I think we’ve all been there. A print finishes, the delighted patron/maker scampers away with a project, fresh off the print plate. You go to start the next print and low and behold, the raft is still stuck to the plate. The plate is no spring chicken, it has divots and chunks out of it, maybe a little scratched up from some intense gouging. Anyway, each one of those gouges is a great little foothold for your raft. Every print or so I like to wipe down the plate with some surface cleaning wipes and dry the whole thing off with a lint free cloth. I generally leave the little pieces of plastic that fills in the gouges because trying to dig them out makes the holes bigger. I always recommend using a raft when printing because that way the bottom of the print is saved from the irregularities of the plate.
What a day, I finally got an intern to help me with the item level survey of the Tape Archive. This means it is real. We spent the morning reading tape numbers and dates into a database. I see some changes that will have to be made to the database because up til now, it is meant to be the unquestioned record, the reality is, it is a mess down there and I need some way of tracking items that have no record, have improper information or just plain don’t exist anymore.
Right now all I have is a dumpy Access database that is old and wrong, but I can add some forms and queries so that I can find entries and alter them to reflect what really is in the vault.
I recently presented a class on using Finch Robots, those slightly unnerving looking wunderkinds from the folks BirdBrain Technologies. The robots are a fun way to learn how sensors and servos work in conjunction with Snap. Boy-o-boy do I love Snap. It’s an interface that scales up or down depending on the age of the user. I’m a crotchety Gen Xer and I love using level 4 just to play with stuff.
Anyway, my students were particularly interested in programing the robots to interact with each other using the sensing blocks. They also enjoyed programming the little guys to respond to keyboard input to make the robots “fight” each other.
Recently I ran across an article about Blloon.com, an ebook subscription service that launched in the UK last October. What caught my attention was the attempt to apply social media practices to readership. Participants can” earn” more pages to read by engaging in the holy trinity of social media behaviors: the like, the share and the comment.
Here is a little PSA I put together to promote the channels to the community. I used Illustrator to make the icons, After Effects to animate, Garageband for the soundtrack and a borrowed ukelele for the sound track. I wanted to start from a positive place and get people’s attention with an upbeat message.
I spilled one tiny drop of tea on my MacPro track pad and the next thing you know…Havoc! I was sitting at the kitchen table, enjoying some hot beverage when I accidentally jogged tea on my laptop. Without thinking, I dragged my sleeve around, trying to mop it up, but really just shoving the water into the cracks around my track pad. The mouse arrow starts jumping around, becoming completely unusable. I grabbed my phone and started searching for something to do about it. Rice!
- Turn off your computer.
- Get the following supplies together: handful of rice (I used sushi rice), blue painter’s tape, 5″ of saran wrap.
- Cut the saran wrap to cover the trackpad and tape it to the laptop leaving the side toward you open.
- Tilt the laptop on its back and pour the rice into the “envelope” you made.
- Seal up the open side.
- Pat down the rice to distribute it evenly.
- Leave it alone for 24 hours.
- Tear off the tape close to you and dump the rice.
- Remove the rest of the tape.
- Enjoy your working laptop!
From what I can guess, the rice acts as a desiccant. The tape helps create a very dry environment by sealing out the moist air and allowing the moisture to be drawn into the rice.
These two languages go together like peanut butter and jelly!
Learn about the history of HTML as a tool to build the framework of the web and how CSS can be used to style that content. In this 90-minute class you will be given a brief overview of learning resources and some introductory tips to get you started.
- Participants will learn how to create and style a document
- add a page title
- insert a photo
- make a list
Registrants must have basic computer knowledge such as mouse, keyboarding and directory navigation skills.
Space is limited, so sign-up by registering online. Ages 16 & Up
In order to shoot clean, audible clips, I have a solid equipment list that I go to time and time again. My favorite piece is the boom microphone set up. Folks get active on set and can produce quite a bit of rustling if they have a mic on them. The best solution is using a well-pointed PAA 350, a dynamic mic made by Peavy. I place it so it doesn’t cast any unsightly shadows and in a place that I can use a matte to remove it in post production. It is sensitive enough to register low talkers and produce a strong signal that can be shined up in an audio editing software like Adobe’s Audition.
I quick scan of the internet proves that this was probably purchased many moons ago, but the traits to look for in a replacement would be : solid metal construction, dynamic range and directionally mountable. I can’t wait to get this footage into After Effects and start adding the fun animations.
I finally feel like I have a handle on the robots I use for the “Intro to Robots” Class I have once a month. They are feisty little buggers and I had issues with several of them spinning in circles when they should have gone straight. Turns out, there were some serious issues with the placement of the encoders on the chassis, the servo connectors and the i/o pin configuration, which is just a fancy way of saying that the wires were all messed up and I had to trace the pins and the plugs to make sure left was going left and right was going right. Here is a PSA I made for the next round of classes!
Last night’s “Newbie’s Guide to HTML and CSS” class went much better than the first one, which is to say, I didn’t feel like apologizing profusely to the students as they walked, bleary eyed and slack jawed to the door. That was last time, when I fell prey to Librarian Information Expansion Syndrome and kept piling detail upon detail on them. This time, I glossed over details but tried to give a big picture overview of what these 2 languages do. This is a 90 minute class and that is just not enough to make experts out of beginners. So, I tried to impart concepts and then a few important examples, a little time for them to try it on their own and then I gave them resources to help get them started, like my fave, codeacademy.
They seemed to take pretty well when, at the climax of the class, I showed them how to link their CSS stylesheet to their HTML page and VIOLA! The future!…*nothing happens* cough, cough…THE FUTURE!…*still, nothing*. So painful. So, I know to test little things like that even though I’ve made that link a thousand times….