DTRH – Down The Rabbit Hole

Just by the nature of my particular derangement of the mind and the way it causes me to interact with information, I have a tendency to enter periods of hyper-fixation around a given subject of interest. People talk about ‘falling down a rabbit hole’ when they go to read up on a topic and get more than they bargain for, well as is so often the case with me, I take that to the Nth degree.

This hyper-fixation is also a function of a lack of financial resources; when I find a new interest I wish to pursue, I can never just do so right away, invariably having to work whatever it is I need into the next month’s budget if it’s even affordable. So I absorb all of the information that I can in the meantime.

The people around me watch as I go from like 0 to TED Talk on whatever the subject is in a matter of days, and I’m sure from the outside that must look completely insane. Especially considering how disparate the topics are that I’ll latch on to from week-to-week. I know I’ve had more than a few people basically roll their eyes and be like “Oh boy, he’s on some new bullshit now…” but I can’t help it. And it’s not ‘new bullshit’, it’s ‘additional bullshit’, I’ll have you know! Because none of these interests or accumulated knowledge go anywhere, they all become part of my creative toolbox and my vast pool of inspiration.

Anyway, this post is the explanation of a new category; posts for documenting the latest rabbit hole I’ve taken a tumble down. Might as well document this shit, otherwise I’m just accumulating knowledge as a means of self-gratification, right?

Do you have a moment to talk about Our Lord and Savior, the ESP32?

The ESP-WROOM-32 'module'.

The ESP-WROOM-32 ‘module’.

By now just about every electronics hobbyist, embedded systems engineer, person interested in the ‘Internet of Things’, or anyone I can get to stand still for more than three minutes, knows about Espressif’s ESP32 line of absurdly inexpensive and frighteningly powerful ‘system on a chip’ devices. If by some strange chance you don’t, and it sounds like something relevant to your interests, buckle up! Read more…

Subscription-Based Licensing; You’re Doing it WRONG, Autodesk!

Well, here it is, exactly one week before my birthday, and looking at Autodesk’s site this morning, I stumbled across a wonderful little present they’ve decided to give me; as of the 31st, they will no longer offer the perpetual licenses that I have been hoping to one day be able to afford, opting instead for an equally unaffordable subscription plan. Fuck me, right?!

As far as I can tell, they won’t even be offering suites anymore. (See update at bottom!)  You used to be able to get a whole suite of apps, such as 3D Studio Max, Inventor, AutoCAD and a ton of others, together for, what? Nine grand, one time? Now, you’ve got to pay like $1,900 a year just for Inventor.  Which is fine for all their big corporate customers who make all their software purchases without a second thought anyway, but any individual who isn’t a student is basically fucked.  Leaving people like me with no choice but to continue ‘stealing’ their software.

Yeah, I know, “What could some unwashed underachieving poor like you possibly know about such things?” Well, for starters, I can do the maths*, so that makes exactly one of us, Autodesk.  I also know that when Adobe launched Creative Cloud in May 2012, and went Subscription-only a year later, they didn’t try to put the screws to their customers and make it too expensive for individuals and micro-businesses.  An individual can get the whole fucking Creative Cloud suite– which actually has more apps than the old Creative Suite ever did –for $49.99 a month.  That’s affordable.  So affordable that it’s actually less trouble to go legit than to keep pirating it. Think about that.  Adobe made the Creative Cloud so inexpensive that it’s literally not worth the hassle to steal it.

And you tell me, even with such low prices…how’s Adobe doing?


Spoiler Alert: Their stock price has almost TRIPLED since they began offering Creative Cloud,
a subscription plan so cheap that even poor-ass people like me can afford it.


And because some people just have to be taught visually…
additional art courtesy of Google Finance:


(Click to embiggen.)



* Oh, right, ‘the maths’… I almost forgot.  How many people out there do you suppose pirate your software, Autodesk? What if you made the subscription price more reasonable and even just ten percent of those people started paying for it?  Well, you know what they’re paying you now? In the immortal words of the hero of Canton:

“Ten percent of nothin’ is, let me do the math here…
nothin’ and a nothin’, carry the nothin’…”



UPDATE: Okay, so it turns out you can get a Suite subscription, the site was just harder to navigate than it should have been and there’s some UI/UX people who need to be shot out of cannons.  Not that it really matters, I mean, sure a whole suite is maybe $2,000 to $3,200 a year, instead of $1,900+ a year for one friggin’ app…but $160-260/month still isn’t affordable for the kinds of users I’m talking about. Plus, there should be an a la carte suite option so people aren’t saddled with a lot of apps they’re not going to use just because they want more than one app at all.

Review: HF ’40 Bin Organizer’

Today I’m cleaning up the lair/lab/workshop/world-domination-command-center so I’m on a bit of a storage and organization kick.  In keeping with that, I figured if I’m going to add any content to the blog today, a couple reviews may be in order.  So here’s my review of the ‘40 Bin Organizer With Full Length Drawer‘ (SKU 94375) from Harbor Freight.

Read more…

Screen Printing!

No, this doesn’t involve the PrtScn key on your keyboard, I’m talking about Screen Printing— traditionally/colloquially referred to as silkscreening —squeegeeing ink through a stenciled textile mesh to print an image!

I’ve been wanting to develop the capability for a while, because it has uses in almost anything you can imagine.  But for one reason or another it’d never materialize.  Well, I finally fixed that…and I can’t even remember how that happened… I just have the stuff now, haha!

Anyway, I figured the first thing I’d do, is print something on the canvas cover we made for my 7×10 lathe.

Lathe cover, yay! ヽ(゚∀゚)ノ

I’ll detail the process, after the jump!

Read more…

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