The big question of the day is “At 8 yrs old, how did I decide that my pet goldfish was deaf? And what impact did that have on my relationship with him?”
I don’t like lists.
Lists written out to try and impart knowledge and information to the reader.
I do like being able to dip in to things, in an exploratory, unconnected fashion, Wikipedia for instance. But lists, especially in modern SEO writing for the web, have turned in to some bastardized version of useful information. I automatically hate you and your entire family lineage if you have a barely related animated GIF for each bullet point.
My usual train of thought is “a list that isn’t a list”, e.g. https://justinlloyd.li/blog/3d-printer-purchase/ for a 3D printer purchase or my three year long train of thought on prime number research at https://justinlloyd.li/blog/prime-number/. This list that isn’t a list train of thought automatically makes me better than you and I will also silently judge you at the next cocktail party we find ourselves at. There may even be quiet, barely audible seething involved.
On a side note, when I am writing a lengthy article, I usually assemble a list of bullet points first, the outline, and then convert the bullet points into prose, and then re-order the prose, then edit the prose so that it flows. Hundreds of published articles. There isn’t a modern software development trade or software industry magazine I haven’t gotten a published article in to, in some form. And my article always starts as an outline of the subject I wish to talk about.
One brief thought per line.
Typed up in OneNote with any kind of spell check switched off, or a basic text editor such as Sublime, with no formatting or styling or care for grammar or punctuation or spelling. No annoying squiggly red lines to distract me from my train of thought. Short cut keys to move things around.
But I think lists, as a published medium, are a terrible, terrible travesty of the modern web, because they are so abused.
And bullet pointed lists in a presentation, I consider those kinds of things to be used by people who don’t understand the subject, to teach people even less knowledgable about the subject, everything that they know. Which ain’t much. Again, silent judging at cocktail parties that because I am better than you.
I made a post here, about what happens when services to smart devics get cut.
And I don’t like what I said. So I removed the post.
Maybe when these terrible times are behind us, and I have a bit of perspective on the situation, and I have more clarity on my thoughts, I will take a second attempt at it.
I love the hustle, but I don’t enjoy the grind.
Five months of relentless pace, dialed up to 11, where you’re doing 50 to 60 hours of ground-breaking software development work a week.
And then a month of “let’s double that” trying to wrangle a sub-project.
Followed by a week that just wouldn’t quit, where on Tuesday, at lunchtime, you realize you’ve already worked 40 hours. Where even the weekend doesn’t give you respite. And you and a colleague went through 60+ espresso shots in one 36 hour period.
And you haven’t done laundry in six weeks.
And you’ve ate more takeout food in five days of March than you did in all of February.
And you’ve ate more takeout food in February and March than you did in all of 2021 and 2020 combined.
Where every meal is takeout.
And you’re eating a burger and fries and a milkshake at 1AM in the morning and it appears normal.
And you’ve been awake since 7AM.
And you haven’t showered in five days.
And it was considered humourous by people that you fell asleep for a half-hour in a chair at work the moment you could stop. Or you fell asleep at the dining table eating leftover takeout, alone, with your family on the other end of the phone call wondering where you went.
When you normally sleep 4AM to 9AM and consider that “fully rested” but it got squeezed to 4AM to 7AM so you can get people on the phone, or chase emails, or texts.
And you’re still staring down a very long tunnel of what’s left to do to get across the finish line. And you know there’s another finish line right after that one. Just as close. Just as high pressure. And another one right after that.
Life’s short. I love interesting problems. The hustle is interesting. The grind is not. “Work hard. Play hard.” implies there’s time left over for play.
I don’t know where I am going with this. But I know I am not heading in the direction I want to be going. Time to step back. Time to re-evaluate.
I’m Forrest Gump, y’all.
People ask me why I like Forrest Gump. We can both agree, it is a film that has its flaws.
And in the 90’s, when it was released, I couldn’t really articulate precisely why I liked the film. “How can you like something like that?!?” scoffed my boss at the time who had just previously asked what recent films I had enjoyed. Something about Forrest Gump tickled my brain in just the right way.
Maybe I saw a little bit of me there. But I knew it felt that it was more than that.
But I came to realize, after a few years, the film is about a regular, not too bright, not particularly privileged young man, who went about life doing the things he found interesting, open to whatever adventures came his way, if he had the available time to dedicate to that adventure, and somehow, it all worked out. And even later on, when he did have privilege and money, Forrest continued to do precisely whatever he wanted, that precise thing that made him happy. Which begat him even more opportunity.
Forrest didn’t wait around for life to find him, but he also didn’t aggressively pursue opportunity either. Life just happened, and he made himself open to it, in a quotable line, whenever opportunity presented itself, you heard “Okay.” And a new adventure began again.
And what I have found, is that a lot of people are chasing here, there, and everywhere, looking for adventure, but when one shows up, they wonder “what’s in it for me?” or state, very proudly, “there’s no money in that, where’s the profit? How will it make money!?!”
Oftentimes, when at a networking meetup people ask me, “so what is it you do?” my default response for many years has been “Whatever the fuck I want to. Somehow it makes money. And everyone goes home happy.” And the profanity catches them off guard, but then we get in to a conversation about what “doing whatever I want to” actually means. Which is frequently followed by “how do I do that?”
I’ve never worked a day in my life. Every day I get to play. And people pay generously for me to sit down and play. Sure, there have been days where it’s tough, and sure, there have been days when it hasn’t been fun, and sure, there have been days when the pay wasn’t so great. But those few bad days passed, and I’ve had far more fun days than bad days. And if those bad days continue due to a toxic environment, I go find a different place to play, where I will be valued, and where I will be happy.
You couldn’t pay me enough to work on a shitty project in a toxic environment. And I won’t even give a single person the time of day, but I’ll give all my life’s work away for free to millions. I’ve made value for myself, which in turn has created value for other people too. Too many people work very hard making value for others and not keeping any for themselves. And then they look around, at the end of their long life, why am I not rich? Why am I not successful?
What I have done is precisely what makes me happy, every day. Every. Day. From the moment I wake. Until the moment I sleep. And somehow it has all sort of worked out.
I’m Forrest Gump, y’all.
When you buy a piece of equipment so robust and reliable that you forget what the maintenance was since the last time you did it.
I bought a Konica Minolta document center many years ago. It is a tank. Takes more floor space than our dining table. Swallows 3 entire boxes of printer paper (30 reams, 15,000+ sheets) and still asks for more. Holds 1,200+ self-seal envelopes and that weird legal paper we use for printing posters. Costs $1,200 to fill with ink. Hopper fed scanner, faxes, big internal hard drive, collates, staples, binds, puts on those spiral things you find on fancy office reports, creates heavy duty see-through covers, trifolds letters ready to stuff in envelopes, saddlestitches A5 and A4 booklets, you get the idea…
I’ve forgotten the last time we emptied the waste toner box. I cannot even tell you the procedure. I have to read up on it every time. We’re talking years.
