Da Vinci 3D Printer Arrives

Yesterday my XYZ Da Vinci 3D Printer arrived. I had a really fun day setting it up and doing some test prints. The first print I made was the “key chain” print that is on the firmware. This created a rather lame “XYZ” logo that I assume you can attach to your keyring.

IMG_0099.JPGThe CD that came with the printer only has Windows versions of the XYZ Printer software, despite proclaiming Mac versions as well. Fortunately, the software is downloadable from their website.

Next, Helen created a model in XSI of an egg cup that looks like a bird’s nest. She exported it to Blender and then we created an STL file which we then imported into the XYZ Printer software. The print for this took about 3 hours, and the results were less than perfect. The egg cup still looks pretty cool though.


This morning I printed a 3D printed shell and ordered an Arduino so I could reset my filament cartridge as described here.


So far I’m pretty happy with the printer. It was pretty cheap at £500, and I’ve really enjoyed playing around with it. I’m keen learn a lot more about 3D printing, and I think that this printer is a great one to start with.

Configuring a Jaalee iBeacon Transmitter

I received 5 iBeacon transmitter units from ibeaconmodules.us today. They arrived unassembled, so I put them together and configured their local names with my iPhone.

The first hurdle I found in setting them up was getting the battery in the right way around. Each unit comes with a watch battery, and you need to have the side with the plus sign facing away from the circuitry.

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Why US GDP is higher

It seems that US GDP always seems higher than European GDP. A fact that US pundits always seem to crow about. It seems that there may be a reason for this (other than the fact that the US is a dynamic environment to work in). As Philip Greenspun reports on his blog, if health and education are privatized (as they are in the US), then there are some additional monetary of this reflected in the GDP numbers that are excluded in countries with socialized health and education programmes. A conclusion that Philip attributes to Piketty.

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The Anker T320 Keyboard

I bought an Anker T320 bluetooth keyboard to use with my iPad, mainly because it had such good reviews on Amazon. It's an amazingly good keyboard! It's really light – much smaller and lighter than the Apple bluetooth keyboard I was using before. It charges via mini-USB. The keystroke action is excellent. I am very happy with it. Here is my Amazon Affiliate link to the keyboard should you want to buy it: Anker® T320 Ultrathin (4mm) Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for iOS (iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad 2 / 3 / 4), Windows and Android 3.0 and above OS with Built-in lithium battery / Aluminum Body.

More Notes on Changing Behaviour

I wrote up a post this morning on micro-behaviours, triggers and rewards. Later on I was checking out Hacker News when I stumbled on this post by Alex Coleman, on how to get stuff done. Both posts refer to the same original work by Dr Fogg on micro-behaviours. In my post I emphasize using “triggers” to trigger the new habit, which may be an existing habit or environmental cue. In Alex's post, he puts a lot of emphasis on setting up a routine or schedule. The time itself becomes the trigger.

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Micro-Behaviors, Triggers and Rewards

I watched this TED talk video on changing behaviour a few days ago, which really inspired me to take a more structured approach to developing a new positive habit. The key points of the video are that in order to affect long-term behavior change, you need to have a trigger – some habit that you already have, or an environmental queue that you can chain the new behavior from. You also need to make the new behavior as easy to do as possible. You want to associate a “micro-behavior” with your trigger – something that can easily become a habit, but that you can later expand to fully incorporate the new habit you are trying to achieve. Finally, you need to reward yourself in some way every time you do the micro-behavior.