Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: This is extremely important for our future... (Score 1) 177 177 the future (now actually) we're going to have to produce at least 5 percent of the produce in our very own homes.

Apartments must be designed with indoor greenhouses as a part of the design. To keep it low on pesticides and insects, hydroponic farming is an essential technique, what Phillips is doing isn't new by any standard, but they're one of the worlds most important developers of lighting, we need more efficient led lights, we have to reduce the power usage and make the lights brighter, this can be done with new chemical processes. The future is bright.

I've been growing vegetables indoors for the last 5 years now, realizing that every person got to start ASAP to learn, because learning when we finally need not going to be an option since learning to work with growing crops and produce comes with a learning curve just like everything else. Vegetables are living organics, it's not like learning to play the piano, so many factors comes to play here - and this is something any farmer will tell you...the learning curve is going to be there, you just can't become an overnight pro at this.

So folks, start growing your own produce now - even if it is just basil chilli and spices. I grow Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Paprika peppers in the summertime, try to grow spices all year around, and I'm getting better at it, slowly ...but I feel this is VITAL to our survival.

Comment: I could do this, I used to be a Commodore Service. (Score 3, Interesting) 66 66

..technician back in the 80's to 90's.

I can read from the various posts in this thread that you all think it's a walk in the park to fix these old 80's computers, oh guys may know a couple of common things such as dry soldering and drying capacitors, but there's a lot more to fixing those things than you might know.

One of the most common faults of the 80's was the ROM/RAM circuits, they where often clusters of 2/4/8 kilobyte ram chips (often 4164 etc.), and finding dead ones requires a couple of "old skool tech skills", one of the simplest one is the "thumb test", is one of the Ram chips very hot (you could of course use a bottle of cold-spray, I don't know what it's called in your country...but to us it was just Cold spray, this is essentially a spray that sprays super cool air because of a chemical process when in comes in contact with air, the surface will be really cold, forming ice crystals) and then you can see clearly which surface is getting hot fast. Another method is to use the oscilloscope to see if anything is out of the ordinary (you need to know how it looks as an image first, the voltage changes because of the logic communication will form an image, and if you know how it looks when normal, this is also a method we used.)

You can also use a logic tester, this is an instrument that can monitor the traffic in those logic circuits, you can set it to the speed of the actual logic (usually 1 to 20 MHz, depending on the computers speed) and see if everything is okay.

Another common flaw back then, was broken prints...over some time, these boards gets really hot, and this stretches the metal on the PCBs, and broken connections is some of the hardest things to find.

Another typical flaw is design flaw, over time...we needed to change I/O chips on certain models simply because it was so badly designed that they would eventually go bust, they where very sensitive many of the DIY'ers out there who made their own Fast-Loaders/Robotics connected to the I/O ports would regularly blow these chips.

Pity I live in Scandinavia, I'd love to retire doing this :)

Comment: Re:Replacing hard to find spare parts. (Score 4, Interesting) 266 266

And people don't explain what they want something to look like. They send a cad or other type of file that defines what they want, not some inaccurate poorly rendered result of a cad file.

Well, I've been working for YEARS in the merchandise/nick-nack/gift production industry and I know my competitors well, in fact...I got my job because everyone else does it the old fashioned way, and if there's something key accountants the hardship of communicating their ideas to the production teams in e.g. China.

Cad files is what we have after visualizing a product anyway, but good luck sending that to the factory in China. Most often the factories and production facilities in China depend heavily old older software and huge machinery that can't even use our files. It's WAY better to send them a sample for them to copy, these people are EXPERTS at copying stuff.

Even little things like a logo on an USB stick, they will and can get wrong if they don't know exactly how it looks from all angles. You'd be amazed how often this happens.

Comment: Re:Replacing hard to find spare parts. (Score 3, Informative) 266 266

Valid questions, I'll try to answer a few, and hopefully that answers some of the other peoples concerns as well:

Sure, 3D printing isn't yet for everyone, and yes - it does take both knowledge and experience. One of those things are of course 3D modelling experience, the better 3D modeller you are...the better your results will be, and of course the faster you'll get it done.

Another thing you need to be somewhat experienced at, is how to model things FOR a 3D printer, this is because if you just "print" without any planning, you're most likely to end up with having to experiment so much that you'll make 10s of misprints, costing you a small fortune in ABS plastic.

You also need to know to remove bugs in your model, all STL files must be properly CLEANED before converted to an STL file. This means you need to understand how to make clean models, remove double vertices, double faces, edges etc. You also need to understand where to apply support for the various parts, most printers can't really print into thin you need to model some temporary holders/molds that holds the printed object in place while printing. You also need to consider how to clean up the final model, most cheaper printers will leave some ugly looking stripes (due to the printing process), which you need to sand down later, if you have too many details, it'll make it pretty though to clean up later on.

The design process time depends entirely on the object complexity at hand. For example, a small cover for a battery can take as little as 1 hour to design (I'd probably do it in less than 10 minutes), but the printing process itself takes a lot longer. If you where to make a complex cogwheel construction, that could take hours to days. Nevermind a beautiful detailed statue that could take weeks. But hey, good art doesn't grow on trees, and this is up to each individual to master.

