2020 – Week 14

Nothing happens, under the dome. As civic life grinds to a halt, while we cower in our homes, we drift, hungry for direction.

I’ve come to a decision that’s been building for a while now – I’m going to pull my books from the Apple Books store. Or rather, I’m going to redevelop them in multiple formats, to be able to be sold directly, and viewed in user-selectable applications.

The why of this comes down to Apple having broken the functionality I rely upon for all the stuff I find interesting, with the transition from iBooks to Apple Books. With the things I want to do no longer doable, and the limitations of Apple Books being an Apple-device-only platform, there just isn’t any good reason for me to keep my books within an ecosystem that seems to be going nowhere good, or to keep making the investment in Apple’s book store, which takes 30% of the coverprice, and for which there’s no actual developer support available when you encounter what appears to be a problem with the app itself.

So, I’m going to go more independent. The plan is to go DRM-Free and sell through Fastspring, in multiple formats – the current fixed-layout EPUB, as well as CBZ and PDF.

I’ll lose some of the cool features I’d wanted, but given I’m losing them already, that’s already a conceded issue.

2020 – Week 13

Coronavirus continues to eat the world. Had my first interaction with a store for ~2 weeks. They’re limiting customers, wearing masks, but not disinfecting their hands between handling objects customers have given them.

We use better infection control, in non-pandemic times, with the VR systems at the Makerspace.

I put the deposit through on the power system upgrade at home, however on Sunday evening we heard that the electrician is postponing the install for a minimum two weeks, which is annoying as hell.

2020 – Week 12

Well Coronavirus continues to ravage the world. With gatherings over 100 people banned, it looks like Cooroy Fusion Festival, where I was going to be doing a VR demo, is cancelled.

So I join the ranks of artists who’ve lost a gig, thanks to this most current of plagues. How’s that for being “relevant to the times”?

In other news, I’ve been getting quotes for sheet steel, and I think I’ve cracked the solution – a supplier, who’ll hopefully provide a sheet that’s thick enough to weld easily, but thin enough to not be 5x the price of the framing steel.

I’ve started constructing all the equipment I bought in the last few weeks – first the welding bench – an IKEA-directions product it was not.

2020 – Week 11

Some great news! I’m doing another artist-in-residence programme – it’s a second round of the Noosa Mnemonic, and this time we have the support of the local regional art gallery.

I had some quotes for steel come in, and the skin for the welding cabinet came in at five times the cost of the framing steel. So, I’ll have to do some rethinking of it.

2020 – Week 9

All the big purchases arrived this week.

Tuesday it was a day trip down to Brisbane to pick up the metal-cutting bandsaw, a bench grinder, and the air compressor.

Wednesday, the welder arrived. It’s an impressive piece of equipment.

Thursday, I had a service call on my bike. It has a problem in the drivetrain which is going to need some parts replaced eventually, probably when I lose the ability to handle the noise it’s making.

2020 – Week 8

It begins…

Purchases have started as I gear up for getting back into welding. On Friday, I ordered a new welder – an AC/DC TIG system, with integrated Plasma Cutter, as well as a pair of welding curtains on roller-screens.

The avalanche has begun, and now I can only go forward to the end.

2020 – Week 7

A lot of time spent in CAD, refining the design of my studio-in-a-box. The door has been a real conundrum – originally it was supposed to be a single full-width swing door, then I looked at roll-a-door (but they’re hyper-expensive), and sliding door options. Eventually, the trifold idea solved all the outstanding problems.

Originally I’d hoped to build the frame out of Stainless steel box-section, however at $220/6m length, vs. $24/6m of mild steel, I think the mild steel version is the way to go.

2020 – Week 6

A week of research, finding out yet more information about my planned welding setup.

Friday I was in Brisbane, visiting machinery shops, and looking at industrial equipment. So far, I’ve checked out a “silent” air compressor, which isn’t any louder than an air conditioner’s outdoor component, and a metal-cutting bandsaw, which likewise is very quiet. Both of them are quiet enough to talk over, as opposed to normal compressors, or metal cold saws / abrasive saws, which require hearing protection to avoid permanent damage.

All in all, good ideas for equipment intended to be used in a residential area.

2020 – Week 5

Most of the week has been spent trying to design a carport cupboard to keep my welding gear in.

We also had a session at the library Makerspace where we looked at the development of Noosa Mnemonic, and things are progressing. We have a definite path to produce a WebGL version of the project, which can be viewed in any modern browser.

It’s not a VR client, but it’ll do to demonstrate the concept, and perhaps attract notice, and funding, to flesh out a full VR client version.

In other things – here’s an example of why I bought the helmet-cam: