16 Nov 2000 gtaylor   » (Master)

I guess I get to type this in again--my silly web browser blew a gasket on me.

I surprised my mom for her birthday by flwing down to Atlanta for last weekend. It worked; she had no idea.

Another few people asked after my defunct CDPD page, so I've revived it. I also fleshed out the list of free software I've done on my home page. SRP got a little page, too--despite the embarrasingly crappy nature of the code, I still think the concept is a good one, and a fellow I know is going to try and touch it up a bit for a school project.


I haven't gotten much of anything done for a week or so. Till of Mandrake, OTOH, fixed assorted buglets in the database. There was a review in Duke of Url about Mandrake 7.2; it was cute to see Foomatic all over one of the screen shots. Everyone seems to notice printing working well in Mandrake, even if they have no idea how many different projects came together to make that happen.

Revenue from my experimental affiliate program is running 30% over budget. I think I'll spend surpluses on supplies and printers for driver developers. Is there any English-language web vendor that will take a US-based credit card order to ship to random points in Europe? Since it's blank paper and the like that I'd be shipping, it would be best if they shipped from Europe as well; shipping blank paper overseas via Fedex seems a bit silly. It would also be nice to offer European developers printers that they can plug in.

I had an interesting discussion with a buddy of mine who turns out to work on MIT's oft-/.'ed 3D printing project. It's conceptually simple, but it appears to be a challenge from the material science standpoint. Consumer models are some time away; even the rattiest commercially sold "goo" printers run $10k and up. MIT's research models are very large and inefficient. They can, however, print 3D objects made of real materials like metal; I had thought it was a setting-type epoxy or something. In fact they can print with all sorts of plastics and metals and things. So they could print up a spare part in only twice the time it takes to get one Fedexed in and for only 10 times the price. I guess it's not the diamond age quite yet...

The interesting thing is the direction of the current research. They're printing things with variations in the material throughout. It turns out that you can make a lens that's perfectly flat, but since the refraction index of the material can vary in a controlled way across the thing, it's still a lens. This is way better than a fresnel, and is something that can't be manufactured any other way. Nifty!

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