Back to blogging

Well, it’s been a loooonnng time since my last blog entry. One of my resolutions for the new year was to do more blogging. Despite this, I haven’t blogged anything for the whole of January. OK, so this stops now. As of today I am starting to blog again. Even if it’s just a short and almost meaningless entry about how I’m going to start blogging again.

Brighton

Last Monday we bought a house in Brighton. I wasn't sure it was going to happen. Genetically I'm predisposed to worry about stuff, and right until the last moment I was thinking of disaster possibilities. We were supposed to exchange contracts and settle at 2pm. We spoke to the vendors and they were saying that they couldn't possibly be out of the place before 2pm, so we decided to travel down by train and get there around 3pm. We got final confirmation from our solicitor that the settlement had happened at 3pm, while we were still on the train. We got to the house, and the vendors were still in the process of moving out. We grabbed some keys and went and grabbed something to eat. By the time we came back, the vendors had left and the place was ours!

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.

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

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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.