“Internalize the concept that git is designed to forget things. If you haven’t seen something reach another repository, maybe it didn’t. Heck, even if you did see it go somewhere else, maybe it fell out of the historical record there and then got garbage-collected.”

— How to use Git to lose data, by David A. Eckhardt, CMU CS Prof

Purple. Green.


There Will Be Zombies

Or at least, an announcement about zombie idols. On January 1st.

Well, that’s different

I’m in the habit of asking the nearest Alexa device to play songs that I don’t have on my laptop. The experience is unreliable, not just because it mis-hears me and plays whatever sounds close, but the one thing that’s always worked is the phrase, “Alexa, repeat the song”.

Until today, when instead of the most recent song, A Very Strange Medley, it reached back several weeks and repeated The Future Soon.

The Return Of Doctor Sue

If you have any remaining affection for the current incarnation of Doctor Who, the upcoming New Years Day special features Captain Jack Harkness. And Daleks. And a plot that looks to be recycled from a few Matt Smith episodes. I’ll pass.

First overnight print

This took about 14 hours. I haven’t tried it out yet, because there are a few more parts that didn’t fit on the bed.

Yes, I’ve finally printed a 3d-printer upgrade, because I decided that the hassle of rewinding filament onto empty Dremel spools was higher than the hassle of printing an external spool adapter and coming up with a way to keep it warm and dust-free. The dust cover should be trivial, since I’ve got plenty of connectors from my takadai project; I just need to see if I can keep it up around 30°C the way the internal spool holder does. One of these would be overkill, but since it would only run while I’m printing, I could plug it into the spare Amazon Smart Plug I’ve got sitting around. Or just pre-heat the chamber for a few minutes before printing, and keep a dessicant pack inside the dust cover.

Why is it purple? Because it was the only color in stock at a reasonable price while I was ordering some other things from Amazon. Dremel’s branded filament continues to have availability issues, which is another reason for me to make it easier to use third-party spools.

(and, no, I will not be using this filament to print a dinosaur…)

Helping Hands

Soldering isn’t the only activity that benefits from a set of extra hands. This set is sturdy, easy to print, and the grip strength can be adjusted by your choice of rubber bands.

If you meet the buddha on the road, duck!


There Will Be Dragons

Dragon Maids, to be precise. In masks, apparently.

(hmmm, the face-masks are gone from the promo pics now; maybe they realized that dragons don’t fear Corona-chan)

(no, wait, they’re back; they must be rotating the image)

M140 > M190

I solved my intermittent adhesion problem. PrusaSlicer was heating the bed with M190, which apparently doesn’t “stick” on the Dremel 3D45. The printer dutifully pre-heated the bed, but then turned it off, so it gradually cooled to around 36°C over the course of the print. Cooling plastic shrinks, so long, narrow items would tend to pop up at the ends.

Dremel’s version of Cura doesn’t use M190 at all, and just issues an M140 for pre-heating and another right before starting the second layer. PrusaSlicer supports custom gcode before layer changes, so I just added M140 S{bed_temperature[0]}, and all is well. It’s probably overkill to force it on every layer change, but it doesn’t hurt anything or slow down the print, and I can always refine it later.

Meanwhile, I’m pretty happy with the quality I’m getting:

Hatchbox PLA, 0.1mm, 0% infill, no supports, 230°/60°; Buddha, Duckie. The buddha really should have been printed with supports, but I decided to risk it. The duckie has some layer-start issues that I’m still tinkering with.

Dear Amazon…

Cooking is different at your house.

What he said…

2020-world problems

Santa was hung by the chimney with care…

This looks less like “coming down the chimney” and more like “autoerotic asphyxiation”.

Practical Plastics


Most Useful Thing

Thingiverse has a clunky and unreliable indexing system and search engine, to the point that it can be hard to find the same thing twice. So here’s a link to a quick, useful tool: Angle taker for tight spaces.