I am currently stood in front of the printer, boxes (not reams, boxes) of paper next to me, reading instructions I wrote 8 years ago on how to load paper trays and in what order to load.
I’ve dealt with a lot of printers thru the years. Have generally & universally hated them. As I stand here I think, sure, loading this with paper is kinda annoying (mostly because of the sweat I am working up hauling three boxes of paper up the stairs), and sure, I am cursing my blessings, but why can’t more equipment be like this?
Why is my life made complicated by devices (not this printer) demanding my attention by tending to & even propping up their fragile existence on a semi-regular basis?
We’ve long been forcing consumers in to this cycle of obsolescence, even with big household purchases such as white goods, e.g. refrigerator, oven, dishwasher. This mindset of “good enough for a few years” seems to pervading all aspects of our lives now.
Phones, yes, sure. But why? Simply for the new shiny?
But refigerators? Yep. 3 to 5 years and replace it. We’ve got an old Frigidaire model, it’s still trucking after 23 years.
Ovens? Obsolete when the WiFi standards change on some. Our GE dual oven is finally ready to be replaced. After 37 years. Though I can still purchase all the parts for it if I have a mind too. A friend’s oven, a fancy model installed less than five years ago, with wifi and bluetooth and smart features, they don’t make even make some of the parts that recently broke on it. Want it fixed? Buy a new oven.
We recently bought a countertop oven, only one on the market with a five-year warranty. All other manufacturers had limited one-year warranties. Limited one-year warranty? Your product is so shit you won’t even stand by it after twelve months?
I bought a water filter almost four years ago. It has a ten year comprehensive warranty. Only thing I have done since owning it was wipe it clean, change the water filter, once, and reset it when a brown out occured.
Maybe I’m just getting old. I think we might be “manufacturing” a problem for our future selves.
A wake up call for an upcoming invasion of your privacy.
The new generation of VR headsets integrate eye tracking, for the benefit of foveated rendering, which permits the graphics to be higher resolution and more realistic directly where the user is looking, and lower resolution and more coarse at the periphery of the user’s vision.
It also permits higher resolution displays to be used in the VR headset, with so many pixels that the current generation of display protocols, e.g. DisplayPort 1.4, could not drive the video displays at the high frame rates, e.g. 120hz, that VR requires.
The problem is, we’re putting eye tracking cameras in our VR headsets.
With eye tracking, we can make a highly accurate biometric imprint of your eye.
All that eye tracking data and biometric data will end up on a server somewhere.
Facebook/Meta, Google, Microsoft, Apple are implementing these changes in their current roadmaps.
You don’t think the various three letter agencies all around the world, in America, China, Russia and so forth, aren’t going to demand that data?
All of a sudden, an entire generation of users have their iris biometric data captured and stored. Forever.
And much like before, the world will collectively shrug, not care, and then it will be too late.
I was asked once (more than once) “What’s the most difficult math you’ve ever used on a project?” This was asked by a young programmer worried they would need extensive math to follow a career in software development.
I rarely if ever run in to “difficult math” or “difficult algorithms” on project’s for clients and companies unless I am doing robotics or computer vision work. And difficulty is probably subjective.
Most of the time obscure/difficult math & algorithms crop up on my own personal projects. And on CRUD apps, no matter the platform, rarely get more complicated than the most basic calculations, e.g. adding lists of numbers together, averaging numbers, and so forth.
Math, for work, most of the time:
Quaternions, 2D vectors, 3D vectors, euler angles, basic matrix operations, basic algebra, basic trig, colour space conversions, time series calculations.
Math, for work, some of the time:
Calc and obscure stuff I always have to read up on due to it being something to do with reconstructing a 3D scene or figuring out something weird in AR or VR with predictive rendering or foveated rendering or other weird display nonsense. Robotics is usually calc and linear algebra, though wrapped in a library most of the time, due to inverse kinematics or figuring out intersections, and to re-emphasize, wrapped in a library I didn’t write.
I would say most of my job, when it comes to math, is knowing that a calculation or method or algorithm exists rather than knowing how it works or being able to do the deep math behind it or describe precisely what it does in detail.
Now, it is useful to have a deep understanding of the math or algorithm or data structure, but most of the time, my memory fails me on exactly how it works or how it is implemented because I haven’t had to do that “by hand” for 20+ years, and I just invoke the library function. Most math code I write these days is gluing this bit of math to that bit of math.
I spent the first two weeks of January solving a math problem and writing code, which at final check in was a total of 12 lines of code, and two of those were logging statements. I then went back and optimized the code which removed three lines.
Math, algorithms, data structures for personal projects:
Reassembly of fragmented pieces of paper. Solving a rubik’s cube and inferring the other faces. Scrabble computer vision solver. Jigsaw puzzle computer vision solver. LEGO piece finder computer vision solver. Virtual video production assistant. Word search. Prime number theory. All of these used obscure bits of math, algorithms and data structures I had to read up on every single time, though I had a general idea of what I was looking for.
And most of the time, the math, data structures and algorithms aren’t actually that hard. It’s just being willing to read around the subject, in the literature rather than vacuous blog posts, about what solutions are out there, what’s been tried before, and keep deeply thinking about the subject and making extensive notes about your thoughts, and keep thinking about it usually long after most developers would have given up.
And the best way to keep thinking about: Take a shower, go for a long walk in nature, touch grass, and do anything and everything you can to keep distractions, e.g. your phone, far away from you.
Oh won’t you sign my NDA,
I need this signed by yesterday.
Sign it here, and sign it there,
Don’t read through, don’t you dare.
Oh won’t you sign my NDA,
I need this signed without delay.
Stop reading all through and through,
Just sign it! Just sign it!
I’d happily sign, if I were you.
You understand technogibberel computerese,
But this is learned jumbly-mumbly legalese.
You’re just a programmer, you can read it all but you won’t understand,
Here’s a bronze rubbed rubber slippery stamp, hold it so and slam down your hand.
Oh just strike that confounding confuddling confusing clause,
Slam it with my bronze rubbed rubber slippery stamp without pause
Stop glancing across clauses in every page,
I can barely contain my roiling rage.
You won’t sign? You won’t complete?
We’ll simply strike that non-compete.
Hurry, Hurry the day grows late,
Just ignore that part, that’s boiler plate.
Don’t worry about what all 12 pages say,
Just accept my standard NDA.
And now you mention a rate I have to beat?
It will be your loss if our minds can’t meet.
