More about the clips from 2021 Holiday Lights proudly sponsored by JimClip (TM)

You might remember the _o_ to o___o conversation from the last blog post. You don’t? Maybe you should work on your reading comprehension (or maybe I should be a better writer . . . there is plenty of blame to go around). ANYWAY, we had another install! At Jim’s house! And this was the first test of a 100% install of the new o___o clips. In the blog post I noted that I made them smaller, only 8mm tall, and that was so the 10mm clips could go across them. I ran a few tests on that 2×6 board from the last post and it worked great! But when we got to Jim’s house I noticed right away it was going to be more difficult and that was because his roof eves were far more slanted back toward the house than mine. And sure enough it was tough fitting the stapler or even the drill back there. It was SUPER frustrating trying to staple and it was especially frustrating when you were on a wobbly 15 foot ladder.

Jim rattled off a thousand ideas and MOST of them were terrible. But then he had the idea to just combine two of the clips and next thing you know he is trying to trademark the “JimClip”. Hours and hours hearing about the JimClip. But once he was doing that he was able to staple them way easier and with far fewer potty words (not ZERO bad words, just less). Trouble is he was going though them pretty quick and we were going to need even more! Thus I made a minor tweak to the design where instead of 8mm tall, I made them 12mm tall. And I took out the screw holes since that’s where they would break if the staple got too close. BOOM FIXED! Except that I also thought of one more change . . . .

Instead of the default printer settings I decided to change the number of perimeters.

You can see the effect of the change here:

Layer 3.4 with default 2 perimeters
Layer 3.4 after change to 4 perimeters

As you can see, in one case there is infil being used and in the other, it’s basically printed solid. So far the big advantage of that change is that the C is more difficult to break and the long center stands up well too. In my testing I could flex the hollow 2 perimeter print and break it easily (usually at the holes) but I wasn’t able to break the 4 perimeter version unless I went insane with it. I haven’t tried to staple it yet since I don’t have the stapler (left it with Jim) but I suspect they will staple just fine.

You can also see how different the top layer prints too! These are SO MUCH STRONGER.

Top Layer with 2 perimeters
Top Layer with 4 perimeters

Of course, there is always a tradeoff. In this case, to print 12 the print time goes from 5 hours and 45 minutes to 6 hours and 42 minutes . . . about an hour longer. To compensate, I fixed another printer! Now we have 4 printers going!

3 printers
Plus one more!

I also put this . . .

. . . idea to good use . . . check out the lighting in our front door window!

Dexter is there for scale. Also the door helps with scale.

That was super easy to do and it’s attached with just a few tiny pieces of velcro (which acts as thicker double sided tape) in strategic places.

Categorized as DIY, Gadgets

LoseIt with Diet Coke

My sister and I are both using LoseIt for the iPhone to track our calories.  You tell it what you eat,  it tells you how many calories you have left.   We’ve decided to spot-check each other to stay honest, and I found this exchange particularly amusing.

A humorous exchange w/ my sister about dieting.
A humorous exchange w/ my sister about dieting.

Android Root

Okay, so the hackathon of my Google Phone is over.  I decided to “root” my G2 (Google Ion, myTouch, whatever) phone so that I can install other versions of the operation system.  The primary reason was the speed advantages but I was also interested in wifi tethering.  There are a ton of options but I went with Cyanogenmod (at the time it was v4.0.1 but a few days later I installed v.4.0.2 and it was easy) because it has the most “play” (i.e. I read about it all over the place).

It’s funny because supposedly it’s a “one click” process but wherever you read that headline you’ll see 50 links and 10 pages of text.


