Getting Started in 3D Printing

Here are the steps on how to get started with 3D printing:

  1. Choose a 3D printer. There are many different types of 3D printers available, so it is important to choose one that is right for your needs. Consider the size of the prints you want to make, the materials you want to use, and your budget.
  2. Gather the necessary materials. In addition to a 3D printer, you will also need some other materials, such as filament, a slicing software, and a build platform.
  3. Learn how to use your 3D printer. There are many resources available to help you learn how to use your 3D printer. Read the manual, watch tutorials, and ask for help from experienced users.
  4. Start printing! Once you have learned how to use your 3D printer, you can start printing your own designs. There are many websites where you can find free and paid 3D models.

Here are some additional tips for getting started with 3D printing:

  • Start with simple prints. Don’t try to print something too complex or detailed when you are just starting out.
  • Be patient. 3D printing can be a slow process. Don’t get discouraged if your first few prints don’t turn out perfect.
  • Have fun! 3D printing is a great way to be creative and to learn new things.

Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started with Ender 3 3D Printer

Introduction: 3D printing has revolutionized the way we manufacture and create objects, from small trinkets to large-scale prototypes. The Ender 3 3D printer, developed by Creality, is a popular and affordable option for those looking to dive into the world of 3D printing. This article provides a beginner’s guide to getting started with the Ender 3, including essential components, setup, and basic troubleshooting.

  1. Essential Components: The Ender 3 3D printer comes with several essential components, including the printer itself, a power supply, and a USB cable. Additionally, you’ll need to purchase filament, which is the material that the printer uses to create the object. PLA filament is a popular choice for beginners due to its ease of use and versatility.
  2. Setup: Setting up the Ender 3 3D printer is relatively straightforward. First, assemble the printer by following the instructions included in the box. Next, connect the printer to the power supply and plug in the USB cable to connect it to your computer. Download the necessary software, such as Cura or Simplify3D, and configure the printer settings, including the bed temperature, filament diameter, and print speed.
  3. Bed Leveling: Proper bed leveling is essential for successful 3D printing. The bed is the surface on which the object is printed, and if it’s not level, the object may not adhere properly or may warp. Follow the instructions to level the bed by adjusting the screws beneath it until it’s even.
  4. Filament Loading: Load the filament by inserting it into the printer’s extruder and feeding it through the tube until it reaches the hot end. Ensure that the filament is inserted correctly to prevent any clogs or jams.
  5. Printing: Once the bed is leveled and the filament is loaded, you’re ready to start printing. Select a model to print from the software and adjust any settings as necessary. Begin the print job and monitor it closely, checking for any issues like filament jams or improper adhesion.
  6. Basic Troubleshooting: If you encounter any issues during printing, there are a few basic troubleshooting steps you can take. Check the bed leveling, ensure the filament is loaded correctly, and adjust the print speed or temperature as needed. If the print fails, try adjusting the slicer settings, such as the layer height or infill density.

Conclusion: Getting started with the Ender 3 3D printer may seem daunting, but with the right tools and knowledge, it’s a rewarding and exciting endeavor. By following the essential steps, including setup, bed leveling, filament loading, and basic troubleshooting, you can create intricate and high-quality 3D prints. Remember to experiment with different filament types, models, and settings to discover the full potential of your Ender 3 3D printer. Happy printing!

Finding the Perfect Canine Companion for Your Small Apartment

Introduction: Living in a small apartment doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the companionship of a furry friend. Many dog breeds adapt well to apartment living, provided they receive proper care, exercise, and mental stimulation. In this article, we will explore the best kinds of dogs for small apartments, considering their size, temperament, exercise needs, and adaptability to confined spaces.

Considerations for Apartment Living: Before diving into specific breeds, it’s important to keep a few factors in mind when selecting a dog for your small apartment:

  1. Size: Opt for smaller breeds or medium-sized dogs that can comfortably move around your apartment without feeling cramped or restricted.
  2. Energy Level: Look for breeds that have moderate exercise needs and are content with daily walks and indoor playtime. High-energy breeds may struggle in a confined space without adequate physical activity.
  3. Temperament: Seek dogs with a calm and adaptable nature. Dogs that are prone to excessive barking or have high anxiety levels may not be well-suited for apartment living.
  4. Trainability: Choose breeds that are known for their trainability and ability to adapt to apartment rules and routines. Dogs that are easily trainable tend to be more adaptable to apartment living.
  5. Noise Sensitivity: Consider breeds that are not easily startled by noises, as apartment environments can be filled with sounds from neighboring units or busy streets.

