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Sun 1/26/14 9:39am # | tweet this

Winter Wonderland

This is the view out the window yesterday. Those are 5 and 6 foot snowdrifts on either side of the driveway. It took awhile to shovel.

We got more snow last night, so I'll be going out to shovel again, so that we can back the car out of the drive and hit the store.

Update: As soon as I hit post on this I looked out the window and saw that the snow started up again. I think I'll just stay in for awhile.

I want to hear your

Sat 1/25/14 9:04pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing

Toys R Us Marvel Legends Original X-Men Set
source: Action Figure Insider

Cool set.

Elaborate, detailed Star Wars dioramas
source: Boing Boing

Hundreds of photos on this guy's flickr site. Star Wars, Indianna Jones and some G.I. Joe. Really nice stuff.

The Most Impressive Costumes from Star Trek: TNG's First 3 Seasons
source: io9

The 80s were a long time ago. These TNG future fashions make it even more so.

How To Use Your Downloaded Gmail Data
source: Gmail


DIY Spray Paint
source: Instructables

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Sat 1/25/14 4:17pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing

10 Things You Need to Know About Windows 8.1
source: Howtogeek

There were some interesting tips here.

Marvelous Collection Spotlight: Lightbiff's Collection
source: Marvelous News

Very nice collection.

Savvy Storage: 5 DIY Storage Boxes
source: Apartment Therapy

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Sun 1/19/14 7:50pm # | tweet this

External Graphics Card, box begining

A while back I needed to upgrade my graphics card for my desktop computer. My desktop isn't anything fancy, just a couple year old Emachine. It works fine for what I use it for, but I needed a newer graphics card with HDMI out.

The bad thing about this Emachine, while it does have a couple open slots inside, there's basically no room in the small case to actually put even a small sized PCI or PCI-E card in there.

So what I ended up doing was buying a PCI-E extender, and ran that out the side of the desktop and connected the Graphics card on the outside. And I've been running the graphics card on the outside of the case for a couple months now.

A while ago I designed an external case for the card in Tinkercad, and finally tried printing it today. When I loaded up the model of the external case on the printer, it fit on the printbed (just barely in one direction) but when the printer "ripped" it, it reported it was going to take 5 and a half hours to print.

That's the thing about 3D printing, it's not really fast.

Rather than take all that time printing the whole box, I sliced the front plate of the box off instead. That's really the most custom part anyway. And I printed that instead. It took only 36 minutes to print just the front facing. And I'm glad that's the only part I printed because when I tried it, my measurements were off in a couple places.

I adjusted the pieces that weren't sized correctly in Tinkercad and reprinted just that front plate again. The 2nd try worked a lot better, and 4 minutes faster, since I needed to make the slot larger and therefore use less material on the second go around.

I'll likely create the other 5 sides of the box, which are pretty straightforward rectangles of plastic, with more traditional tools in the coming weeks as time allows.

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Sun 1/19/14 7:39pm # | tweet this

Tablet/Keyboard Strap

Today's other super simple sewing project was the strap shown above. A little bit of black elastic banding from Joann's Fabrics. Wrapped it around both my bluetooth keyboard case and my Dell Venue Pro 8. Cut the elastic banding, pinned it, and then ran it thru the sewing machine a couple times. It should keep my tablet and my keyboard together nicely.

Amusing little story about the banding. While standing in line at Joann's I wondered if they had one of their 40% off coupons on their website. I looked on my phone while in line. Sure enough they did have a coupon. When I got up to the checkout girl, I asked if she could scan the coupon from the phone. She didn't blink an eye, she just put my phone under the scanner and off came a couple bucks from the banding price. I'm sure they do that all the time now with their app and it's no big deal, but it was a first for me.

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Sun 1/19/14 6:57pm # | tweet this

Noncapacitive pinkie-protector

About a week or so ago, I came up with the idea of cutting off the fingers of a Jersey Glove as a way of being able to grip my stylus while using the glove which is noncapacitive to allow my hand to rest on the screen while I drew on the Dell Venue Pro 8 tablet. The idea worked well and I've used the glove a few times since then to good effect.

However, there's one problem, You get a pretty good sized "Michael Jackson Effect" when wearing one glove, and it draws a fair amount of attention to oneself as something that is "out of the ordinary." The fingerless glove works great at home, or in my own cube at work, but it's a bit much for the work cafeteria or a office meeting room.

So I've come up with the above refinement: A noncapacitive pinkie-protector. It's a little more discrete, instead of a full on "Michael Jackson" effect, you get a subtler little "leg warmer type thing" for one pinkie finger.

