COVID-19 and Apathy

2020 is the year of the Covid. I honestly don’t know if the government measures in my country are too extreme or not extreme enough. They certainly violate my sense of freedom. Not that I’m unwilling to help out in a crisis. I don’t want this bug spreading about. I also don’t want to find food vanishing from store shelves because of a total collapse in the food chain. I’m talking the infrastructure from farmer to supermarket shelf.

Food comes from somewhere, right? And somehow it finds its way to your grocery cart. It’s actually a complicated deal. Break the chain and feel the pain. It is so easy to break the economy enough that more people die from starvation than from COVID-19.

About the apathy part. I haven’t been posting here in a while. Then when I tried to login, I found that my SSL certificate wasn’t simply expired. It was revoked! That means no one could visit the site. I get on average about 2-3 page views per month. I’m sure that figure has dropped.

My quick fix was to get a new SSL certificate. That’s a bunch of ammunition I can’t buy now. Mind you, the trip to the range is far and I’m social distancing in competition with the former Apollo Astronauts. Getting to the moon isn’t easy. So I’m doing the next best thing. OK, Antarctica is too expensive as well. So I guess stay at home is all I’m doing.

I can’t help but think that something is not right with this bug. I guess we shall have to see how Sweden does. I’m wondering if they don’t have the right answer after all.

Things change so quickly!

So obviously I have not been posting to this site in a while. The truth is I simply haven’t had anything to talk about. Well this past weekend I decided to start a completely different site. Not saying what it is. It’s on a different account. I’ll keep this of course as I’ve had my vanity domain forever. There is a lot of stuff I need to catch up with. My brain is melted.

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.

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