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.
The 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.
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.
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.
Ever since I’ve had my iPhone 5S, I’ve had problems with the wifi on my 120 MB Virgin SuperHub. Quite often the phone fails to connect to sites, or the wifi connection drops out. I’ve even tried re-installing iOS to see if it was a corrupt operating system (as the “Genius” at the Genius Bar suggested).
It turns out that going into the wireless settings of the Virgin SuperHub and changing the “Wireless Band” parameter from 2.4GHz to 5GHz, with a channel setting of “Auto Compatability” fixed my problem.
The past few days I've been bringing in my new WIFI-only iPad and trying to use it tethered to my iPhone 5. It's been a frustrating experience so far. I've found that it works OK when the iPad is first tethered to the iPhone, but shortly thereafter the internet connection seems to drop out on the iPad, even though the iPhone is still reporting it to be connected OK.
I’ve been reading the “Beyond Scarcity” series on FTAlphaville recently, and it’s made some very interesting points. The posts argue that the current economic environment is deflationary with regard to goods. I think that is true, and one of the reasons is because of technology. Firstly technology is constantly making everything more efficient and because of global competition this is both reducing the production costs and making goods cheaper. Secondly technology is causing structural unemployment, which means less people have money to spend and there is less money flowing around the economy. Other factors causing deflation are the tight monetary conditions, the aging population, and potentially the effects of quantitative easing.
I just watched a very interesting TED talk given by Kasper Bormans about his PhD research into using the Method of Loci (or Memory Palace technique) to help Alzheimer patients retain their memories of other people for longer.