July 30, 2006

cabinet part vii

I've put in another couple of hours this weekend. It's hard to get started too early in the morning because we live so close to a lot of other people. A jigsaw can make a lot of noise when it echoes around a little car hole. It's also pretty cold until after 10.30 or so and the light gets hard to work in after about 3.30. Add in lunch and a poop here and there and that only leaves 4 hours or so a day. When you also factor in my total lack of woodworking skills, I'm pretty chuffed that I've got as much done as I have!

Anyway, I've now got every piece cut out and pretty much sanded, ready for construction. I just need to wait for the t-molding to arrive so I can make sure it fits the slot that I'll be routing out. I can't afford any more wood, so everything has to work first time!
Since it's as hard as hell to cut a straight line with a jigsaw, I'll also have to wait for my sander to arrive so I can buzz everything into shape. I tried doing it manually, by I still have soft office hands, so they didn't last long.
I might also invest in a broom...

a day off work

So... the lunch I mentioned below was a bit bigger than it should have been. I haven't been to a buffet for a long time and forgot that you're supposed to stop eating once you've had enough. We both overdid it a bit and were uncomfortable for hours afterwards.

After a walk around the Yarra to get rid of some of the pain, we found ourselves at a playground. As it wasn't school holidays and Docklands is dead at the best of times, we had the place to ourselves. With that huge lunch inside, these spinning things wreaked havoc on our insides, but it was good fun anyway.
After leaving behind a ring that I found lying around, we went to the Da Vinci machines exhibition. That guy was pretty clued up (and had quite a fixation on weapons and war).

To finish the day off, we went and saw Sione's Wedding. I wasn't expecting anything great, so was pleased to discover a nice non-offensive Kiwi(/Samoan) film. The story was totally predictable, but seeing it through the eyes of a group of Samoans gave it a different enough spin to make it enjoyable.

July 25, 2006

cabinet part vi

Had a day off work today to spend some time in the city with Deb but without the weeked crowds. Before going in though, I was granted a couple hours to myself, so I ended up downstairs. I think it was about 6° and since I don't have a large wardrobe I don't have an old jumper to wear...tshirt only. So anyway, yeah it was cold.
I think the cold must have affected me a bit, because I had to measure things half a dozen times before I was comfortable that the dimensions were right.
Anyway, here's the resulting main bottom panels (there's two of them, but they're so perfectly cut you can't tell :)

If you can't remember how it's going to look, take a look here.
Now I'm off to town for a nice relaxing lunch then off to see a Da Vinci machines exhibition.

July 24, 2006

blast from the past

As I was pretty much incapacitated on Saturday, it was mainly spent sitting around reading or watching telly. By pure chance, I turned on a channel that I never watch (Lifestyle or some crap) and saw a program called Gadget World. It looked like it was a couple of years old, but there was nothing else on so I kept watching. They had an article about the Joystick Junkies retro games night, which set a few bells ringing. I called Deb into the lounge just in time to see Leigh, an old mate from London being interviewed. What are the chances of that?

verdict: coincidence?

July 23, 2006

cabinet part v

On Sunday,  measured up and got cutting. As there's no power downstairs, I had to hang an extension cord out of the top window, but as long as it didn't rain I would be fine. Naturally, not long after I got started, hailstones the size of marbles started falling from the sky. I sat those out hoping it wouldn't rain, which didn't happen until the light got too low to work in.

The jigsaw took a little getting used to (and probably wasn't the perfect tool for the job) but I've got the two top side panels cut out and I think the rest will be a lot faster. (note the dustmask. mdf dust is a killer) After tidying up, I came inside to sit around and listen to the rain. As our garage has a couple of small leaks, after half an hour I thought I'd pop down and make sure everything was ok. I'm pleased I did, because water had come in over a metre past the edge of the door, getting everything wet. I can't imagine mdf being very forgiving when it comes to water, so hopefully I got to it soon enough and it won't be to damaged.

It's still winter here, so the sun starts going down around 4pm. By the time I get home from work, it's pretty much black, so I won't be able to do anything again until Saturday! At least now I know what to expect and have everything at my disposal so I can make some real progress. I'd like to be able to start putting things together next Sunday.

verdict: this thing is going to be as heavy as a motherfucker

dp awards

I had my divisional awards night on Friday night. It was a 70s theme, so I tracked down a safari suit, polyester shirt and afro for the occasion. Considering it was a work function it was actually quite a fun night, helped - I guess - by the fact that my team of 4 won the team of the year award. I think this means a trip to Sydney on company money to attend the Personal Insurance awards night.

Afterwards a couple of us went to the Purple Emerald for some jazz and more booze. I discovered there that mojitos are actually stronger than they appear and rocked home at a gentlemanly 3am (I was quite proud of that, until I remembered that in my heyday 3am was when the night was still getting started!)
If you look really closely, you may be able to tell which photo was taken at the start of the night and which was taken at the end.

July 19, 2006

google earth sees all

I was about to hit the sack when I found out that Google Earth now has Dunedin in it's sights!

If you have Google Earth, download the kmz files and have a nosey.

UPDATE: I took the Google Earth files down as I couldn't be bothered updating them when we changed ISP.

cabinet part iv

Right, I've definitely spent enough for now. I ordered a few extras today that will give things a nice finish.
The trackball will be great for games like Missile Command and Centipede as well as acting as a mouse for the PC functions. Also, no games cabinet is ever going to feel authentic unless you can fill the bugger with 20 cent pieces (which will actually register the coins and add credits accordingly)

Deb must be one of the most patient people I know

that guy who dances on the internet

I've been drinking, so you probably won't find this as funny as I have:
A guy travelled around the world and filmed himself dancing. Simple concept, but I think it turned out pretty cool.
See the video here

July 17, 2006


So, it's going to be a really long week. Now that I have everything I need except the wood, I'm impatient to get started and am finding it hard to concentrate at work. I realise it's dumb to be so excited about playing Asteroids in the lounge, but it's been over three months since I decided to make this thing and finally being this close is distracting.
That's why I'm writing this at work.

I found a program that acts as a front end for the games. Instead of selecting from a list, you walk around an arcade to find the game you want. You can display the cabinets as they originally appeared with all the side art and marquees as well as showing either screenshots or short videos on the screens:

It does seem a bit intense to render a big 3D environment just so you can play pacman, but it's pretty cool and adds a new element to the system.

I've also decided to use a 21" computer monitor instead of a TV for the screen. It will look slightly less authentic than a TV would, but it also means I'll be able to use it as a computer as well.

July 15, 2006

cabinet part iii

The plan was to wait until the weather cleared up enough so I could work on the terrace. It turns out I have the patience of a fruitfly, so I went to Bunnings on Friday (a day off work) , ordered the wood and bought a bunch of other stuff to go into or onto it.
Naturally I didn't notice until I got home that one of the router pieces I bought was missing some parts, so I'll be back in tomorrow.
$1000 spent and counting. Luckily half of that was on tools, so if I decide to make another one, it won't cost anywhere near as much.

If all goes well, next Sunday will be the first cut, so fingers crossed that I still have fingers to cross by the end of the day.

Edit 16.07.06: Went back to Bunnings and exchanged the router bit. Turns out I got the wrong jigsaw blades too, so I swapped those as well. Since I was there, it seemed a waste to walk out with nothing new, so I added a bunch of bolts for the joysticks and some primer and enamel paint for the cabinet. I decided that laminate would:
  1. Be too expensive
  2. Be too hard to work with
  3. Add yet more weight to the behemoth. It's going to be ridiculous as it is.