The man who invented the Marble Machine -- and wrote and performed the music it plays -- has built other fascinating instruments, too.
You don't do that kind of thing unless you have a firm grasp of the basic principles; and you don't finish it unless you understand when it's good enough. These are two of the most difficult lessons to take to heart but they are the very core of successful geekery: how to begin and when to stop.
Here's a master at work:
Form has followed function -- mostly. Notice the exceptions; notice the places where function has driven form remorselessly. There's the lesson.
And the other lesson to be learned? This is all to make music. The thing itself is wonderful -- but so is what it creates.
5 months ago