Studio In a Box

So this is a project I’ve been working away on designing for a while now, as a way to solve a lack of accessible studio space, and the need to stay at home during Covid social-distancing.

It’s a trifold-door cabinet, with internal power supply, that will be installed in my carport, between the secondary entrance (left) and laundry (right) doors of my home. It’s designed so that all the equipment stacks inside it – at the rear is workbench space, including a drill-press station, then the UV-blocking welding screens go in front of that, and finally the welders on a trolley, and a fold-up welding table.

All the equipment within is on wheels, so it can be rolled out and the space configured, with no lifting required. All it requires me to do is move my car forward a couple of metres, but the cabinet is narrow enough that my car can fit beside it when closed.

There’s a long, narrow workbench for my drill-press and bench-grinder, as well as storage, and a table for my metal-cutting bandsaw (a quiet alternative to a drop-grinder), that sits over the Air-Compressor. The compressor is an interesting piece of kit – it’s a silenced model, that uses two small motors, rather than one large one. You can easily hold a conversation at normal speaking volume, while standing next to it.

The power supply, which will sit roughly in the middle of the cabinet, is already installed – a pair of 15 amp, and a pair of 10 amp plugs, on a 32 amp line, so I can drive both the air compressor (10) and the welder’s plasma cutter (15) at the same time. Or, I can keep both my TIG and MIG welders powered up at the same time, and alternate between them, using  MIG to tack things in place, then TIG for the finished welds.

All in all, it should be a super adaptable, and quick setup / packdown low-effort workspace.

2021 – Week 39

Managed to find a local supplier for a welding cart that can fit my welder. This has been one of my bugbear issues – so many manufacturers of industrial gear, especially when it requires assembly, list dimensions of the package it comes in, or the dimensions of the assembled product, but not the dimensions that are actually important – how large the shelves are, what at the clearances between parts, etc.

Thankfully one of the guys at a local industrial tool supplier was able to open a package, and run a tape measure over the appropriate part, and get the measurements. So, fingers crossed it’ll all work.

2021 – Week 38

Launched the new Golgotha Graphics store, to a resounding “meh” – sold one copy in the first week, and ironically, that’s probably going to net me as much in profit as all the sales I’ve had on Apple Books over the years I’ve been there.

But, I don’t care, because I’ve done my part – I’ve met the market with all its demands – it’s DRM-Free, it can be bought on any device, read on any device, has free updating, even has a low-bandwidth version so it uses less storage space.

From here on, it’s just audience apathy that will determine how few sell.

2021 – Week 37

A productive week, I managed to get a whole bunch of issues sorted with my workflows for producing JPEG compressed versions of Surfing The Deathline. So successful was this, that I was able to get JPEG versions of all my comics produced, and uploaded to the new FastSpring store.

Much of the rest of the week was spent working on a long blog post for the Golgotha Graphics site, describing the rationale for the move to independent publishing. All in all, I’m happy with it ias a piece of writing – there was a lot of annoyed ranting that had to be edited down, to produce something that was clear and businesslike. Tomorrow, I’ll have another look, and see if I can improve it.

2021 – Week 36

New tyres on the car – in addition to a new battery, because sitting idle for a month, apart from moving forwards & backwards in the driveway, drained and then killed said battery.

On the upside, I managed to rescue my image processing pipeline, actually I managed to improve it. It’s a bit slower, but the results are better.

There was one hiccup with uploading it to the new store, but once I get the support folks to sort that, it’ll be live.

It feels like this week marks the end of a long, miserable dark patch, and hopefully things are looking up.

2021 – Week 35

Well a difficult week – Managed to get all of Surfing The Deathline completed and on the shop, then discovered a problem with it, and THEN discovered that my whole book production scripting system had fallen on its head, and nothing was working any more.

It started out with images not scaling the same way they had from Photoshop, then because images having a trnasparent 1 pixel border around them, then became Photoshop taking 10x as long to render each image.

Maddening, truly maddening.

2021 – Week 34

My fastspring store is all online and seemingly working, and I’ve been updating some of my original photographic eBooks. Nervous Spaces is already live on both the Apple Books store, and my Fastspring store, and Derby Daze Squareformat & Volume 1 are being converted and updated.

2021 – Week 33

The backup transfer was a success. It took 4 days, 21 hours, which is better than the 13 or so days required a couple of years ago. Once it was complete, I was able to put the new drive into its new case, hook it all up, and reconnect the drive to the backup system:

  1. Switch off automatic backups.
  2. Add the drive in the time machine  prefpane
  3. terminal
    1. Inherit the backup:
      sudo tmutil inheritbackup /Volumes/(The Backup Drive)/Backups.backupdb/(The Computer's Name on the Backup Drive)
    2. Associate the Boot Drive:
      sudo tmutil associatedisk -a / /(the path to the the last backup of the boot drive on the backup drive)
    3. Associate each backed-up non-boot volume:
      sudo tmutil associatedisk -a /Volumes/(Non-Boot Disk) /(The path to the most recent backup of the Non-Boot Disk)
  4. Open a terminal window and start recording the TMUtil log output:
    1. log stream --style syslog --predicate 'senderImagePath contains[cd] "TimeMachine"' --info
  5. Run a Time Machine backup manually and watch the terminal log to make sure each part of the backup is being connected correctly. Look for Inheritance Scans and watch the sizes of the backups, to make sure it’s not doing complete fresh backups.

2021 – Week 32

Back in lockdown, the dome descends once more. My car sits in the carport, I can’t get the tyres repaired.

A bunch of new gear arrived and has been put into commission – Time Machine backup issues sorted, and a big backup duplication job underway. It took 13 days last time, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes this time.

First attempt failed at 3 hours into the fourth day. This particular source drive appears to have issues, and wouldn’t mount again until after a power cycle of the system, and a change of USB cable. Attempted to run the backup job a second time, but it failed. Now on a third attempt, it seems to be running faster to start, as it’s just going over what was copied previously.

All the questions I had about FastSpring appear to have answers that are the best possible outcome, so fingers crossed, I’ll be able to get that all sorted soon.

2021 – Week 31

Slowly zeroing in on completing the FastSpring store transition. It’s a more complicated system than Apple Books. They’d really do well to build a more limited UI to get set up with just the options an eBook seller needs revealed / walked through.

Washing my car, noticed a hissing sound from one of the wheels while scrubbing it – turns out all the valve stems are splitting, so they, and the tyres will probably need replacement.

One of my Time Machine drives seems to have up and died – it’s a real week of things failing. I’ll probably replace it with a more sturdy desktop drive, but finding a ruggedised case for 3.5″ drives is a real search.

2021 – Week 30

My FastSpring store went live this week. It’ll be a bit of time before I have all the EPUB books onto it, but the hard part is done.

This is the first stage in disentangling myself from being reliant on Apple to sell my works. What’s most exciting, is it will see the release of the full collected version of Surfing The Deathline.

Other achievement this week was getting all the steel cut for the console mount. A set of taps arrived, for threading the standoffs to allow it to screw to a VESA mount, and I ordered a vice for the drill press, so that I can drill said standoffs, prior to tapping them.