A while back I made a stab at designing a removable drip tray for the water/ice dispenser on my Samsung fridge, which was inexplicably designed with an oddly-shaped depression that will inevitably become etched by the residue of evaporation. I basically had to take rubbings to get measurements, and my first try got the angled sides wrong.

This little tool captured the angle precisely so I could transfer it to a protractor and correct my OpenSCAD code.

Other Useful Things

Bag Clips

While I generally frown on the idea of spending hours 3d-printing something that can be purchased for pennies at any local store, 2020 and Benito Newsom have made the shopping experience so cumbersome that I’m willing to make a few exceptions. I generally have at least three opened bags of something or other that need to be resealed cleanly, and this set of 3 clips works nicely. There are quite a few remixes and redesigns, but they don’t solve the only problem I’ve had with them a few times, which is the ends lifting off the bed slightly during printing.

It doesn’t hurt them functionally, and it can be avoided by keeping the infill percentage and number of walls down, to reduce shrinkage-induced stress. And we should all reduce shrinkage-induced stress.

2x MicroSD in SD case

When there are once again places to go and things to see, I will take pictures with my cameras. My pocket-sized travel camera fits nicely in this padded pouch, with only the security strap sticking out. The pouch has just enough room for an extra battery and some thin card storage.

Unfortunately, most of the printable MicroSD holders overcompensate for their tinyness by adding substantial bulk. This very simple design is the notable exception, just fitting two of them into a standard SD snap case, of which I have a lifetime supply.

Not a tool…

Apple’s iCloud service crumbled under load on Christmas day, and took 36 hours to recover. The richest company in the world is still struggling to build an online service that can scale.

Remember the days when you could unbox a gift on Christmas morning and it would actually work? Clearly no one at Apple does.

Unrelated

Got Black Ships? Japan has banned foreigners again. Well, at least until the end of January.

Dear Amazon,


When I have more than a dozen packages arriving today, all marked as gifts, all delivered to cities hundreds of miles from my billing address, it seems quite pointless to pop up a constant stream of notifications telling me that they’re on the road, then that they’re 10 miles from target, then delivered, and finally interrupting me with Yet Another Notification to ask me to rate each delivery.

I don’t know, I’m not there! Even if it weren’t 2020, it’s unlikely that I could offer delivery feedback on gifts sent all over the country.

No Passing


Apple takes aim at a newfarmer’s market

Lots of coincidentally-identical rumors exploding out of the tech press recently, about Apple’s un/confirmed plans for a self-driving electric car Real Soon Now. Given that they can’t release a new OS without bricking thousands of their own products, I think it’s a bad idea to give them the chance to brick their customers, too. And non-customers.

Rewatch: Bofuri

One does not marathon Bofuri, one mainlines it. Fingers crossed that season 2 shows up sometime next year.

I’ve been having difficulty watching pretty much anything recently, with all the never-ending lockdown theater, but I was able to watch half a season of Maple’s antics at a time.

No Comment

I’ll be upgrading the comment system tonight. Should be a trivial outage, and it’s not like I get a ton of comments in the first place…

It scans

Given the Left’s ahistorical fondness for Guy Fawkes masks, I find it curiously appropriate that you can just substitute “Democrat” for “Gunpowder”.

Reread: Sunshine

Robin McKinley’s novels have long been a comfort food for me, and last night it was the quirky Sunshine, which carved out its own little genre, the vampire/bakery/buddy-cop urban-fantasy.

(yeah, I didn’t even try to find something that included all the relevant elements…)

The Door Into Spam


Slightly more faithful than ‘Starship Troopers’…

…a Japanese live-action adaptation of Heinlein’s novel, The Door Into Summer:

Spamalot

Can it be coincidence that the volume of email spam I receive is increasing in direct proportion to the confidence that BidenHarris will take power soon?

