he was a small toddler and I was nervous about getting him into a back carry without help the ability to get him secured into the carrier and then put it on my back would have certainly been a blessing. 

Overall I think this design has plenty of mileage and it isn't a mans carrier it's a practical carrier. 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Kano - Build your own computer

Last year as part of the Imogen Heap festival at the Roundhouse there were several music/computing workshops. One of them that we attended was Building your own computer. Nate wasn’t quite 3 at the time of the workshop so I was incredibly impressed that he was able to put together the Kano with little help from me. He happily sat and put the pieces in the right place and then waited for the computer to boot. He was really proud of the computer he had built.
The next part required a little help from me, as he wasn’t reading, I sat and read the instructions and guided him with his typing. Nate didn’t quite get the programming tasks on the Kano which is understandable as he wasn’t reading at the time but was willing to have a go at it and played the games that we created together. 

I’m not sure I’d bill it as build your own computer but it certainly was as close as many people will get to building their own computer and is a good starting place for children who are interested in computers.