#qi-hardware IRC log for Monday, 2012-03-12

kristianpaul"Credits (images remixed by me on an M1):" ha this very cool !00:23
kristianpaulcheers to christopheradams !00:25
Action: roh was reading up about the gta04 crowd... i wonder how desperate they are for a proper case00:29
rohi was thinking about making a more rectangular case even. we'll see where it drives me00:29
rohthey are really paying 50euro for a shapeways printed case which looks as ugly as the original one *g*00:29
kristianpaulshapeways is suposed to have good quality no? i guess is a desigh problem ;)00:32
kristianpaulmore rectangular as the nokia N9 ? :*)00:32
wpwrak50 EUR doesn't seem to be terribly expensive00:33
rohkristianpaul: the original design is very fragile and needs thin and strong parts00:34
rohit has clips etc00:34
wpwrakand it's good that they're getting the case under their control. that ancient "china olympics" case has long overstayed its welcome00:34
wolfspraulwpwrak: what's not what is happening :-)00:34
rohwpwrak: they currently are only adding one hole to the one they got already.00:34
wolfspraulat least it's consistent across the entire project :-)00:35
wolfspraulroh: I totally agree with your 'more rectangular' idea - why not? the #1 criteria is that it works for us and produces something that stands in real life00:35
rohi was more thinking if i can make something from milled acryllic, with more style and bling for the same money, while earning a few ones myself on the way00:36
rohalso i want to have more small rockets on shit people carry around!11!00:36
wolfspraulnot look at what Apple does and try to mimick the last curved angle, desperately00:36
wolfspraulroh: I totally agree00:36
rohwolfspraul: hrhr. no apple clone for sure. we'll see. my guess is that it will have screws in the 4 corners and some kind of stacked design from acryllic or other plastics00:37
wolfspraulabsolutely00:37
Action: roh finds apple design boring00:37
wolfspraulwe'll use it for a future milkymist-based mobile product :-)00:37
rohhrhr00:37
wolfspraulthe moment you glance over to some other 'designer', you already lost00:37
wolfsprauleither you have taste or you don't00:38
wolfspraulif you do, then by all means - GO FOR IT! :-)00:38
rohin simplicity is beauty for me. that means mechanics as well as design. remove every unneccessary foobar.00:38
wolfspraulsure00:38
rohyes it will have angled and or round sides, for mechanical feeling (no sharp edges).. but thats a requirement, not design for optics00:39
rohlucky that its small enough to fit our mill... will have to do loads of experiments finding out how to properly mill acryllics00:39
rohthe mm1 is too big to mill!00:39
Action: wpwrak finds many of apple's design ideas inspiring. brutally unadorned is good :)00:40
rohwpwrak: some, yes. but they also have a lot of stupid ones, which are obviously not thought through.00:40
wolfspraul'design' is not just the surface00:41
wpwrakoh yes. you have to be selective in what you recycle :)00:41
wolfspraulgood design starts with an idea and then brings that idea out in practical ways and in real life00:41
rohe.g. the sharp corners on the new aluminium series notebooks. people are now even explaining how to 'sand down the front corner'00:41
rohwhy? because it hurts your wrists elsewise when using a lot00:41
wolfspraulmilling acrylics sounds good00:42
wpwrakroh: (mill m1) you mean even one piece ? or the whole set ?00:42
wolfspraul(as an experiment)00:42
rohwpwrak: the top and bottom pieces are too big for the Y direction00:42
rohwpwrak: we can do something like 24cm X and 12.5cm Y travel00:42
wpwrak(sharp Al edges) they should at least make it stainless steel then - like any serious knife :)00:43
wolfspraulwe should actually send the entire m1 box and case to some design contests00:43
wolfspraulwhy not?00:43
wpwrak(Y size) oh, pity. i thought you could do larger things.00:43
wolfspraulif they hate it, let them throw it out of the competition :-)00:43
rohwolfspraul: i know its possible, i just dont know what the things to know are yet. maybe i need cooling, maybe its just a question of sharp tools/millheads and the right speed00:43
wolfspraulotherwise I want to see it standing site by side to an Apple iWhatever and either win or loose :-)00:44
rohwpwrak: nope. but we can do steel. its very solid and strong00:44
wolfspraulwe promise not to bribe the judges00:45
wpwraka steel case for gta04 should be nice. instant FCC approval ;-)00:45
wpwrakof course, apple may sue you for stealing and perfecting their idea ...00:45
rohif somebody sues me, ive already won (free publicity)00:46
wpwrakwolfspraul: frog design vs. "laser cutter style" ? :)00:46
wolfspraulyes, gives you the kick. I still remember last time I got a letter from 'famous' Intel!00:46
wolfspraulthey even said they are 'famous' in the first line00:46
wolfspraul(seriously)00:46
wpwrak;-))00:46
wolfspraulI was so impressed.00:46
rohhihi. what did you do? misplace a datasheet?00:47
wolfspraulQi Inside00:47
rohhihi00:47
wpwrakhah ! ;-)00:47
wpwrakin the dungeon with him !00:47
wolfsprauloh my god00:47
wolfspraulI may need to cleanse the irclogs now00:47
wolfspraulargh00:47
wolfspraulI signed the gazillion USD punishment treaty they offered me00:47
wolfsprauloh wait, maybe not00:47
wpwrakisn't parody "fair use" ? :)00:47
rohwpwrak: for me it is00:48
roh'telefonstreich!1!telefonstreich!!1!'00:48
wolfspraulI was already planning to sell "Wolfgang Inside" supporter t-shirts with a pic of me behind bars00:48
wolfspraulbut before I could really kick into high gear, they stoped responding to my mails :-)00:48
wpwrakroh: btw, did you run into any acrylic pitfalls with the mill yet ? i thought one of your very first experiments was with acrylic and it looked quite alright00:48
rohwpwrak: not yet... thus i think i can get away with using proper speed and tools00:49
wpwrak"wolfgang inside" very nice :)00:49
wpwrakroh: didn't you make some sort of plaque with the mill as the first experiment ?00:50
wpwrak(many years ago)00:50
rohwpwrak: we tried, but we failed00:50
wpwrakah, i see00:50
rohnot enough tries for the amount of material00:50
wpwrakhehe :)00:51
rohi still got the rests00:51
rohthe cad design of one of those that the text mirrored00:51
wpwrakshit happens :)00:51
rohso the 1st price would have looked quite weird... either the text mirrored, or the '1'00:51
rohack. we learned from it00:52
wpwrakthe risk of creating toolpaths directly, without using CAD :)00:56
