me2

Monday adventures

I had to call, and make the decision to place an actual over the phone order with (and give my credit card number to) an Indian call center, but I was able to buy the copy of ACDSee Ultimate 9 for $45 and NOT include the $55 in online services that I did not want. I did manage to find places to achieve the same very minor functionality that I had in the old software (namely, renaming photos to their time/date stamp) but I'm not sure I will continue to use that method. If ACDSee's cataloging and search capabilities are up to what they say they are, it'll be much more effective anyway. But it's a deep program and it'll take me a while to learn it.

The Ford Fusion came up very minorly lame yesterday - the driver's inside door handle broke. A quick YouTube search revealed that this is a very easy fix, and also a very common problem. The handle design is poor and they break a lot. I got an aftermarket handle replacement off Amazon that has been redesigned to be more rugged. It's interesting that Amazon/eBay have become such great places to get car parts. The handle was $30, the OEM one is $60. I've also gotten a lot of body parts off eBay, always for a fraction of the cost of OEM and they've all been perfectly serviceable parts.

It's also interesting that YouTube is such a DIY haven. It's rare that I find myself wanting to do something that I can't find a video teaching me how to do it. In this case, I found someone demonstrating exactly how to get the door panel off, down to what size the screwdriver bits and sockets had to be and exactly where all the fasteners were.

FWIW, kudos to Ford. I've worked on some f'ing miserable car doors in the past. While the door panel was off, I stopped to look at the design. I admit it, I raved a bit. I even said it was "beautiful." If I ever have to work on a door again, I hope it's as well designed. An actual joy to work on.

On Monday I also got a small Monoprice $200 3D printer. It's very cute and print quality is good. I had a couple of issues, fixed in 5 minutes but I think newbs would have been anywhere from puzzled to crying in frustration about them. I will do a blog writeup soon. The cat object that came on the SD card with the printer is very cute and the print quality is really quite good, so there's something to shoot for in tuning the slicer.

I also decided to try Repetier. For the last couple of years I've been printing strictly by copying the GCode to SD card and printing locally on the printer. The only USB host I've used in the past was Pronterface (Fronkensteen!), which is a bit clonky. I really like Repetier, and I haven't even tried the phone app yet. I just printed a tiny tree frog as a 10 minute test and it came out OK.