For the most part, It's only my pinkie finger that touches the screen while I'm using One Note anyway, so I think this should work a lot better for taking notes in meetings. It's still a little out of the ordinary, but it's small enough to just leave on most of the day. And it's not nearly as noticeable.

It was easy enough to make, I already had the cut finger pieces from last week still. With Jennifer's tutoring, we took a stitch ripper to the cutoff pinkie glove piece, stitched over both ends and then restitched up the length side with the sewing machine. It's a tight yet comfortable fit.

I plan on trying it out in a a fully-peopled environment next week at work.

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Sun 1/19/14 1:41pm # | tweet this


In the previous post I incorrectly showed Donatello as the larger Space Heroes fan. Jennifer pointed out that it was in fact Leonardo that was the bigger Space Heroes fan.

So above, is Leonardo sitting in the Captains Chair I printed earlier in the month.

That should balance the scales of geekdom I think.

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Sun 1/19/14 12:56pm # | tweet this

Donatello and Space Heroes

On the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon (which is great by the way). Donatello is always watching a show called Space Heroes. While the current TMNT show is modern 3D animation, Space Heroes is a fantastic parody of the old 60s flat Star Trek cartoon. The Space Heroes are one of my favorite little details of the TMNT show.

So, when I saw this Vintage TV pop up on Thingiverse, it seemed like a perfect element for the Turtle's lair.

For whatever reason, my printer had even more banding that normal on this print, and I think my paint job is a little rough. But overall you can probably just chalk it up to Sewer Lairs being rough on Televisions. Fun stuff though.

Correction: Jenn has pointed out that Leonardo is actually the bigger Space Heroes fan. I regret the error. ;)

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Sun 1/19/14 11:07am # | tweet this

Cinder Blocks and Wild Tiger

I found a nice simple cinder block 3D model on Thingiverse and printed up a bunch yesterday. I also designed the half wall behind them in Illustrator and Tinkercad. The backdrop is a photo I grabbed off of Flickr.

I've been having fun printing out diorama items for action figures the last couple weeks. Scroll down and check out the Crates and Barrels I did last weekend if you didn't see those.

The action figure above, Wild Tiger, is new, and is from an Anime called Tiger and Bunny, which is available on Hulu or Hulu Plus right now . I actually saw the figure on Amazon first and thought it looked neat, and then a couple weeks ago I saw a recommendation of the show from one of Adam and Comfort's Facebook followers.

Jenn and I watched a few episodes and it was a fun enough show that I ordered the figure. It's Superheroes meets Reality TV meets near future meets Heroes meets 80s Booster Gold so far. We're only a handful of episodes in, but I'm looking forward to watching more.

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Sat 1/18/14 7:31pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing

Recipes: Root Beer Pancakes
source: fantasticalsharing

GTA for Kids
source: Dailymotion


Finally, a 3D Printer Statistic
source: Fabbaloo

We can draw some conclusions from this. We can speculate that MakerBot, being one of the first and most well-known 3D printer companies, has shipped more than almost all other personal 3D printer manufacturers. This puts a cap of, say, 50,000 machines on any other vendor. After MakerBot, we suspect most of the manufacturers have much smaller product volumes, with the exception of 3D Systems’ Cubify line.

We suspect between MakerBot and Cubify, perhaps 100,000+ machines have been shipped. Add in, say, 100,000 from other manufacturers and we could be at approximately 250,000 personal 3D printers out there.

Under Cabinet LED Lights
source: instructables


Badass Illustrations Of Popular Childhood
source: likecool


Playtime Is Over: Oculus Rift Lets You Live Video Games
source: Mashable

More commenting on this image, than the article for a second.

I wonder if this is going to be a reality soon, people sitting in empty rooms and small chairs looking around a much larger virtual room and a march larger virtual screen. I'm interested to see how this develps over the next couple years.

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Sat 1/18/14 9:02pm # | tweet this


Last Wednesday we saw "Her". It turned out to be much more of a sci-fi movie than I thought it was going to be.

It was a very interestingly realized future world. It's hard to tell from the film how far in the future it is tentatively set. It's far enough in the future though that technology has very much disappeared into the fabric of life. It's also hard to exactly tell how the economics of this world work. People do work, but you don't get the sense that they "may not have to". They just sort of do.

There was also a sense that we were looking at a future generation that largely takes "getting along" with people to be far more the norm than today. Politeness and agreeableness seem to be the order of the day.