wpwrakin this weekend's wood experiments, i also generated toolpaths directly. also got a nice collection of bugs :)00:57
rohwpwrak: well.. it had cad. but the mirroring was gone wrong and we didnt check till it was too late00:59
rohclassic -e-human-too-distracted-because-its-something-new 00:59
wpwraki should actually run this through openscad or such. make a block, then extrude a cylinder along the toolpath and subtract it from the block. in theory, the resulting solid should emerge. i may blow openscad's brain in the process, though.00:59
wpwrakah, the christmas effect :)01:00
rohwe were so kept by making shure its milling ok that nobody questioned where it was milling, just how fast and what the finish looks like01:00
rohall our more complex (not handwritten) gcodes for the mill were from heekscam so far01:00
wpwrakif the prospective recipient was a true geek, he would have approved of your priorities :)01:00
rohmodels were made somewhere lese01:01
rohoh.. that was fine. it was for a challenge nobody really archieved ;)01:01
wpwraknow that heekscad is dying, what we you using / considering to use ?01:01
rohso there was no 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. just 'tried hard' 'yeah. nice, but worse that the last' and 'not the last'01:02
rohnot sure. we'll see01:02
rohi guess since i will base it on 2d cad again i will see what there is and how well it works again01:03
rohthere were some tools to make toolpathes from 2d stuff01:03
rohand after all... i edit gcode a lot in the end01:03
rohadding 'jumps' over clamps etc01:03
rohchanging parameter like speed or so01:04
rohpart of the machinist's job01:04
rohthats why people are 'cnc machining engineers' nowadys, not just workers01:05
wpwrakwow. jumps over clamps ;-)01:09
Action: pabs3 likes the FR case, nice and solid, no need for a rubber cover01:17
rohthe printed cases have no coating like the ones we had for gta0201:26
pabs3does that matter?01:27
rohfeels quite different01:27
wolfspraulpabs3: following industry processes blindly is a recipe for failure01:28
wolfspraulwe need to build up our own processes thinking only about what works FOR US01:28
wolfspraulfrom the materials, software tools, machines to assembly process and through several product generations01:29
wpwrakroh: btw, have you done two-sided milling yet ? i.e., do one side, flip the part, then do the other side. if yes, how bad was the experience ? ;-)01:30
wpwrak(i'm currently limiting myself to one-sided only. but it's hard)01:31
pabs3wolfspraul: agreed. I was mainly commenting on the case design. I guess the materials used matter though01:31
rohwpwrak: not yet01:31
rohwpwrak: mostly a question of precise clamping mechanics01:31
wpwraktwo-sided would be easier when making molds. but that opens a few cans of gourmet worms of its own ...01:32
wolfspraulpabs3: the case design is a result of the needs and plans of the companies making/selling it01:32
wolfsprauldon't be so naive that you think they designed it so that YOU like it01:33
wpwrakclamping or acquiring the orientation. in my case, if have the additional problem that i have no clamps. it's all adhesive tape :-(01:33
wolfspraulthey designed is so that it is profitable for them, and through several generations/product line, reuse of tools, etc. and then they spend time to explain to you why you SHOULD like it, why it's so COOL. :-)01:33
wolfspraulthat's a business01:33
wolfspraulif we are confused about this and just say "oh, we also want to be so cool", that's just stupid and we will go nowhere.01:33
wpwrakwe know the history of that FR case design ... ;-)01:33
wolfspraulwe need to serve our own needs, make it cheap and good and easy to manufacture and service.01:34
wolfspraulthat's great design01:34
wolfspraulthen we explain why it's cool01:34
wolfspraulthe outer shape is a side-effect, almost casualty, of this process01:34
wpwrakat the moment, we're pretty much tool-driven. or, rather, tool-constrained01:34
Action: pabs3 not familiar with the history, sorry01:35
wolfsprauldon't believe some marketing folks who are trying to tell you that some artist made this and it fell from the sky01:35
wolfspraulconsumer electronics companies are strictly economics driven, including, and especially so, Apple01:35
wolfspraulthose profits allow them to drive a big machine explaining why the look that is best for them is also "great-looking" for you01:35
wolfspraulthat's all :-)01:36
wpwrakif someone digs up a pot of gold, a proper 3D printer may be something worth playing with for prototyping. that may still not give us a "go straight to the fab" process, but it would give up full design control.01:36
wpwrakwe can achieve much of the same with CNC mills, but they require a lot more experience and effort.01:37
wpwraks/give up/give us/01:37
wpwrakwolfspraul: i think the big difference is going from 2D or 3-axis CNC to 5/6-axis or 3D printing (for models/prototypes)01:40
wolfspraulthe prototype is a prototype for what? a prototype to demonstrate a hopeless Apple-catchup? or a prototype to demonstrate an independent but unmanufacturable design position? or a prototype for a sensationally economic manufacturing process?01:42
wpwrakwith 2D, you're limited to designs like the M1 case. i.e., anything that pokes outside your plane is difficult. M1 is an example that shows that you can still get a nice overall result. but the approach has many limits.01:42
wolfspraulI think about manufacturing first, if the prototype gets us closer to cheaper manufacturing - great.01:42
wpwraka prototype for the shape. then you go to the fab and let their people re-capture the design with the tools they use01:42
wolfspraulnah01:42
wolfspraulthat black box approach doesn't work01:42
wolfspraulthe black box does not exist01:43
wpwrakyou even have it to some extent for PCBs01:43
wolfspraulI'm all in favor of experiments and prototypes, just wondering what they are used for then.01:43
wpwrakyou send them the gerbers or placement files, but then something "magic" happens with them inside the fab before things go to the actual machines01:43
wolfspraulI think 90% will just demonstrate their desire to catchup with Apple, because few people actually have an independent design position in their minds.01:43
wolfsprauland if they would, maybe they wouldn't need the fancy 3D printer in the first place01:44
wolfsprauljust go to any contemporary art fair, and check how many fancy tools those guys need for their works01:44
wolfspraulyou will be surprised :-)01:44
