Encouraging a Culture of Written Communication

He really hits the nail on the head. Too many of the documentation tools that I’ve been working with lately require organization, which then requires meetings and discussion.

Search is such a powerful tool that should really be leveraged as much as possible – especially when it reduces the barrier to entry on writing things like documentation.

I believe it has to be easy for people to write a document without having to worry too much about where to put it. Therefore, I believe it’s better to have a tool with good search functionality rather than investing in having a perfect information architecture.

It's working! I’ve gotten my hacked Frekvens panel wired up to an ESP8266 (D1 mini), connected to wifi, and receiving MQTT messages over the internet. It also supports OTA software updates, so I don’t even need to plug it into USB. More to come once I record an actual demo video.

Improving LEGO presentation

I enjoy building LEGO models. The challenge with that enjoyment, is that once it’s done, I need to display it somewhere. And, my models have recently consumed the last of my shelf-space. Now everything looks cluttered and some of them get their pieces knocked off – it’s just not a great situation.

I’ve mounted one of my models on the wall (a small space shuttle) by drilling a hole in one of its bottom plates. This works fine for that model, since it’s flat, but I have a few that aren’t flat-bottomed. I also wanted it to be a bit nicer than just flat on the wall.

In the end, my requirements for a mounting solution are pretty simple:

Of course, this means a quick search of thingiverse where I found a few good candidates. My favorite, by far, was this Adjustable Lego Wall Mount by barryk388. I like that it’s basically an arm with a pivoting head that attaches with a brick and he included a few different length arms.

After downloading, slicing, and then printing it – the brick didn’t fit! The studs were just a smidge too big and out of alignment. Thankfully, I remembered seeing a video from CHEP which is below, about slicer settings for dimensionally accurate prints.

Using a pair of calipers I could measure both the non-fitting print and then a real brick, to compare the stud dimensions. My failed print was 0.16mm too large. After adjusting my horizontal expansion in Cura by half that, the part fit perfectly.

Now after printing a few more copies of the adjusted version, I’ll be able to get my models off my book cases and up onto the walls. As an added bonus, since they’re adjustable, I can have the X-Wing chasing the Tie Fighter down the wall. Might even need to get an A-Wing to join in on the fun.

Lassie Errors

I’ve never heard to term “lassie error” before, but I like it – it’s both evocative and descriptive.

You are not Ken Thompson, 1973 is a long time gone, and all the cost gradients around error reporting have changed. If you ever hear this term used about one of your error messages, you have screwed up. You should immediately apologize to the person who used it and correct your mistake.

I really like the idea of providing discrete error codes for every error. It’s an easy way to share and discuss errors.

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