2020 – Week 46

Moved my steel stockpile over to my storage facility, the sheet cladding is already starting to rust from the air.

I’ve registered a Fastspring account to move sales of my eBooks away from the Apple Books store, and in a major shot of good news, found that the cross-platform eBook reader Thorium has now adopted fixed-layout EPUB, and it renders them really well.

So, now the wheel of leaving Apple Books begins turning.

2020 – Week 44

Thunderstorms all week, which has made it difficult to get over to storage to continue with the cleanup work, but I managed by Thursday.

There was some success in solving a bunch of little problems with working out how I’d redo all my comics for self-publishing. I think I can move ahead with that.

We were belted by storms, and lost power again or a few minutes. A major priority next weeks needs to be to bring a UPS online to protect my gear.

2020 – Week 43

Monday, picked up my new air-grinders. Wednesday had a fun diversion as the Noosa Temple of Satan (a secular organisation trying to make a point about the privilege enjoyed by religious organisations, by availing themselves of said privileges) flew a banner around the town.

The rest of the week was spent on admin stuff, doing a bit of tidying up around my storage space, and futzing around with my computer.

2020 – Week 42

Ordered a couple of Air-grinders, and the new tyres for my bike arrived.

Finally managed to solve a problem with my new display refusing to play nicely with my other displays – plugging it in via HDMI instead of Displayport.

We had an overnight power outage at one point, which made my workstation think it had lost a RAM socket. Lots of troubleshooting followed, including disassembling and swapping RAM chips about.

But, I managed to solve it, with a Realtime Clock reset.

Kinda tempted to try to buy another one (or two) stock original versions of this machine to provide donor organs.

2020 – Week 41

It’s been a quiet week – most of it spent on research trying to figure out ideas for some custom applications I want to have developed.

2020 – Week 40

Quiet start to the week, dealing with some of the washup of my twitter issues, and replying to emails related to it.

Ended up returning the Air Grinder, as I couldn’t get the cap for the air line undone, and then I realised the activation switch has no safety catch, to prevent it firing up if it falls on the ground, which is very dangerous.


2020 – Week 39

First trial of the new welding helmet, just doing grinding, and it’s fantastic. The cooling air supply keeps you focussed, and the huge bubble grinding shiels provides a view of work that safety goggles can’t approach.

Problematically, the tarp I had over my steel stockpile in the courtyard seems to have trapped moisture under it, so my steel got saturated and has suffered some surface rust. So, I moved it all under an awning, so it would be out of the weather. That was a whole day process – picking up each piece of steel, towel-drying , then cooking the moisture out with a heat gun, before placing it in the new location.

…But it wasn’t out of the weather, the weather came in under the awning, so Wednesday was spent moving the steel a second time – indoors. Now my steel stockpile sits in the loungeroom, on the tile floor. Another day spent towelling down each piece, then heat drying.

Thursday, the org handling my Arts Qld grant got in touch, to say they wanted me to acquit my grant now, rather than waiting for the project to be finished.

Friday, I acquitted my grant, but woke up to a tweet storm, after something I had written a couple of nights earlier reached a critical audience, and suddenly had been retweeted 700+ times.

The weekend was spent working through the washup of all the twitter stuff, and generally taking things easy.

2020 – Week 38, stART Week 5


  • Contacted the stART grant folks to let them know about the issues I’ve had getting the project finished. It’s been difficult, but to my credit, the problems have been things I couldn’t predict, and the solutions have been fairly straightforward.


  • Admin stuff


  • Working on Comics stuff, while I wait for news about my welding helmet. According to the supplier, it will be in tomorrow.


  • Picked up & began setting up the welding helmet. I look like a spaceman.


  • Tidying and admin, with some Q&A over a couple of aspects of the new welding helmet setup.


  • Rest day.


  • Stripped my workstation down to its major components, and took each down to the air compressor to blow all the dust out. Pulled both processors, and the Northbridge heat sink, and reapplied thermal grease to all three. The result? Significantly reduced temperatures in all parts of the machine, and most importantly a reduction in the difference between the Northbridge, and its heat sink – so it’s getting more heat out of the chip and into itself. This has been the biggest disassembly I’ve done on this machine so far, and it all seems to have gone to plan. Each time, it gets a little easier.

2020 – Week 37, stART Week 4


  • Set up the welder, and tried some test welds. The going was difficult.


  • Second attempt at welding, and I think I’ve managed to get the settings sorted, or at least I’m getting close.


  • Welding Issue:
    • I’m feeling drymouthed & scratchy and I think it’s from ozone exposure during welding. It’s not a huge problem for some people, but it’s a concern to me. Notably, welding fumes have been classified as a carcinogen since I was last doing any significant amount of welding.
    • Most of the day was spent researching respirator options (masks being incompatible with beards), and I think that lacking a fume extractor, the final solution will have to be a Positive Air Pressure Respirator (PAPR) welding helmet. It’s similar to my existing helmet, except it has a (beard-compatible) seal under the neck, and a beltpack that drives air into the helmet, to prevent vapour ingress. It also has a flip-up welding lens, over a clear grinding shield, which should mean a big efficiency gain over switching PPE sets going back and forth between grinding tips for the TIG welder, and welding.
    • It’s not cheap at around $2500, but compared to losing lung function, it’s not even a question. It also means I’ll then have a second helmet (my existing one) for anyone assisting or observing me while I work.
    • It does put a bit of a dent in my schedule though – with less than a week left, I haven’t been able to start on final construction, but I can’t stress about that. The process of setting up, and packing down, of having to lift and move multiple 20kg+ pieces of equipment, is really exhausting me a lot faster than I had expected. This is literally the thing the Studio-In-A-Box project is designed to eliminate.
  • Picked up a pair of heavy duty 90degree welding clamps – these things weigh a bunch, but will speed up setting out the joins in my piece. Also, accuracy should be easier.


  • Had a call from 3M to ask me about my welding helmet requirements – they make you supply contact details in order to download the product brochure. But, the conversation was enlightening, and they forwarded my contact details to their local distributor near me, who has given me a $500 discount on the helmet, since I was directed to them by 3M. So that was fun. The downside, is it’s going to be Tuesday next week before the local distributor has it in stock.


  • Drove down to the local 3M distributor to try on the welding helmet. Seems pretty much the same as my existing one, so that’s all good. Really looking forward to getting back to work.


  • Down time. Managed to achieve something pretty amazing with my new displays, and that’s creating virtual scaled resolutions for the side-screens. The result is that objects on secondary screens are the same size as they are on the main screen.


  • Down time. It’s important to take these days off to recuperate, but I’m managing to get some online research and testing in.