wpwrakyou need prototypes to find out if the thing "works". i.e., is it mechanically sound ? does it feel right ? if there are moving parts, do they move ? do they interfere ? is anything too loose or too tight ?01:44
wolfspraultotally, agree01:45
wolfspraulbut then what? we want to manufacture and sell stuff01:45
wolfspraulnot make 1 prototype or super low-volume fine-art edition01:45
wpwrakyou need the prototype to validate your design. for fabrication, you then need something that's optimized for the machines and the process that will be used01:46
wolfspraulif we don't understand those "machines and processes", then they don't exist01:46
wpwrakbest case would be that you generate an STL file they can adapt01:46
wolfspraulthat is the same as with the PCB maker btw, only that we are all quite clear about PCBs so that knowledge is implicit01:46
wpwrakoh, you can understand them. but they still vary01:46
wolfspraulwhereas in mechanical we are still building it up01:46
wolfspraulbut I know for sure that the "we make a prototype and then we send it to china to copy cheap" approach is 100% guaranteed to fail01:47
wpwrakwhy ?01:48
wolfspraulbecause you will project wrong capabilities on your 'cheap chinese copy machine'01:48
wpwrakwell, you have to understand the limitations of their process01:48
wpwrake.g., if you plan to injection-mold, better don't have enclosed empty spaces :)01:49
wolfspraulanybodys' process, materials, software and machine tools, etc. yes.01:49
wolfspraulI think the path we are on with the m1 case is perfectly right.01:49
wolfsprauljust as a bottom line01:49
wolfspraulit's a perfect case01:49
wolfspraulmaybe we could experiment with metal a little01:50
wpwraksure. for example, there's a very long list of things to consider when injection-molding. but all that can already be in your prototype. even if you made it with a 3D printer capable of creating arbitrary shapes. (the better ones can do that)01:50
wolfsprauland I will still try to make those parts out of FR4 (common pcb core material)01:50
wolfspraulbut why?01:50
wolfspraulI was asking about the goal01:50
wolfspraulcatch up/copy some other corp A?01:50
wolfspraulmake a functional improvement?01:51
wolfspraulmake it to the MoMA?01:51
wpwrakfunctional improvement, high volume, etc.01:51
wolfspraulfor example the m1 case is not waterproof01:51
wolfspraulif you spill a bottle of beer on it - bad01:51
wolfspraulso we can now try to work on that without making the case less manufacturable or more expensive01:51
wolfspraulor maybe that's too hard / not worth it01:51
wpwrakthe M1 case is adequate for that sort of device. but you couldn't use the same approach for something much smaller.01:52
wolfspraulwhy not?01:52
wolfspraulthat begs for an experiment, no? :-)01:52
wpwrakand try to build something as simple as a battery cover with that laser cutter :)01:52
wolfspraulno need01:53
wolfspraulwe learn from corp A that removable batteries are a thing of the past anyway :-)01:53
wolfspraul(joking, joking)01:53
wolfspraulI will only follow a decision making process that makes my life easier, and thus helps me serve my customers better.01:53
wpwrakthe approach of company A is very tempting. but what if you're super cost-sensitive and want disposable batteries ?01:54
wolfspraulmy point is: we must choose a process that HELPS US.01:54
wolfspraulthat is the killer design01:54
rohi would just make a screwable back-cover for now.01:54
wpwrakof course. process follows design. design follows function.01:55
wolfspraulnot to run around like chicken trying to copy others, or hoping in some magic black boxes to fix the things we don't want or cannot think about01:55
wpwrakroh: not very consumer-friendly01:55
wolfspraulroh: yes01:55
wolfspraulwho says that01:55
rohnothing is unreplaceable as long as you can open and close something without destroying01:55
wolfspraulI go out and say this *IS* the most consumer friendly way01:55
rohwpwrak: its not for endusers. its for experienced ones in that case.01:55
wolfspraulno way01:55
wolfspraulyou guys don't factor in how public perception is formed01:55
rohespecially since the sim and sd are behind the battery01:56
wolfspraulcorp A first looks at what is more profitable for them01:56
wolfspraulthen they decide to do that01:56
wolfspraulthen they decide to use the profits to tell people in very smart ways how great this is for them01:56
rohif those would be external reachable, i could imagine something screw-accessible even for endusers01:56
wolfspraulthat's only fair, that's a business01:56
wpwrakroh: yes. i want to reach the masses. people who don't even own a screwdriver. and if they do, they'd be confused why your screws have two slits01:56
rohwpwrak: users arent that stupid anymore.01:56
rohi see a lot of technology reuse and abuse, also from real endusers.01:57
wolfspraulwe are on a good path, I am very proud of the m1 case01:57
wolfspraulactually I will really try to get it into some design competition01:57
wpwrakroh: consider the tamagochi. would you build that with screws to change the battery ?01:57
wolfsprauljust sent an email out to a friend to recommend me one, let's see :-)01:57
rohwpwrak: i wouldnt work on it because its a bad product (generates waste mostly)01:58
wolfspraulthe tamagochi's case was built like that because it suited the manufacturer of the tamagochi at the time01:58
wolfspraulnot because some genius/designed had an idea under the shower in the morning and then proceeded like moses to bring this to earth01:58
wpwrakroh: think of it as something generating revenue. to hell with the planet. there's not shortage of planets in this galaxy :)01:58
rohwpwrak: doesnt work for me01:59
rohi need a stronger motivation than money usually01:59
wolfsprauland we don't need to under-estimate the design flexibility of users, small or large part of the population01:59
wpwrakroh: so you want something that meets user expectations. changing the battery should be easy. nothing fumbly. certainly no screwdrivers - helicopter mum would freak out when you were showing her such a dangerous tool that could hurt her little darlings.02:00
wolfspraulif something works really well for yourself, there is a very good chance it works well for others too02:00
wolfspraulthat is 100 times stronger than any marketing campaign trying to tell me this or that02:00
wolfspraulwpwrak: wrong02:00
wolfspraulI have at least 20 toys in my household, all with batteries.02:00
wolfspraulso nasty02:00
