2010 — 18 December: Saturday

The unblessed snow has returned1 and I'm considering what to do about clearing a bit of a path after my initial cuppa. Meanwhile, see if you can figure out what this is before reading on below the image :-)


I was following a trail blazed as an Acorn user was trying to find, in the Windows world, an equivalent to an Acorn font that his wife needed for a particular project. It's an attractive font, actually — "Carlos" was inspired by a Spanish typeface designed by Carlos Winkow called 'Elektra' (c. 1940) which is marketed elsewhere as 'Casablanca'. You can see it here.

From there, it was a mere hop and a skip to the type designer's journal here. And one more hop took me to Red Bubble. In the August archives of their "journal" there is the tiny saw. It's been whittled from a pencil by Dalton Ghetti, "a Brazillian born, Connecticut dwelling carpenter". The Telegraph hosts a gallery here.

It's time to get out there and shuffle some flakes around.

Fetch me beer, Mrs Landingham!

I jest. But, having cleared the drive I certainly need both a cuppa and some breakfast. Mind you, if I had a Klein Bottle opener, I could possibly2 be tempted:

Klein Bottle opener

It's 10:34, barely -1C outside, but the cloud-covered sky looks as if it could yet turn flaky again. KBO.

While doing my best to ignore...

... all this ghastly snow3 I've been poking gently at the edges of the new (to me) world of Rapid Prototype (RP) manufacturing and some of the software involved therein. It's all Zeno's fault. I was admiring the little sculpture of Escher's4 Knot (here) — my admiration for Maurits Escher is shown, perhaps, by the three large prints I've got on my living room wall, and dates back to my engineering apprenticeship days. Indeed, I bought the first of my seven books...


... of his work back in 1972 for the extortionate price of 50 shillings — nearly as much as I'd paid for my thermodynamics textbook (though that one, by Rogers and Mayhew, is no longer gracing my shelves).

3D printing is just one of the fascinating aspects, and having watched another YouTube video I downloaded from here and installed the Open RP viewer to take a look at Moebius Net:

Moebius Net

Now (14:15) having had to waste time responding angrily but carefully to the latest threatening letter from Staples — and not being inclined to rush out and tackle the four little sh1ts who've just thrown a snowball at my front window while walking past [though I harbour the hope that they may yet slip and break a limb or two] — I think it's time for some lunch.

Those tricky double negatives will not unget you every time:

Grauniad typo

This man can have my vote if he ever chooses to run:

In the past, I'd failed to make my allegiances known... I thought supporting Labour and being leftwing is an outlook on life. It's wider than politics. That kind of life was, and is, being eroded. Somehow the Tories have deflected the righteous anger at the bankers who we bailed out. The Tories manage to take that outrage and direct it at benefit claimants. It's genius. Evil genius.

Bill Bailey in The Guardian

My Staples (diet of Worms)

The morbidly curious are welcome to see my latest salvo. Of course, my next one may be drafted from the comfort of a jail cell.

HDCP, shall I count the ways I (don't) love thee?

My friend Christopher tipped me off just in time earlier this evening to a folk music programme on BBC4 featuring, among others, the superb Unthanks. But as it was shown about seven times last Christmas, and as I had today's DVD acquisition...


... already in progress, I simply set the Humax Freesat PVR from its EPG to capture BBC4 for me. Now that my DVD has finished (a superb film, by the way), I've switched over to the last few minutes of the transmission, but (thank you, HDCP) without picture, only glorious audio. I know from bitter past experience that the only way to regain my picture would be to change channels away from, and then back to, what I wish to watch on the Humax forcing it to repeat its brain-dead HDCP protocol handshake up and down the video chain. Not actually what you (ever) want to do in the middle of a recording, of course. Still, the music's grand!

I was never all that good at "reading" circuit diagrams, but some of the fine details in this one, from XKCD, made me howl with laughter.



1  Somewhat over an inch of the stuff, arriving some time after 04:00 this morning from my own observation and after 05:00 by my neighbour's.
2  Except for the minor detail that I loathe the stuff.
3  If it malingers around for another week I shall not be driving up to the Midlands for Xmas cheer with my cousins, I fear.
4  There's a simplified brick sculpture vaguely reminiscent of it in one of the towns (Dorking? Reigate? Godstone?) on the road to Dover that we used to take from here when taking the midnight ferry crossing to Ostende to visit Christa's family in Meisenheim.