The first successful 3D print job took place aboard the ISS!

There's a funny thing about space exploration: If something goes wrong aboard ship the consequences could easily be terminal. Outer space is one of the most inhospitable environments imaginable, and meat bodies are remarkably resilient as long as you don't remove them from their native environment (which is to say dry land, about one atmosphere of pressure, and a remarkably fiddly chemical composition). Space travel inherently removes meat bodies from their usual environment and puts them into a complex, fragile replica made of alloys, plastics, and engineering; as we all know, the more complex something is, the more things can …

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Three hours in the chair and I'm back to where I started.

Please be advised that a noticeable taste of blood is not part of any test protocol but is an unintended side effect of the Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grid, which may, in semi-rare cases, emancipate dental fillings, crowns, tooth enamel, and teeth.
--GLaDOS, Portal

Last week, I went to the dentist for my six month cleaning and was treated to an unexpected, and rather unpleasant surprise. Remember that molar I broke a couple of years ago - you know, the one that I had filled, fractured, capped, had a root canal on and re-cappped? When I was getting checked out last …

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TARDIS repairs complete.

After a surprisingly short period of time, I found out what happened to my car when it broke down a couple of days ago.

As it turned out, the thermostat which regulates the cooling system went bad. What happened was that the thermostat erroneously decided to start reading MAXTEMP (which would mean that the engine block was about to melt down); it dutifully sent these messages to the microprocessor controlling the engine. The CPU erroneously decided that the cooling system had fouled up in some unspecified manner and commanded the water pump to start feeding coolant to an overflow bottle …

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A long week, a late night, and so much to write...

Well, let me see... it's been interesting times the past couple of days, which has left me precious little time to write about what's actually been going on with my day to day life lately.

First off, early last week Alphonse Elric, Lyssa's primary machine and workstation at home packed it in. One moment he was cunching merrily away, the next utterly locked up. No amount of rebooting or jiggling was able to bring him back online, though we did notice that the components inside of his silver chassis (as well as the exhaust fans and chassis itself) were horribly …

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Vehicle maintenance chews up an entire day; film at 2300.

In preparation for a cross-country drive in a couple of weeks, I took the TARDIS into the dealership for a checkout and routine maintenance yesterday morning, figuring that it would only take an hour or two before the mechanics were finished and I could get on with my work. As things are wont to happen to me, it's never quite as easy as it seems.

Because I was in the middle of changing jobs last year, I never took my car in for the 15k mile maintenance checkout, which the manufacturer requires to keep the warranty up to date and …

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Post-ice storm vehicle repairs.

In my almost-but-not-quite-there state yesterday, I managed to get the TARDIS down to the dealership for repairs. As I mentioned earlier, in the ice storm in DC last week, I managed to damage a couple of components in the undercarriage of my car.

First off, my car was about six thousand miles (!) overdue for maintenance and winterisation, which I take the blame for because I could probably have done so back in December of 2006 before the holiday season really set in. I know that my car was overdue for an oil change as well as a basic go-over. Due …

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Car repairs at last?

Today's the fifth of January - the TARDIS is supposed to be ready at the body shop by now. Cross your fingers, everyone.

thunderbird -ProfileManager - For when you absolutely, positively have to do things to your e-mail configuration that would make any sane system administrator (hush, you!) cringe. Laptop users take note: SanDisk is going to unveil its next generation storage drives at CES next week, namely, 32GB flash drives for portable computers. The drives are built using solid-state flash technology, which means no moving parts (and thus, lower power requirements). For a while they've been available for certain applications outside …

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