wolfsprauland >75% of them are fastened with screws02:00
wolfspraulsome are not, and then for those toys I easily loose the battery cover02:01
rohwpwrak: you are barking up the wrong tree. i am pro replaceable.02:01
wolfsprauldaddy has to recharge the batteries anyway, so it doesn't matter to me whether I have to unscrew the battery cover or not02:01
rohwpwrak: easy is a question of pov.02:01
wpwrakhow long does a battery last in those that have screws ? in relation to useful product life02:01
wolfspraulbut for those toys where we lost the battery door - bad02:01
rohyears.02:01
rohi still have a battery in my phone which is 3 or 4 years old now02:02
wolfspraulwpwrak: my daugher manages to run through the batteries in a toy she likes within days!02:02
wolfsprauland I still prefer the battery door to have screws, and I must not be alone since so many toys are like that02:02
rohfor stuff which isnt charged 'as it it' sure.02:02
wpwrakand that toy where the batteries last only for days is with screws ?02:03
wolfspraulyes02:03
wolfspraulabsolutely02:03
wpwrakmaybe they just expect people to throw it away and buy a new one ;-)02:03
wolfsprauland that is fine, because the price for not having screws is a higher chance to loose the battery door02:03
wolfsprauland THAT IS BAD02:03
wolfspraulgo find a battery door in a children's playroom - argh02:03
wpwrak;-))02:03
wpwrakthere's more to it. if your device is intended for mobile use, you may not have access to a screwdriver and/or a suitable environment when you need to change batteries02:04
wolfspraulthat's true02:04
wolfsprauland I am in disagreement with roh over the screws where he prefers an Allen key, but I think a Philips key is better/more common02:05
rohwpwrak: as i said. if its something which isnt charged as it its... it has no screws. but thats just for low-end crap anyhow.02:05
rohi dont do that02:05
wpwraklosing screws is also a bad thing. and they tend to be lost easier than a battery cover. maybe not in the case of kids toys, because kids may not appreciate the need to preserve the battery cover. so once they're able to remove it they will. while they can't remove the screws.02:05
wolfspraulyes :-)02:05
wolfspraulbut that's one example of "stands in real life", and those are the kinds of things we must design our products for02:06
rohe.g. why do remotes not have rechargeable li-po cells and a micro-usb conn?02:06
wpwrakof course, once your daughter has learned where to find daddy's tools and how to remove the screws, you'll spend your days hunting the chinese markets for the right kind of tiny screws :)02:06
rohjust recharge once every few month02:06
rohwpwrak: screws are actually quite standartized compared to battery flaps02:07
wpwrakroh: a rechargeable battery would probably double or triple the manufacturing cost02:07
rohwpwrak: ack.02:07
rohbut not as in tco for the user02:07
rohadding about 2 sets of non-rechargeables every year02:07
rohthose cost the same as the remote a set02:08
wpwrakroh: since when do consumers think in terms of TCO ? especially when it comes to low-cost products ?02:08
rohwpwrak: ignore that. doesnt matter for open products without an included obsolescence limit.02:08
wpwrakthat's two different things02:09
rohno.02:09
wpwrakand your customer may not care about openness02:09
rohwpwrak: then he usually isnt my customer anyhow.02:09
wpwrakand they may fully expect things to become obsolete. even if they don't02:09
wolfspraulcustomers don't care about openess because that is so vaguely defined02:09
wpwrak;-)02:09
wolfspraulbut customers do care about a lot of things that we know can be achieved by using open tech and open processes02:09
wolfspraulso I see the 'open' angle as more of a professional one02:10
wpwrakyes, i agree with that02:10
wolfsprauland fittingly we have very specific understanding of 'open'02:10
wpwrakit makes our work easier. so we can make better products.02:10
wolfspraulyes02:10
wpwrakthe end user doesn't see the openness. but they see the product.02:10
rohi think one big salespoint of opensource-hw is the fixability and long live design02:10
wpwrakroh: it can be. but that's not a concern for every product. and not for every user.02:11
rohwpwrak: may be. but ask yourself where the current nonfree trends lead02:12
wpwrakroh: e.g., i avoid use cases where i'd invest time into customizing a product that i know i won't be able to replace without repeating the customization02:12
rohonly crappier stuff. people are annoyed by that.02:12
wolfsprauldesign quality as well since 'open' means a wider basis for collaboration02:12
wolfspraulthat can be explained and marketed02:12
wpwrakroh: one consequence is that i don't have a smartphone. well, i have a whole stack of them (from openmoko :) but i don't use them02:12
wolfspraulalso knowledge of materials and processes, even worker rights and fair trade - all marketable imho02:13
wpwrakroh: crappy only annoys if it fails to meet expectations02:13
wolfspraulbut product quality stands out for me02:13
rohi dont use a smartphone for a simple different reason. a phone which doesnt survive a day of normal use on one battery is unusable for me.02:13
wolfspraulif open hardware takes off, it will be very hard to match the quality of its designs02:13
wolfspraulnot if - 'when' it takes off :-)02:13
wpwrakroh: there are things where it's quite okay if they don't last a lifetime. it's sometimes easier to replace something than to make it durable and take appropriate care of it02:14
rohwpwrak: that will change as ressources are going down02:15
rohwpwrak: think about oil getting 10 times as expensive and energy being also much more expensive.02:15
rohsame for shipping and materials.02:15
wpwrakroh: that'll take a lot of time ;) and it may actually be more resource-friendly to make something cheap than something durable02:16
rohthen the manufacturers can only sell if products last much much longer, or people will simply not buy them anymore02:16
rohwpwrak: no. it doesnt take as long as you think. <20 years.02:16
wpwrakwe'll probably see many uses of plastic get replaced with ceramics in due time.02:17
rohwe are some years after peak oil and gas are now. prices will only rise.02:17
rohwpwrak: where it makes sense, sure. e.g. kitchen things02:17
wpwraki think i heard those 20 years some 30 years ago ;-)02:17
rohwpwrak: 20 years ago we were pre peak oil and gas02:18
rohthats not that long ago (around 2000, +-5 depending who you ask or believe)02:18
wpwrakoh, there's an oil crisis every few years :)02:18