I’m willing to adjust a small term or two,
Because I would never hoodwink you.
And finally, now the signing is complete,
Down here by the door on Market St.
Here are four languid liarbirds that lounge on a line,
Those four larking liarbirds that begged for my time,
Oh but sadly I didn’t listen…
I turned my feet forward, and kept my nose in the air,
I stepped out on Market St and met a man there.
Ignore those languid liarbirds that lounge on a line
Sign this NDA now, and give me your time.
I just need a programmer, a coder, a hacker,
a mathematical tough nut to crack cracker,.
I need a digital deducer of differential difficulties that exhibits double-deference to the dereference of a POO’s covariance,
And willingly wrangles contravariant marshalled functors with multiple weak inheritance.
My hypothetical hard programming puzzler needs expertise in eleventeen new technologies,
A minimum of twelve years in each at least I seek,
An unfungible, unflappable, unfinaglible coding beast.
My rare rockstar of ruby-esque artistry,
Is also a notable ninja of npm pedantry,
Steeped in learning deep and theoretical,
And during interview waxed about Big O notation hypothetical.
Who sat and stared at leetcode hards tasked with the best optimization,
And after twenty minutes came to reach the only realization,
That to improve upon the algorithm was a research thesis dissertation.
I sold you on the promise of work from the latest research journals ripped,
You answered lengthy questions about lambdas, inversions and Closures,
to support containers at web scale of all our active users totaling threes or fours.
I outsourced to a region that only spoke a language based on Slavic,
And our DevOps cannot read the error messages and now that’s catastrophic.
We’re funded by DAOs, DAPs, ICOs, and IPOs for capital,
Investor oversight we found incomprehensibly incompatible.
But let us step back and see what we have compiled and built,
It’s just a shity WordPress website of long nights made of manipulation, misplaced loyalty and deceptive guilt.
And now you see me for who I am,
Just another shady, serial businessman,
I stand to make millions, and you might get some,
For every ten bucks in cash I take, you might get you five, fifty, zero or none.
But I will dazzle you with usurious prattle and unpreferred deferred stock options,
A new-fangled investment vehicle that messes with your worldly assumptions,
A ponzi scheme dressed up in code that helps my tax deductions.
And long before that vesting period of one year and four,
You’ll tire of the toxicity and head right for the Market St door,
With a bright future ahead and a failed start-up behind,
Fresh with a crisp new certificated bootcamp in hand.
And next when you step out, on Market Street,
A bespangled-eyed entrepreneur you will surely meet,
A hustler who woos you with weasley words,
And finally, you listen to those four lounging liarbirds,
Changing the world, one line of code at a time.
The two printers being considered
You can buy a Form3L for around $12,000. The wash station and cure station is another $6,000 which we would purchase later in the year. Plus various accessories. It is precisely what you want, and will work perfectly for everything you want to do with it.
You can buy a Form3 for around $8,000 with all the accessories, and a bunch of resin. It will do everything you want and need.
You can also turn the 3D printer in to a little cottage industry by selling the Form3 services on eBay to recoup some of the costs. We will need to figure out a costing & pricing system for doing prints. Register on 100kgarages, and perhaps a few other places. Create a small micro/niche website for the service if you want. Joyce could use it for jewellery design. Printing little figurines. Some stuff on Etsy. And so forth. We’d find uses for it, if there is a will.
How does either of these purchases impact us financially? It doesn’t affect retirement. It doesn’t affect our savings. It doesn’t affect our life. It just comes down to timing on payouts from my day job and my annuities.
Form3 Financial Impact
If I buy the regular Form3, the only impact it will have is on other stuff I wish to purchase in the next few months. That’s pretty much it. It is about two weeks payouts. It pushes out expansion of the farm to later in the year. It has no impact on our savings, retirement funds, crypto, annuities, lifestyle or our AMEX pay down.
Form3L Financial Impact
If I buy the Form3L, it means I won’t be buying storage for the farm for at least three months. And my workshop tool purchases will take an hiatus for a few months. “You see, the problem with having an unlimited budget isn’t the spending of the money, it’s where do you put all the tools…?” I am effectively spending three week’s income on the printer. Or about three months of toys. It stalls our AMEX pay down by one month, maybe two months, pushing us out to December for final payoff.
Timing of purchase
If I time it just right, e.g. 21st, then everything works out fine and dandy. It also means the AMEX bill isn’t due until 14th of following month. I can either pay down a chunk of the amount owed prior to that, or throw it in to Logix and pay it when due. Essentially I will be paying off the entirety of the cost of the printer 45 days from now, and interest free. Works for me.
Pro Service Plan
Do I really need the $1,000 pro service plan? I don’t care about hot swap printers or pro level walkthrough. I do care about making sure the printer works, and continues to work. But the printer usage will be pretty lightweight unless I am selling prints on-line.
If I use a referral code I get $500 off, which is the cost of shipping to my door.
What if we are declined by AMEX?
The potential that AMEX may not approve the amount is high on the list. In which case we stash the money in to Logix temporarily, use the guy in Pasadena to print my parts, and then just wing it. I am going to probe AMEX now to see if I can get approval for the purchase.
I have just verified that AMEX will approve me for the $15,000 purchase. So now it is simply a matter of timing.
Losing my job. Though I suspect this is a pretty low risk. The probability is quite low at this time unless I royally fuck up. Losing the job means I have to pay for it from our savings. I’d rather not do that and just pay it off with what I earn.
Second build platform/plate
The Form3 uses a transparent window that is good for so many hundreds of hours of printing. Whilst I don’t expect to use it up rapidly, it does have a finite lifespan, and a new one is $300, so I should plan on obtaining a second build plate with the initial purchase. And then keeping a couple more on the shelf for when I need them.
[Note: I was actually referring to the resin tanks here, I didn’t have the terminology of the parts clear in my head]
Recycling & Reusing
I need to read up and watch videos on best practices for recycling resin & IPA.
I should keep several boxes of latex gloves on hand, in the basement, near the 3D printer. Tricky during the pandemic, but this too shall pass.
3D Printer Cabinet
I need to build a cabinet on wheels to house the 3D printer. The cabinet should have doors on front and rear to access the printer, but also to keep the printer clean and dust free.
It should have a drawer to keep the resin containers, IPA, tools, accessories, Wash L, Cure L, power bar, UPS, additional material,
Dimensions of Printer & Stations
Form3L dimensions 30.3 × 20.5 × 29.1 in
We need to be aware that the front of the Form3L flips out and up, adding about another 8″ to 10″ to its overall height. When placed on a cart which I estimate to be 36″ tall, it appears the Form3L sits at just over the 6′ mark when opened, so that makes the Form3L about 38″ tall when opened.
