MakerBot Thing-o-Matic Pre-Order

I’m super excited to have just pre-ordered a Thing-o-Matic from MakerBot Industries. It’s a fully automatic 3D printer (aka CNC rapid prototyper) that can also be outfitted with different material nosels (aka extruders) to draw in 2D, print designs for circuit board, and even dispense frosting and peanut butter. (Not joking.) Here’s a great example of what you can do with it. (Skip to 3:00 for the cool stuff.)

Here’s another video of the machine printing parts for copies of RepRap Mendel, another F/OSS CNC RP machine design:

This is a new model that won’t ship won’t ship until November 2010, unfortunately, but I’m sure it’ll take a while to get some cool designs done, anyway. The idea here is that if anyone else would like their own desktop 3D printer (RepRap, CupCake, Thing-o-Matic or other F/OSS design), you’ll be able to print about 50% of the parts for it on this original “parent” machine and order your own electronics and other assembly hardware online. ¬†ūüôā

*Giddy with excitement.*

ASU Faculty Parking Fun Facts

It’s the first day of class at the ASU Polytechnic campus in the East Phoenix valley, and I’m illegally parked without a permit. Some fun facts for you:
  1. A single-course, single-semester adjunct position for the 2010 year pays approximately $6K, before taxes. (Thus, around $12K pre-tax for the academic year.)
  2. An annual faculty and staff “Red Lot” pass costs $480 out of pocket. Everyone allegedly pays for these out of pocket either up front or automatic payroll deduction, though I know this to be false in some cases. These passes are “…[a]vailable only to faculty and staff. Some covered spaces available in red lots on a first-come, first-served basis.”
  3. Ergo, a part-time adjunct (such as myself) can expect to pay around 4% of their contract value just on the parking space.

Nice.

3D OSX Applications With Ruby-Processing Screencast

A two-part screencast series demonstating two different 3D ruby-processing applications. A slide presentation from 2009 created for the Phoenix Ruby Group is also attached as bonus material. Enjoy!

Part 1: Starfield

Demo of a 3D starfield simulation written in pure Ruby, running on the JRuby runtime as a nicely packaged .app program for Mac OS X. (Runs on Snow Leopard and Leopard.)

Part 2: Twiverse

3D Twitter client written in pure Ruby, running on the JRuby runtime as a nicely packaged .app program for Mac OS X. (Runs on Snow Leopard and Leopard.)

Slide Show

Free Copy Of Portal With New Mac Steam Client

Got a Mac? Like games? Great news! Value’s “Steam” software finally launched for Mac, allowing you to purchase some great gaming titles on your OS X machine. When a game is available on multiple platforms, a purchased license appear to be portable as well. And as a launch promotion, Value is giving away free copies of “Portal” (an awesome title in its own right) through May 24th, 2010. Grab it!

10 Woes Of Small Business Ownership

  1. You work more than anyone else.
  2. You cannot take time off at leisure.
  3. You carry constant stress.
  4. You get paid less.
  5. You get paid last.
  6. You pay for other peoples taxes and benefits.
  7. You always deal with the “problem” cases, not the fun ones.
  8. You are asked for more-more-more, often by those who already have more than you.
  9. Your sacrifices will not be recognized, and rarely noticed.
  10. You will not be thanked for all of the above.

Book Review: slide:ology

slideology

I recently received a review copy of slide:ology – The art and science of creating great presentations by Nancy Duarte, published by¬†O’Reilly Media. I’m consciously making an effort to increase my frequency of speaking engagements, so I was thrilled to see a modern text on visual aids from a heavy usability-oriented angle. I’ve read the first two chapters so far and skimmed the majority of the remainder.

slide:ology is cleverly designed to read and flow like a presentation itself, although the content is far more in depth than an ordinary slide deck. Each of the 275 pages is a pleasure to look at, and the individual page designs themselves provide a great deal of inspiration. I’m particularly thrilled to see such creative use of negative space and negative geometry in many of the designs. Many texts on marketing effectively use the exact opposite approach.

Pros

  • Visually inspirational. Tons of great ideal for your next keynote.
  • Useful outside of the speaking domain. Many of the design ideas can be applied to print media and web design as well.
  • Good copy which is brief and easy to follow.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • A great coffee table/break room book.

Cons

  • You may have to implement many of these designs yourself. I’d easily pay an extra $5 for an optional download of Keynote templates ready to go, as well as the raw graphics files used in production.
  • A slightly awkward print format. I understand why, but it doesn’t fit as well on the shelf as I’d life.

Overall, slide:ology is a great little piece of speaking inspiration by Nancy Duarte. Great job! (I expect more like this.)

Buy slide:ology here.