rohnope.02:18
wolfspraulincreasing energy costs (if they increase at all) will affect tech the least, because tech is so efficient and semiconductor advances can be measured in factors of thousands02:18
wolfspraulso whatever energy price increase can easily be offset with moore's law, even if that looses up slowly02:19
wpwrakthere always is. be it perceived lack of reservoirs, be it lack of production capability, be it an inopportune war, whatever02:19
rohwolfspraul: the biggest energy users are transport, heating, light, and production. not all of those can be shrunk down that much02:19
wolfspraulyes02:19
wolfspraulthat's my point02:19
wpwrakand about half of the oil crises are just to justify increasing prices02:20
rohe.g. compared to what my room lighting eats, all my electronic appliances eat less combined. including the computer. that was different about 10 years ago.02:20
wolfspraulso the tech economics are barely affected by energy costs02:20
wolfspraulyes, and shrinking. amazing, no?02:20
rohwpwrak: its real reduction in production the last few years.02:20
wpwrakroh: which makes a lot of sense for oil-rich countries02:21
rohi dont know if you noticed, but last winter russia delivered 20-30% less gas to europe not because of the usual cases (conflicts with transit countries) but because their production is down and they needed it for heating themselves.02:21
rohwpwrak: no. prices are high. they would like to produce more. there is just nothing they can do atm. pressure of the gas and oilfields is falling. you cannot just 'get out more' in the same time. doesnt work that way02:22
wpwrakwe don't get much russian oil or gas around here :) argentina has its own energy crisis, but that's 100% made by poor politics. we have plenty of oil.02:23
rohwolfspraul: i think the hightech industries can manage with what they can get much longer than others. e.g. the heavy industries are hit hard by energy cost (try melting alumunium by solar power)02:23
wpwrakperhaps that's really the problem in russia. maybe they're also not investing that much into exploiting new deposits.02:24
rohwolfspraul: hightech was hit hard last year by the japan desaster. harddisk prices doubled within days and chip releases needed to be pushed back. all that just-in-time shit bit them in the ass when the few production places went down02:25
rohjust in time is just another name for 'not in stock'. simple fail when viewed from a 'how stress-resistant is a process' angle.02:25
wpwraki wouldn't call this "hit hard". it's a glitch. "hit hard" would mean that they have to abandon a technology and find something new.02:26
rohwpwrak: just stop with that naive 'there needs to be more of the shit we used the last 30 years' thinking. its over. we need to completely revamp our energy systems on planet earth. japan has only 2 of >50 reactors online atm, and will service those 2 soon.02:26
wpwrakand if you had a time machine that can only transport you for five few years or more into the past, would you use it to buy hard disks ? :)02:27
rohthey had ~30% nuclear energy before. i dont think that will happen ever again.02:27
rohwpwrak: no. i would use it to put the designs of the more efficient windmills, water turbines and solar technology (electric as liquid based ones) together with a few nowadays chip design into the past.02:28
wpwrakroh: there's a lot of potential for saving energy everywhere. i'm not terribly worried about any countries going non-nuclear. i'd be more worried by them doing it improperly, though.02:28
wpwrakyeah, that sounds like a good use of that time machine :)02:29
rohwpwrak: thats the point. saving gets us nowhere. everything we save in the '1st world' is eaten up by china, india and others while you think. we need to make sure everyone can access better technology than that as early as possible.02:29
rohvendors in china are speaking of 'net-parity' withing 5 years now. thats when power from oil/gas costs the same as out of solar panels02:30
wpwrakyup. not doing obviously stupid things already goes a long way02:30
roh5 years ago we though we can do that in germany only when funding the technology for another 20 years. progress is made and its accellerating fast.02:31
wpwrakand energy prices are still way too low for the most part to cause them to seriously affect choices02:31
wolfspraulthere's plenty of energy around us, we just need to be a little smarter at converting it02:31
wpwrakchina and not wasting energy. hmm ;-)02:31
rohso i think the best we can do is make 'better' technologys for energy production from that fat fusion ball in the milkyway afail fast02:32
rohargh. available fast02:32
wolfsprauland don't just run around with clichees of china. just visited a neighbor last weekend who proudly told me he is powering his entire house with a geothermal installation in his backyard - 200m into the ground :-)02:32
wolfspraulhe tried to do the same at a farm outside of beijing (he is in the agriculture business), but that failed for a variety of reasons - they will try something else now :-)02:33
rohwolfspraul: nice. i heard they install about 2/3rds of the chinese solar panels inland, and that the national power provider has to set up poles in villages to power water pumps and gsm basestations. know if that is true?02:33
wpwrakif i didn't know there an entire planet between here and china, i'd think the full moon is caused by it being over china :)02:33
wolfsprauloverall I would agree that energy is wasted left and right in China, don't know whether it's worse than in the US though02:33
wolfspraulroh: very possible, sure. I don't know naturally because "china" is just too big. It's like 3-4 times "Europe" - and do you know what may happen somewhere in "Europe"? probably not...02:34
wpwraki think china and the us waste energy in different ways02:34
rohmaybe japan should just plaster all the 'lost land' around fukushima with solar panels. atleast then it would produce energy.. you cannot make food there anymore02:34
wpwrakfor both styles, you'd be crucified in germany ;-)02:34
rohanyhow. i think its nice that more people have understood how important it is to rethink the energy economy now and things are happening. lets hope other countries get that too, fast02:36
wpwrakroh: (food) hey, give darwin some credit. let's breed a new race of radiation-tolerant humans :)02:36
rohor we will have another high quality export article which will piss people off again *g*02:37
rohwpwrak: they tried in in tschernobyl. doesnt happen.02:37
rohmaybe in a few thousand generations. nothing we will know02:37
wpwrakroh: in chernobyl, they chickened out. wildlife seems to be pretty fine with the new situation. maybe the animals are happy that it's not quite so cold in winter now :)02:38
rohthe animals survive only by having loads of surplus offspring in numbers.02:39
rohso yes, they die fast. but they spread even faster. doesnt work that way for humans02:39
rohwpwrak: atleast thats what the recent studies show. wildlive yes. but happy? nope.02:39
wpwrakthat's only true for some animals02:40
rohthe only reason there are so many animals there is that man doesnt hunt em anymore.02:40
wpwrakgive them time. you need a few generations for a full adjustment. course the ones that breed faster adjust more quickly. bacterial probably laugh at all the trouble larger mammals are having.02:41
wpwrakyou see. one guy's disaster is another guy's opportunity :)02:41
rohwpwrak: there is no higher animal we know of which can cope radiation. they all mutate and have genetic defects fast.02:42
wpwrakbut they usually survive anyway02:43
wpwrakdon't confuse individual tragedy with long-term survival of the population02:43
rohi think the bigger question is: what happens if germany and some if its neighbours  would partner up with japan becoming the worlds leading natural energy consortium? i think that would strike more than shock and awe into some leaders minds.02:43
rohbecause regardless what happens. some facts are clear. coal, gas and oil will run out (also uranium btw). when exactly and with what curve is matter for discussion.. but do you want to be the last idiot to change?02:45
wpwrakwhat would that mean ? file more patents and prevent the others from using renewable energies ?02:45
wpwrakkeep the technology secret ?02:45
qi-bot[commit] Xiangfu: milkyist-files: add uci config files for 703n (master) http://qi-hw.com/p/openwrt-packages/0c2686e02:45
rohthats economic suicide (being the last)02:45
rohwpwrak: nope. patents dont protect shit. build stuff. make shit. first.02:45
rohif you do it earlier, you have more experience, better products. same game as always. innovate and improve.02:46
xiangfuall gtk package failed to build on recently openwrt under toolchain-mipsel_gcc-4.6-linaro_uClibc-0.9.3302:46
rohwe dont have any natural ressources to be worth a lot. so we need to sell brainpower anyhow.02:46
wpwrakthe knowledge gradient can only be so steep. if country A can do something and country B can't, it's often just a question of B not wanting it badly enough02:47
rohwpwrak: i think history prooves my point. i havent seen a single product copy being better than the original.02:48
wolfspraulhey btw02:48
wolfspraula little back to hardware, I think I realized something recently02:48
wpwrakwhat i mean is that .de and .jp may very well take the lead. but others will not have to be far behind.02:48
wolfspraulin China I typically see a few companies specializing on a particular product, usually less than 5, often just 1-202:48
wolfspraulbut what are their survival strategies if they don't have the highest volume on that product?02:49
wolfspraulcut corners on quality!02:49
wolfspraulthe customer decides what they end up buying, the manufacturer doesn't care02:49
wolfspraulbut they do this systematically, because you never know you may cut something that nobody actually cares about02:49
wolfspraulso say some competitor A is producting a product X, volume Y/month02:49
wolfspraulyou start, you want to get into this market02:50
wolfspraulyou secure your first order, out of the blue02:50
rohwolfspraul: if its really unimportant to function, i dont care02:50
wpwrakthere's the well-known effect of items "made in china" that, although flawlessly manufactured, are unfit for any purpose02:50
wolfspraulyou price your product below A - you have to!02:50
wolfspraulbut how can you be profitable if you price it below A and you have lower volume?02:50
wpwrakwell, except for landfull02:50
rohi mean.. what does it matter if the plastics is 'nice and shiny' on the chip? as long as the robot placing it can handle it the same02:50
wpwraks/full/fill/02:50
wolfspraulonly one way: cut quality/testing02:50
wolfspraulso they do that02:50
wolfsprauland then the market decides02:50
wolfsprauleither the market stays with the 'leader' who did this product first at some quality and pricepoint, or the volume shifts elsewhere02:51
wolfspraulinteresting approach02:51
rohwolfspraul: sure. i think development needs to be folded into the 'innovation, first to market' part anyhow.02:52
wolfspraulthis is definitely happening, I just finally see the pattern and see it in reality02:52
wolfspraultesting is expensive, so by removing some testing/oqc you can offset your disadvantage of late-start, i.e. lower volume and lower pricepoint02:52
wolfspraulthen the market decides and finds equilibrium somewhere02:53
rohwhen you are on the market long enough with a product to have good fakes around, you need to innovate again. i dont see a reason to help companies stay afloat when they dont fight for being better than the rest02:53
wolfsprauloh sure, nobody would even argue about that :-)02:53
wolfspraulbut I'm talking about how the first copycat starts02:53
wolfspraulbecause they come from behind - lower volume02:53
wpwrakthose dysfunctional low-cost products can be a problem. e.g., it's hard to find good compressors for your car (for inflating tires) in argentina02:53
wolfspraulhey02:53
wolfspraul:-)02:53
wolfspraulit's the sales secret here02:53
wolfspraulmaybe the buyers are even more stupid than the makers, in the end02:53
wpwrakyou get a lot of the cheap chinese ones but they fail very rapidly. sometimes barely survive inflating a single tire02:54
wolfspraulsure02:54
wolfspraulI just explained the system :-)02:54
rohalso sometimes good comes from it. samsung was said to be a copycat once also. but the did more than that. they innovated and made their own, high quality products. thats what keeps em alive.02:54
wolfspraulsure02:54
Action: pabs3 is reminded of Doctorow's recent book02:54
wpwrakand a product of decent quality, not talking about anything fancy, easily is 20x the price. and it's almost impossible to find in the first place.02:55
wpwrakvery often it's something a shop bought some 15 years ago and never sold because it's so expensive02:55
rohwpwrak: argentinia is weird.. but also one must see that they failed as a state and are still recouping from that02:55
