Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fantasy Treasure Chest

I helped fund this kickstarter a few years back.  I’ve been waiting on it for quite a while, and it FINALLY showed up today.

Fantasy Treasure Chest Kickstarter

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It’s far overdue, and not quite in the condition originally promised, but I guess that’s a Kickstarter for you.  It was missing one of the keys I ordered, and replacement parts were shipped with it for better metal components rather than having been installed by the seller.  The seller had also promised “something extra” with the chests if we didn’t demand refunds.  I didn’t see anything extra, other than parts that should have been installed in the first place.  Still debating how I feel about this.

Thankfully, though, I haven’t seen any signs of the mold that some of the chests got in the shipping process from China.

 

Viewing Globe

Caveat:  This is not sponsored, and it is far from being comprehensive research on my part.

 

I was toying with the idea of how to make a crystal ball (my favorite example being the viewing globe from Power Rangers), and started poking around.  I came across the following article that came out last year, where someone made something that looks a lot like a crystal ball.

360-degree screen-free floating 3D image in a crystal ball using a spatially imaged iris and rotational multiview DFD technologies

It looks like a cool advancement, though I was hoping for something much more portable (and less cost-intensive).  The display really does look like a crystal ball, with a lot of attachments around it, as it uses a bunch of cell phones as projectors.

And… on to more browsing!

Spirit Halloween Ghostbusters

Last year, Spirit Halloween finally got around to making the Deluxe Proton pack.  Which, of course, I snapped up.

 

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It’s not quite full scale, but it’s definitely a more affordable entry into Ghostbuster costuming than had been available in the past.  Also, lightweight, and pre-assembled.

This year, apparently Spirit Halloween got the message about Ghostbusters still being popular, and drastically exploded the available gear, and addressed an issue that comes up for cons and Halloween.  How do you wear the cool backpack and carry other stuff too.  Ba-bam.  Spirit Halloween, by way of Spencers, presents:

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A proton pack with an actual backpack built in, with much-appreciated better straps.  It’s the same shell (with small tweaks), but you can actually carry stuff in it.

The lineup this year also includes some important accessories, the PKE meter, ecto-goggles, and the ghost trap!

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So, this jumpstarted me finally getting around to building the Ghostbusters costume I’ve always wanted.  A lot of the stuff is still on the way, and I’m really excited.

The pack and the trap have already arrived, and I’m pretty happy with them (though I’m already getting some ideas for upgrades/modifications.

This does present a bit of a quandary, though.  How do I store/display this stuff when I’m not using it.  The pack was easy to figure out.  There are command strip wall hooks that are rated for enough weight for the pack.  The trap is a bit harder if I want to put it on the wall in a way that I can quickly get it back off again.  I’m considering getting some calipers out, and designing a holder for it that will also use command adhesive strips.

 

At any rate, this is the year I’m finally doing it!  Finally gonna get my Ghostbuster costume together!

 

Disclaimer:  None of the post was sponsored by anyone.  I just really like this stuff.

 

 

Blue Screen Blues

So, lately I’ve been getting a Blue Screen of Death intermittently while playing my VR games… which is more disconcerting than usual because suddenly your vision gets weird, and then you go blind.  Well, the screen in the headset turns off, anyway.

I’m not sure what the specifics of it are, though I’m wondering if it’s related to the SSD that I installed a while back and moved my VR games to.  Most of my non-VR applications on my computer aren’t installed on that drive, and I only seem to get the blue screen when when in VR.  I also recall seeing some waning about memory errors recently.

Hopefully I can figure out what’s going on and adjust.  I don’t wanna have to get a new computer anytime soon.  In the meantime, I’m running whatever diagnostics I can find that seem related to system maintenance.

Tap Strap

 

I came across this device the other day when browsing technology for potential use.

TAP

From what I’ve read, it’s a wearable keyboard and mouse that you wear while tapping your fingers or dragging your thumb across a surface to type or move a cursor.  For most of the applications they demonstrate it for, I think I’d rather use a real keyboard or use an on-screen keyboard.  I could see this being useful for people using an augmented reality display, though, which was the use case I was looking at.

