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[#] Tue Jan 19 2016 10:33:52 EST from fleeb

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It was huge.

It was also, mostly, the only PC around at the time.

It helped that businesses used them, but they were also available in classrooms, at least here in the United States. I recall seeing them at my high school.

[#] Thu Jan 28 2016 09:40:12 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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They were really the first mass-produced microcomputer sold as a retail finished product.  No one really gives them credit for that.  Microcomputers in the 1970's were largely a product you bought as components and built into a finished computer yourself.  Even the Apple I was just a motherboard; you had to add all the other parts (like a keyboard) and build a case to put it all in.  A "real" microcomputer would often consist of an S-100 card cage with an 8080 or Z-80 CPU in one slot, some RAM in another, and you'd add your 8-inch disk drives and other things from there.

The initial TRS-80 was basically a cut-down version of that typical design, stuffed into an integrated mainboard/keyboard with a video character generator replacing the RS-232 console port.

So the idea of a microcomputer as a retail finished product was not Apple's innovation.  The genius of Apple was the level of integration packed into a few small chips and 8K of ROM; it was, basically, Steve Wozniak.

And I still wish the desktop computer industry would return to the practice of putting the whole computer into the keyboard.

[#] Sat Jan 30 2016 10:11:03 EST from dothebart

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well, nowadays you just put it into the monitor, which makes more sense imho?

[#] Sat Jan 30 2016 19:23:16 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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I suppose you could argue it either way. I hate the idea that there are so many perfectly good monitors that are in the trash just because they are part of obsolete iMacs. A few manufacturers sell "mini" computers, but they charge a premium for putting laptop-scale components into a small desktop box.

It just seems odd that the mini-tower is still the predominant form factor for desktop computers, when 99% of them will never see an add-on board.

[#] Tue Apr 05 2016 23:27:53 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

Subject: VMware ESXi 6.0U2

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In case anyone cares...

VMware recently released ESXi 6.0 update 2.   I normally don't get excited about hypervisor versions, but there's something new about this one, and those of you who use VMware will understand why this is a welcome change.

This version no longer requires the fat client, to manage a host running in standalone mode.  They now have this thing called the "embedded host client" which is pure HTML5.  This is obviously the framework they're going to use to build the next version of the vCenter web client, which everyone hates because it's clumsy and written in Flash.  But for now, the new version is for managing a single host.  You can do everything through it -- create/modify/delete virtual machines, manage networking and storage, and even run virtual machine consoles -- all without browser plugins.

And it's a lot less clumsy than the old web client.

Probably still not enough to switch my main server away from Linux+KVM, but $WORK is fully committed to VMware so this is a welcome change.

[#] Thu Apr 07 2016 01:30:17 EDT from ax25

Subject: Re: VMware ESXi 6.0U2

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VMWare catches up with Kimchi.  Who would have thought.

I do think that it is good that they have found reason once again.  I won't be switching either I.G., but it is good to know that they do occasionally look at git projects :-)

[#] Fri Apr 08 2016 04:40:52 EDT from ryan42

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One of the great technological milestones is that my laptop can now charge from 0% to 100% in less time than it takes to drain it from 100% to 0%.

[#] Fri Apr 08 2016 15:48:03 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Yes but it's all water weight, it'll come back off really quickly. (?)?

[#] Mon Apr 11 2016 03:34:30 EDT from ryan42

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I got a 3D printer. This is the future, if the future is creating useless objects downloaded from the Internet.

[#] Mon Apr 11 2016 10:31:55 EDT from zooer

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I was going to the library and using their 3D printer, and from the items that were being printed, I will have to agree.  I created or wanted to print some things of practical use, I entered a contest in design but for most part it was kids printing toys they wouldn't play with.  Maybe after the novelty wears off.

I did print a replacement knob for my mother's blender/food grinder attachment, printed some ice grips for shoes, but it was a mild winter so I didn't get to try them.  I "designed" some game pieces for a game but it didn't take much effort.  A round token with some words on it.  

