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Mind's Forge

Welcome. If you're looking for something from my old project site, check the Internet Archive snapshot. I'll work on making pages for my old projects (maybe) or I may just continue ripping through this illusion of space-time without looking back.




I think these Japanese family crests were the last thing I printed. I still have fantasies of making a marble machine, or other interesting kinetic structure. I'll get around to it!

I haven't played with APRS any more really. I do sort of want to setup something that beacons the network with a "messages welcome" message and have somethign setup to buzz my phone when someone calls my sign. I suspect that'll be moved to a back burner.

Finally visited this Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative (RADVAC) website which is interesting:

The ultimate goal of the RaDVaC project is to create a modular vaccine platform for extremely rapid deployment at the beginning of a serious outbreak of a pathogen for which no good vaccine exists. The founding philosophy of RaDVaC is that the best way to accomplish this goal is to share freely and openly information on vaccines and testing throughout a global network of researchers engaged in agile R&D. For many, this will include highly localized vaccine production. While the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been the catalyst for initiation of the project, it will not be the last serious outbreak; the establishment of a solid scientific and technical foundation for rapid vaccine deployment is a long-term endeavor that will not end as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic winds down.

I suspect this push for mRNA vaccines is just a way to get the general population comfortable with the technology before deploying it on every bothersome virus, the question we should be asking is if this is okay for cv19, why wasn't it okay for the other deadlier viruses. I believe it boils down to the relaxation of regulation which gave a perfect opening for a trillion dollar market to be born. Maybe next post I'll be talking about sourcing vaccine ingredients.

Quail are still doing well, 3 are hanging out and I'm getting about 2 eggs a day. Starting a new project, going to try and do some market making on a bitcoin options market, the spreads are very wide so there's room for small time traders to come in and try and automate some market making.


The month of March is here! What do we have in store for this update? We've got that APRS setup working that I was talking about last time. It's using a Raspberry Pi 3 running Dire Wolf, I've got a 555 timer circuit setup so the PTT doesn't stick open in case of a software failure and the pin remains high, a resistor divider + capacitor between the speaker out and the microphone input on the Pi's USB soundcard. The Pi's line out went straight into the radio and worked without any adjustment (a bit unexpected, but I read somewhere that the radio's (ICOM 2100) mic has a pre-amp in it). I connect to Dire Wolf with XASTIR on my main laptop, screenshot below shows what appears after listening for a few hours. Now that I have an idea of how this 1200bps network is setup, it's got me thinking about making a BBS. There's an i-gate close to me so there's probably no need for any more digipeaters or igates.

aprs-setup aprs-xastir

Trading stuff update is boring, last time I said I was going to try again, I did and it didn't work. These automated trading experiments are just a small part of my "total trading", but I really don't update that stuff here, I have a pseudo-anonymous account on stocktwits that I keep updated with other ideas and trades.

Quail are doing alright, got them some new sand yesterday.

Haven't done anymore mad science (x-ray, bacteriophage) yet, still not sure about my experiments I started back in 2019.

Thinking about business possibilities a bit here and there too. Made an inquiry about formulating that energy drink that I've been working on for mass production, within the realm of possibility but I need to do a deep dive on distribution possibilities (call up places locally, see the process to get a product on a shelf or a minifridge in a store would be). Also thinking about electronics kits (like the APRS interface circuit), or maybe I should just take a stab at playing live poker for a month!

That's it for now, love 'n peace


Second month of the new year and I've been slacking on site updates (and more). Lately my focus has shifted back towards automated trading. I've been using the Tradier API to take a stab at trading the CBOE index option market, TD Ameritrade has finally exposed their API to small time traders too (although it took their support team over a month to get back to me about a question, Tradier is much quicker to respond). My first attempts weren't successful, ironing out bugs, slippage from entering and exiting positions because of software issues was painful and sort of took the wind out of my sails for a few weeks now, but I think it's about time to try, try again. I've also considered that doing some educational work in this space would be useful to traders, there's not enough love for XSP (an option series that trades at 1/10 the size of SPX) and next month MRUT is going to start trading, a mini Russell 2000 series that is 1/10 the size of RUT. I don't have a good feeling that it will remain trading for long though, the RUT has only 2.4% of the volume that the SPX has, and the mini-SPX is a fraction of that even, so I can imagine the volume on MRUT will be VERY tiny... if only smaller investors could figure out the value of using these products: 60/40 long term, short term capital gain split for tax purposes (1256 contracts), cash settled (no assignment risk, European style options) and then the ability to build specific risk profiles, trade volatility (instead of direction) and asymmetric risk/payoff.

Enough with market stuff, and I didn't even mention cryptocurrency bitcoin hoopla or the GME short squeeze! Look at these eggs:


I thought I only had male quails, seems like I have at least 1 female, and from the number of eggs I'm getting I may actually have 2 (or even all 3 girls?!) I did lose another quail for some reason, I don't know what happened, didn't seem like a cat or anything got to it, RIP. Other than that they seem to be doing well.

Also picked up a PRUSA Mini+, I ordered it back in October and it arrived in December, they've been in constant backorder mode since the release. I haven't used it too much, but I've experimented with using it to make two color prints, as well as the large prosphora stamp. I recently did a print of a cross to hang from my rear-view mirror with it using the filament swap to get different colors:

cross-print prusa-mini

I also did some work to make a print of a Japanese family crest (I didn't get a picture of the final product, I used the 2 color technique to make a gift for a friend that paid for half of the printer, if you're reading this Dick, thanks!) I still need to make another one for his other side of the family, shouldn't be too difficult since it's much less ornate.

Last month I almost got around to dipping my toe into packet radio again, except I was nervous about building an interface to my radio. There's software these days that lets you control your radio using a relatively cheap Raspberry Pi computer which would allow me to build an APRS gateway for cheap, monitor local traffic and route it to the net and back out from the net locally (at least that's how I imagine it to work). Funny that recently I was sort of reaching outside my current Orthodox path for spiritual insight and grabbed a book I picked up from when I first was "initiated" into living under God's guidance and found this notecard being used as a bookmarker:


My grandpa helped repair my radio (a gift from him as well) when I first tried to interface to it and found that this diode or resistor acted like a fuse when I had the pinout reversed and apparently shorted "Pin 1 to ground" burning it up. Was fun running into it again after being nervous about trying to do the same thing again 15 years later, as well as my "re-introduction" to that stream of grace, that I feel like I'm slacking on my side of things, journaling daily with a focus on grace would probably be the most beneficial at this point in time.

... News Archive

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Page last modified on April 06, 2021, at 05:09 PM