However, they really need to make videos of people who are more proficient with it.  Typing looks painfully slow for normal use, and I think part of that is that the people in the videos don’t appear to be very proficient with it.

Rules

For those of you who like lawful characters in RPGs, here are some of my favorite lists of rules from fiction.

Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenary:

These are a set of rules created for the webcomic Schlock Mercenary.  Originally the were the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates early on in the webcomic… but the writer was served a cease and desist order, so he had to change the name of the list.  However, this is the one time I’ve heard of one of these orders being GOOD for creativity, as he changed it to the Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenary.  The much larger number allowed him to keep making up rules for the mercenaries to quote in the series as he came up with them.  I liked them so much that I’ve got a hardcopy of them.

Some of my favorite samples:

Maxim 2:  A Sergeant in motion outranks a Lieutenant who doesn’t know what’s going on.

Maxim 3:  An ordnance technician at a dead run outranks everybody.

Maxim 34:  If you’re leaving scorch-marks, you need a bigger gun.

 

Image result for seventy maxims cover

Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries

Rules of Acquisition:

These were written for the show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to add depth to the Ferengi race.  They are a collection of rules governing the corrupt, cutthroat world of Ferengi commerce.  I wouldn’t recommend actually living by these rules, but they are highly amusing, and a few are pretty good.  I’ve got a copy of this set of rules too, but they were never completed on the show, and thus the book that contains them is also incomplete, and billed as being “Quark’s favorite selection” of the rules.  The one I have is written by Ira Steven Behr, one of the writers and producers who came up with them in the first place.  There is another book purporting to be the complete rules, but as far as I can tell they are out of print, hugely expensive, and the author does not appear to be connected to the show whatsoever.

Some of my favorite samples:

17.  A contract is a contract is a contract… but only between Ferengi.

48.  The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.

76.  Every once in a while, declare peace.  It confuses the hell out of your enemies.

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, False profits

Rules of Acquisition

 

Gibb’s Rules:

These are the rules of Leroy Jethro Gibbs from the television series NCIS.  Mostly related to investigations in NCIS, but several are good for life in general.

Some of my favorite samples:

Rule 9:  Never go anywhere without a knife.

Rule 23:  Never mess with a Marine’s coffee if you want to live.

Rule 40:  If it seems like someone’s out to get you, they are.

Gibbs’ Rules

 

 

 

Duo Computer Home AI Mirror

So, this looks like it belongs in someone’s sanctum.  An AI computer for at home, that uses a screen built into a mirror for the interface.  It uses voice recognition, and a touchscreen.  Apparently it also has options for customizing it’s personality parameters, interfaces with other applications, and you can change the name and voice on it.

I wonder, will there be an Igor option?

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ll want to do some case modding on this if I were to get one, mostly so the “magic mirror” is obviously a magic mirror.  However, that’s a ways off, it’s still only in the pre-order status at the moment, I and I don’t fill like dropping $399 on it, especially since it still says “Estimated Shipping October 2017” for the preorders.

Duo Computer

Cybersuits

I came across this through my Google+ feeds.  This seems like the sort of thing I should cover, and I’m trying to decide what I think/how I feel about this.

Cybersuits

I also have to have the page translated from Russian when I try to read about it.  Google translate is a wonderful tool!

 

Anyway, this lady developed an external nerve system suit to help deal with some nerve damage she’s had in her hand.  It looks like down the line it may also be used for physical fitness, virtual reality immersion, and learning new skills from professionals.

I’m just a little worried that the replay feature may lend itself to issues if it were hacked.

 

I’m still reading to find out more.

Laser Tag

Whew!  I played laser tag with some friends last night, and that was quite a workout.  My legs and lungs were hurting by the end of it, but we had a great time.

If only lasertag weren’t so expensive, and I could find a place and a group to play with on a regular basis, this might be a great workout program.