There is a lot of useful things you can do with it, but I think it is few and far between.

[#] Mon Apr 11 2016 15:35:32 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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The truly useful applications of 3D printing will appear when they can print at a molecular level, or at least multiple materials at a super fine pitch.
Until then ... injection molding machines operated by factory workers at $0.11 an hour in China are still a more viable option.

[#] Mon Apr 11 2016 20:02:05 EDT from zooer

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I will disagree on the knob for my mother's blender.  To purchase and ship the replacement part was expensive.  To print it was cheap.  

There are different types of plastics, different types of printers and resources for files to print many objects.  You can print Raspberry Pi cases to custom drone housings, to smart phone cases, etc.  You could even print out 20 sided dice because I know you played Dungeons and dragons as a teen.  They are great, but I don't know how often they will get used at home.

One source (of many)


Now that I think about it, I created a few things that have been useful to me.

[#] Wed Apr 13 2016 01:10:24 EDT from ryan42

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I actually purchased the printer to do some part prototyping for two things I'd like to build, but I haven't actually put it to use in that capacity yet because that involves doing the difficult work of finishing the CAD drawings for the first thing and starting the CAD drawings for the second. For now I'm getting my feet wet printing useless crap from Thingiverse, though I did create something useful: I was able to print some mounts and accessories for my GoPro camera.

The next thing I will probably come up with is a mid plate to allow me to use the bag of Matias Alps-like switches I have laying around here with the ErgoDox keyboard PCBs I also have laying around here.

[#] Wed Apr 13 2016 10:47:59 EDT from zooer

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I have not logged into Thingieverse in a while, I had several things in my "too make" section that I forgot about.  Somethings I designed but really don't have a use for, such as a pasta maker/roller for a blender.  There is a lot of "good idea" items but just never think about printing them, a wall mount for my electric shaver.  

What brand of printer did you get?   I like the idea of the kits, they send you the minimal hardware, you use another printer to print the needed parts for your machine.  Yes 3D printers can print 3D printers.  

[#] Sat May 14 2016 20:09:48 EDT from triLcat

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3D printing is super for prototyping, creating molds for small runs, and little bits and bobs. It won't be the future of manufacturing until it hits some big jumps in the tech :) 
The advantage of being able to self-print instead of having to manufacture and then ship.


[#] Sat May 14 2016 21:53:56 EDT from zooer

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I have printed small one time parts for a few things.  Cheaper than ordering the replacement from the manufacture.  I have also found the files and printed some good household items that are used daily.   

[#] Sun May 15 2016 09:33:53 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold

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Someone gave me a flashlight a couple of years ago, that I promptly broke.
It had a stupid design with a plastic trim ring that was decorative more than anything else. It wound up in a drawer until this week. Found a file to print a replacement plastic trim ring for this model flashlight..... And it's back in use.

[#] Mon May 16 2016 01:32:50 EDT from ax25

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Ragnar, I think that is the best use of the 3d printing tech. I am always searching for hours online to find a part that is 1. Cheap, 2. Cheap to ship, 3. Will do the job.
If I could assess in a matter of hours if a part downloaded from the internet would work, I could skip point 2 and just focus on 1 and 3.

[#] Mon May 16 2016 06:50:38 EDT from zooer

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Here is an example of that put to use.

A plastic knob on my mother's mixer broke, the metal screw was fine. I found this, printed it, and fixed it for less than a dollar.  I heated the screw, pushed it into the new knob, the plastic melted and snugly sealed around the metal screw.  I see other people had the same problem.

[#] Mon May 16 2016 07:01:05 EDT from zooer

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Mon Apr 11 2016 03:35:32 PM EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

The truly useful applications of 3D printing will appear when they can print at a molecular level, or at least multiple materials at a super fine pitch.
Until then ... injection molding machines operated by factory workers at $0.11 an hour in China are still a more viable option.

Apparently you think 3D printing can only be and should only be used for mass production.


They have 3D food printers, but that is more artsie-fartsie food fantasy.  Of course soon all fast food will be made by machine.

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