Yes, 3D printing isn't for everyone, but then again... that also makes it worth something to those who are willing to put the time and effort into the learning process. If it was for everyone, there'd be no business for people like me, but sure - 3D printing will improve tremendously over time, so please keep buying those printers! :)

Comment: Replacing hard to find spare parts. (Score 5, Insightful) 266 266

They're quite useful if you know what you're doing. For example, you have some kind of toy, gadget, device and whatnot...that's missing the battery cover? Hard to find...even on eBay, so what do you do? Fire up your favourite 3D software and make one. Works like a charm.

If you're working in advertisement/merchandise production... you can make small prototype samples of what you want to have mass produced, this ensures that your oversea production don't get it wrong (and they always do, trust me!) Shipping a sample of what you want mass produced, is a dream come true, and fortunately for (me) most of my competitors have no clue that this can be done, so they still do it the old fashioned way (try to tell the production team with drawings and talk over the phone with a foreign team that hardly understands English).

Pictures say more than a 1000 words they say, well...a prototype object to hold in your hand says more than 1000 pictures.

3D printers are a godsend.

Comment: Color me suspicious... (Score 0) 39 39

...but I'm not entirely convinced.

10,564 cases and 4,716 deaths, not something you sweep under the rug in a few months. Incubation times of the virus is still not confirmed.

As far as I can remember, I heard that a lot of Africans were ashamed to go and check if they had the virus, a lot of them were suspicious of the health care workers and thought they would be injected with the virus from them, this kept a lot of them from going and getting themselves checked out.

Furthermore, an outbreak of this magnitude just doesn't vanish just like that, they've either invented a very effective vaccine or there's something someone isn't telling the rest of the world here.

Comment: I've watched companies die because of this. (Score 1) 553 553

I'm 47. No secret.

With so much experience to bring to the table, I have so much to give, but it doesn't mean I stop learning. Every day I learn something new. 40 is nothing. My grandmother where hired when she was 75 as an expert and a professional within her field.

I don't hire by age, I hire by experience.

Comment: This isn't only happening in America. (Score 4, Insightful) 355 355

I used to be a part time teacher since I am an animation/computer specialist and the schools hire me for the things they can't teach.

One of those things I've noticed is that the teachers doesn't have any say anymore, it's all about the money and how happy the kids parents are. The happier the parents, the more attendance they get. And if they get a lot of attendance, then the government will increase the schools income and support. This breeds a new kind of school, an unhealthy school system where teachers are constantly burned out, have to suck up to kids and their parents instead of concentrating on the real job at hand, teaching!

Teaching AND learning demands a lot of focus, and focus demands discipline.
Kids are NOT stupid, they will figure out that they can get away with whatever they want and will naturally do so - kids being kids, testing new grounds.

We need to give more power back to the teachers, and educate parents to discipline their kids into wanting real achievements instead of "whatever they can get away with to party every night". Discipline never hurt anyone, it helps you to FOCUS.

Comment: A plot to ruin Wikileaks? (Score 0) 143 143

I was sifting trough all of your comments in here, and not ONE of them even considers that this could be a plot to completely destroy wikileaks.

Remember when wikileaks where all about exposing corruption within government, military, dangerous religious money cults? This whole thing smells like a setup to me.

Comment: LED Clothes are fun! (Score 1) 44 44

Yes they are. I remember having this idea when I worked for a Fashion Designer School back in my youth. I was an avid electronics hobbyist and already thought of sewing electronics into garment back then. You could make scrolling text, spectacular graphical displays, especially easy today with all the Arduino/AVR microcontrollers cheaply available just about anywhere.

Other ideas, the Customs officers could have metal detection technology built right into their garment/gloves etc. Other detectors too, the uses are unlimited.

Comment: A boss that actually cares! (Score 3, Insightful) 261 261

...Even if he just has to pretend that he/she cares, I'd take that in a heartbeat any day. For example, I have worked many places, and one of the best places I've ever worked...was at Lego in Denmark (Their graphics department), the boss in there constantly wanted to know how I was, if I needed a break, if he could bring me some coffee or anything, and he didn't give up before I actually gave him a proper answer. My colleagues where playful and we often fooled around during the day, not wasting work at all...because of this we usually worked 3 times as fast because we felt so free that the work became inspiring to do. That's how I want my workplace to be. Makes me want to come in to work every morning, can't wait to do my job. Sadly, not a single workplace I've ever been to after that...has even come close to that work environment.

Comment: Space Animals (Score 1) 300 300

There's no reason (such as I see it) that animals wouldn't exist in outer space, or near various atmospheres. We just don't know them yet, because they could probably not survive our conditions.

Have any of you guys seen that footage that Nasa officially released of all their satellite cams have picked up over the years? It was some 2 hour footage with lots of interesting stuff, you may want to look at that. PS. go to the source, don't look at the many fakes from unofficial sources found on youtube.

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.