I cannot find dimensions for the Cure or Wash stations, but my estimate is the Cure station is about 18″ tall, and the wash station is about 30″ tall, but 48″ tall when the lid is opened. The Wash station is about 36″ wide, the Cure station is about 30″ wide.
These dimensions mean that you cannot really have a single cabinet to hold the printer, the cure station, the wash station, tools, accessories and extra resin and IPA. You would need either two cabinets, or one very wide or deep cabinet. The cabinet would be about 72″ tall, and about 60″ wide. That is a big cabinet.
We could solve this by stacking everything vertically. The Wash station on the bottom, the Form3L in the middle, the Cure station on the top. We do this by making the Wash station sit on a platform that slides out to permit access to the top of the station. So long as you are careful when moving the Wash station on the sliding platform then no sloshing of solvent would occur. This would make the cabinet about 90″ tall. This isn’t a terrible idea.
Power & Network
Runs on 100V to 240V (means it will work in Europe and UK just fine), and consumes 650W so will work on a UPS just fine too.
It has both an ethernet port and WiFi. I suspect it requires connection to the FormLabs cloud and registration with them unfortunately.
Preparing the Workshop
I need to sweep up all the dust in the workshop, finish attaching the lights, finish up the table saw cabinet, organize a lot of stuff in the workshop to make it more functional, and also finish off the duct work. That looks like it is going to Sunday for me. At least for the organizing, sweeping up debris, finishing the duct work and finishing the wiring on the lights. I can also mount the shop fans on the back wall, and I can also install the track lighting above the washer/dryer.
- Install track lighting above washer/dryer
- Attach clamp storage to cabinets (temporary attachments)
- Finish up wiring for shop lights
- Strap duct work to wall and ceiling
- Replace hokey section of duct work that never worked properly
- Sweep up dust and debris
- Organize wood pile
- Organize tools on router table
- Organize MFT
- Assemble and finish up table saw workbench
Buying Without The Pro Service Support
I have reached out to Formlabs to ask if the $1,000 pro service surcharge is absolutely necessary in my particular case as I will only be using it for hobbies. Saving this $1,000 is effectively reducing the cost of the printer by the tax amount.
Referral Codes & Coupons
I can use a referral code, apparently these cannot be used in their online form, that will give me $500 off. Which is the cost of shipping.
None of the coupon websites appear to have a working coupon valid for the website.
Printer has been purchased. I was able to ask questions of the sales rep, and also get the $1,000 pro service plan removed. I can purchase an extended warranty, and I have up to 60 days to do that. I will probably purchase that mid-month or maybe even month after as the sales rep he could kind of make that happen if needed. The WashL and CureL are, as expected, having supply chain issues so I couldn’t have ordered those even if I had wanted too. Total cost was just a hair over $14,000. I bought three types of resin, and three separate resin tanks, for grey, black and clear. I also purchased two litres of each resin because the Form3L needs to be loaded up with two 1L bottles of each type of resin because the tanks are so massive. It takes an entire litre to just fill the resin tank.
Update #2 – Printer Arrived
Form3L printer arrived today in the afternoon on a huge pallet with all the accessories and such. Only items that did not arrive was the clear resin.
I took pictures of the printer on the pallet. It was stacked 6ft tall at least. Joyce and I unloaded it, and having previously watched the videos on how to unbox, it went smoothly. I put the printer on the MFT assembly bench for now. I’ll find it a more permanent home later in the year when I build a cabinet for it.
I have sent my first print at just before 10PM, a 20mm XYZ calibration cube.
Cleaning up and tidying up
I was able to clean up my workshop a bit today. Put some tools in to boxes to at least make it a little easier. I put up two clamp brackets on the side of a cabinet. One bracket will hold the big Bessy parallel clamps, and the other bracket holds the regular Bessy clamps. I tried putting the small clamps on the bracket but they just fall right off due to mass. I will probably get a few of the Woodpeckers brackets and those will get attached to the wall, or the side of a more permanent installed cabinet.
Just that brief bit of tidying up made me feel so much better. Just puttering around in the workshop. My therapy.
I think I would like to spend an hour in the workshop tomorrow doing the same thing. Put up more brackets, attach fans to ceiling, and so forth.
Track saw tracks
I also put four of the Fastcap track saw track holders on to the back of the garage door. I had eight of those ready to install. I have space on the back of the garage door for six more additional brackets. Though my brain said “need to buy more” I think I might hold off because I want to make some brackets for the Woodpeckers story sticks, so those will take up some room too.
My intention is to assemble a dedicated 3D printer cabinet over the next couple of weeks. I will make further notes about that beyond the ones mentioned prior in a separate section.
Slow tank fill
The print that is currently taking place states it will take 2 hours or so to finish. But looking at the print, it doesn’t seem to have dispensed that much resin into the tank, so I am unsure what is going on right now. I will stay awake until the print has finished and then I will take a further look. We are currently around layer 40 of 400+ layers.
A few other people have mentioned the slow tank fill. It might be that the bite valve on the resin bottles is not dispensing properly. I can take a look at that, maybe poke it with an xacto blade to get the spice flowing a little faster. I will wait for the print to finish and see what I get.
Labelling the Tank
I need to put the “Grey v4” label directly on the tank. I have put a label on the tank storage box already.
I need to find a place that can sell me IPA and TPM in bulk, and a reasonable cost. TPM is apparently better than IPA, but I think I will stick with IPA for the time being, until I get the WashL and CureL stations, then I will most likely switch over to TPM. I am currently using two pints of IPA in a mason jar with a toothbrush to clean up my prints, which works fine for the small parts I am wanting to print right now. I put them out on the patio table for a few hours to cure, or if I am in the workshop, just outside the workshop door in the afternoon sun and they cure in no time.
3D Printer Cabinet More Thoughts
I already detailed some notes on a cabinet for the 3D printer. Having seen the size of it, and the accessories I need for it, my thought is to build a shallow, wide, tall cabinet, with doors that open to protect everything from dust. But primarily to store all the accessories and resins and such. I am probably going to have a half-dozen or more storage tanks, which are quite large, and probably 20L or more of resin, both in use and in stock ready to go. Figure you will probably keep 4L or 5L of the resin you use regularly, and 2L or 3L of the resin you only use a little bit. Grey, black, clear, white will be 20L of resin right there. Plus Tough, Jewellery and a few others.
I will also keep a couple of boxes of Nitrile gloves. Hand tools. Gallons of IPA or TPM, both in the wash station and also on-hand for refills.
I am also thinking this cabinet should have a place to prop up my laptop, with a power supply to attach to.
I am also thinking that the cabinet should have a UPS to run the printer for a few hours in the event of a power failure. You don’t want a power outage in the middle of a 10 hour print.