The main tech on display: the earpiece and the hinged screen were wonderfully understated and seemed like a completely natural way to interface with the film's digital world.

The living room projection wall was also very well done.

There was also a "mall-like" simplicity to the common areas and the train stations that really worked well too.

Overall, a fantastically woven together vision of the future.

Beyond the world building, the main characters and situations were very well done too. There's no artificially hyped drama in this film. The audiences attention is largely held, not by a speeding story, but by lingering in the quiet moments of the character's day to day lives that are both foreign, due to the scifi setting, yet familiar, due to the very human themes.

I could go on more, but I'd hate to spoil the movie for those that might see it later. I imagine that many will pass on this in the theater and that it will find a greater audience on DVD and Streaming services, and that's a shame because this movie with all it's tight shots and close ups really works well on the big screen.

My recommendation. Do Go See. It's good stuff.

photo above taken from Jennifer's blog

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Sat 1/18/14 3:07pm # | tweet this

Ring Holder/Stand

Often when I'm working at my desk, I take off my two rings. I made this very simple ring stand, on Tinkercad, and 3D printed it, to keep the rings together on my desk.

I also uploaded the STL for this to Thingiverse.

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Mon 1/13/14 8:54pm # | tweet this

Daisy, Daisy, give your answer do...

I'm half crazy, All for the love of you! It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle made for two.

So, Google bought Nest today for $3.2 billion. That's a lot of money for an Thermostat maker.

It's a nice Thermostat.

I don't know that it's $3.2 billion nice. Supposedly Nest made something like $100+ million last year. $100+ million is less than $3.2 billion.

Google could already follow me around all day with the GPS on my phone.

Now thanks to the Nest, they can tell when people are in my home, plus as a bonus they get continual access to my Wifi network from the inside. Although I suppose Chromecast gave them the second one already, and the phone of course. Those two devices can be turned off though but who unplugs their Thermostat?

I suppose they could put ads on my Thermostat app. I look at that app a couple times a day.

Not sure what customers get out of it yet?

Maybe a Google Now card on my phone to control/monitor my home temperature.

Better "Away"? ie: coordination between my Android phone location services and the Nest's motion detector?

Nest integration with forthcoming Google Glass?

Maybe a Nest 3.0 with Google Now voice services, giving Google a portal terminal built into the home? ("Computer, Arch")

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple. They just continue to gobble up all comers now don't they? Kindof like the major banks gobble up financial institutuions. Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.

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Sun 1/12/14 1:17pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing

Danger: Humans
source: Neatorama

3D Systems Names Will.I.Am as Chief Creative Officer
source: Fabbaloo

This trend of naming pop stars as tech company "Chief Creative Officers" needs to stop. It devalues the position for cheap publicity.

Simple In-Car Camera Mount for Less Than $2
source: Instructables

That's brilliantly simple.

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Sun 1/12/14 10:51am # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing

Fleksy lets you type for the first time on a Galaxy Gear smartwatch
source: The Verge

But I don't want to type on something as small as a watch.

The Four Stages of Disruption
source: Learning by Shipping

A TED talk about what's wrong with TED talks: Middlebrow megachurch infotainment
source: Boing Boing

Wonderfully cynical in the best possible way.

Moonhead Press: God's End

Fantastic 5 page Indy Superman story.

Sony's Life Space UX demo envisions projectors, screens everywhere
source: Engadget

Apparently there are also some projector patents expiring later this year that should make projectors much cheaper.

I want to hear your

Sat 1/11/14 6:20pm # | tweet this

Crates and Barrels

I've been 3D printing a bunch of crates and barrels that I downloaded on Thingiverse over the last couple weeks.

I 2D printed the warehouse backdrop off an image I found in Google image search.

Eventually need to dry brush the barrels a bit.

I want to hear your

Thu 1/09/14 9:46pm # | tweet this

Fingerless noncapacitive gloves

I was playing around with the Dell Venue Pro 8, doing a little drawing in Manga Pro. Anyway while the program does have some palm rejection when using the stylus, its not perfect. I had an idea though. I took some jersey gloves and cut off the fingers on one. This let me grip the stylus easily, but I could also rest the glove covered side of my hand on the screen at the same time. The capacitive screen ignores the noncapacitive glove and as a side benefit the glove cleans the screen too.

The glove made drawing on this small 8inch tablet much more pleasant.

