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Boats 2011 – Death and Taxes

Now that I’m back from San Diego, I finally get to post about my boat.

This boat features a drive system known as the Voith Schneider propeller (VSP), which is those blades you see sticking out of the bottom of the ship. Wikipedia has a more detailed explanation of how the system works , but in short the system works by rotating the blades in a circle while changing their angle, in effect “scooping” water in a particular direction when the blades are not tangential to the circle they rotate in. The direction of thrust can be changed by moving a control rod that controls the center of tangency (?) of the blades (the blue dot in this diagram.)

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Published by J, on August 29th, 2011 at 11:50 am. Filled under: J_others,miscellaneous Tags: 1 Comment

d333 2010 11-inch MacBook Air Thoughts I

[110728 – edit 130129]

In what can probably be labeled an impulsive purchase I picked up the (old, 2010) 11-inch MacBook Air about a week and a half ago. Obviously, I think I got a pretty good deal, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it. But this is again, one of those things that’s kind of been on the back of my mind for a long time, though I’m pretty sure I’ve never written about it.

The first time I used an Apple computer must have been in junior high… around 2002. As late as maybe even 2007, our computer lab ran Power Mac G3 AiOs, which were already obsolete in 2002. Not being very tech savvy at the time, I assumed all Apple hardware was as rubbish as a four to five year-old G3 AiO and never gave it a second thought. Clearly I’ve changed my mind over the past eight to nine years, but things have also gotten a lot better.

I’ve liked the MBA 11 since launch because I don’t believe that there is, by a fairly long shot, a comparable “conventional” equivalent. It’s basically right between the top end of netbooks and the bottom end of traditional ultraportables. This is a fairly vague and messy kind of comparison to make, especially given that the MBA line has just been refreshed, but I’ll try to get across how I see it.

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Published by D, on August 28th, 2011 at 12:16 pm. Filled under: d_others,d_sketch Tags: , No Comments

d336 110820 Boats 2011 Part 3


It’s “Boats 2011 Part3″ this time because on Saturday the 13th, I drove Titanic off of a wall and into a debris field, losing my only propeller in the process.

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Published by D, on August 21st, 2011 at 1:04 am. Filled under: d_others Tags: No Comments

d335 110811 Boats 2011 Part 2


Officially, I want to name it “Ita-Titanic” or something along those lines. This is obviously a play off of “itasha“, and the reasoning will become clear in a bit. Also considering the coincidentally appropriate “Itanic”. As of the last update, there was still a bit of work to be done, but at this point I think it’s more or less complete (for now).

I say “for now” because this is as much an art project for me as it is a hardware project… or at least that’s how it’s turned out. When J and I first considered doing boats round 2, I had really just wanted to bring Titanic up to par mechanically (fix the leaks, streamlined circuitry, real ESC, etc), but as I mentioned in the last update, once the mechanical business was sorted out, I got caught up in cosmetic improvements. Even then, I’d originally only wanted to make the single cutout as shown last time, but things just kept going.

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Published by D, on August 11th, 2011 at 7:12 pm. Filled under: d_others Tags: No Comments

d334 110804 Boats 2011 Part 1


Well, it’s been a while since the last update. Admittedly I haven’t really done any drawing since then, which is why this is a non-drawing update. Instead, J and I are doing RC boats again. A few years ago, we basically took scratch-built RC boats and sputtered around a pond(?) near J’s house for loads of shits and giggles. Hopefully there will be more giggles and less shits this time around. I think the tag is “hardware project” or something to that extent.

This is the Titanic. I call it the Titanic because the hull is actually from an approximately 1:350 scale model of said ship. When I was very young, I bought the kit at my (now long defunct) local hobby shop and putting it together at that age was obviously disastrous. Over the years, the rest of the ship has gradually been torn up and discarded, but just getting the hull has probably been well worth the $60 I paid for the entire kit.

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Published by D, on August 5th, 2011 at 12:40 am. Filled under: d_others Tags: No Comments

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