Archive for October, 2007

In Rainbows

Monday, October 15th, 2007

So, not only did the site get severely overloaded the first couple of days it was up (never saw that one coming!), but they appear to have hired a 13 year-old myspace aficionado to design the thing. Honestly, life’s too short to waste time on this. I think I have all the music I’ll need for the rest of my life anyway.

Building a MAME cabinet 12

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Today I got to work with the ledger boards which will support the monitor shelf and the various panels. To avoid external screw holes, I’m pre-drilling countersink holes on the ledgers from the inside. The first thing I did today was mark all the way around the side 1 1/4″ in from the edge. This would be my ledger edges, so that when the 3/4″ panels are mounted, I’ll have a 1/2″ inset all the way around. Then I cut the 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ stock down the middle to give me some 3/4″ square stock, which I used for the front base panel and angled panel ledgers. After drilling and mounting those, I took the other piece of 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ and marked it off in lengths for the rest of the ledger pieces, then jigsawed it up, and split each down the middle as before to give me a pair of ledgers for each panel (one for each side). The rest was more drilling and mounting, which I haven’t finished yet.

Ledger construction

Building a MAME cabinet 11

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

Another weekend, another bit of work on the old cabinet. It’s starting to come together now. I popped over to Home Depot to pick up another ply blade for the saw, a couple of jigsaw blades to replace the one I’d snapped, and some 1″x2″ oak for ledger boards. At least, I thought it was 1″x2″ – but when I got home, I found it was actually 3/4″ x 1 1/2″. Well, that works too, I decided. I changed the ply blade (the old one was quite dull by now) and cut a 26 1/2″ x 27 1/4″ piece to use as the base. Then I found an offcut piece that was just about the right size and made it into two caster rails to fit on the base. I countersunk 4 screws in each, offsetting them 3/8″ from the edge so that the base will fit into the slots I’d made previously. Here’s the completed base (well, complete other than the casters):

Base with caster rails

Then I cut and fit the ledger rails for the base, putting them above the slots. And here’s a picture of that.

Base ledger & dado

That’s my boy!

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

This morning, mini-Elbeno decided to look at one of Daddy’s books.

Henry reads about Unix

Webular lisp

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

I’ve decided to pick up the reins of lisp again and see if I can’t make some lispy web goodness. So to that end, I installed apache2, mod_lisp2, and did an asdf-install of cl-modlisp tonight. It seems to be correctly installed: next step is to go back to Practical Common Lisp et al and refresh my brain.

Livejournal syndication comments

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

It’s come to my attention that it’s possible for my LJ readers to leave comments on the syndicated LJ (and unfortunately there seems to be no way to turn off that commenting ability, unless greatbiggary can do it). Be aware that these comments don’t reach me on this site itself. You’re in an orphaned comment world of your own over there.

Building a MAME cabinet 10

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

Today I did some more work on the cabinet. Little by little, it’s progressing. I figure the trick is just to keep at it. So I tackled the somewhat daunting task of routing a 3/4″ groove at the base of the sides to slot the cabinet base into. I had some trouble attaching the router bit – the shank didn’t seem to go very far into the collet. I tightened it up and hoped for the best. Then I set the depth to about 3/8″, checking it against the side of the ply, and marked a 3/4″ groove running 2-5/8″ above the base (allowing for the casters plus mounting). After clamping a straight edge to guide the router, I got going. Everything was going well until about halfway through the first groove. My doubts about the bit were right as it came out of the collet! That’ll teach me… sparks flew and I cut the power ASAP, then inspected the damage.

Luckily, the bit hadn’t a) flown out and embedded itself in my femoral artery, or b) penetrated all the way through the ply (although it had gone a good deal deeper than I intended). I set it aside and inspected the router. Everything seemed OK. I loosened the collet nut and took a look inside. No pieces of shank in there – another good sign. A couple of test spins told me the motor was OK and nothing had gone obviously wrong. So a lucky escape.

So I decided to investigate a bit further into why the bit wouldn’t go all the way in. I removed the metal piece that is tightened by the collet nut and grips the shank of the bit, and tried slotting various bits into it. Now it wasn’t accepting bits nearly as freely as it used to. There was no obvious reason why, other than that perhaps it’d become too tightly clamped and had permanently deformed a bit, or there was some abrasion inside that was roughing up the entry. Anyway, it wasn’t anything obvious I could see, so I fit the 3/4″ bit properly with the aid of two pairs of pliers, so at least I could be sure it was as safe as possible this time round.

And with that, I went back to the routing. This time was much less eventful, and I successfully finished one side. I chiselled out the corner pieces of the slot to square it up, and repeated the process for side 2. The end result is that I’ve pretty much completed woodworking on the sides now. The next job is to make the base and start the assembly proper.

Here’s a shot showing the routed groove which the base board will slot into. You can also see (if you look carefully) the 1/16″ slot made by the slot cutting bit. I’m so glad that one didn’t fly out of the collet!

Base groove detail

And here’s the completed sides.

Completed sides

Projects update

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

This morning I did a bit more work on the MAME cabinet. It’s coming along slowly. I now have both sides cut out (and they match each other!) and the slots cut for the t-molding, which I received in the week. The slot cutter bit was too big to fit through my router’s base, so I had to pre-plunge and attach the bit with the router locked down. Luckily this worked. I also removed the vacuum attachment section for more space (I don’t have a vac to attach). Slot cutting was the part I was a bit nervous about, but in the end it turned out a lot easier than the other routing I’ve done. I’m sure this is partly because I’m getting a bit better at routing but mostly because the bit was nice and sharp and removing a small amount of wood compared to the flush trim bit. I did a test on some scrap ply and a sample piece of t-molding, and it turned out perfectly. The bit went through the ply like a hot knife through butter, and the whole process was over in a few minutes.

I’ve also been working more on cataloguing my library, and also my games library. I’ve pretty much done the games – I have many fewer games than books, and they’re easier to look up on Amazon. All but a few have pictures, and knowing more about games, I am more able to pick the correct variant than I am with books. The books are slower going: fine for the more recent titles, but older editions tend to be a bit more iffy with regard to ISBN, and some don’t have ISBNs. But I’ve made more progress on the books tonight: I’ve done almost 4 bookcases now. 3 to go. As of current figures, I have 289 games and 795 books.

IF Comp so far…

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Rated: 9
Completed: 1
Still trying to complete: 3
Bugs found: 3

Books I keep at work

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

The working bookshelf of a games programmer.