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Consolation prize (31 Jan 2016 at 14:25)
Well, welcome again to Tom 7 Radar, where on the last day of each month I post a hastily-written last minute apology for not accomplishing anything interesting to work on during the month.

This month I have been working on my weird computational Nintendo stuff a lot. I finished the systems stuff (especially an extremely painful project to clean up the code of the NES emulator I've been using and make it thread-safe) and now I'm on the "fun" part where I can try experiments and make it do crazy stuff. But the fun part is also rough going so there are ups and downs to that. Hopefully putting together a video before SIGBOVIK, including some explanations of the systems stuff. I had the realization recently that I think it's possible that I've executed more NES cycles than any person ever; these recent experiments are about 2 billion frames a day (which is about a year of running at native NES speed). Don't think there is a Guinness Book entry for this yet.

My other projects have been fun but uninteresting (to you) home projects, like redoing all the lighting and scraping paint for hours in my basement. One thing I did finish this month that's moderately interesting to look at is another carpentry project. Behind my couch was this mess of wires and an iPad and mixer for playing music. You couldn't really see it but it was impossible to clean and you'd have to pull the couch out or suck in your stomach and sidle to even change the volume or put on music, which was stupid. I built this skinny thing which you can see in its final home:

Console <i>mis en place</i>
Console mis en place


This one—known as "Console", since every project gets a name—is made with somewhat more complex joinery than before. The corner joints are the most interesting, where slots in the vertical beams support cross beams, themselves routed out to fit the top member. The "inlays" around them (made of oak; the rest is pine) are actually me covering up a mistake I made wherein I subtracted rather than added kerf, which was pretty dumb, but I've come to like this feature. Corner joints:

Don't know what this joint is called, if it even has a name
Don't know what this joint is called, if it even has a name


You can see my sloppy gluing highlighted by lacquer shine. This is one thing I still have not figured out how to do well. The rest of the connects are with dowel joints. This time I put the whole thing together with dry press-fit joints like the dowels before doing any glue, which I think helps a lot with a problem I've had in the past where although all my measurements are right, it's an uncomfortable fit due to the fact that the wood is not really straight or flat over these kinds of distances. The finished thing, obviously overkill for where it's used, but I'm happy with it:

It matches!
It matches!



Right this moment I am in the airport IAD stopping briefly on my way to the airport called ZRH for a short work trip in Zurich. I had hoped to get some newish T7ES covers online this morning, but I realized that my software for rendering them does not support drums so that was a bust. Still you can listen to Theme from Zurich.
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