  • It does seem faster but it’s no iPhone (probably not even as fast as the first iPhone let along the 3GS)
  • Wifi tethering!  I can tether with a laptop or netbook to my data connection using just wifi.  The irony is that I would need to plug the phone in with USB anyway for power but still, tethering!
  • Multi-Touch browser.  Again, not as responsive as iPhone be still nicer than the +/-.  Would be really nice in maps and I suspect that might come soon.
  • More “screens” so I can have more widgets and icons in the locations that I want.  Not all that big a deal as 3 was enough, really, since I could get to the stuff I didn’t use much from the “pull up” menu
  • Couple of new apps I couldn’t have gotten otherwise . . . pdf viewer and an office viewer.
  • Discovered “MyBackup” which is an app that takes care of backup for apps and data so at the end of it all restoring back to the phone I had before took about 10 minutes . . . with the exception of my background image, ring tone, and some setup inside a few apps like latitude.  I had to install all of the apps one but with MyBackup I just had to okay each install one by one but it all went really fast . . . at least I didn’t have to remember what I liked and download it all one by one.
  • Three keyboards to choose from . . . though, I already had two after installing an alternate a while back.


  • Takes forever to boot up (but that was just the first time . . . it has to run some script)
  • It was kinda scary though it was actually one of the easiest hacks ever.  More scary that most other projects because I *need* my phone whereas if I bust a PSP or my Wii or an XBox I’m just out some entertainment which is no big deal.


The New Monitor is Here!

FACT:  My new monitor is larger than the TV Set that we had growing up as a kid.  FACT: The scale on Google Maps now reads “One inch equals: one inch”.  FACT: Only Cartman can adequately describe what I’m feeling right now.

Categorized as Gadgets

Great Phone . . . or Greatest Phone

Some background first . . . .

I got my wife the iPhone 3G the day it came out.  Waited in a line for a few hours and everything.  She had been using a Razr for about 3 years and it was time.  And we were already on the AT&T network so it was easy.  I would have gotten one for myself but a month before the 3G was announced I got myself a Blackberry Pearl so I wasn’t eligible for the $199 new customer price.

At the time the biggest problem with an iPhone was the $30 mandatory data plan.  It’s the only phone on any network that requires you have a data plan.  I like the idea that even though I’m locked in for 2 years I can get the $40/month voice plan to lower my bills just in case. And a year ago the iPhone was a 10 and there was nothing even close from what I could see.

Anyway, a few months ago I went to Google I/O and got one of the G2 HTC phones (it’s called a Magic or myTouch or something like that on T-Mobile).  It was a dream come true . . . a chance to use “the other cool phone” without paying for it.  And the best part is that I got AT&T to give me a data plan for $15 a month!!  Please don’t call AT&T and ask for that plan and ruin it for me.  No, seriously . . I’m glad that no one will be reading this.  And it sucks that I only get “Edge” speeds because apparently 3G isn’t a standard and AT&T and T-Mobile do 3G data in different ways so if I want 3G on AT&T’s network I have to wait until an Android phone comes out for AT&T.

Okay, so that’s the background info out of the way . . . I’ve never had an iPhone personally but being the techie of the house I do get how the iPhone works and use it occasionally and I always know about cool apps for it before my wife does.  And I’ve used a Blackberry for over a year.  And now I’ve had the Android phone since May.  Here are the results:

If you are a non-tech person, the iPhone is a 10.0 and sets the bar incredibly high.  If you can afford that phone, ignore all the stuff about how crappy AT&T is and just get that phone.

If you are a tech person it’s a much harder call because although the iPhone is great . . . it’s locked down!  So, a phone like the G2 or any other Android phone (once they come out!!) has an incredible appeal since they are so hackable.  It’s an 8.2 to the 9.0 of a iPhone (not a perfect 10 because it’s missing concurrent apps and no Google Voice app but those things don’t matter to a casual user).  The old blackberry I had would be a 5.0 at best . . . I mean, you can use maps and check gmail with those apps but getting the apps in the first place sucks because you have to get them directly from the vendor (although this is different now from what I understand) AND it’s still a locked down OS that no one want’s to develop for.

The apps and the speed of the iPhone is why it has any chance against an Android phone . . . and both of those problems will fix themselves if someone releases some decent hardware.  It needs to be powerful and WITH a headphone jack (even though bluetooth noice canceling headphones have got to be in the pipeline somewhere at Bose, right?).

I’ll do a pro/cons list about my Android phone some other time, maybe.


Categorized as Gadgets, Rant