Entries Tagged as 'Vince's Thoughts'

Is Your Internet Connection Slowing to a Crawl?

Vince's Thoughts No Comments »

Does your internet connection all of a sudden come to a crawl sometimes? If you own a smartphone or iPod, it doesn't matter which kind, it's likely this is happening to you.

iCloud, Google+ and Microsoft's own backup systems all work similarly. By default, your phone is set to automatically back itself up (photos, videos etc) and by default it happens only when you are connected to a wireless network and oftentimes only when it's charging. There are hundreds of other apps that you could install that also backup your device (all these things can be changed in their respective settings.

Also it's important to realize that oftentimes laptops and desktops all share the same iCloud or Google backup accounts.  This means that yes, those devices could be hogging the same bandwidth while backing up.

When you have a house full of family members with electronic devices, it's likely to be this that is causing your network to crawl. Especially when everyone gets home from school and work and plugs in to charge up. I see it every single day. Right around 4pm the network is almost unusable. We often blame TDS (pay for 15, get 3), but it's important to look at your own local network in your home first before you start complaining about the connection.

So, the next time you are trying to stream Netflix or Amazon Prime and the video keeps buffering, check your phones and ipods, check your settings and if you don't want to take the time to figure out all that "Hocus Pocus", just turn everything off while charging so you can enjoy your movie, or your kids can do their homework.  The added benefit?  No distractions of the bright glow of blue-lit teen faces during your movie!

Hope this helps!

Volunteering at a Track & Field Event

Coaching , Vince's Thoughts No Comments »

My local middle school track meet was a lot of fun yesterday. It's so great to see so many kids trying out new things. Long jump, high jump, triple jump, javelin, discus, 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter, 800 meter, 1600 meter, 4 x 100 relay, shot put, hurdles...

If your child is involved with track at the middle school, they are always looking for help. I've done the discus twice now and it's very rewarding. Many of these kids are brand new at the sport and you can tell they are stressed, especially when among their peers and certainly when they follow someone who throws it 4 times as far as they can. Being a volunteer gives you the opportunity to make them feel comfortable, regardless of which school they go to. Give them smaller goals they can aim for and achieve and lots of encouragement. When you can make a kid smile after they foul out all three times in front of their friends, you have made a difference.

Our school, as well as all other schools I'm sure do need more help at these meets to make them run smoothly. Consider volunteering for an event that you know your son or daughter is competing in. You will remember being there for years to come and so will your kid.

It's worth it to take a day off from work every once in a while.

3D Printer? Yes Please!

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MakterBot Replicator 2x Experimental 3D PrinterAfter watching a truly inspiring story about how 3D printing helped a carpenter rapidly develop a mechanical hand to replace his missing fingers, I am fully convinced this is the beginning of a new frontier and I want to get on board!

The World is Your Oyster!

You can make so many things.  Just look down at your desk and you will see all sorts of little plastic things that can be made with this printer.  Now imagine the next time you have "an invention idea".

When I was a kid I drove RC cars.  With this I could design my own chassis, frame, rims.  Are you a fan of slot cars?  Well, you can design your own car.

Do you have a great idea for a unique chess set?  Have at it!

We are on the tipping point for the price of these things to go down...drastically down.  A really good laser printer back in the day were as expensive as these things are now.  Soon everyone will own one just as they all now own a printer. 


Prices are all over the place for 3D printers and who knows which one is the best and what the differences are between them.  The one I've featured here is made by MakerBot and is the top of the line, cutting edge version with an 8 week lead time for shipment.  At $3,000 including the service plan, it seems more expensive than some but then you get the choice of using PLA OR ABS and you can mix colors on the fly making something that is more than just one color.  It all sounds really cool to me.

No More Outsourcing

Just imagine, instead of coming up with an idea, working with a company in China, drawing up a contract for mass production, esimating orders/shipping dates/wharehousing products/order fulfillment, you can just design the widget and sell the plans online.  The customer pops the plan for the toy into the online shopping cart, downloads it and sends the print job to the printer.  They can pick the color(s) of ABS or PLA they want to use.

Right now, if you have a missing finger or hand, you can purchase this printer and download the plans to build a replacement appendage.  JUST THINK ABOUT HOW POWERFUL THAT IS!

OpenSource Tools

ReplicatorG - send projects to the printer

Art of Illusion - CAD software to create 3D widgets and export to ReplicatorG as STL

Thingiverse - Repository for CAD plans and much more!

I have no idea the investment of time and intelligence it will take to even have a clue how to build someting simple like a cube, let alone the next best widget but I'm intrigued to say the least.


I'm often conflicted on what direction to take when confronted with super cool technologies like this.  Do I drop everything and take the plunge into the world of 3D printing?  It's not an easy decision to make when we are talking about thousands of dollars just to get started and no knowledge of the learning curve involved.  I think for now I'll at least download RepliatorG on a slow day and tinker around a bit.

What are your thoughts?

A Proper Burial

Photography , Vince's Thoughts No Comments »

Our old Honda died this past summer.  It seems it finally got a proper burial.

RIP Honda

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