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Midwest RepRap Festival

Well, this weekend I took a break from playing Ghost Recon Wildlands and made the trip over to Indiana to check out Midwest RepRap Festival. While the name most likely isn’t obvious to most people, but RepRap is the community around 3d printing. So unlike Maker Fairs where 3d printing is also very popular, this time the entire event is exclusively focused on it. This event started off as a small get together of friends in a garage and is quickly growing out of control. A few of the big names in 3d printing were there and we have the chance to stop and talk with a few people. We also brought the camera along so I figured I would make a quick post to share what we saw.

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Sick of hearing about RGB, here’s an article about RGB

After spending the past few weeks sorting through all of the CES coverage, launches, and all of the comments and backlash on social media and websites like Reddit I wanted to sit down and talk a little about something that has been bothering me. Over the past year, but especially at CES, just about every product introduced now has RGB lighting. When seeing my friends in the tech press talk about it, you can almost see/read the frustration with it all and there are comments all over with people hating on RGB. I want to go on record and say that RGB is great for the industry and its one of those products that everyone is going to hate on but they will most likely be upset next year if someone brings out a product without it.

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Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Well it’s that time again, we have to say goodbye to another year and hello to a new beginning. 2016 wasn’t exactly the year I had hoped it would be and I think a lot of people would echo that same sentiment. But around here I have still continued to bring out new content including touching on new areas all together like 3D printing. Over the entire year I published 80 reviews and that is down from 92 last year. I don’t know if that means I have been slacking, but I do know that our content has gotten longer and I am constantly spending more and more time testing, so I think that might be part of the reason for the decline. Every year I like to take a look back at all of the Editor’s Choice awards I give out and revisit them to see if they ended up being used in my personal setup. Last year I gave our 10, but looking back a year later I’m only still using 2. This year I gave out a whopping 19. This may be partially due to working on two different project builds this year, but I still bet more than a few wouldn’t make the cut looking back. So let's take a look.

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SeeMeCNC visit and 3d printing rundown

It’s a combination of the kid in me and the maker in me but getting a 3D Printer has been on my short list of things I want to get for years now. I’ve spent a lot of time with things like my plotter designing and making my own stickers as needed. Frankly though 3d printer always felt a little unobtainable both because of the cost and because it seemed like you might need an engineering degree to build and maintain one. Well a few months ago my interest was renewed and I decided that I was going to get one and from then on I spent day and night learning as much as I can, reading anything and everything. I had a few printers in mind but couldn’t decide. One of the companies I was keeping a close eye on was SeeMeCNC, they had been involved with printers for custom PC builds with DarthBeavis, on the Vanilla Ice Project, and even involved with PDXLAN. The problem was for my first printer at least; I wasn’t really looking for a build it yourself kit. I feel capable of doing that, but I just really wanted to dive into it quickly rather than a long build time prior. The other problem was even in the kit form their printers were a bit higher than I was budgeting. Well when looking at them I found out that they are actually within a drive away and I reached out about visiting. It just so happened that they were also introducing their long awaited Eris, a smaller, cheaper, and more portable model that comes factory build. I went and visited their factory and picked up the first Eris and have been getting a feel for it all. Today I’m going to give a quick run through on what 3d printing is all about, go over my visit with SeeMeCNC, then tomorrow I will dive into the Eris and my overall experience with it.

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Maiden voyage to BlizzCon

I’ve always heard great things about BlizzCon and after participating in the virtual ticket last year we decided it was something we wanted to experience in person. The announcement of Overwatch, Blizzard’s first new IP in almost two decades, certainly contributed to the experience and I was blown away by the overall excitement witnessed through panels, contests, and of course e-sports. I wouldn’t consider myself a Blizzard mega-fan, but the influence many of their franchises have had in my gaming career is monumental. Diablo was one of my gateway titles into PC gaming and decades later you can often find me running through greater rifts with my wife, Misty. With tickets in hand, we patiently waited and prepared for our departing flight to Anaheim, California.

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Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

Well as I sit here and write this we still have about a day and a half left in 2015 but by the time you read this we will all begin the yearly struggle to remember to write the correct year down when writing down the date. Every year before finishing things up I like to sit down and look back through the years work and revisit all of the products that I gave the Editor’s Choice award too. The Editor’s Choice award is an interesting one because it only goes to products that really stand out and are most likely to make it into daily use in the office or with my LAN rig. They aren’t always perfect but typically they see long term use, for example in 2014 I awarded 12 products and even today 9 of them see near daily use. So this year we published 92 reviews, down from the 100 last year, I’ve been slacking a little I guess. Of those I awarded 10 with an Editor’s Choice award, so let’s revisit them and find out how I feel about them now.

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LanOC at FortLAN VII

A few days after returning from FortLAN VII I hung my badge along with the collection of those from other parties. Being one of the largest badges makes it stands out, but what really caught my eye was the contrast of the name tag from their first event. We made the short trip to Fort Wayne back at the beginning of 2013 for the maiden FortLAN event. I still remembered climbing the spiral staircase to the second floor of the Andorfer Commons at Indiana Tech on our first visit and staring over the balcony to the cafeteria below. The venue was comfortably familiar but with several subtle improvements and a few notable changes. Once we had our equipment unpacked, we eagerly jumped in game.

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LanOC at NeXus LAN 16

It’s been a little over two years since I made it to a NeXus LAN, and if I recall correctly it was their first event to be held at their new venue in the Miamisburg Moose lodge. The building was familiar with the signature round tables and the large stage area packed with busy staff members. The registration and prize tables seemed to spill out from the stage, and as we continued in it became clear why: NeXus had grown substantially since my last visit. The tables seemed to have doubled, claiming another room once separated by a divider.

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DIY cassette cases for Nintendo Game Boy

Part of why I enjoying collecting video games are the cases. When people look at me like I’m crazy for buying physical copies, I usually base my defense on the experience of opening a new game, but there’s much more to it. My friends and I used to hit the video rental store every Friday, and despite the old adage we had no other way of choosing a game other than what we saw on the cover. I’m sure this contributed to my infatuation with cover art, but I’ve talked to enthusiasts of other media, particularly music, and they share a similar love for album covers. When the games are on the shelf and all-- er, most-- the spines are uniform, it’s a great feeling.

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