I will need to figure out what kind of wattage the printer draws, and if I can get a reasonably priced Li-Po or Ni-Cad UPS to run it for 10+ hours without power.
Where the current wood pile is, or possibly where the rack of non-food items is stored might be a good choice. If I build those cabinets above the washer/dryer then a large majority of those items will migrate there. Paper products, detergents, etc. If I build a pedestal cabinet that sits between washer and dryer, that pedestal could hold all of the bottles of Tide, bottles of bleach, boxes of bounce, and any other laundry supplies. Then the cabinets above would hold paper products, other cleaning supplies.
Storage of resin cartridges
I am thinking a couple of drawers, with special inserts/dividers that snugly hold each resin bottle in an orientation that would prevent them from leaking. The plastic tabs on the bottom of the resin bottles might be reusable, in which case we can put the plugs back in. But I think resin bottles stored on their side, with the valve at the top would work.
This could simply be few large drawers that holds ten or more bottles of resin per drawer, with dividers to hold the resin bottles in place. Plan on four bottles of popular resin of each type in stock, and then three bottles of the less popular resin in stock.
Storage of resin tanks
I am thinking these can be simple cubby holes to store each resin tank. Deep enough to slide a tank in lengthways.
I would want to be able to store five or six resin tanks at the very least. This storage should be a long, shallow drawer, or a drawer with no sides, that holds a resin tank. There is a label on the front of each drawer describing the type of resin tank to be found in there.
A simple drawer with Kaizen form or similar that holds the various hand tools. Side snips, flush cut japanese saw, perhaps some sand paper, pallet knife for pulling things from the build plate, resin tank cleaning tweezers.
A slide out work surface where I can place the build plate or hand tools I am currently using.
Build Plate Storage
Enough storage for two extra build plates. This should probably be a drawer that holds the build plates in kaizen foam slots.
FDM Printer Cubby
A cubby specifically for a Prusa i3/i5 FDM printer.
FDM Printer Accessories
A drawer or other storage area for FDM printer accessories, e.g. build plate.
A storage drawer for extra 1 gallon IPA bottles.
This should be a storage drawer that can hold 4 gallons or 6 gallons of IPA. Separate dividers for each drawer.
PLA Filament Storage
A storage drawer for PLA filament storage. I assume we are using 8″ spools.
I need a drawer that holds about a half-dozen boxes of nitrile gloves, along with a box of nitrile gloves currently in use.
Tip Out Trash Can
I should have a trash can that can be tipped out at an angle, and stay in place, that lets me clean up a print without bits getting everywhere.
Thoughts about WashL & CureL
The WashL when opened is 45″ tall, I think we should put the WashL on a slide out, it can then be pulled out, loaded up with a build plate, then slid back in to its cubby hole.
This is the page for the WashL and CureL boxes that contain the dimensions: https://formlabs.com/post-processing/wash-cure/tech-specs/
If I use drawer slides to hold the WashL then I want to make sure that the slides are heavy duty rated for hundreds of pounds, and probably lock in place.
These are the dimensions for the CureL
First print of a low-detail dimensional test cube 20mm on a side failed. Printed on a raft at 100um layer thickness with Grey V4. No adherence.
I note that the resin did not dispense correctly from either resin container. Very low, sporadic flow.
I am not familiar with the Form3L but I assume it would want to dispense as much as the regular Form3. By the time tank had enough resin in it, the print was at layer 100+. The tank was very dry to start. I aborted the print at layer 200 or so.
Thoroughly cleaned the cured resin from the tank and cleaned off the build platform from the faintest smear of cured resin that remained and I am now trying the print again.
formlabs does not use particularly accurate weight sensors on the resin containers to gauge how much resin is in them on the Form3L. Probably weight sensors with inverse log resistive function so the accuracy drops off markedly the less resin in the container remains.
I am guessing the function that dispenses the resin uses a timer on a valve to gauge how much resin has been dispensed rather than weighing the resin cartridge. So I am guessing the code that estimates how much resin has been dispensed is the same exact code on the Form3, i.e. just a function that waits a certain period of elapsed time.
Now that the resin tank contains enough resin, fingers crossed the second print of the dimensional cube works.
I need to diagnose and read further articles and will open a support ticket if I cannot resolve the following issue:
My dashboard shows that the left resin tank is not installed. But the printer shows that the left resin tank is installed. And it is physically there and fully secured. And I have reseated both resin containers twice.
My dashboard shows that the build platform is not installed. And the printer also indicates that the build platform is not installed. Or rather, the graphic image, and the accompanying text, shows a lack of build platform, but the printer must believe the build platform is there, because if it wasn’t the printer wouldn’t print. The build platform is physically there and fully secured. And I have reseated it and locked it down twice.
I will look for dust or debris in any sensors in the morning when the light in the workshop is better and I am not so tired.
I made sure to open the relief valve on both resin containers during initial installation, and double-checked them during the first failed print to verify I did not forget. I shut the relief valves, removed both resin tanks, verified that the rubber dispense valve was not clogged and could dispense resin, I palpated to verify, reinstalled the resign containers in to their respective slots, and re-opened the relief valves on both containers. I did agitate the resin containers before installation, perhaps not enough.
I am currently running a second print to see if the problem has resolved itself. That said, the dashboard, both in Preform (which is simply a QTWebEngine browser page embedded in the Preform application) and the Formlabs dashboard on the website both indicate that the left resin tank is not installed, but the printer clearly indicates it is and is aware of it. This might just be a minor software issue or a synchronization issue.
Setup instructions on printer failed to mention removing the little bit of orange tape on the relief valve before installing. Setup instructions did mention removing the orange plastic tab on the underside of the resin container situated on the dispense valve.
Self inflicted injury when I smacked my forehead on the build platform locking bracket as I attempted to gently remove the cardboard retainer from the X axis lead screw. I am a dumb arse.
Large UV protective window and touch screen need peelable film, not for any protective reason but wife was very disappointed she did not get to peel off large swathes of sticky protective film like a giant iPhone. Had to console her with peeling off protective film on resin tank storage boxes. I note Adam Savage got peelable film on his Form3L. I feel slighted. Sleighted? Slited?
Instructions lack detail on whether the bit of foam holding the wiper arm during transport in the resin tank can be thrown away. Of course it can be, but there is not clear instruction on whether it should be saved. Neither in the packaging, on the resin storage box, nor, as far as I can ascertain, on the formlabs website.
Printer was exceptionally well packaged (that kind of packaging must cost formlabs an absolute fortune to manufacture) and arrived safely. I especially like the cardboard sling underneath the printer.
