I suck at vacation - What I did this week
Well, it seems I'm lousy at vacation. I'm still learning what I'm supposed to do. My wife is working and the kids are still in school so here was my week.
3D Printed Brackets for my new HTC Vive
I treated myself to an HTC Vive Room-Scale VR system. I'll blog extensively about this later but let me just tell you. It's AMAZING. I've used Google Cardboard, I've used Gear VR, I've used Oculus. Vive is it. Full Room-scale VR with something like the Doom 3 VR Mode is amazing. This fellow has a version of Doom 3 coded up at GitHub that modifies your existing purchased version and adds a REALLY compelling VR experience. I will say spent less time fighting demons and more time looking closely at wall textures. I admit it.
There's a joke about folks who have 3D Printers. We just end up printing brackets to hold stuff. Well, I got a Vive so I wanted a nice way to mount it. Problem solved.
3D Printed a Rifle Stock for the Vive
There's a popular VR game called Onward. It's basically a Call of Duty-type squad shooter with a focus on squad teamwork and realism. However, holding two VR controllers up to your cheek and pretending they are a rifle doesn't really work. Fortunately an intrepid maker named SGU7 made a prototype you can 3D Print.
I made one first in Yellow but it broken because it lacked enough infill. I made it again in black (because I had a lot of black. I wish it looked less aggressive, though) and it works great. Note that the part in my hand is a controller and the other controller is attached to the front. The front one can pop off and act as your left hand to reload and throw grenades.
It was a challenging print with five large pieces and two small along with screws and nuts to hold it together. However, it was super fun and it makes the game WAY more realistic. More on this later. I've also been experimenting with some new exotic filaments.
Made an AdaFruit Cupcade Raspberry Pi MAME Arcade
My teenage nephew and I worked on a Cupcade a few months ago but it was his. I 3d printed and made a PiGrrl (Raspberry Pi GameBoy) last year, so I figured I'd make a Cupcade (Raspberry Pi tiny Multi-Arcade Machine Emulator) as well. It's also somewhat challenging but I never really had the time until vacation. You can get the plans and source many of the parts locally, or you can get a complete kit from Adafruit. I did the partial kit for cheaper without the plastic case, then had a local makerspace lasercut a $5 piece of clear acrylic.
Made a second @adafruit Cupcade with a @Raspberry_Pi tonight. #vacation pic.twitter.com/GIVw0u706L— Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) November 30, 2016
Set up Alexa to talk to my Nightscout-based Blood Sugar system
I got a few Amazon Alexa "Echo Dot" devices, so now we have three around the house. I upgraded my Nightscout Site (this is the Azure-based system that that allows remote management and viewing of my blood sugar as a Type 1 Diabetic.
The most recent update of Nightscout added Alexa support. I headed over to https://developer.amazon.com and made a dev account and got it all working. It's pretty slick. I can ask it all kinds of things (as can my kids. They love to know about how I'm doing when I'm out of town.)
Here's a video of it working!
Basically I've been just making stuff and fixing stuff around the house. I even sat in a café and read the news. Madness.
I wonder if I could do this full time? I guess that's called retirement. ;)
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Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
I'm a hyperactive person which often faced a similar problem such as yours until someone explained to me a couple of things. Don't know how correct the explanation is but they seem to match with real life.
It takes the body 2-3 days to start slowing down. The reverse happens when it needs to speed up.
If you go on long vacation, then there is enough time to enjoy the downtime that is said is very necessary on yearly basis. A short vacation, e.g. 1 week, doesn't provide enough time to gracefully slow down and speed up. You can consider those days as a waste of time but necessary for your body rhythm to enter a proper resting phase. He had also mentioned that in the past many countries had enforced work legislation to enforce long vacation to make sure people rested and escaped adequately.
When I thought about this, I accepted my fate for the first days. I make sure I take at least 2 weeks vacation and I try not to do anything relative to my profession. This is easier when you move out of your house to be honest. When you enter the slowed down period, its amazing how quickly time flies especially when you consider how little I did in the meanwhile.
Was it interesting? No.
Do I enjoy it? Yes. Can't define how but it feels very good.
And vacation doesn't necessarily mean to just sit and do nothing.
It's about relaxation. And working on pet project is relaxing for many people.
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