Rules of Acquisition

After getting an Apple Watch I decided to author an app for it. I was also re-watching Star Trek DS9 for the 50th time which means I kept hearing Quark (etc) recite the hilarious and disgusting Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. So I made it an app.

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Dear Diary: Arduino Due Development in Eclipse

Here’s another diary entry.. Hence this is more for me when I later do a similar project and run in to the same head-aches. But maybe this will help someone else too.

After much pain updating a well-endowed development environment configured for a work project, I ran in to various annoyances getting CDT for Eclipse working with the Arduino Due under Ubuntu 14.04. Below’s my approximate notes on how I navigated this delightful shitshow.

Getting to the point of seeing this beautiful sight was fucking horrific quite satisfying:

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MacBook Pro Corpse Reanimations

My Macintosh-hording neurosis project has equipped me with various (mostly) 2008-vintage MacBooks. I’m a particular sucker for the 17″ ones. Two of them I paid $20 for, the other two were $34 and $50. Each one of them was sold for scrap as they were tested & reported as totally non-functional.

I tend to take warnings for dares.

Most actually worked fine with nearly zero effort. One needed its RAM reseated. But two of them were really dead, that is to say, I could not get them to POST. As a person who builds the odd thing, when I look at a “broken” device, I think to myself: If I were gonna make one of those from scratch, this one’s like 99% done as-is.

Suffice to say, I got them all working and it was decently hardcore.
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Dear Diary: Windows 10 on 2008 vintage Macs

A local eRecycler is enabling me to develop kind of a thrilling computer-hording neurosis. I’ve managed to score 4 17″ MacBook Pros and 2 15″ units ranging from 2006-2008 vintages and it’s cost me very little. Some of these have serious problems, no matter, I’m having fun.

The 2008 Macs top-out at macOS 10.11, which is good for now. There’s some room to bump them over the edge in to Sierra, though I’m kind of pissed at Apple’s business model at the moment. I feel they’ve kind of abandoned the desktop entirely and the old machines are getting shafted the hardest. Granted they ARE old, Moore’s Law’s been on vacation for a while now. I guess we live in a sad world and anyone who buys a new Mac Pro will arrive in this well-populated sad space in about a year. 4,5,6 Apple. Seriously wtf? I know.. I know, it’s just business and the best margins are mobile. But I seriously digress.

These old machines that max out at 4-6GB of RAM. Microsoft sells new machines running Windows 10 on 2GB of RAM. I’m sure they lick the well-toned ass of satan (not a good thing, in my books). These wimpy new machines still have to at least pretend to work, which has a modicum of merit. So, disgustingly, Windows could become the best option for folks with ancient macs that won’t die. (Yes, there IS Linux. I’ve used Linux daily for ~17years, I love it. It’s complete shit on the desktop, if you wanna argue that, then you know, that’s cool, you’re welcome to be wrong. IT IS the Trump-era now, so anything goes)

I discovered that if you’re willing to commit a Windows License to a specific machine, then you can get a non-transferable license, called an OEM license for a vastly lower price. I actually talked with Microsoft’s online sales about this and they said they only sell the Retail version ($150) to end customers. The retail version has the notable merit of being a transferable license. I showed the Microsoft rep a kind of a greasy-looking OEM license vendor I found online. Microsoft’s rep didn’t call the OEM vendor a scam and said it is an actual option. So I think it’s fully legitimate, which actually matters to me. Ultimately, I found an OEM key from an ebay vendor that I think is legitimate for $7.50. I would think THAT would have to be scam, but there were hundreds of positive ebay reviews, guess we’ll see. $7.50 is a price I’ll actually pay, so here we go with Windows. My core hope is that Starcraft II run better enough under Windows to enable me to equip some friends who want to play with me, but lack systems that can swing it.

It’s been about 7 years since I goofed with native Windows on an Intel Mac, so I had to relearn a couple things and keep fighting. After many hours and lots of music, it seems I’ve got a nice dual boot setup going.

Here are my steps, if nothing else, I’m documenting them here so I can figure my way back through this shitshow again at a later date…

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Printing real skull models made from CT scans


About a year ago I processed raw CT data I acquired of a relative of mine and generated multiple 3D models. Since it was my first ever experience with 3D modelling, it took a while, but I figured it out and ended up with an intensely awesome model. Then I turned to my 3D printer and printed off a bunch of them. Suffice to say the whole thing lead to my designing and building of my second printer; the Delta Flyer.

Here’s a timelapse video of the DeltaFlyer printing yet another skull: