Guides + Hardware Guides + Software Guides

3d Printer Switch with Octoprint & SmartThings

My MakerGear M2 doesn't have a power switch, and it isn't convenient to turn off its power strip, so I connected it to an Iris Smart Plug with a little power switch on it. That solved the problem, and also let me turn the printer on and off with Alfred, but tempted me to intergrate with Octoprint. Octoprint has a plugin, System Command Editor, that lets you execute shell commands from Octoprint's Power menu. That makes the Octoprint part easy - now it's just a matter of controlling a SmartThings device from Linux.

Uses for fishpaper

Fishpaper is an insulative paper that used to be common in antique radios. It's often used to insulate transformers.

The history of the name is pretty interesting. According to Alvin G. Sydor:


In 1729 Stephen Gray made the discovery of the conducting and non-conducting power of different substances. Gray found that by using woven silk served as an excellent insulator. Some years later it was found that the paper industry could provide what was equivalent to woven silk. Later it was discovered that if the paper was saturated with fish oil its ability as an insulator was much improved particularly when used in harsh environments and high voltages.


Recently, I've been using it for fast and cheap electronics cases. This is one of my backup servers:

Rebuilding a Porter Cable 18V battery

I have a large collection of 18V Porter Cable tools. The oldest are from 2010, and the batteries are starting to fail. I've heard that Harbor Freight's 18V battery uses the same cells. A new Porter Cable battery is about $40, whereas the Harbor Freight battery, with the ubiquitous 20% off coupon, is just $10.40.

Both batteries open by just removing a few screws. The Porter Cable battery is better packaged, but the layout of the cells is identical:

Github Apple II Repositories

Eventhough this has been around for sometime,
I thought I would start a topic on the above as there
seems to be alot on offer on this site. There is
aload of stuff to be found for the Apple II and emulators.

There is source code, disk tools, emulators written in
various languages and system disks.

It won't all be for the Apple but you can look at other code as well.

Here is what I have found so far. It is not meant to be a complete
list so if you know of any others please add.


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Setting up Cura and OctoPrint for the Mini Fabrikator (Tiny Boy)

I recently bought a Mini Fabrikator (TinyBoy) on the advice of Ex-parrot.

The instructions describe how to set the printer up with Repetier-Host. Ex-parrot uses Octoprint. Print time can take hours, so I decided to use Octoprint as well, installed on a Raspberry Pi, so that my MacBook won't be tied down while printing.

I'm using the latest version of Octoprint (1.2.5). I tried installing the latest version of Cura (15.06.03), but the option for non-Ultimaker printers seems to have been removed, so downgraded to 15.04.2, which is working well.

Below are screenshots of the settings which Ex-parrot recommended to me. I've done about a half dozen prints so far and haven't felt the need to make any changes. Comments with suggested tweaks are welcome.

Installing WordPress on Snow Leopard

A complete guide to turning your regular Mac running Snow Leopard into a Web server hosting WordPress.

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Prototype Clear TAM Trackpad

Thought people might want to see a picture of this. I was passed this from a friend.

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Cracking Open the Time Capsule

An in-depth look at Apple's Time Capsule: how to get more room for backups, and a cooler, quieter-running Time Capsule with a single upgrade.

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iBook G4 12 inch Logic Board Issues - The definitive Guide

Chances are that if you're reading this, you have an iBook that isn't working properly. For the last two years, I have been supporting a deployment of 2k plus iBook G4 12 inch computers. If there is an issue that could rear its head on these machines, chances are good that I have found it. I'm going to break this guide up into a few sections - symptom charts, what parts work in what machines, and whether it's worth doing the work yourself.

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Fixing the Epson 'Prints Blank Pages' Problem

A number of Epson inkjet printers suffer from a problem where they eventually print nothing but blank pages, even with new ink tanks. Here's a way to try to fix the problem.

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