Wednesday, August 19, 2015

16 LED color blinkie page updated

I got a bunch of inquiries about this blinkie at and after Musecon, and when I went to look I found that I'd left the landing page for the blinkie in a pretty half-baked state, and the instructions needed work too from lessons learned at building sessions. Also since basically nobody wants to build it without the AA battery option, I just changed it to always have that, and I also changed it to just include the 3D printed rear cover that I designed for it.

The new landing page is here:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Roof DIY

Our roof has been leaking for a few months, coming in along one outside wall under the front porch. There's some evidence of sagging on the roof there. The whole roof will need replacement in probably 5 years but this needs to be addressed now.

It's small and pretty straightforward so I took a day off and tackled this myself.

When I got the top layer off I found about what I expected, some gaps in the underlayment:
When I got it off further the reason for both the sagging and the gaps was obvious:

The "craftsmen" that did this on-site work left a significant gap that you can see at the bottom there, with nothing but shingles supporting themselves. Also the porch they put on was trusses with a single 2x4 ridge pole and some 3/4 OSB slapped over the top and a few nails driven in, guaranteed to sag badly. These guys were definitely not being paid by the hour.

I'll have this apart again in a few years, in the mean time I put in 2 more support 2x4s cut with a compound mitre (the lower one is already in place in this photo) and new OSB, and also put in some support in that little open triangle at the bottom on both sides, then replaced the roofing with new material. Total cost of the job was about $140.

Monday, August 10, 2015

New laptop stuff

I got a new laptop, immediately updated to Windows 10. No big surprises, I've been running 10 since the tech preview came out months ago.

But the new laptop is a new experience for me. It's an Asus UX303LA Ultrabook. It's nice, small and light and I can use it for hours and it does not get hot on my lap.

Here's some stuff I've found out. I'll try to remember to update this post if I find out any more good items.

First, for Windows 10, I really suggest visiting this page for a first draft of junk to shut off:

I shut off adaptive brightness control too - I like a super bright display, but even if I didn't it seems like the display just dims and brightens again randomly and it's irritating.

Touchpad: The multitouch gestures turn out to be really important to comfortable navigation. Here are multitouch gestures I've learned:

  • Double touch/drag - scroll/pan
  • Double finger tap - right click
  • Triple finger drag down - show desktop (minimize all)
  • Triple finger drag up - show currently running apps in a selector view
  • Triple finger drag left/right - switch apps (same as alt-tab and shift-alt-tab)
  • (Aug 15 discovery) Triple tap = bring up Windows search
  • Quad tap = Windows action center

Go into add/remove programs and get rid of the junk - MS office, some other junk that takes up space.

One problem I've had is that many apps get freaked out by the resolution of this computer - 3200 x 1800. Arduino came up with a full window about the size of my thumb. As a Windows programmer I know what they did wrong, it's an easy compromise to make and hopefully they didn't pepper hundreds of that shortcut all over the code.

Now that I'm sure I'll be keeping it, I have some stuff ordered - a mini Displayport adapter in case I need to hook to a projector or something, a USB to ethernet adapter (so I don't have to use the flaky wifi at work), a protective sleeve, etc.

New printer: JGAurora A3

This week I decided I'd had it with all the other printers in my stable.  The CTC is stable and decent but it just bugs me (can't st...