Hackaday Links: April 2, 2017

Toorcamp registration is open. It’s June 20-24th on Orcas Island, Washington.

Hey, you. The guy still using Mentor Graphics. Yeah, you. Siemens has acquired Mentor Graphics.

CNC knitting machines are incredibly complicated but exceptionally cool. Until now, most CNC knitting machines are actually conversions of commercial machines. Beginning with [Travis Goodspeed] and  [Fabienne Serriere] hack of a knitting machine, [Becky Stern]’s efforts, and the Knitic project, these knitting machines are really just brain transplants of old Brother knitting machines. A few of the folks from the OpenKnit project have been working to change this, and now they’re ready for production. Kniterate is a project on Kickstarter that’s a modern knitting machine, and basically a 2D woolen printer. This is an expensive machine at about $4500, but if you’ve ever seen the inside of one of these knitting machines, you’ll know building one of these things from scratch is challenging.

There was a time when a Macintosh computer could play games. Yes, I know this sounds bizarre, but you could play SimCity 2000, Diablo, and LucasArts adventure games on a machine coming out of Cupertino. [Novaspirit] wanted to relive his childhood, so he set up a Mac OS 7 emulator on a Raspberry Pi. He’s using Minivmac, beginning with an install of OS 7.1, upgrading that to 7.5.3, then upgrading that to 7.5.5. It should be noted the utility of the upgrade to 7.5.5 is questionable — the only real changes from 7.5.3  to 7.5.5 are improved virtual memory support (just change some emulator settings to get around that) and networking support (which is difficult on an emulator). If you’re going to upgrade to 7.5.5, just upgrade to 8.1 instead.

It’s getting warmer in the northern hemisphere, and you know what that means: people building swamp coolers. And you know what that means: people arguing about the thermodynamics of swamp coolers. We love these builds, so if you have a swamp cooler send it on in to the tip line.

The Prusa edition of Slic3r is out. The improvements? It’s not a single core app anymore (!), so slicing is faster. It’s got that neat variable layer slicing. Check out all the features.

It takes at least a week to delete your Facebook account. In the meantime, you can lawyer up and hit the gym. Additionally, we’re not really sure Facebook actually deletes your profile when you disable your account. Robots to the rescue. [anerdev] built a robot to delete all his content from Facebook. It’s a pair of servos with touchpad-sensitive pens. Add an Arduino, and you have a Facebook deleting machine.

25 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: April 2, 2017

    1. There is a lot of development going on in the original Slic3r repo these days too — it would be nice if Prusa could work together with the alexjr/Slic3r guys and make one awesome slicer instead of two diverging versions which both end up missing features of the other.

      1. I was under the impression that both alexjr and bubnikv (prusa) were sort of working together, but with bubnikv merging the changes from the main branch and then turning them into releases. Maybe I’m wrong.

        Regardless, it would be nifty if forces were joined in a bit more concrete manner. I think it detracts from the potential slic3r user-base. It took me a long time before I realized there was a prusa version at all! I went for a couple years being sad thinking there were no releases.

        1. It’s a downstream fork. You can see (bubnikv) pulling from upstream regularly, communications back and forth as well as the occasional bug fix pushed upstream.
          I’m quite sure the intention is to push the major changes back upstream once stable and tested – assuming upstream wants them (they probably prefer their code to stay Perl as much as possible for maintainability).
          I’ve been going with Prusa builds at the moment, because unlike mainline they’re doing regular releases. And they’re a little faster, have a few more features, and are slightly more stable.
          Releases aren’t easy to do, either – at least on Windows, simply building Slic3r is one Perl dependency hell after another. Perhaps having a corporate sponsor to do builds and support is a win for everyone?

          1. Nope, if you look at the git history, it looks more like the prusa3d fork is just cherry picking occasional commits for bugfixes – since about May last year there has been none of the back and forth merging or pull requests that you would expect if there were co-operative development going on. (The upstream Slic3r main readme says the goal is to port the remaining parts to C++, so there really doesn’t seem to be a desire to keep things in Perl in upstream). I really hope things can re-converge as it would be a win-win for everybody – as it stands it’s quite confusing for users.

  1. I have a question for those who know more than I… I only use the core Slic3r app, but I have a generic i3 from China. Would I benefit from switching to the Prusa fork, or should I stay with the main line code?

