Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gah Software

In Star Wars (the first film, the original film, which is to be known as "Star Wars," period) a small farming homestead purchases a droid that can speak Bocce -- purchases a functional AI because that's easier than learning the computer language some of their old evaporators use.

Meanwhile on Next Generation and later, everyone can use everything that has microcircuits, and there's never even a moment of realizing the docs are all in Klingon or whatever. I think Star Wars gets it a lot closer.


I've been really sick for a couple of days. And spent it delving into some software I haven't used in far too long. Still learning my way around GIMP, getting better with Inkscape -- and flipping back and forth between those two with great rapidity as I develop the most recent iteration of the Holocron:

This image is watermarked because the art for this one I want to keep exclusive to the client that ordered it.

And I'm pretty much volunteering the design time, but aside from the vector on the center image, it is all re-purposable for the holocron kits I'll be offering soon at the RPF.

I'm going to be able to offer a fair number of customization options right off the rack, plus option to do new design work as I find time.

Perhaps I'll even some time solve the assembly issue. I've seen some Holocron designs that use a staggered outer edge to hide the way the shell has to be assembled: and those would not need to be sanded and painted.

Anyhow. Figured out an option for the DuckLight battery issue and rigged up a quick test with the prototype; hooked the main circuit to regulated 5v, and plugged the Cree into a separate 4-cell battery pack. It seems to deliver almost the output I achieved with an overall regulated 500ma power supply.

So the scheme now is to add a 3.3v LDO to the PCB. It won't be that wasteful of space; I already need to add the filter capacitors to stabilize the ATtiny.

Pity there's no easy way to cram that in to the current PCB so I could do some proper in-place prototyping. But the boards were only ten bucks.

For completely random reasons, I spent most of my sick time messing around with a software I'd started to forget. Poser. Poser 9, to be precise, which saves all the parts of the interface that worked badly in Poser 6, and adds flash-driven menus that work poorly, non-scalable interface fonts, and other nice little details that make it excruciatingly inefficient and frustrating.

It's worse than that. I also flip into Poser 6 when I'm rigging a prop, because it is simpler to work in and makes cleaner files.

And for some stuff, DAZstudio is a little easier. At least the camera is superior. But of course the interface is entirely different, in almost every way it can be.

I'm really not looking forward to having to go back into Carrara, but I have some modeling projects in the pipeline that need it. Well, that or Blender...and I'm still having terrible trouble coming to grips with Blender.

Even Fusion 360. Some of the specific curves and edges I need out of it are far too difficult to
achieve inside the interface. So like pretty much everything else I do, I need to flip the meshes into another application to do some work, then re-import them.

And I just realized it has been several months since I last used that software. They've probably changed the entire thing by now!

At least EagleCAD was a relatively small learning curve, and shouldn't take too long to pick up again...

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