I tried – and succeeded – 3D printing with PETG filament for the first time. I wanted to use PETG to print a replacement mudguard bracket for L—’s bike where it had broken. PLA is excellent for many purposes, and easy to print, but it’s quite brittle. PETG is more flexible and robust and, I hope, more appropriate for this application. PETG is also water- and weatherproof, so I made a few useful hooks for the bathroom.
The notion then occurred to me that I could try printing a couple of inoffensive house numbers for the front door. I’d put a picture here to show how good they look, but you know, opsec. I’d intended to make some with the laser cutter, but I thought I’d have a go at printing while I had everything set up.
When we moved into our house, there was a small, fussy, ugly plate by the door with the number and a chintzy bunch of flowers. To replace it, I bought some large, plain, stainless steel numbers and mounted those on the (right angled) porch where they’re easily visible from the road. I even paid more to a small supplier to get them in Helvetica rather than putting up with the cheap Arial ones on Amazon. However, the old ugly plate was still stuck onto the wall by the door, and it seemed to be useful in reassuring visitors and delivery people that they had the right house.
I have finally removed that plate and replaced it with some unassuming black numbers on the front door, and our house looks just a little bit nicer. I still intend to laser cut some numbers eventually, but this is an immediate improvement.
The electrician came and wired up the garden office. He also put in an ethernet cable to a box at the back of the house, but properly wiring that in will have wait until we replace the floors. In the meantime, I put a cheap WiFi range extender at the back of the house to give an adequate signal out in the garden.
Someone else came and measured our kitchen. It’s a hard space to design for, and there are many compromises, but I think we’ll end up with a lot more usable worktop and storage than we have now. Eventually. There’s a lot more to be done before we can put a new kitchen in.
We saw Pygmalion at the Old Vic, taking advantage of the local discount for residents of Southwark and Lambeth. Bertie Carvel’s Higgins was oleaginous and appropriately unlikeable, and Patsy Ferran made both Eliza’s personae credible. Many of the reviewers seem to have been underwhelmed, but I enjoyed the pace at which it rattled along, and there were genuinely hilarious moments like the tea party.
I put my OP-1 up for sale on eBay as planned, as they were running one of the “80% off fees” weekend promotions I had been waiting for. I’ve already made the sale. I hope it brings the next owner more joy and less frustration.
I worked out how to run overnight backups when my computer is asleep and wrote about it.
Loanwords are everywhere but not always obvious. Until I opened the cupboard and saw a tin of Italian chopped tomatoes that was, for some reason, also labelled in Arabic, I hadn’t realised that (Levantine) Arabic بندورة banadura “tomato” was from Italian pomodoro. Now I don’t know how I missed it.
Typing a mixture of left-to-right and right-to-left text is still confusing in 2023.
Speaking of tomatoes, I’ve been trying out the pomodoro technique while working. Maybe that’s why I was thinking about the word pomodoro. It’s not at all new, and I had tried it a few years ago. Now that I work from home all the time it’s sometimes hard to stay focused, and I thought it might help.
I tried a few specialised timer apps, before deciding that they were all too fussy. So I tried the normal timer on my phone, which works but is a bit of a faff and doesn’t show the time left at a glance. Finally, I bought a couple of basic digital kitchen timers, and I’m very happy with this medium-tech solution.
I don’t know if it will stick, but for now it’s proving to be quite effective.
Links I’ve saved this week:
- The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Must Know About Unicode in 2023 (Still No Excuses!)
- Shavian Web is a good old-fashioned fan site all about the phonetic alphabet for English posthumously funded by George Bernard Shaw.
- Protomaps is a free and open source map of the world that can be deployed as a single file, queried using HTTP ranges.
- Fake Parts Found on Boeing, Airbus Jets Plague Airlines. Some grifter in London passed off used parts as new, backed up with fraudulent documentation, and now they’re in aeroplanes. Which ones? Who knows? Maybe they’re in your next flight.
- Faircamp is a static site generator for audio producers. Recreates the promotional aspect of Bandcamp but not the purchasing part.
- Estonia’s capital made mass transit free a decade ago. Car traffic went up. You need sticks as well as carrots, it seems.
- Some miscellaneous git facts
- Language learning app Duolingo to mothball Welsh course, even though it’s a popular one. In 2020, Duolingo announced that Welsh was the fastest growing language in the UK. In 2021 they went public via IPO and jettisoned the volunteers who had been maintaining courses. Now, in 2023, we see the predictable and inevitable pattern of late-stage capitalism consuming itself.
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