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Tue 1/07/14 3:46pm # | tweet this

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns with a new episode tonight. A few weeks back I bought an Agent Phil Coulson head casting off eBay. I decided in honor of the new episode that I would finally paint it today. I mounted the head on a Dark Knight Movie Masters Alfred body whose dark suit is just perfect for the character.

Simple paint job, it came out well. I'll keep this in a magical place on my figure shelf.

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Mon 1/06/14 4:21pm # | tweet this

The Captain's Chair

I found this great model on Thingiverse of Captain Kirk's Command Chair. It was designed for 3 3/4" figures but I scaled it up 1.4 and it fit great for 6" figures too. If I had it to do over again, I might have done 1.5 or 1.6 but if you look at the old 1960 photos you'll see that Kirk's chair is actually kind of tiny, so this works out well.

All in all though, it turned out pretty good.

I want to hear your

Sun 1/05/14 1:03pm # | tweet this

Dell Venue Pro 8 Stand

I saw a nice stand for the Dell Venue Pro 8 pop up on Thingiverse.com today. Printed out a couple and they work great. The back pieces should probably be just a little longer if you need to use the stand with the tablet in portrait mode, but no complaints at all in Landscape, which if you are using the Venue in a stand, it's probably the orientation you're going to use most anyway. (Windows 8.1 really isn't a fan of portrait mode for most desktop legacy apps anyway.)

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Sat 1/04/14 12:39pm # | tweet this

Email -- delayed

The addition of the different tabs in gmail has changed how I view promotional email. If something ends up in my primary tab, I pretty much view that right away. It can take 2 weeks or more before i'm bored enough to go through my promotions email tab though. I probably actually view more promotional emails this way, but I view them later, often after their "time sensitive" offers have expired.

These types of email tabs probably make email a less immediate form of communication, at least for businesses that aren't on the top of the recipients interest list.

I want to hear your

Sat 1/04/14 12:34pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing

Move Over, Virtual Reality: Is Mixed Reality the Future?
source: Gizmodo

To some extent, it's already the present.

Ford's New Concept Car Can Last for 21 Miles Fueled Only by Sunlight

Very cool. Given the short distance of my commute, I'd hardly use any other fuel at all Monday thru Friday with something like this.

Build 3D printable castles and pirate ships one cube at a time with Blokify
source: Engadget

I installed this on my iPad and threw a couple blocks together, exported and printed on my 3D printer. It does what it advertises to do. Plus bonus, the blocks are textured, so some of the stone lines etc, are retained when you actually print the item.

This would probably be a crazy easy way to build little dungeons for D&D type miniatures.

The only real downside, is building these on the iPad with just your fingers can be a little klutzy. The app wasn't terribly responsive when turning the models etc. This could be an iPad 2 issue though and perhaps it works just fine on newer faster iPads.

A Super Powered Breakfast!
source: DC Comics

Food coloring in the pancake mix. Two sausage links and a sausage patty with a hole in it to make the symbol.

2014 Hasbro SDCC Exclusive Marvel Legends All-New X-Men Boxset?!? - - MarvelousNews.com

Nice box set, would be creat to make classic New Mutant customs too.

Devices tracking smartphones, other electronics to determine foot traffic in downtown Kalamazoo
source: MLive.com

This kindof thing is interesting: tracking your phone by it's unique properties as it looks for open wi-fi spots.

Isaac Asimov's 1964 Predictions About 2014 Are Startling Accurate, Here Are Some of Them
source: TechEBlog

Wouldn't that above ad make a great image for the back of an iPhone case?

I want to hear your

Thu 1/02/14 11:02pm # | tweet this

Let's Go Surfing

Wave Stand for Surf's Up Batman by petropixel
source: Thingiverse

Someone made a cool 3d printable model of a wave for the 66 Surfer Batman action Figure. Pretty Cool. I'll have to print it when I get some blue filament.

I've been meaning to make some sort of thank you..
source: Giancarlo Volpe

Very cute little autobiographical comic by one of the creators of the Green Lantern Animated Series.

Whether to delegate
source: John Cook

Nice article.

Microsoft's OneNote Android app updated with native sharing and widgets
source: Engadget

This had perfect timing, since I just got the Dell Venue Pro 8.

Reason Virtual Reality Is Awesome: Personal Movie Theaters Without The Awful Other People
source: TechCrunch

This is incredibly cool. This type of stuff is why I'm really interested in the Oculus Rift. Watch the demo.

I, Glasshole: My Year With Google Glass
source: Wired.com

Interesting article.

Sneaky Cards - The Game

Interesting idea. Open source social card game.

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