Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 End Of Year Report

Wow, that year flew past. I can't say that I got very much done. I blame my recent addictions to Overwatch and Manga.

Old Resolutions
Sadly I have more excuses than successes this year.

1. Sleep early
It took a while, but for the last couple of months I've been in bed at a decent time just about every night. I still need to be strict with myself or I'll start to slip, but overall I think I can give myself this one.

2. Waste less time in the morning
I'm... getting better at moving quickly in the morning if I'm motivated, but I'm finding it really hard to get motivated. So no.

3. Use time more efficiently

4. Excercise
I was actually starting to do better, but then I injured my knee and couldn't really do anything for a while.

5. Follow single projects through to the end
Ugh, I actually found this to be really de-motivating. At least when it comes to hobbies, I seem to work better jumping back and forth between projects. Which is probably less efficient, plus it's kind of annoying to think about how long individual projects have been "in the works" without being completed, but somehow I just seem to be able to devote more time to stuff overall if I'm not trying too hard on just one thing.

6. Give more time to important projects even if they are difficult
See 5. Well... I guess I finished Nemo, that's something.

New Resolutions
Well, new-ish.

1. Develop a good routine
I'm kinda lumping together sleeping early, waking up early etc. here for simplicity.

2. Keep my cool
I've always had a bit of a temper, and lately I've been losing it more often (again, blame Overwatch... and other things...). So this year I want to work on staying calm in the face of adversity/stupidity.

3. Read more useful stuff
I've been reading a lot this year, but it was pretty much all forums and manga. I need to start reading useful books and articles.

I was thinking about adding a resolution about being more responsible with money (don't ask me how many pens I bought this year...), but I decided against it because spending a bit of money now and again on stuff I enjoy can help keep me happy and motivated, so for now I'll not stress myself too much about this. To be honest, I've got plenty of other stuff to get stressed about.

I might sound a bit negative right now, but that's partly just the end-of-year blues (that I think I'm starting to get every year). It's true that I didn't get too much done this year, but overall I feel like I'm in a slightly better place than I was this time last year, so it's not really all that bad. Anyway, I'm going to work to make 2018 a better year. I read a great quote by Martin Luthor King Jr. recently, which I think is a good note to end on:

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Missing Piece: Saving Custom Cards!

I just randomly realized today how to finally solve the biggest issue my Card Creator has had since day one: saving the created cards! Turns out it was actually pretty easy. So now the Warmachine (v2) and Batman card creators have new "open in new page" buttons under the card (and in the Warmachine card creator's menu). Clicking on this will open the final card in a new page.

Since this page was created with the final HTML code, it can be saved using the browser's save function. In theory at least; in practice it depends on the browser itself. I have been able to save cards this way using Firefox. Chrome however does not allow me to save the page. Safari does not work with my card creator at all.

I'm very happy about this because saving cards was a tremendous hassle before; being able to save the cards (in a form that can be edited easily later) is a huge improvement that finally brings the cards creators into what I believe is a usable state!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A New Helicopter Landing Pad

I just finished milling a new spoilboard for my CNC mill. This one has some extra features:
The central cutouts allow me to easily attach my 4th axis in proper alignment.

The slots allow me to clamp down smaller pieces of material without removing the board.
It's just simple piece of wood, but it still took a bit of effort measuring, planning, and scripting, since it needed to be very precise.

The next thing I want to work on is attaching an air jet (or whatever you call it). So far my every attempt to cut plastics (which I need for a number of projects) has ended up with a glob of plastic melted and bonded to the bit before I could get very far, even when I use single-flute bits. I'm hoping that having a jet of air blowing onto the bit will help disperse chips and keep the bit cool, allowing me to work with plastics.

The thing is, I might need to build myself a new controller box first, just to house all the components (things are a bit of a mess right now). I've been putting it off for a while, partly because I wanted to build a Beaglebone Black into the box but I couldn't get the BBBlack working properly. Seriously, if there's a trick to getting support with that thing, I don't know what it is. Every tutorial I tried to follow failed, and no-one answered me on the official forums.

Anyway, I've decided to put the BBBlack on hold, and build a controller box in such a way that I can run it directly off my laptop for now, but that I will be able to install another controller (like a Beaglebone or Raspberry Pi or whatever) later. It's a bit fiddly, but I think it should be doable.