Top Breeds for Small Apartments:

  1. French Bulldog: Known for their affectionate and easygoing nature, French Bulldogs are small in size and require minimal exercise. They are content with short walks and enjoy spending quality time with their owners.
  2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: These gentle and friendly dogs are well-suited for apartment living. They have moderate exercise needs and are happy to join you on leisurely walks or enjoy indoor playtime.
  3. Boston Terrier: With their compact size and friendly disposition, Boston Terriers adapt well to apartment life. They require regular exercise but are generally not overly demanding.
  4. Shih Tzu: Shih Tzus are small, low-energy dogs that thrive in apartment settings. They enjoy daily walks and indoor play sessions, making them ideal companions for apartment dwellers.
  5. Bichon Frise: These cheerful and affectionate dogs are known for their adaptability to various living situations. Bichon Frises are small in size, low shedding, and require moderate exercise.
  6. Pomeranian: Although small, Pomeranians are lively and spirited dogs. They are adaptable to apartment living as long as they receive daily exercise and mental stimulation.
  7. Corgi: Corgis may seem larger in appearance, but their short stature makes them suitable for apartments. They have moderate exercise needs and can adapt well to indoor activities.

Remember, each dog is an individual, and their personalities can vary. While breed characteristics can provide guidance, it’s essential to meet and spend time with a dog before making a decision. Additionally, adopting mixed-breed dogs from shelters or rescue organizations can offer unique and lovable companions that fit apartment living requirements.

Conclusion: Living in a small apartment doesn’t mean you have to forgo the joy and companionship of a canine friend. By considering factors like size, energy level, temperament, trainability, and noise sensitivity, you can find a dog breed that thrives in a confined space. Whether you choose a French Bulldog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or another small breed that suits your lifestyle, providing them with love, attention, exercise, and mental stimulation will ensure a happy and harmonious life together in your cozy apartment.

Porcupine Tree 2022 Setlist

Really looking forward to the Porcupine Tree concert this weekend in Denver Colorado. If the setlist looks like the last few weeks, this will be a show to see for sure. As I listened through the list, I think this really leans on Gavin – great show for showing off your drum master…

  • Set 1:
    • Blackest Eyes
    • Harridan (Live debut)
    • Of the New Day (Live debut)
    • Rats Return (Live debut)
    • Even Less
    • Drown With Me (First time since 2008)
    • Dignity (Live debut)
    • The Sound of Muzak
    • Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled (First time since 2003)
    • Chimera’s Wreck (Live debut)
  • Set 2:
    • Fear of a Blank Planet (First time since 2008)
    • Buying New Soul
    • Walk the Plank (Live debut)
    • Sentimental (First time since 2008)
    • Herd Culling (Live debut)
    • Anesthetize (First full performance since 2008)
    • I Drive the Hearse
    • Sleep Together
  • Encore:
    • Collapse the Light Into Earth (Live debut)
    • Halo
    • Trains

I have seen PT/Wilson many times and this one seems to be another great set. I’m especially looking forward to the Last Chance/Collapse/Muzak/Even Less and some of the other less travelled… I have had trouble getting into the latest Closure/Continuation – but maybe this will spark interest.

What are your thoughts on the show?

Here’s the rest of the Tour :


10 – Toronto, ON – Meridian Hall
12 – Laval, QC – Place Bell
14 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway
16 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
17 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia
18 – Washington, DC – The Anthem
20 – Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theatre
23 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
25 – Denver, CO – Bellco Theatre
28 – San Francisco, CA – The Masonic
30 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre

4 – Mexico City, MX – Pepsi Center
7 – Santiago, CL – Movistar Arena
21 – Berlin, DE – Max Schmelinghalle
23 – Vienna, AU – Gasometer
24 – Milan, IT – Forum
27 – Stockholm, SW – Globe
28 – Copenhagen, DK – Falkoner Theatre
30 – Katowice, PO – Spodek Hall

2 – Paris, FR – Le Zenith
4 – Stuttgart, DE – Porsche Arena
6 – Oberhausen, DE – KP Arena
7 – Amsterdam, NL – Ziggodome
9 – Zurich, CH – Halle 622
11 – London, UK – SSE Arena, Wembley

OK Google: Just Call Google Assistant Gigi

With all of the Google Home Assistant users out there that clamor for a better alternative to the “OK Google” and “Hey Google” methods of accessing the Assistant mode on your phone or Google Home device, I have often wondered why calling it “GiGi” wouldn’t be the perfect solution. Even better than that would be to have to say nothing at all, and have those devices just know when you are speaking to the intelligent helper, but there is no practical way to do that, as well as no way to solve the implementation of having it always listening and trying to discern what the always on recording of your life means to privacy and recognition of a question asked of the “machine” vs. asking your dog if it’s hungry.