    1. I have a Taz4 and was using the main slic3r for awhile. I never compiled my own, so I was using the one released in 2015. Bugs prompted me to search for other slicers. Eventually, I happened upon the prusa fork and gave it a try. As far as I can tell it’s tailored for any printer, but it happens to have configs for the prusa (I think). Anyway, it seems to have improvements both from the main fork and the prusa one. I highly suggest it! However, I would try the previous release a try. Looks like the latest prusa release is an alpha.

  2. “Mentor’s system design product portfolio significantly adds to Siemens’ Digital Enterprise vision, strengthening the system of systems and model-driven design methodologies with Mentor’s electronic system design expertise.”

    Would you like some ‘system’ with that?

  3. Facebook from what I hear has a obvious link which just disables your account and a semi-hidden link to actually delete it.
    But don’t ask me for details.

    Not that the ‘robot’ isn’t a good idea either way.

    1. I am not sure what the robot way achieves. All these messages are likely to be kept anyway, so deleting them is a gesture anyway. Even if you go through the trouble of editing them all, there are likely to be numerous backups with the same data. As any company would have. Though something tells me Facebook makes a point of keeping the data for analysis, since you agreed to that in the first place.

    1. Yah, I want to experiment with an indirect evap cooler, water tower style, or as overclockers used to know them “bong coolers” with the stacks outdoors, the chilled liquid falling into an insulated cooler and getting piped to an indoor “heater core” type heat exchanger. I think you’d still manage some useful cooling and indoor dehumidification even in quite high humidity like that. Well for a small room, or a travel trailer. (12V pumps and direct solar, wheeeeee…)

      Anyhoo, keep the mildew outside and dose it with bleach to stop it getting slimy/clogged.

      If I have collected myself some corrosion resistant fittings, I may investigate effects of using concentrated brine pre-driers for intake air into it, so it is more effective in very high humidity.

      If I was out in the boonies, I’d wanna try things like sticking the toobz up high enough they got chimney draw effect and didn’t need forced air. … but given that situation you can do other things instead, like use cool temp well water, through heat exchangers, and run it to a sprinkler on your moss/grass covered roof, and have drainage go back to local water table.

      1. Use the air from the swamp cooler to blow through an air to air heat exchanger. Recirculate the air inside the building so it stays dry while the moisture saturated outside air stays outside.

        The humidity increase is the #1 fail of swamp coolers. you feel a bit of cool for about a minute after entering the building, then you’re worse off than being outside in the heat and you sweat even more because your body’s autonomic cooling system cannot adapt to the cooler+humid air. It responds as it always does, by attempting to use evaporative cooling instead of simply using conduction+convection to the cooler air.

        Same reaction your body does when you enter a air conditioned room from hot outside. Nevermind that you’ll be in there for hours and conduction+convection would be adequate to bring your temperature down over several minutes. Your autonomic system wants to cool down NOW so it cranks up the sweat to where you’re sweating worse than you were out in the heat.

        There’s where I’d like to see research, overriding the dumb things our autonomic systems do.
        Humans need a “Poop now” button, no waiting for nature to take its course, especially when you’ve a long commute and you want to get Job 2 done before you have to catch the bus. No more making a run for it only to have all action cease the instant your bum hits the seat. “So, colon, you wanna play that game? Ima just push here and I’ll show you who number two works for!”
        A “No, you do NOT need to sweat like I just ran a mile just because I walked into an air conditioned room. I will be sitting at this meeting table for an hour so dial that BO down!” command would be very welcome.
        The response of human skin that pushes out poky things like thorns, wood slivers and metal shavings horrifically backfires when it comes to ingrown toenails. Let’s reverse that function in the skin along the sides of our toenails so when bits of the nail split off and get jabby, the skin will NOT swell up and speed up growth to fruitlessly try to push it out. The nail keeps growing while the skin pushes back, making things worse.

  4. The reason why people still use Mentor Graphics is for a couple reasons it works in a particular way and windows are all non-modal you can point and click anywhere all the time nothing gets grayed out, some users like that. The other reason is the autotrouter is powerful and actually works with the right design rules configured. I worked as an engineer at a contracting firm one summer that use Mentor Graphics PADS as the main tool. My boss at the time autorouted a 16 layer board in 30 minutes using the autorouter and his own routing/corrections. So that’s why people buy it for the price it cost and use it despite it being really old school in terms of design and functionality.

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