Hacks: October 2016

Another month of tinkering is behind me. I’ve been plugging away at stuff and here’s what I’ve got — more code, more bike stuff, developments on the 3D printing front, and so forth.


I’ve been busy on the WordPress front. First and foremost is the DBN User Actions Analytics plugin, which I’ve allllllmost completed and will be publishing to wordpress.org. I’m pretty proud of that one — it wasn’t anything monstrously complex, by most standards, but it’s the first thing I’ve created for WP that I’ve felt merits sharing. Just a simple piece that will send user actions as Events to Google Analytics.

Also, I’ve been working on the Fontosaurus Engine plugin, which is intended to allow font designers the ability to power their site with WordPress. Basically because I want to get my fonts back online. It supports free fonts, retired fonts, special fonts for Patreon supporters (API connection), and will likely be paired with Easy Digital Downloads to allow for the purchased of paid fonts. I’ve been making good progress here and hope to have it done before the end of November.

I also cloned my backup script. I have a system that stuffs my Writing folder into a gzip and then, using rsync, dumps it onto a remote server. Using crontab, I run this process hourly. I’ve never noticed it happening, even though I’m sure (via testing) that it does. The cloned script does the same thing for the wp-plugins folder in my dev environment.

3D Printing

The big news here is that I am leaving Stratasys. I’ve accepted a role at an agency in downtown and will be moving on. This means I’m without a 3D printer for the time being. And that I need to accelerate my plans with the D-Bot CoreXY that I’ve been working on building. Especially since it’s important for a project I’m working on bike-wise, and will be a key component in building next year’s Halloween costume.

I’ve also been thinking a LOT about a second iteration of the printer and using the first one as a source of both learning, and something I can scavenge parts from. The second one will definitely be a dual-extruder with a heated enclosure, and a 3-feet by 3-feet by 1.5-foot build area. “Yuge,” as the Cheeto Jesus1 would say. Once I go that route, I’ll be taking the leftovers from the first printer and turn it into a CNC router with a swappable head so that I can use it for laser engraving, too.


While doing some WordPress work for Alex (formerly of A-Train Cycles, now of Northern Frameworks), we got to talking about getting restarted on my cyclocross frame project. That’ll be happening soon. Hopefully in November. Expect pictures as that progresses.

Miscellaneous Geeky Stuff

Nerdcon: Stories
I went to this with the intent on doing some learning, doing some socializing with like-minded geeks, and hopefully getting myself invigorated about the writing project I’ve got going.

In short: yes. I hit it out of the park on all three of these goals. I met some great people, had a lot of laughs, learned a few things, and have gotten to the point where I’m excited about getting my first book done.

I still haven’t decided if I am going to just self-publish, or if I’m going to go shopping for an agent. I think it’ll probably be the latter.

Star Wars and Marvel Comics
I don’t remember exactly why I put this subheader in the rough draft. Maybe it’s because I had made the observation that I seem to spend my life marking time between Star Wars and Marvel Comics movies? That’s probably it.

Been rallying strong here. At the beginning of October, I was 16 books off pace for my goal of 60 this year. I’m now at a point where I’m only 5 behind schedule. Woohoo! I should make 60, no problem, especially now that I am going to have a bus commute again.

Lego Apple StoreOnly scored one new kit this month — showed some restraint — and that was the AT-ST Walker (75153). The real fun is that I’m pounding out some cool stuff in Lego Digital Designer. The big one is a piece that’ll work with the modular building series. I’m creating street corner Apple store, which has been fun. It’s in the little thumbnail there to the left. (Click to embiggen.) And Eddy and Sam got a copy of the Lego Ideas Book from grandma, and I’m thinking about adapting some of those designs into LDD format. Or close approximations thereof.

Big Stuff On-Deck for November:

  • get CX frame finished and ready for paint
  • get the UAA plugin finished
  • get Fontosaurus site back online
  • get D-Bot printer frame built

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