So, I guess I have been busy with life recently, and I have checked-in a long time. Sorry about that. What have I been up to? Well, on the $JOB front, I was able to switch groups at work. I am not back in the Linux Engineering group, returning to something that I am much more comfortable and familiar with as apposed to what I had been doing. Also, for Christmas, I got a new toy, a 3D Printer. This is now my new hobby.
Returning back to the Linux Engineering has dramaticly improved my outlook on life. While my last group of coworkers were for the most part a good bunch of people, the work was not something I was very strong in, and as such was under a lot of pressure to not screw up. Due to the fact that I was working out of my core skill areas, I ended up being tasked in areas which I did not enjoy as they were far less technical, and much more frustrating for me to work on. In returning to a group which I used to belong to 10 years ago when I worked for my company before, I am very much at home. While I still have to learn the systems and the changes over the last decade, the work is familiar enough for me to start contributing right away. While most of the team is based in the UK, there are two others here in Houston, so I am not alone locally. However, I do not think there will be any trips to the UK any time in my future.
My Christmas present was an Easy Threed 3D K1 Printer. This is one of the cheapest 3D printers on the market right now. With the reduced price, it does come with some limitations which I quickly found. The print size is limited to 100x100x100 mm, so no larger prints. The other major limitation is that it is a closed system without much in the way of easy user repairability. While there are parts avaliable, they are only from Alie Express which means that parts have a 2-3 month lead time. However, it was a perfect platform to learn some basics. A few weeks ago, I upgraded to an Creality Ender 3 Pro. This is one of the most popular hobbist 3D printers which gives me many options to find parts, upgrades, and more important, documentation on how to do things with the printer.
So far, I have mainly printed little toy type things while getting comfortable with the process, but I have actually printed something for the house. I have more ideas of projects around the house, but I need to first learn how to design something before I can print it, which means I will need to figure out either a CAD or 3D modeling program.