It seems to me that calling it Gigi makes the most sense. Apple uses Siri. Amazon is Alexa. Microsoft is… Well. Who really cares? Making it a woman’s name has precedence. Gigi is a nice name. Easy to say. Google has 2 G’s in it. Saying “OK Google what is the weather today” is way harder than “Gigi what is the weather today”. Two less syllables, and kids can never say Google right anyway (I have a 5 year old). The default voice for Assistant is a woman, so she can now be GiGi. Or GG, or whatever and it totally makes sense.

Google added manners a while back. Fire up Assistant and say “OK Google what time is it” and it responds. If you say “Thank you” you are saying it to a machine that responds to you with a polite response. But saying “Thanks GiGi” would be so much more personal and like your personal assistant, who has a name, who helps you every day, who is a part of your life, who is respected and valued as something other than a machine, that this just really makes sense.

My assistant needs a name. Google assistant is my go to life automator now, and I’m really tired of “OK Google”. Make her Gigi. Make her real. Do some fun stuff with deep fake Max Headroom type personalities that make her a member of my family or something – appearing in mirrors, TV’s, monitors, my Google Home devices, whatever. Have her follow me and use voice recognition or biometrics that have her travel with me to other people’s devices. Make Gigi have a persona that is removed from the machine, and part of my world.

Windows Media Center: “An error was encountered while configuring your computer for use with this extender”

I recently had an issue during an install of a Windows Media Center Extender. The install may have failed do to the install being interrupted by a power outage and it seems like some files may have been corrupted on the MC PC.

I was receiving the error:

An error was encountered while configuring your computer for use with this extender

when I entered the 1234-5678 type code in the PC to add the extender. In the Event Viewer there was event 523 with the details “Media Center Extender Setup failed at step 120.” The error was -2147467259.

I found a post that cleared up the problem by following the steps below:

Go to C:\windows\system32\grouppolicy and delete the contents of the folder (including the directories).
You will need to untick Hide Protected Operating System Files and select Show Hidden Files and Folders before you browse.

I have windows 7 pro and an Xbox 360.

Hope this helps, and use the advice at your own risk, but it just worked for me. I copied the files elsewhere just in case before I deleted them, but didn’t need to do anything with them, as they were regenerated when I added the extender.


LG Tone HBS-700 Wireless Stereo Headset

OK, I have piles of headphones, Bluetooth, wired, earbuds, over the ear cans, and the junk ones from Apple. This week I felt it was time to explore the bluetooth realm again and started looking around for a new set. I have had a couple of Motorola units in the past – the S305 which are just OK – sort of bulky and awkward to wear, but with decent sound. The other Moto set I tried was the S10-HD “Rokr”, and this was complete junk. Don’t sweat while you work out or POW! You now own a $70 hunk of plastic. Many people have had the same issue – don’t go here.

So I found the HBS-700 on Amazon, from LG – a company I have been impressed with lately with other products. The review was pretty good, so I pulled the trigger and ordered a set. When the package came, I read through the packaging and was happy to see it even said “water resistant” – guess they did some research and it turns out, people work out with headphones on.

Setup was a breeze, it connected to my Samsung Nexus S Android phone in seconds without a pass, and I was ready to go. The sound is great, no hiss, and really nicely isolated with the ear-buds – which is a odd thing about this headset. The HBS-700 main device hangs around your neck, and wired, normal ear-buds are strung from it to your ears. At first I was leery that this setup would be good, but surprisingly it is the best I’ve had in a headphone solution. The best part of the head set is that there are no wires from your neck to your waist, where wired sets always get in the way. You hardly notice the unit around your neck, and you can easily run without them really being noticed.

The battery charges quickly, and I wore the unit for about 8 hours before I charged it, and the package says 10 hours listen/talk time. Call quality is great, the neck unit vibrates when a call comes in – which is nice if you don’t have the earbuds in. You can store the ear-buds in the end of the neck unit with their built-in magnets, which seems nice but the 6 inches of wire in the area for each bud still seems like it might catch on things, but has been pretty good so far in my week trial.

The controls are great with volume, FF, RW, Pause/Play and a phone button that brings up the voice recognition system for actions like “call Lisa Smith”. The power button is small and in a strange spot on the side, and after a week I still have to take it off and search for it. The device supports Bluetooth version 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP) and comes with a one year warranty.

I really like this headset, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good Bluetooth solution for their mobile device. The Android market even has a app called “BT Reader” that works with LG devices and reads your text messages to you when they arrive – still testing this out to see if it is as decent solution, but not expecting much – it doesn’t turn down the music as it reads them, and crashes now and then. Also, you have to manually press a button on the screen for it to read it – so not terribly impressed with it.