Evernote Mastery? Maybe I Need an Online Course

Maybe I’m not using Evernote‬ properly. Or maybe I don’t “get it”. I’m currently using it as a Web Bookmark tool (coming from previously using delicio.us, which also got unmanageable after a while) , so it’s entirely possible my use case doesn’t align with Evernote’s mission. It’s also entirely possible my “delicious”-style approach to archiving Web Knowledge is the wrong paradigm to begin with. Suggestions are welcome!

Anyway, I’ve got a huge archive of crap collected (via Evernote Web Clipper plugin) over the past X years that’s barely “searchable”, and not readily “Navigatable” via TreeView Heirarchy, Tags, or any other useful means. (In my experience, assigning tags in the Web Clipper was clumsy at best — often I’d wind up with 5 or 6 similar “Tags” just slightly different spellings or encodings from each other).

There’s gotta be a better way than to simply “have foresight” to use useful/memorable Tags or drop it into the “correct” Notebook — or failing that, go slogging through, essentially, a huge BLOB of archived data to reorganize, relabel, or retag content that was clipped over 6 months ago…

Collecting Knowledge shouldn’t mean constantly grooming the Knowledge Base — or at least, I would hope so. Otherwise, I’d suggest it’s a huge Time Sink that questions the value of Knowledge Return on the (exponentially growing) Time Invested grooming that personal Knowledge Base.

For example: Tech knowledge gets outdated RIDICULOUSLY FAST. What was relevant 6 months ago can easily be deprecated today. “SOMEBODY” has to go through and prune the old stuff out.. or have a way to flag or add an Expiration Date or somehow handle such time-sensitive articles.

‘Could be as simple as a script to automatically stuff them into an “Attic (X Months)” folder when an article is 3, 6, or 12 months past an Expiration Date the User sets? Am I asking for too much?

Added PrintrBoard Rev. F Support to Repetier Firmware

My Fork: https://github.com/not404/Repetier-Firmware
Pull Request (Accepted): https://github.com/repetier/Repetier-Firmware/pull/397

I’m not sure why this hasn’t been done yet, but here you go, World. My fork of Repetier Firmware, complete with PrintrBoard Rev. F digital trimpot support. Additional M-Codes in support of the digital trimpot are implemented (using PrintrBot’s Rev. F fork of Marlin as a reference guide):

  • M907 – Set digital Trimpot using axis codes
    Accepts S[0..100] to set ALL channel outputs to a percentage of maximum-allowed value. Also accepts X, Y, Z, and E values from 0 through 100 to set each axis to a percentage of maximum-allowed value.  note that S must be an integer; whereas X, Y, Z, and E may accept float (decimal) values.
  • M908 – Set Digital Trimpot Manually
    Requires P[0-4] to specify Stepper Channel (X, Y, Z, and E respectively), and S[0..3520] to set the DAC channel value. 3520 corresponds to 1.76 Volts out on the DAC Channel — which itself corresponds to a maximum of 2.0 Amps of output on the Stepper Driver. (See the datasheets for an explanation if you must).
  • M909 – Display MCP4728 Values
    Displays the EEPROM-Saved Values and the Current Runtime Values for X, Y, Z, and Extruder.
  • M910 – Commit to EEPROM
    Saves the “Runtime Values” to the digital pot’s EEPROM. Upon subsequent starts, the EEPROM is read back by Repetier to get the startup values. Note also: If you use M910 to save to EEPROM, and replace Repetier Firmware with something else (that may not have support for the MCP4728 trimpot), the values in EEPROM will continue to be used by the MCP4728 on startup — you just lose Repetier Firmware’s ability to change or refine the digital trimpot if you go this route.

With this firmware in place, there’s no reason to waste your time and energy on earlier PrintrBoard revisions — unless you managed to pick one up at a great price, of course.

For $99 and change via PrintrBot’s website, the PrintrBoard Rev. F is a decent piece of hardware for small hobby-grade 3D Printers, and with the digital trimpot onboard, there’s less chance of amateur mistakes with tuning the trimpots and burning out the stepper driver chips.

Drop me a private message if you happen to need additional (paid professional) help in building Repetier Firmware for your board or device.


Wanted: PrintrBoard F5 “Makers”

Any Electronics Makers in the CNC/3D Printer space wanna split a PrintrBoard Rev. F5 pcb run via ? Drop me a note – I only need 1 out of the 3-part minimum. Cost of the board run is about $105 or so (checked by uploading the board source code on GitHub) , split 3 ways comes out to under $35 for the bare PCB.

I haven’t yet priced out the DigiKey BOM to go along with it, but the spreadsheet says it’s around $25 in parts.

If not enough interest, I may just complete all 3 boards and sell off the extra 2 completed to pay for my 1 board.. but that’s a heck of a lot of pick n’ place (by hand!) for under $100 in return apiece, so.. not really interested in taking that route if I can avoid it. Doing a single board is tedious enough. :-7


[Won’t Carry] OpenBuilds’ Router Spindle Mount


SMH, I really have to question some of the “Engineering” that’s been going into OpenBuilds’ more recent offerings.  Don’t even get me started on their C-Channel products. I will not be carrying this product in Hawaii — at least not until it’s been proven and well reviewed by others — and would only process this item as a special order if a Kama’aina neighbor insists on trying it out.

Even then, I’d highly recommend using this spindle mount in pairs.

Truth be told, I’d say you would be much better off going with one of the custom-built, Third-Party mounts by chrisclub1 on Ebay — if only because it uses two plates (an upper and a lower) to secure the router to the Z-Axis gantry.

Sure, the OpenBuilds’ bracket design is cheap at $30 a pop, but with a single-point (albeit somewhat thick) mounting position, it’d be a dice-roll on whether a single bracket will really hold up in a real-world application. Used in pairs, though, it could be a great, cost-effective option at around $60 for the pair.

JSON-Arduino Library, Updated

Yes, it’s been a couple of years since I last touched the code.  The json-arduino library has recently been refreshed with a more recent version of the Jasmine JSON library, and I have closed out a few issues that have reported the library doesn’t function properly on certain specific devices. The fix is to avoid using malloc(), and instead use calloc() for buffer allocation. Furthermore, since an Arduino is running in a loop anyway, it makes little sense to free() and [m/c]alloc() the block all over again with each loop iteration as I had presented an earlier version of the Demonstration Application.

The resulting code, when compiled, is still small enough to fit onto a DigiSpark (ATTINY85), but when you combine the JSON library and another Communications library (USB Serial, or the funky DigiSpark USB “Serial”), it’s very doubtful you’d get anything useful to operate on the ATTINY85 anymore. About the only way to squeeze any more out of a DigiSpark is to eliminate the boot loader.

In fact, I’ve pretty much given up on the DigiSpark as far as “Connectivity” goes, and will just use them in Wearable devices or “prank” USB devices that wreak havoc on a victim’s keyboard or mouse.

If you want a REALLY useful device for fun and profit, do yourself a favor and head on over to pjrc.com and pick up a Teensy++ device. You’re welcome. 😉