Articles by James

A Paper Figure Stand Using OpenSCAD and 3D Printing

When a man has children he has bestowed upon him a lengthy catalogue of fatherly duties. One of the many roles on this list is that of "Toy Repairman".

I still remember taking broken toys to my Dad which he'd subsequently return to me repaired and ready once more for play. I even use a few of his techniques when repairing my own kids' toys.

So when my daughter broke the (admittedly rather flimsy) paper figure stand that came with a diorama set she was playing with...

Stand Original

...my first thought was to reach for the Araldite, knowing full well that the stand would likely end up back on my workbench after a day or two of enthusiastic play.

My second thought was: why not solve this problem forever, both for myself and every other Dad/Toy Repairman in the world?

Stand Printed 1

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Build Your Own Snowman Kits

With the 2016 school year drawing to a close my daughter and I were looking for something interesting and fun to give out to her classmates with their Christmas cards.

As further evidence of the fact that 3D Printing is Awesome I give you...

Snowman Complete

...the 3D-printed Build Your Own Snowman kit!

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YOW! 2016 Sydney Day Two

After all the fun of day one I was a little late arriving at day two of YOW! Sydney 2016 and unfortuantely missed the opening keynote (booooo...). But I eventually arrived back at the old Redfern train workshop, this time brandishing the Pythonic Staff of Enlightenment...

james pythonic

...and all set for anther day of interesting Software Development talks.

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YOW! 2016 Sydney Day One

It doesn't seem like a year since the Sydney software develoment community last gathered at the ATP 2015 edition of YOW!. But time flies when yu're having fun and hopefully you've spent 2016 having as much fun as I have making software and other cool stuff...

spark staff train

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Redmi Note 4 - First Impressions

I've always bought mobile phones outright and in 2013 Google made my choice easy when they introduced their much-lauded Nexus 5 - a powerful, fully-featured phone at a reasonable price. Sadly after 2 years the battery of my beloved Nexus started to give out and so the time came to source a replacement.

I would've likely bought another Nexus 5 but the model no longer receives Android updates. Google's latest offering is the Pixel which is lovely by all accounts but with a starting price of $1079 it was never in the running. I searched for an alternative but a good value option just didn't present itself. That was until I was scouring AliExpress during their annual Singles Day Sale and came across the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 for $229 including shipping to Australia.

Just over a week later it arrived direct from China:

Redmi Note 4 Unboxed

I've been using this phone for a few days and a couple of people have asked if it's any good... so far the answer is a resounding "Yes!".

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The Pythonic Staff of Enlightenment

Introducing... The Pythonic Staff of Enlightenment:

Pythonic Staff 1

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Bike Helmets Decorated with Electroluminescent Wire

Back in October my daughter and I went along to the excellent EL Wire Wearables workshop hosted by our makerspace SparkCC.

Purple Helmet Unlit

We had a great time going through the process of first designing our creation and then making it a reality. The result was a helmet decorated with a very cute purple flower on top and a pair of purple eyes at the front.

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YOW! 2015 Sydney Day Two

After an interesting and informative Day One, YOW! 2015 Sydney day two got off to a geektastic start with Anita Sengupta and Kamal Oudrhiri talking about their fascinating work on the Curiosity Rover. It was quite humbling to be in the presence of engineers involved in such a groundbreaking project and we heard about interesting problems the team had to solve including how to slow an entry vehicle from 30,000 mph to 0 mph in 7 mins and the infamous Sol 200 anomaly.

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YOW! 2015 Sydney Day One

YOW! Sydney 2015 got off to a great start yesterday. The timing of Australia's leading Software Development conference could not have been more apt given our Government's recent focus on technology and innovation. Likewise the setting of the Australian Technology Park evoked the sense of possiblity inherent in Engineering disciplines, Software comfortably juxtaposed against real Hardware...

atp entry

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Inexpensive Garden Boxes - Variations on a Theme

Previously I authored a post describing how to build inexpensive garden boxes from fence palings. In it I mentioned that the basic design could be altered to create boxes of different shapes and sizes. With Spring well and truly underway our garden has been a hive of activity and I've been busy creating new beds to fit in various spots around our backyard.

The size and shape of the first of these boxes was dictated by the raw materials. In this case timber salvaged from an old pallet:

pallet

Not having to pay for the timber made these boxes very inexpensive indeed! Some short work with a wrecking bar and a drop saw resulted in a solid square garden box:

pallet box

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