Phone keeps hunting for focus under the glare of the shop lights and the light bounce off the touch screen. The printer is printing at the time the photograph was taken, but the printer indicates the build platform is missing, so I am going to assume that’s a software bug. Can clearly see that the printer believes both resin containers are installed, but the dashboard in Preform and on the website thinks the resin container for’ard, closer to the touchscreen, is missing. Both resin containers are securely seated.
Firmware version on machine is rc-1.6.14-369 and was stock from the factory. Connected via WiFi to house network. Preform is 3.22.1 running on Windows 10 Pro for Workstations with Firefox as the browser.
The second attempt at the test cube came out flawlessly.
And also, when using Preform, and the locally connected printer view that is on the local network, (not the cloud webview), Preform shows that the resin cartridges are both installed properly, and I of course get the confirmation beep to indicate their correct installation. But both the cloud dashboard in Preform, and the dashboard accessible via a web browser, which is effectively the same thing, show that the left resin tank is missing, so I am going to put that down to a minor software bug or synchronization issue.
Will reboot the printer in the morning and see if it resolves itself. The old “Did you try turning it off an back on?” IT office admin trick.
Removing the build platform and rebooting the printer cleared the “build platform not present” issue, and also cleared the “resin tank not present” issue on the cloud/website dashboard. So I am thinking there is probably some sync issues that the backend API has, that as a customer, there isn’t much I can do about except to quietly ignore. I am sure it’ll get resolved eventually in a future software patch. So long as the printer prints, I’m happy.
I’m running some other parts on the printer today, and other than keeping an eye on the resin dispensing issue, I suspect those prints will work fine.
I sometimes pick up on inconsequential details that I really shouldn’t be concerning myself with – “Why does the onscreen graphic mentioning the removal of the orange tabs on the resin cartridge only indicate the underside tab, but the text uses a plural form to indicate both dispense valve tab and relief valve tab?” or “why is there some splattering of resin on the inside of the flip up door during printing, is that normal? Is the tank too full?” or “those leveling feet need to be a 1/2″ longer if you install in a garage with a sloped floor” or “that wifi antenna is too close to the USB to prevent cross-talk and anttenuation” or “blue highlighted stripes on places where the resin tank inserts and the build platform inserts, oh, the build platform has a magnetic catch as well as a locking lever” or “other unboxing videos showed that the touch screen and UV window had plastic coverings, mine doesn’t, is that a change in manufacturing process or a mistake?” or “how did they determine the universal size for nitrile gloves to pack in? I wonder how the supply chain issues affected the number of gloves they include. I notice that a early-2021 printer used blue nitrile gloves, mine uses black, I wonder if it was always black but the pandemic caused them to switch suppliers.”
I like the Form3L. It’s well built. It’s well packaged. A real “slick” product. Even the website and all the technical support materials. The printer is expensive, but it is a quality piece of hardware and software. I will be reaching out to formlabs within a week or two to order the WashL and CureL devices.
I need to verify I am up to date on firmware in the printer before I print any further. 3D printers are temperamental beasts, so teething troubles are to be expected. The printer firmware could use a little polish, I think there might some “someone forgot to disable the sleep timer during a print job” kind of bugs.
“3D printing, it’s like woodworking, but I don’t have to be there to operate the power tools.”
I’ve run two more prints…
I manually filled a resin tank with about 500ml of black resin. Then loaded a full resin cartridge in to the right hand resin catridge slot, and the now half-empty resign cartridge in to the left cartridge slot.
So the set up is, 50% full black resin v4 in left slot, 100% full black resin v4 in right slot, resin tank with about 500ml of resin in it.
I start a 20 hour print.
About 2 hours in to the print the LCD screen switches itself off and becomes non-responsive, but the printer continues to print. Sleep mode maybe? I did set the “sleep mode timer to 30 minutes.” But sleep timer engaged the middle of the print?
About four hours in to the print the web dashboard stops receiving any updates from the printer, but the Preform software continues to receive updates.
At five hours in to the print, at the 10% mark, the build plate raises up to about the midway point, and the printer informs my Preform software that the resin cartridge is low and there is not enough resin to complete the job.
Print job failed when the material supports gave out, even though the rafts themselves had good adhesion to the build plate. I understand that the build plate will raise up if there is cured resin adhered to the film in the resin tank and the wiper/mixer drag arm magnetically disconnects from the LPU. I cleared the film of cured resin but unfortunately there was no way for me to anything but manually cycle power on the printer, which on reboot gave me an “Error 293” which is, from reading the tech support documentation, a generic error code of “damned if I know.”
What was disconcerting was even though there is a full black v4 resin in the right cartridge slot, which the printer is aware of. The printer was pretty insistent that the print would not finish to due running out of ink. 1L full right cartridge, 500ml left cartridge, 500ml in the tank. Form3L is obviously not aware how much resin is in the tank. This is after the print had failed, so I cannot tell if the build plate raising up and halting was due to the failed print with cured resin adhered to the FEP film in the tank, or the low resin issue, I suspect the cured resin. During all of this the LCD screen remains blank and unresponsive.
So I was 4+ hours in to a 20 hour print, an unresponsive, blank LCD screen, a printer that isn’t communicating with the dashboard, a printer kvetching there isn’t enough ink to finish a print that should take around 230ml of ink, when there is clearly a full 1L cartridge installed, and about 300ml of resin left in the other cartridge (even though the printer is saying there is 130ml, I think my electronic scale in the workshop is probably a bit more sensitive than the sensor in the Form3L), and the printer is paused and I have no way to make it resume the print because the dashboard doesn’t provide for that functionality, nor does it communicate with the printer reliably, and the only controls on the printer are behind a blank, non-responsive touch screen. The LED back light behind the LCD, and the illuminated formlabs logo were lit, the build chamber was warm, and the interior lights were on and I could ping the printer.
I suspect what happened is that the print failed, the build platform retracted due to adhered resin on the FEP film, and it sat there for about 30 minutes (I wasn’t present) and then the sleep timer kicked in and the machine went to sleep, but because the print had failed, there was no way to bring the machine out of sleep state. Effectively I was locked out of the machine until power cycle.
After clearing the build plate and thoroughly cleaning the resin, I switched the now mostly empty resing cartridge that was on the left with the completely full cartridge that was on the right. So now the configuration is 1L full on the left, about 300ml on the right. I disabled sleep timer, and I reran the exact same print. Which printed all the way through.
I printed six identical storage organizer parts, two of which failed. Both parts failed in the same way, but at different print layers, but both for the same reason, the supports themselves gave way. Fortunately the cured resin did not adhere to the film in the tank and the print was able to finish. I was using the “beta” supports option in Preform, on very narrow parts, so I suspect that had something to do with it. Interestingly the printer drained the right cartridge to empty, and continued on printing without any warnings about possibly running out of resin. I wonder if the software has a test condition that doesn’t check the resin cartridges, or handle switchover, in a consistent manner. Easy mistake to make in the code.
I will run some more test prints later today, that are of a shorter duration, and only single parts and see what I get.
For me it is “this is interesting, that’s interesting, ooh! what made that fail? Ooh! How does that work?” Will be ordering the CureL and WashL in a month or two. Also, I am going to put some of my problems down to “User was over-caffeinated and excited about using the product and did not carefully read the instructions.”
Note to self on lesson learned: Manually fill resin tank when deploying a fresh tank to increase chance of successful print.
Second note to self: Design & print a bracket that will let me invert a resin cartridge over the resin tank and hold the cartridge securely so I can wander off and do something else whilst the resin tank is being maually filled.
Update #5 – Prints of darkness
I have used up my two liters of black resin (prints of darkness, get it?) and almost the entire two liters of grey resin. I need to order more. Made a drive cage to insert into my computer workstation to hold the SSDs due to the PSU being honking huge.
Experimenting with a fan cowling that will hold a radiator for the crypto miner server. Still experimenting with that. Also experimented with snap lock tab fittings and I’ve got to say, those are not easy to design.
Designed and printed a couple of other small parts for organizational projects around the home. Created some tabs to let me mount the ISDT battery chargers to the wall.
I may need to investigate cheaper printing options for prototypes.
Update #6 – “Financial impact – What’s the worst that could happen?”
I just switched jobs. I am no longer with Ericsson. I have moved on to a VR hardware start-up that is doing much more exciting work. No financial impact but definitely one of those “pause for thought” moments.
Have been so tired and stressed with work I fell asleep at the marble table again. New job is keeping me busy and work/life balance is out of whack. Enjoying the work, not enjoying the hours. Waiting for a printer job to finish up and then heading to bed. I don’t think I am going to get to use my printer very much for a while due to workload and stress with the job. Everything seems to be falling apart in my hands.
Google has the geolocation of every software developer in the world.
They know where that developer came from and where they now reside.
They know which company that developer works for.
And almost all past companies that developer worked for.
And how long the developer worked for each company.
They know all of that developer’s colleagues who are also developers.
They also know which colleagues are working on the same project as that developer.
They know that developer’s github projects.
Their OpenSource contributions.
What primary language they speak.
They know what languages they program in.
And what frameworks they use.
The operating systems that are their daily driver.
And the platforms they develop software for.
And what kind of projects they work on.
They know what issues the developer is facing.
And could even chart where the developer is in the SDLC of the project.
With a little bit of analytics they would also know how proficient the developer is in a particular language and framework.
Google wouldn’t even need to conduct a technical interview.
If Google wanted to, they could target key software developer individuals in any organization right there in the SERPs.
And you, as their manager, wouldn’t even know it.
Brilliant ad campaign…
I strongly believe that LEGO made me the engineer I am today.
A psychology study I read many years ago had the thesis that rooms with low ceilings constrained both the thoughts and vocabulary of people who occupied the room. Goals were smaller in rooms with lower ceilings, and less often achieved, thoughts about the future were less inclined to dream big, and the language used was, overall, more pessimistic.
I also read a study, where the central thesis was that text messages on mobile phones constrained people’s thoughts, due to the size of the screen and the ability to express themselves easily.
And I read many more papers on the effects of walking and cognition, and they found that walking helps with cognition, but there is a multiplier effect when people walk outside (where there are far horizons and tall skies) that improves cognition and expressiveness far more than walking alone.
And yet another study found that people who live in cities with tall buildings thought in shorter timeframes than those who lived in more “human sized” settlements.
Conclusion: When you want to restrict someone’s thoughts, dreams about the future and their ability to plan, restrict their vocabulary, restrict their ability to express those thoughts, and restrict their ability to see a far horizon.
Which is pretty much what Orwell stated with his Newspeak and Doublespeak ideas and Huxley with his removal of words like “revolution” – remove words from the language to express an idea and you remove the ability to even think that idea.
If you only give people a little set of emojis to express themselves, then those are the emotions and expressions they can make, and it takes great mental effort to communicate outside of the prescribed dictionary.
I observe this effect in programming languages all the time, where different programming languages, with their differing grammar and/or crypticness, or good and poor choice of keywords can dictate how a programmer will tackle a problem, or not. You will often hear programmers talk about how “expressive” a particular language is, or how “opinionated” a framework can be. This isn’t simply engineering geek speak, it’s psychology.
I still write, on a daily basis, in longhand, on paper, with my dyslexia, and my dysgraphia and my barely legible doctor’s scrawl. And I try to do it whilst sat near a window, or on the front step, or at a coffee shop whilst people watching, or on the train during the commute; all expressive locations.
I don’t write a lot in longhand. I only need to capture the big thoughts. The details can be filled in by the usual word processor.
I find this interesting because I truly believe that the majority of the world is made of small-minded people.
And a lot of social media, and Twitter especially, is a medium designed for expressing small thoughts.
Which explains why Twitter is so popular amongst a lot of small minded people.
To express big thoughts, you need a big canvas.
Bought a bag of Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons today.
Popping one in my mouth they remind me of a girl I used to date.
Sweet, melts on the tip of your tongue and just thick enough to be pleasurable.
It’s National No Bra Day.
As I’ve always said, my favourite part of a woman begins with the letter “B” and ends with the letter “S.”
The greatest gift you can give yourself is to live a life that is true to yourself rather than one that others expect of you.
Every day I wake up and I find myself to be rich.
I didn’t wake up to an alarm clock (unless a client needed me on the phone).
I woke up, lounged in bed for a bit, and got up when I felt like it.
That was a choice.
I decide what I will work on next.
Or whether I will take the day off.
I decide what I will eat for lunch and dinner.
Whether I will eat out or cook a meal from scratch.
I decide when to walk my dog.
Whether around the block or over at the dog park.
I decide to spend an hour in the workshop making some sawdust.
Whether that is for a book case or just practice cuts.
I decide to read a book for an hour.
Whether for pleasure or for business.
I decide when I will go to bed.
And in which city I will go to bed.
Every decision I made was made by me without the pressure of having to show up to a job, please someone else, or fulfill an obligation I never wanted.
I’ve stuck to this idea for several decades, if you have a lot of choices, you are very rich indeed.
Making a choice isn’t “making a decision.”
A decision is the metaphorical equivalent of whether you want burger or pizza for lunch.
Choice is deciding when to lave lunch, where to have lunch, what to have for lunch, who to have lunch with, and what you will talk about at lunch.
Every day, I am presented with choice.