wolfsprauland guess what. it's the same in China. that's why foreign luxury goods are selling like hot cakes, people are tired of searching through the crap.02:56
rohi mean.. when the state went bankrupt, years ago02:56
wolfspraulmaybe Chinese know best actually, and that's why those foreign brands sell so well02:56
wolfspraulit goes down to the simplest things, like pens and colors for kids02:56
wolfspraulbut anyway, the oqc issue is a serious one, I need to think about it for my own products.02:57
wolfspraulwe have to have the time and mind to judge the quality of the products we make ourselves02:57
wolfspraulrather than blindl dumping whatever into the market and letting the market find out02:58
wolfspraulthat's not right imho02:58
wpwrakroh: that's cyclic in argentina. we're heading for the next crisis now. government already restricted access to foreign currency, imposed massive restrictions on imports, and essentially removed all limitations from serving itself from the reserves of the central bank02:58
wpwrakroh: also combined with a massive cut in subsidies (e.g., some utility prices are going up by some 500% this year)02:58
wpwrakroh: they gambled on an excellent harvest this year to offset some of the fallout of these measures but there was a drought that will reduce the agricultural output by some 20%. the import restrictions will further contract the industry, including production for export (what little there is of that)03:01
wpwrakroh: so it shouldn't take very long until the next collapse. then there will be protests, a change in government, some hectical cleanup, and things will be on track again soon thereafter03:01
wpwrakroh: also the 2001/2002 crisis with the default wasn't that big a problem. people lost some of their savings, but since they're used to distrusting banks, that usually wasn't devastating03:03
wpwrakroh: there are longer-term effects that may eventually lead to serious problems. i think it depends on how long it takes people to figure out that populism governments aren't necessarily a good choice03:04
rohsubsidies are bad by concept... why were they in place?03:04
wpwraks/lism/list/03:04
wpwrakroh: to keep up the pretense that there's no inflation. people don't like inflation.03:05
rohare people that stupid?03:06
wpwrakroh: the official inflation numbers are something like 5-10%. the real inflation is > 20%03:06
rohboth shitty and feelable03:06
wpwrakapparently. the president was re-elected with 54% last year. it worked.03:06
wpwrakand right after re-election, they dropped the subsidies :)03:07
rohm-/03:09
wpwraka few weeks ago, there was a railroad accident - a train failed to brake at the head station. 51 people on the train killed. some 700 wounded.03:10
rohwhat kind of hq-exports does it have?03:10
rohbesides beef03:10
rohouch03:10
wpwrakthe railroad is run by a private company both with heavy subsidies. all that went operation, nothing into maintenance. the trains are some 60 years old. the rails, too. the track is designed for 100+ km/h. due to the poor state of the track, they limit the speed of the trains to 40 km/h. and there's a derailment every now and then.03:11
wpwrak(export) soy beans and some other agricultural products03:12
wpwrakalso cars. but that may change. some plants are stopping every few weeks because they're running out of parts (due to the import restrictions)03:12
wpwrakthose plants belong to companies like fiat or volkswagen. i would assume that most of the investment there is with capital from outside the country. if i had a plant that's being troubled by such issues, plus skyrocketing energy cost, plus heavy inflation, would i invest ? or would i rather let is run while it's still somewhat profitable, then shut it down ?03:14
wpwraknota bene, there's booming brazil next door. they know how to make cars, too.03:15
rohheh03:15
rohwhat do they do different?03:15
wpwrakthe train accident may make more people realize how things work. and perhaps cast their next vote accordingly.03:15
rohand why isnt there something like the eu (free trade etc) for south america?03:16
wpwrakbrazil: invest into industry. keep things stable enough for foreign investors to be interested. i think brazil is now the world's #8 industry nation, before the UK03:17
wpwrakbut of course there is :)03:17
wpwrakso you send your free trade goods, say, from brazil. let's say it's fridges. the government loves appliances.03:18
wpwrakso first of all, they'll slap some taxes on them, somewhere along the way. but of course, that may not be enough. so they delay customs processing.03:19
wpwrakdelayed customs processing means: 1) your good are sitting there, not earning money. 2) you pay for storage. a win-win situation :)03:20
wpwrakdelayed here means months03:20
rohwhy should anybody invest in such a fail?03:20
wpwrakthat's already quite good. but they can do better. they introduced a new approval process. for every import, you first have to get permission to conduct the transaction. about 30% get approved nearly instantly (1-3 days). another third within weeks. the rest, usually the big orders, meet difficulties.03:22
rohstill not attractive.03:22
wpwrakand they cooked up an interesting concept: for each dollar spent on imports, there must be a matching dollar earned from exports.03:22
wpwrakso you get companies like BWM becoming wine exporters03:23
rohi find policies which are only country-centred mostly failing.03:23
rohits in-world-economics nowadays. not in-country-economics03:24
wpwrakobviously03:24
wpwrakah, then there's a punitive tax on electronics imports. to favour domestically produced electronics.03:24
rohdo those really exist?03:25
rohi mean.. even the german speaking area is too small to make sense for some producers to be targeted specifically sometimes.03:26
rohhow should that work with products made in argentinia for 'only' argentinia?03:26
wpwrakit works like this: container with digital cameras arrives from china in buenos aires. cameras get loaded onto trucks and are driven to ushuaia. that takes a week or so. there, at the factory, they take them out of the box, perform a delicate technical operation on them, then put them back into the box. then another factory worker puts a sticker on the box. that sticker is 100% made in argentina. like the rest of the product is now. t03:28
wpwrakhen they put the cameras back on the truck. the truck drives it to where the customers are, i.e., most likely in or very near buenos aires. so it's another week on the road.03:28
