Archive for August, 2021

The Lawn Under the Lawn

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

“Yak shaving,” well-known among a certain class of nerds, refers to artificial dependencies that you insert before your ultimate objective, distracting you and derailing you from getting the job done. My favorite sample yak shaving is on Seth Goden’s blog from 2005.

Yak shaving would be: I want to use the lab power supply on my workbench, but my CupCake is hooked up to it, and I haven’t finished getting the CupCake’s aging extruder motor to work, so suddenly I’m spending the weekend working on the CupCake, so I can get it fixed and move it out of the way, so I can use the power supply under it to do … whatever it is that I was going to do. (This is a fictional, but relatable, example.)

Some time back, Cort said to me:

Doing technology work is often like going out to mow your lawn, and you think it’s going okay, but partway into it you discover there’s a whole ‘nother lawn under your lawn, and now you have to mow the one underneath before you can mow the one you thought you were there for. And then sometimes you start mowing the lawn under your lawn and you find out there’s another one under that, too.


Tryna Print Some TPU

Friday, August 6th, 2021

I picked up a couple rolls of Overture TPU and it’s lovely stuff — supple and squishy and I really want to use it — but I just can’t get it to print right.

Block printed in Overture TPU with insufficient extruder tension


Getting Started with D-duino-Clone ESP8266 and SSD1306 0.96″ OLED Module

Friday, August 6th, 2021

D-duino clone ESP8266 and SSD1306 OLED module

I’ve been interested in the ESP8266 for a long time; and way back in 2017 when I first learned that support had been added to program them with the Arduino IDE, I ordered this totes adorbs little guy, who’s been patiently waiting for me until today. In the process of figuring out how to program it, I learned that it’s a clone of the D-duino.

I find the ESP8266 market space very confusing, with lots of boards and lots of assumptions that you already know what you’re doing. It took me a fair bit of searching and fiddling to get this working. In case you’re in the same boat I was until yesterday and want to try this yourself, here is one currently-available product [no affiliation] that I expect will be identical to mine. You may find others; and/or you may not even need this walkthrough, both of which are perfectly fine.