It’s the worst sort of obvious crap, and it’s all getting past Gmail’s spam filtering before being caught by mine. This is maybe half of what arrived yesterday afternoon:

Subject: For Mr Kadri Mehmet

Dear Sir/Madam,

I’m deeply sorry to berg into your privacy as we haven’t met before, as a matter of fact, I will be very brief since I’m in urgent need of a trust person to help move out a valuable funds deposit by later libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi into a foreign bank account which will later be used for any profitable joint investment between me and you,


Subject: Hello

Dear Friend,

Good day to you. Apparently this email will be coming to you as a surprise since we have not met before now. My name is Reem E. Al-Hashimi, the Emirates Minister of State for international cooperation and Managing Director of United Arab Emirates (Dubai) World Expo 2020 Committee.


Subject: Calvary greetings to you!!

DOING THE WILL OF GOD.

I am Mrs. Dian, a widow to late Marcos Carlos I am 56 years old, i am now a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the lung, from all indication my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that i would only live for a short period, according to my doctors this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. My late husband was killed during the U.S. Raid against terrorism in Afghanistan, and during the period of our marriage we couldn’t produce any child.


Subject: Good Day

My Dear Friend

This letter is to acknowledge the substantial contributions of time and energy you have made in trying to assist to claim the fund through your account, despite that it failed us because of your inability to continue financing the transaction.


Subject: Good day

I am Jim Yang. I am the Operation Manager at China Citic Bank International, Hong Kong. I do not know if we can work together in transferring US$48.2 million from my bank to your bank account.

A Wild Gravity Ratchet Appears!

Back in April, I put a deposit down with BraidersHand for an ayatakedai (綾竹台) conversion kit for my takadai. Unexpectedly, it arrived on my birthday, which was a nice surprise. (note that their waiting list isn’t usually that long for this particular item; my order accidentally got dropped from the work queue, and I didn’t check up on it until November)

The takadai straddles the line between braiding and weaving, while the ayatakedai is firmly on the other side, kind of a warp-weighted tablet loom. Warp threads are manipulated in groups to open the shed, through which two weft threads are passed. The threads are wound on separate kumihimo bobbins, and then the warps are tightly twisted and moved up/down the “feathers” to open the shed, or across to change the color or pattern. The wefts just hang over the side arms, without any twist.

All of which is a lengthy side note, because what I was actually interested in was finding someone who had replaced the standard chopstick brake on the take-up reel with a gravity ratchet:

“Close your eyes and think of China”


Cozier Than Thou

Perhaps the real reason Democrats are so fond of China is that they wish they could still get away with forcing slaves to pick cotton.

Jam Jam Jam Jam Jam…

After the refreshing take on the SAO universe that was the Gun Gale Online anime, I took a look at the translated light novels, which are currently up to 7, and it’s the same thing over and over. Squad Jam, Squad Jam 2, Squad Jam 3, Squad Jam 4, Squad Jam Party, Squad Jam Sausage and Jam, etc. I think I’ll pass.

Vidiocracy


10,000 channels, still nothing on

I don’t miss DirecTV, especially since I hadn’t watched anything on it for several months before canceling. I also haven’t watched anything on Hulu, dLibrary Japan, BritBox, or STARZ. Also very little on HiDive, Crunchyroll, or Funimation.

Which leaves Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, where I spend more time scrolling through listings than actually watching anything. Most recently I’ve rewatched an Indiana Jones movie, some of my favorite SG-1 episodes, and the first half of several movies from the Seventies and Eighties.

Last night, after N minutes of deliberation, I watched the “dinner with Dad” scenes from episode 6 of the second season of Umbrella Academy.

Speaking of which, I understand they’re scheduled to start filming season three in February, but I haven’t seen anything about them hiring a new actress to play Vanya. Surely they won’t let a man steal that role from a woman.

Cognitive Dissidents

With the looming threat of a brief Biden presidency, and the only-slightly-less-imminent threat of a Harris presidency, there’s another problem with those N million citizens who were so inspired by Biden’s vision for the future that they put him over the top: the Democrats are an incredibly racist, sexist party.

After all, none of these people were willing to vote for Obama or Clinton. Only the promise of a rich old white man could get them to the polls for the very first time in their lives.

Or else they don’t exist, and will disappear as swiftly and silently as they appeared, a mystery never to be explored by the media.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”