Monthly Archives: December 2011

Engraving an X-Acto Knife Set

exacto knife case engravedGetting an X-Acto knife set for Christmas is good, but, if you’re like me, spray painting it and engraving your initials and something creative like, “EXACTO KNIVES” in it is even better (Edit: it would have actually been better if I’d looked up how to spell X-Acto knife before engraving).  I also received a magnetic parts tray, which came in very handy when taking everything apart to be painted and engraved.

I’ve spray painted wooden boxes before, like when painting “Boxie the Creepster”, but this time I didn’t want to mess up the hinges and clasp.  I took them off and put them in the magnetic tray where they stayed nicely.  This allowed for a professional look after 2 coats of spray paint and reassembly.  The lid was put in the router disassembled, which probably made things easier than trying to fixture it as a whole.

After spray painting everything, Read more »

Another 2011 “Thank You” to Zen Toolworks

The “Starbucks Tower”, wow!

As readers of this blog know, I’ve written about and done business with Zen Toolworks on many occasions.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a very nice gift from Starbucks on my doorstep from them.

As with other supporters of this blog, it’s really nice to get something like this in appreciation for contributing to their business.  The note specifically mentioned their forum, which I do contribute to at times, and is a great source of information for those starting out with a ZTW machine.

All that being said, someone who takes care of his customers and those who write about his business, seems like someone who would really stand behind his product. I haven’t ever needed to ask him to stand behind their product though, which is even better!

As for what I’ve written about ZTW machines, check out any of these articles.

New Convert to Ubuntu from Windows XP: Day 11

After using Ubuntu for almost 2 weeks now, here’s some different things that I’ve noticed as a former and current Windows XP user:

I started in Ubuntu 10 and after several automatic upgrade cycles, I’m now using 11.10.  The first thing that I noticed was that, as an XP user, I generally hated the “Unity” interface.  Not everything has to try to copy Microsoft’s newest “innovation”, and I was glad that with a little work it could be switched back to the GNOME classic view (here’s how).

Before doing this upgrade, I noticed that Quake Live (about the only 3D game I ever play) ran quite choppy.  Something about the drivers I assume.  After unsuccessfully trying to upadate the driver, I was frustrated. Apparently 11.10 has better support for my Radeon card found in the Lenovo Thinkpad T60.  Performance is markedly better after this upgrade.  For that matter, since the upgrade, the center trackpad button on my Lenovo T60 works correctly for scrolling by default.  What a great upgrade!

Bootup is fast, and it connects to my wireless network very quickly.  It also seems to access the HDD less than under Windows, which should mean better battery life.  Also, it seems to come almost instantly out of “suspend” mode, which is quite nice.

Ipod functionality is one thing that I’m still on the fence about.  The included “Banshee” media player seems meant for this, but the podcast transfers to my Nano Read more »