Racism in the 2019 By elections

[Courtesy of the Irish Times - from Twitter]

I predicted on this blog, many times between 2004 and 2008 that it was only a matter of time before racism would become a political issue to the point that parties who endorsed it explicitly would start to find figures that would start to gain popular support.  That time is now.

Firstly, like many in FG, I am embarrassed and infuriated by Verona Murphy's comments to the Wexford People - there is no "immigrant problem" in Ireland.  We have a significant problem with services and infrastructure which is the result of demographic change - immigration is only a small part of the change and compensated for in other ways. Immigrants themselves rarely create issues, tend to arrive with useful skills and the vast majority are far more productive than the average Irish person.  There is literally tons of studies proving this, so I am not going to link.  I would suggest doing a search on Springer or some reputable research publisher if…

Heanet Raspbian mirror outage

If you live in Ireland and have a raspberry pi, or many open source linux distros, you might have noticed errors with yum or apt updates over the weekend of 21-22. Well so did I and found at least 2 others on regular raspi forums experiencing the same. So I looked up Heanet and found they have a public email for their NOC, so dropped them an email. Seems they had a hardware issue over the weekend and were waiting for a part. It arrived today Monday, and they mailed to let me know that the mirror is up. So if you redirected to another mirror, you can now put it back. Thanks to Craig and Brendan at the NOC for keeping Irish Open Source users happy!

Lyra McKee (1990 - 2019) - in memoriam

On Friday the unthinkable happened, while quickly checking over the news on my phone, the top story told me that Lyra McKee had been murdered in Derry. I didn't even get the second to think "surely some other Lyra McKee" because the photo was unmistakably THE Lyra - the Lyra I'd chatted to online on social media for nearly 5 years, the Lyra who had repeatedly sent kind thoughts whenever she thought I was upset.  The Lyra with whom a couple of times we had tried to meet up while she was quickly visiting Dublin, always falling apart on the day due to messy logistics.  THAT Lyra.

As I never had the choice of disbelief, my immediate instinct was anger: she wasn't just a random bystander, I thought, but someone targeted.  Unfortunately that is a narrative that has crept into many of the press reviews of Lyra.  But as more details came out, it became patently obvious that the target of the shooting was the local police who were policing a staged riot during which local…

LGBT grandstanding and whatnot

Back a few years ago, one of my favourite singers, Joyce DiDonato, made a few headlines outside of the classical music world by dedicating her performance at the Last Night of the Proms to the LGBT community.  Over the previous year, the singer had made a few outspoken interviews criticizing the heavy handed Russian tactics against the LGBT community.  She was not entirely alone, but in at least one interview JDD mentioned having turned down offers of work in Russia on the grounds of continued harassment of that community.

The context of the day was of course, also the annexation of the Crimea and ongoing harangue of the Ukraine.  This was prior to the more notorious political meddling in elections in both the UK and USA, with severe repercussions for the future of democracy still playing out.  So it was a very big surprise to hear that JDD is booked for two concerts in Moscow next week, after all of that.

Russian is as much of an international pariah as ever.  However, with a constan…

eBay nonsense

While many are often critical and sceptical of ebay, etsy and aliexress small ads for fake goods or nonsensical crafting, it is by no means the domain of identitarian crafters or Chinese fraudsters.  I found this auction on eBay, from a respectable Dublin based 2nd hand tech dealer, who otherwise seems to be selling respectable items such as power supplies for 10 year old HP servers and the occasional 2nd hand monitor.  As you can see, it appears to be a sale of a batch of empty iPhone boxes.  Which is rather nonsensical as the only possible value in a box is if you subsequently want to sell the phone.  To be honest, even this justification is dubious as many refurbishers sell over the counter these days, and a box isn't particularly relevant.  But hey, the internet is just as dodgy as ever.

Hot Bed stickiness!

Another issue I occasionally come across in a large 3d print is the print suddenly losing grip and being swept off the bed by a quick moving delta head.

There are a number of reasons why prints don't "stick".

The first is simply the head not being level or z-axis wrong height, usually after changing a nozzle or hot end.  Do this before any print.  Also watch out to make sure any bed change is even.  My delta is setup to do a "4 point" test, which means it checks the center, x, y and z axis. But if I've stuck a smaller blue 3m paper sticker (see later) the surface isn't even at the edges, so I allow a couple of mm extra for "give."

Blue paper is generally good for adherence on a bigger item, however, you need to cover the whole surface for a full print. Its expensive, so other options might be attractive.

Get a surface "sticker" for the hot bed.  Mine ended up wrecked after one of my axes slipped due to a loose screw, and the nozzle g…

Fixing a blocked PFTE Tube [3d printing for total and utter idiots]

I recently built a clone Delta 3D printer, and after a couple of weeks of grief, fixed 95% of the problems (just a hot end fan that suddenly stopped running last week to fix), but ran into serious issues when my hot end became completely clogged.

So many learning issues here, but just a quick few.

Firstly, the fan problem probably caused this.  Because the "cold part" of the hot end basically feeds in the filament, it shouldn't get too hot. Because it is only less than 2mm, its very easy to melt filament from an uncooled hot end and block other parts.  The difficulty in unclogging this is that it is actually quite difficult to replicate overheating!  (This sounds surprising, but it takes some hours of use for the hot end even without fan, to reach sufficient heat to start melting filament.  My workaround for the moment (I suspect the issue is a mosfet blown or connection to pin loose on the motherboard) will be to attach a small device such as Arduino or Pi Zero to the f…