And that makes me rich.
I’m richer than most everyone I know.
Twitter has always felt to me like the collective wisdom of a bunch of 12-year olds who are angry because they don’t understand something.
P.S. I include myself in that group. Don’t follow me unless you enjoy profanity spewed about things I don’t understand.
I am a great believer that you should always make sure that the woman you’re seeing and the whisky you drink are of the same age.
I have started to drink some very expensive whisky.
When you say something is good but are unable to express why it is good then your opinion is as valuable and valid as someone saying something is bad without saying why it is bad.
Ignorance is the most singularly destructive force known to mankind.
“Teaching our children.”
I think we should stop using that phrase.
I think we should start using “Teaching our future.”
Children are a commodity.
Everyone (almost) has one.
Everyone was one (probably).
But our future is precious, unique, and we only have one of those.
The most common answer is not always the right answer.
It’s too easy to get trapped into accepting the common answer and never questioning it because you are supposed to accept it.
Wouldn’t it be better to go through our lives collectively asking:
“Is that true?”
“Is it still true?”
“Who says its true?”
Most people use obscenity because they can’t think of what to say next.
I use obscenity to stop me from saying what I really want to say next.
When I am cursing up a storm I am never at a loss for words.
What I am really saying is “the thing that I want to say would be really hurtful, I’d rather look like an uncouth moron than ruin this friendship, relationship or business deal.”
I am re-reading “The Mythical Man Month” by Brooks.
The last time I read this was 1984 and I was 17 years old and had been developing software for about six years by then (and of course thought I knew it all).
It is one of those rare books about technology and software projects that is still highly relevant.
What I find interesting is my perspective on the book has shifted since I first read it.
I have gained a lot of experience in the intervening 30 years and I am looking on the examples given in the book not just from the perspective of a software developer but also a software developer that was influenced by the book 30 years ago and how my attitudes towards the book have changed.
Just got done re-reading “The Mythical Man Month” by Brooks.
In the intervening 30 years since I originally read the book, my conclusion now is that Brooks was overly-optimistic.
Why do you have so many separate blogs asked the person who was researching me.
“Because when I open a cook book I expect to see recipes, not a deeply interesting read on marketing your app in emerging markets and how to A/B test user acquisitions.” I replied.
No matter how many video monitors are connected to your workstation there is never enough screen real-estate for working on a spreadsheet.
The poor pay more in stealth taxes than the rich will ever know.
I’d rather make the people that matter to me happy, than make happy the people I don’t matter too.
If everybody likes you, you’re doing something wrong.
The ability to constructively criticize is vastly different from the ability to find fault.
Modern advertising isn’t designed to announce a product and make you aware of it.
Modern advertising is designed to indoctrinate you in to a cult of wanting more.
Bureaucracies are born out of someone creating a policy because somebody did something someone else didn’t like them doing.
I am a great believer in analysing any statement against a group of people based on the theory that if you were to change the gender or the race, the statement would immediately be considered racist or sexist, that the statement is then inherently racist or sexist.
And whatever argument you hold against the statement being racist or sexist is invalid.
As adults very few of us have responsibilities that we took on but a lot of us have obligations we were given.
Working in my workshop with the door open.
As the various families come home from work, the boyfriends and husbands get curious and wander over to see what I am building.
It is strange how many wives suddenly have jars they cannot open, garage door openers that need new batteries, groceries to put away and items on high shelves that cannot quite be reached and by the way it’s time to come home for dinner now.
I may be considered by many wives to be a bad influence on impressionable husbands.
Never regret trying.
I think we can all agree that Donald Trump says some utterly moronic shit at times.
The scary thing is if you read any quote or sound-bite by Donald Trump in the voice of Futurama’s Zap Brannigan it becomes both scary and serenely beautiful at the same time.
And then you realise, this isn’t a comedy show. It’s politics.
But I repeat myself.
Remember! Zap Brannigan’s voice!
“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
“He said that he’s pathological and he’s got basically pathological disease … I don’t want a person that’s got pathological disease.”
“I never attacked him on his look, and believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter right there.”
“I will build the greatest wall that you’ve ever seen.”
“[She] is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man.”
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese.”
My wife likes to “play doctor.”
Whenever I suggest sex she goes in her office and keeps me waiting on the couch for three hours.
I have actually learned to hold my wife’s hand when we go shopping at the mall.
She thinks it is an incredibly romantic gesture.
I treat it is an economic measure.
*psst* It stops her from wandering off and shopping.
You can always tell when a software as a service company is in trouble by how much they take away previously free features and start making them paid for features.
Oddly, even though I use my mobile phone an awful lot, I never actually dream about it when I sleep.
Same thing goes for my computer.
I guess dreaming about sitting at a keyboard or staring at a tiny illuminated screen just isn’t interesting enough for our sleeping brains.
Yesterday I closed my video game studio.
I launched my new business on September 5th 2001, and on September 5th 2008, seven years later, I officially closed the doors on the studio.
The economy took its toll, and one too many fiscally poor clients put us too far underwater to recover in any reasonable time frame.
It was a fun ride, and I would do it all over again.
But right now I need to move on.
The one thing I have noticed between playing Everquest for a few years and playing World of Warcraft for a few years is that I have a hankering to return to locations in Everquest but not in World of Warcraft.
I think psychologically this is because first person perspective (Everquest) puts you there.
Whereas third person perspective (World of Warcraft) makes you watch someone else be there.
My brother views me as the little kid.
I negotiate multi-million dollar deals with client management skills that he lacks.
But I am still his youngest kid brother.
At what point do we have more dead people on Facebook than living people?
Any creative output you have has a similar trait.
Your programming, your writing, your art, your opinions on life and your old social media status updates.
Your earliest work is nothing short of cringe worthy that you will find intently embarrassing when looked at through the lens of time.
Fortunately for me, the last time I visited my parent’s house I destroyed all the floppy discs with my angst ridden creative writing so that it would never haunt me in my future career.
So during lunch someone picked up a game that sounds like a sort of “dating sim”-style game where you play an intrepid lawyer who has to go around talking to people, solving quests, and building up a case for your client.
A logical extension of this would be one for other professions, such as for chartered accountants.
And a logical extension to that would be a “sim” game for a software developer.
And a logical extension to that would be a “sim” game where you play the part of an intrepid QA/tester working at a large game development company who you have to track down bugs in games that you are testing, enter comprehensive bug reports, hold meetings and talk to the other employees.
If someone ever did find a real bug in the game you could deny that it was a bug and claim it was actually a quest.
Though I imagine it would be really confusing for the actual QA staff testing the game as they would have a hard time distinguishing real bugs from quests in the game that require you to find bugs in the games you are testing.