Fully Deployed

November 06, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

The new web site has been generally cleaned up, moved to new hardware, and ready to go.  There are likely some hidden bugs I need to sort through still, but all-in-all, it seems to be working.


It's a culmination of a big skill refresh - there are lots of fancy new technologies humming under the hood.  It feels good to get it finally ready to go after all these months.



New Web Site

October 26, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I continue to very slowly move towards going live with the new web site.  You can take a peek here, if you're brave.  I think it generally works and all your changes and posts should appear at both old and new locations.


I'm sure I'll still tinker, though I'm generally happy with the way it turned out.  The main thing is that it proves to myself that I can master an entirely new way of doing web development.  The front end is AngularJS with a Material Design UI, coupled with a C# .NET web API backend.  I nerded out pretty hard making it all happen.


The new web site is running on my personal computer - I've got to keep it up and running until I get the old server reinstalled and ready to go.  So far, so good.



The Art Dresser Is Fully Functional

September 12, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I rallied Joanna and the kids to finish the art dresser, a project that has been ongoing for the entire summer.  Duncan had me print out Billy the Kitten pictures and glue them on.  Joanna attached odd things she'd found while cleaning up the basement.  I put some maps on top.  The whole thing got many layers of enamel spray.


I moved a bunch of things into the drawers, though I think we can likely purge some of them.  Joanna was skeptical about my organization technique, though it made perfect sense to me.  Science related things go in the Star Wars drawer.  The Bob Ross drawer gets painting supplies.  Duncan's cat drawer gets all the glitter.  Or maybe my brain just doesn't work like everyone else's.



New Web Server

September 04, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

It was a bit of effort, but I've updated the hardware and software that runs this site.  I think the old server is at least ten years old at this point, but it's hard to say for sure.  I jumped from Windows 2000 to 2016, which probably gives a sense as to how long the old server has been chugging away in the basement.  The server software is still in beta, but hopefully it'll get finalized soon.  I need to sort out backups and some other things, but at least all the quirky things I've built over the years are working.



Art Dresser

September 04, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

The last drawer of the art dresser was finished tonight. Duncan decided his would have a Battle Cats theme. We managed to put all the pictures on upside down at first, but managed to turn then over without spreading too much glue around.



Art Dresser

July 18, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

We had an old dresser in the house that was a little rickety and didn't really fit anywhere.  I decided to turn it into an art dresser, enlisting the kids to decorate the drawers.  It's been a very slow-motion art project - it's challenging motivating their creative talents at times.  Berry and Emma are the only ones that have contributed so far, though Joanna wants to do a drawer.  I'm hoping I can convince Duncan and Sam to do the top or sides.

So far, I'm pretty happy with the end result.  I'm looking forward to loading it up with my old video game DVDs or board games.



Little Library

May 09, 2016 by Adam in Adam's Projects

One of the things popping up in our neighborhood are the little free libraries.  People walk by, pick up a book and leave a book behind.  The theory is that it's a good way to share physical books and foster your local community.


Joanna asked for one, and after some hemming and hawing on my part, I finally started getting the parts together.  My initial prototype was done in cardboard, which turned out to be smaller than what Joanna wanted.  I increased the height and got to cutting.  Unfortunately my available wood got pretty tight and I had to compromise a little - that's where the multiple pieces in the front came from.

Still, it came together relatively well.  I screwed and glued and sealed it all.  The door itself was the hardest, especially without a good table saw.  I ended up getting lucky and the door opens and closes relatively well.  There are some gaps, though, and I may go back through with some weather stripping to seal it up better.

Last weekend Emma and I poured concrete, with Emma adding a smiley face permanently in the stone.  She also drew the library sign, which turned out pretty well.

Yesterday for Mother's Day I went out with Berry to screw it in.  Unfortunately I immediately stripped the screw and was stuck balancing it, halfway attached and unable to leave.  After some failed attempts at gracefully removing it, Berry fetched a hack saw and we cut through the screw.  Later Sam came out to help and we got it nicely attached.  Berry and Joanna did the honors of putting in books, and now it's good to go.



Drone

July 12, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Projects

One of my Father's Day presents was a low-cost drone with a little camera.  It's actually quite a bit of fun to fly around and I've gotten to the point where I don't crash instantly.  The range of the remote is decent, but I find that after I reach a certain height the drone gets confused and falls.  Still, you can get some good aerial footage and it's fun to chase the kids around.




Basement Entertainment

February 27, 2015 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I continue to fiddle with the basement setup, trying to move it from a "little kids run around and play with toys" place into a "bigger kids hang out and interact".  I rearranged the couches and moved our old big t.v. downstairs.  The picture quality isn't the best, but apparently it works for watching Batman and Barbie, which the little kids did all day long when they were sick.  I've got the Wii hooked up to it - it's not reading disks, but it can stream Netflix just fine.

Emma is a regular user of the treadmill, which used to have an old laptop for entertainment.  Netflix was too choppy and driving me a little crazy.  I mounted a small but decent t.v. to the wall and hooked up Duncan's old computer to both that screen and the big t.v. It's complicated, but seems to work pretty well.

Next up is an attempt to fix one of our two broken Wiis.  I bought a special screwdriver to open it.  Hopefully I can clean it out and make it work.  If not, I can try replacing and CD player and getting it to read disks again.



Pink Screen

December 01, 2014 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I finally decided to buy myself a new computer after getting the green light from Joanna.  All the parts but the hard drive arrived.  After some missteps and issues running the system preparation software, I managed to pull the hard drive from my old computer and move it to the new computer. 

It seemed to work great, other than the screen being rather pink.  After updating all the drivers to no effect, I unplugged the monitor cable and plugged it in again.  Everything worked like a charm.

I'm running into a few issues, though I'm not sure if it's due to the new computer or my enthusiastic changing of game settings to max.  I may take things down a notch and try again.



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