Hacks: March 2017

Hacking and tinkering were top-of-mind this month! For once! I got a bunch of shit accomplished and I’m feeling pretty good about where things are at. Let’s run down the list:

Code/Web Hacks

I spent a lot of time working on getting some new stuff up and going — specifically, I got back to work on Bike612. I also had a stroke-of-genius idea for a Trump-trolling site, and that is going to be piggybacking off of some of the work for B612 — specifically, the robust server setup.

Server configuration has been a bit…problematic. I’m trying to get nginx working as a reverse proxy to apache. The goal is to get apache to dish the PHP files via php-fpm, and for nginx to handle the serving of static files (images, PDFs, and HTML). Found some interesting nginx security stuff on github via reddit, and it seems to be pretty awesome. Gotta get this in-place.

Other minor web stuff:

  • Started researching the feasibility of building a proxy server, what with the Repubs/FCC loosening the rules so that my ISP could buttfuck my datastream with ad injections1 or to harvest my data for their own resale purposes2.
  • Have I mentioned that I’m starting to take my interactive marketing stuff into a real biz? Yeah. In February, I signed two clients right away, and I’m getting moving on stuff. One is making good progress, the other one is dragging a bit. I’m already testing the waters to find a new client that’ll follow this one.

3D Printer

I’m finally moving again on this project. I went ahead and ordered a 3D part so that I could build it right away with a dual-material extruder, rather than a single. I also conducted a parts audit, and started assembling everything. On April 2nd, I will be ordering the extruder, which will allow me to complete the project. WUT.

I’m putting this project to bed in April. I’ll likely be modifying the existing multi-part blog series, trimming it down, and shuffling stuff into a new, shorter series. This will include some video of the build process and the functionality, for certain. Also, I plan to do a comparison to a printer that I consider my baseline for performance, which is the Stratasys UPrint SE.

CX Frame Project

Been working on getting this project restarted. I did some legwork to try and find a place that could waterjet or laser-cut some V’s to use as a headbadge and frame accents. I also ordered some tubing to use as a filler — I’m going to do some cutouts in the chainstays to help improve tire clearance.

The chainstay bridge is up in the air at the moment. Part of me wants to do a waterjetted piece, which would be more expense than I care to undertake, and another part of me wants to just fabricate by hand, the old-fashioned way.

Whatever the case, this is another project I want to put to bed in April.

Minor bike things:

  • I was going to build a unicrown fork for this thing, but with mitering those being a monumental pain in the arse, I’ve decided to just go ahead and spend some money on a fork crown and blades, and build one that way.
  • Decided on a paint scheme, too — a purple to orange fade, with a small amount of metalflake. Back when I was building for other people, I did this color scheme on a frame and while I initially worried about the color, it came out amazing. The fade areas turned blood red in the sun.

What I Learned

  • While varnish seems to be a great caching server, and making it work with apache is easy, it doesn’t support SSL. You want SSL support? Well, too bad! You can have varnish cover the non-secure parts, but you need nginx to handle SSL traffic. Using nginx? No gzip compression for you3!
  • Waterjetting is fucking expensive, yo.
  • A good project management scheme for my personal workload, that compensates for my ADD issues.

Upcoming in April

  • Finish current client workloads.
  • Maybe have CX frame ready for paint?
  • Have 3D printer working.