Tarantula 3D Printer Build at NESIT Tonight


Tarantula_Product_ShotTonight at NESIT we’ll be building the Tarantula 3D printer. Come on by to check out how this ultra-budget class variation on the Prusa i3 comes together as we turn a wrapped shipping box into an extruding machine!

Resources for the TEVO Tarantula Prusa i3 variant:

  • There’s an active Facebook group for Tarantula owners.
  • Purchase a Tarantula for between 230$ and 450$ USD depending on options at AliExpress
  • An excellent RepRap forum build guide
  • Thingiverse has quite a few printed parts you can add to the printer

Cups Printing Delay

So you’re running Ubuntu 12.10, 12.04, or a recent version of Debian Linux. And you’ve tried to print from another Linux client running cups. And what you’ve noticed is that there’s a nasty 10 second delay (or maybe 5 second, 7 second, etc) before your next print job starts.

A-hah, you think Maybe it’s an issue with some sort of delay between reprints. And you’re right. But good luck trying to find the setting to force that down to a lower interval.

And here’s why. It’s not there. There is no setting to retry the remote system’s print job without the wait. But there is a setting you can change.

For the issue I was having, everything was set up properly on the client and the print server. The only message it was returning was something about Dirty Jobs. Which led me to this.

What needed to be changed was the cupsd.conf file, and it needed the following options set.

DirtyCleanInterval seconds
Specifies the delay for updating of configuration and state files. A value of 0 causes the update to happen as soon as possible, typically within a few milliseconds.

And that was it. With “DirtyCleanInterval 0” the system now prints sequential print jobs as quickly as possible.

What I assume going on there is that there are more settings altered by that option than listed. Because there was an 8 second delay, but that setting defaults to 30 seconds which is certainly longer than the print delay I was seeing.

In some cases it might cause other issues due to unintended consequences of the rapid check. But it certainly seems to fix the issue on a wait between prints on our receipt printers.

Testing Auto Coolant with a Multimeter

Ran across this on the bob is the oil guy forum. There’s a note half way down the posts stating:

So, test the corrosion protection. With a digital voltmeter, put one probe in the cool coolant in the radiator neck (not touching metal). Put the other probe on the battery negative post. If you read 0.1 volts DC to 0.3 VDC, you’re good. If you read 0.5 VDC or more, your coolant had depleted corrosion inhibitors and is due (or overdue) for a change. You’re reading the voltage generated by the galvanic action of the dissimilar metals and the electrolyte (the coolant).

That’s certainly something I never thought of. Hopefully it’ll help you out the next time you’re stuck trying to figure out if someone’s coolant is good and are short a hydrometer.

Tasty Teas at Harney & Sons

What goes better with your book than a freshly brewed cup of tea? Nothing.

On that note I’d like to introduce you to the last few varieties I’ve tried at Harney & Sons Fine Teas.

First off is the Oolong Dong Ding (Light). It has much less of an “earthy” flavor than what I usually associate with Oolong tea and more of a light, crisp taste. While it’s not quite as light a cup as a straight green tea it comes close and adds in a bit more flavor without being overpowering. Another plus with this tea is that (to me, at least) it goes a bit farther with it’s rolled tea leaves than an unrolled tea will.

Cinnamon green tea is a good substitute for Harney’s popular black tea with cinnamon flavoring. Just don’t expect it to last more than a single brewing. For some reason the flavorings seem to wash out the tea so that it never quite tastes right the second pot around.

Earl Grey Supreme is a good standard in black tea from their offerings. While it’s not exotic it packs quite a bit of flavor and makes a great morning or noon tea to pick you up.

Find all of Harney’s teas over at Harney.com or stop by their wonderful showrooms in NYC or the tasting gallery in Millerton, NY.

Cool Ubuntu Themes with Bisigi

I’ve always found gnome desktops to be something of a hassle to find good themes for. Usually it takes a solid amount of time rooting around in one of the repositories, checking compatibility, etc. etc.

One of the places I’ve found that has a reliable theme pack that’ll install and give you a clean looking desktop to work with is the Bisigi Project. Just pop their repositories in your system, install, and go.

Gnome 3 support is coming with the release of Ubuntu 12.04. For now you can hack it in for previous versions of gnome or get it working with LXDE.

Realm of the Mad God Unavailable

Realm of the Mad God (RotMG in shorthand) has been getting a bit more play lately, having been featured as a Steam download recently. So much so that it appears to be out of commission with a google error!

Trying to sign in currently yields a “Datastore writes are temporarily unavailable” error with a reference to the nonexistant http://code.google.com/status webpage for more information. From the notice it looks like it might be some Google database the developers were using that’s gone offline.

So it’s as good a time as any to give a quick look at the game for anyone who hasn’t given it a go yet!

Remember Gauntlet? Running your pixelated character around a series of dungeons, picking up items, and killing endless hordes of monsters? If you can imagine that 8-bit romp in an outdoor setting and massively multiplayer you’ve got the jist.

RotMG is little more clever than that even. Partying isn’t the usual find people, ask them to join you, split after an endeavor, repeat. Instead it’s handled by walking near other people and getting grouped with them automatically by the game.

The games developers have recently added in guilds and a way to force groups in a more traditional way. But for quick games players can still wander around and get grouped up as they go after the same critter with player dropped bonuses going to anyone in the general vicinity.

I’d put up a few pictures for you all to get an idea, but that’ll have to wait until they’ve ironed out whatever issue is going on.

Edit: RotMG is back up, here’s a couple of pictures.

CK Back, Working on Bitcoin Client

So I just noticed -ck attached to a bitcoin client and low, behold, it’s the same Con Kolivas who used to maintain the -ck Linux scheduler. Check out the CGminer bitcoin number crunching client if you’re interested.

Con’s done some outstanding work in scheduler development on the Linux kernel. He’s always backed up his claims with actual graphs and numbers unlike so many (not specifically Linux) developers who take a “well it should work” attitude. It’s interesting to see all that applied math going into tweaking a number cruncher.

Using PPA Repositories with Debian add-apt-repository Script

Looking for a way to replicate PPA repositories into your Debian squeeze or wheezy install? Anantshri has you covered with a quick shell script. Note that it may break your installation horribly and kill puppies wantonly.

For installing Bisigi Themes for the gnome desktop? Worked for me.