Making Things

I haven’t posted in a while. The simple explanation is that I’ve got a rather full plate. My TLS certificate has expired. I tried to renew it, but something didn’t take. I hate making phone calls, so I haven’t talked to my hosting provider yet to see what I’m doing wrong. It seemed so easy before.

So what have I been doing? I’ve been learning the Arduino. I’ve been learning the Raspberry Pi. I’ve gone all out physical and started learning about 3D printing. In short, my foray into Physical Programming is getting very physical indeed.

There is so much to learn!

I still haven’t finished the pendulum. The plywood I got for my base is warping in the basement. This I do not like. I may change the design of the base rather radically. I only need the pendulum to keep swinging. That requires providing a small kick each swing to add energy that was lost to air drag and friction in the cable. I’ve got a magnet for that. It needs 12V. The Arduino can handle 5V. The Arduino needs to operate a power transistor to give the magnet the voltage and current it needs.

I’m building a weather station. It’s based mostly on SwitchDoc Labs gear. That’s the heart. The brain will be a Raspberry Pi. I have most of the pieces. I’m going to be soldering soon. There is some software to learn for this one too. There is a protocol used by the ICs on the boards. It’s called I2C. Both Arduino and Pi can speak it.

And then there’s 3D Printing. This is very exciting. It means I can make some of my own things. The printer will only do a few plastics. ABS and PLA are the two main ones. People have figured out how to get others to work. To take advantage of this, I have to learn to use something called slicing software. This takes a 3D model in a particular file format and creates something called G-code to control the printer. It’s much like CNC. The code tells the printer what to do in rather exacting detail.

There is a lot of stuff.

Traffic Cone
Traffic Cone


Apple has released OS X 10.10.3, iOS 8.3, and Xcode 6.3 on April 8th!

The good news for everyone is bug fixes. The good news for me is no more dancing between Swift 1.1 and Swift 1.2. I’ve already updated relevant code from my recent posts on GitHub. For the first time in a while, I have just the one Xcode icon in my dock. I think I’ll keep it that way for a while.

I’ve also noticed that my twenty fifteen-child theme is unreadable on mobile devices. I’m going to switch back to the main theme while I get that fixed even though it uses up too much white space. It’s better that this blog be readable on mobile since that turns out to be the primary platform used to read it!

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QR Code