One of the latest trends that does not show any sign of fizzling out yet is 3D printing. The technology isn’t mainstream enough for everyone to have a 3D printer but I’ve had many interested people when talking about the things I’ve printed. Surprisingly squirting melted plastic through a hot-end and getting a good print is hard and is more of an art form. Here are some of my learnings and tips on 3D printing.
After my previous success recovering data from my old Psion Series 3a palmtop, I decided I needed to bring some of the cables into the 21st century. While batteries usually last weeks with the Psion, using it on my desk was frustrating as it powered down after 5 minutes to save battery power. Therefore I decided the first cable to work on was the mains adapter and what better way to update it than make it a slim ultra-portable cable powered by USB – I could then use USB wall plugs, my MacBook Pro or even a humble USB power bank to power my Psion. Time to get out my wire snippers and wait for the soldering iron to warm up!
I recently decided to dig out my old Psion 3a palmtop from a storage box at home and I’ve been somewhat obsessed with it lately. When deciding to chuck something away, the tidy- living guru Marie Condo asks “Does it spark joy?”. So I looked at my 25-year-old obsolete Psion and thought yes… Yes it does, it sparks considerable joy.
Ahead of its time
The Psion was way ahead of its time with many features that the iPhone has only just recently received in the last 5 years or so. Features such as copy & paste, file management, printing, multi-tasking and all powered by 2 AA batteries! Something that is incredibly refreshing is the flexibility of the OS – just about anything can be tweaked with a specially written Assembly driver which is a huge contrast to the iron-clad security of iOS. This flexibility might also just be its salvation from an e-waste recycling future.
I decided to go as a Ghostbuster for a fancy dress party recently. Of course all Ghostbusters need fully working Ghostbuster proton packs complete with animated LED displays and electroluminescent glowing wires, so here are the details on how I built mine. It took about 3 or 4 evenings to build and involved Arduinos, lots of hot glue and over 92 LEDs! It is just a shame I missed out on the best fancy dress award that night because it looked ‘too realistic’!
The Ghostbusters proton pack lit up in the dark