wpwrakneedless to say, the (very influential) truck drivers's union is happy03:28
rohah. i see. you also got the corruption thingie there03:28
wpwrakah, and the delicate technical operation is a test of the auto-focus. i.e., press the shutter.03:29
rohlet me guess.. local police is paid too for that relabeling to work?03:29
wpwrakthey should make enough on drugs and robberies03:30
wpwrakit's pretty common to find members from the police in professional gangs03:30
rohprofessionals... eh.03:30
wpwrakat least there may be hope for the drug trade. there seems to be growing unrest about that in south america. politicians are getting tired of dancing to DEA's tune and waging little civil wars.03:31
rohack. legalize it like in portugal and let it be the dea's problem to tell the us weapon manufs that their customers will not be buying new shit03:32
rohquite sick, their 'weapons for drugs' concept03:33
wpwrakso there's more talk about permitting possession of drugs now. a first step. but that will have to wait until after the world cup in brazil. they're now trying to project a "clean" image. did some impressive raids on the slums where the drug dealers rule.03:33
wpwrakof course, the dealers returned to the usual business quickly enough, some happy about a slight reduction in competition.03:33
wpwrakwell, consider mexico. now there's a nice place. they haven't quite reached hitleresque numbers of victims in their variant of the "war on drugs", but they're well on track03:35
rohi heard a number yesterday.. they have as many dead on that border every 2 years as the inner-german border had in its whole existance03:37
wpwrakit's more the killings inside mexico. some 15'000 in 201003:38
wpwrakor maybe more. such numbers tend to be quite unreliable.03:40
rohi guess so. too many anyhow03:41
wpwrakit'll be fun when mexico decides to legalize drugs. will this be a casus bellis for the us ? if yes, what about the ~30% mexicans they have in california alone ?03:42
rohi think california isnt the issue. take a look to the east..03:43
rohtexas, new mexico.. etc03:43
rohthe gun-nuts states03:43
wpwraki think they're at about the same percentage03:47
wpwrak(i.e., about 1/3 of the population of mexican origin)03:47
wpwrakroh: have you milled MDF ?04:03
rohnot personally, but should be easy04:04
rohmake sure you dont mill to fast04:04
rohive seen results from friends... and it gets brown if you are cutting too hot04:04
wpwrakmy mill is weak and slow ;-)04:05
wpwrakhow does it compare to wood ? pine or such ?04:05
rohnot sure04:06
rohi think its easier since its smaller fibres04:06
wpwrakyeah, that should help. with pine and small feature sizes, need to do a lot of cleaning.04:08
wpwraki wonder about the mechanical strength of MDF. probably weaker overall, but maybe the short fibers help to avoid local weakness with small structures04:11
rohif you want strong.. i think you should try delrin plastics04:12
wpwraki want strong, transparent (at least optionally), easy to source, cheap, easy to machine :)04:13
wpwrakhmm. acrylic is about 20x the price of MDF. well, a few months ago. may be 25x now.04:16
rohoil grows slow *veg*04:16
wpwrakbe careful what you wish for ...04:18
wpwrakthere are plenty of fast-growing plants that can serve as a source for oil. and there are many countries with a lot of fertile ground and an entirely irrelevant starving population04:19
rohhm. can one be so used to caffeine that it makes one tired?04:51
wpwraki sometimes wonder about that, too04:51
wpwrakthis is what the little critter i'm experimenting with looks like. still has a number of bugs, though05:07
wpwrakhttp://downloads.qi-hardware.com/people/werner/tmp/small-case-wood-inside.jpg05:07
wpwrakhttp://downloads.qi-hardware.com/people/werner/tmp/small-case-wood-outside.jpg05:07
wpwrakhttp://downloads.qi-hardware.com/people/werner/tmp/small-case-wood-assembled.jpg05:07
wpwrakoverall design thickness is 8.0 mm. due to small setup errors, it's about 7.5 mm05:09
wpwrakthe top has a few grooves and ridges that should keep the pieces aligned (for gluing). but that didn't work very well, in part because some the structures came off.05:13
wpwrakah, and there are a lot of corners that should be rounded. also to make parts fit (the old inside vs. outside corner problem, aggravated here by using an 1/8" endmill)05:17
rohnice. what will it be?05:24
rohholding a coin cell... a key-ring led lamp?05:24
wpwraksort of. it'll produce images with a line of LEDs.05:25
roh:)05:26
wpwrakthat hole is for USB. alas, that seems to be the only sane way to get data on the device. (about 1-2 kB of image data)05:26
Action: roh just read haralds post about Mo-bis05:26
DocScrutinizermoo07:02
wolfspraulgood morning :-)07:03
DocScrutinizerwhat's Mo-bis?07:03
DocScrutinizerroh: cafeine acts paradox when you're too tired07:04
whitequarkwpwrak: hm, could you read DWG's?07:06
rjeffriesPimping Milkymist a bit on Google Plus. Will only be seen by 20 million or so people, so pls. don't get your hopes up. ;)22:34
rjeffrieshttps://plus.google.com/110897184785831382163/posts/1UrUyMRm2Xr22:35
whitequarkrjeffries: fundamentally wrong23:04
whitequarkyour post doesn't have any wow-effect and thus won't be reposted blindly23:05
whitequarka more effective way would be to add some images (mandatory) and end with a sentence "It is blazing fast!"23:05
whitequark(which it, quite unusually for a blog post, actually is)23:06
whitequarkroh: wolfspraul: also, re case design23:14
whitequarkisn't much of the chinese fabs currently Apple-clone-centered and so able to produce these kinds of cases cheaply?23:15
whitequarkthey (cases of apples, androids and similar devices) look a bit different from outside but are basically from inside, aren't they?23:15
rjeffrieswhitequark actually, on G+, all of my 5K followers and all the people weho follow them, plus the public will all see this post in their G+ stream. That does not mean they will open it.23:41
rjeffriesBut thanks for the min-lecture. Maybe what you need to understand is I was simply sharing an item I found interesting. 23:42
rjeffriesI did add links to sharism and the article in wikipedia.23:43
rjeffriesJust so you know, what you mention  was not my goal. If people are interested, cool. If not, that's cool too.  <whitequark> your post doesn't have any wow-effect and thus won't be reposted blindly23:44
rjeffriess/weho/who23:45
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