Multi-Function Printers of tomorrow…


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The birth of the MFP (multi-function printer) suddenly gave us network fax, printing and scanning in a single device. I wonder now what the future of the MFP will become.

  • 3d
  • laser engraving
  • laser printer
  • fax (because everyone has someone they know)
  • scanner

It would be a larger device only because you don’t want a tiny space for the 3d printer. I suspect it would connect directly to your router allowing you to print to it from anywhere. The laser tooling would allow you to create, sign and add additional information to the printed objects.

You could even print circuit boards and quickly prototype solutions.

All from your home.

For a long time we’ve been told the gaming system and smart television is the nexus of our home. It remains the reality that your Internet connection is the nexus of your home network today. It controls what, in the end you can and cannot do. In the future I wonder if the printer wouldn’t become the true home Nexus.

I think a web site devoted to giving away free 3d printing plans would be a fantastic start. Beat a video game and get a 3d file with your trophy!

Future school projects…Please make a Paper Mache solar system. ABS/PLA printed solar systems will not be accepted.

One printer to rule them all and in your basement bind them.

It could happen!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

A day late 42


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67 years since a brave man played a game he loved for a country he loved. We owe you Jackie Robinson. It makes me sad to think that in fact our nation was once that way. In fact in many places still is that way. We are equal under the law. There is no greater love than someone willing to take scorn, hatred and anger because they love something enough to want it to be right.

Jaki got me a Despicable Me coloring book. I am not sure why the two movies appeal to me. I passed my second childhood a few years ago – so I guess it is part of my third childhood. I love the minions.

I’ve been looking at 2 color 3d printers. Beyond the smaller printer these actually print two colors of plastic at the same time. I suspect in the near term someone will create a plastic you can paint so the relevance of two color printing may decrease the need for two colors. What I am most interested in isn’t just two colors but to be able to create a larger print out. In the end I think the reality of 3d printing is going to be as much what you can do with your home printer as anything else. You could start a business selling 3d plans that could then be transferred to your home printer. The same is true for circuit boards (there is a great project on Kickstarter building a circuit board printer).

In the end I think you could create a new market that made things cheaper. With ABS and PLA plastics you can use recycled materials. The next cool thing would be a home plastic recycling station that would produce PLA or ABS plastic. You then could create batches of the plastic from objects you had previously printed. Milk and other perishables could come in ABS and PLA plastic containers so you would always have more material for creating objects. With the newer 3d printers you could in the end create connectors and allow for building objects piece by piece.

It’s a brave new world. Companies can sell their items cheaper (they don’t have to build them) and you can build them at home.

I’m just saying.

Just imagine a world where you could print anything at home in a matter of hours. Download the open source version of the part you need to fix something. Download the plans to build your own flexible desk or six sided dice to play a game. The reality of 3d printing is simply amazing. I suspect over the next year you will see it move further and further into the mainstream.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Some innovations I would like to see…


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The political tug of war in the world right now makes me sad. There are so many problems in the world that if we stopped building bombs and started reaching out and helping people we could make long lasting permanent change. Like I said, just sad.

Products I would love to see in the market (some exist some do not)

  • EyeTV Wireless not currently available in the US. Interesting product – I have their 30 pin for the iPad right now it works well and receives 3/4 TV stations.
  • Bluetooth hub. Reduce the frustration of too many BT devices by connecting all of them to the hub and then your device to the hub. One connection multiple devices and a much better reality for all of us. (I could get rid of all my keyboards – just one for everything)
  • Universal HDMI adapter (wireless connection any device to the dongle and then your Television) these are coming – two different versions on Kickstarter and Indiegogo now. Can’t wait – it moves so much closer to my screen as a service reality.
  • More spectrum devoted to wi-fi and an intelligent home router that evaluates your bandwidth at home and then places different device types of different networks automatically so that your bandwidth is well always functional.
  • Better Wi-fi portable hard drives

There are a number of things done that are moving these ideas forward. I suspect watching both Kickstarter and Indiegogo these technologies will begin moving forward. The concept or idea of a single Bluetooth hub is gaining momentum – the only issue I see in the short run are devices that require a specific code to pair. In those cases I think the HID will have to allow for a remote administration connection or possibly use wi-fi and an embedded web page to manage the hub.

Oh to live in interesting times.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Returning to the Eduverse concept…


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I have chased tomorrow for 30 years now. I started out seeking a better way to do things when I was teaching school. Over time I came to realize that my particular skills were better suited in the technology field. I moved into a helpdesk role – I still recommend that anyone who will ever be in a software architect role should start or spend a year in the helpdesk space. It is a different mentality than simply interacting with people directly.

In 1988 I started a teaching group called the Society of Dead Teachers (DTS). I still, to this day get emails from various people who joined and were members of that organization over the years. I kept that group alive for nearly 10 years. The goal? to provide resources for teachers who were feeling burned out.

In “The Syncverse” I talked about creating an EDUverse. Part of that was in response to things I saw all those years ago. Part was in response to what was possible today. In fact, there is a group already doing a chunk of what I argued in The Syncverse. They have leading professors record specific lectures or classes and then offer them back to the world for free.

I suspect the next step in this process will be the consumption of teaching material world wide. I would like to propose it as the “Crowd Education” process. Basically there are three distinct services in this:

  • Creation station – I have a great idea for conveying the concept of X to Y type of students. I have documented it and have uploaded it to the creation station, please feel free to send me comments.
  • Translation station – I really need an idea for teaching x to y, I see there is one in the creation station but sadly my Korean is a bit rusty (ok I actually don’t speak Korean) can this be translated?
  • The forum: The DTS focused on growing and sharing ideas via collaboration. The last part of my Eduverse solution is the collaboration forum. there would be three layers within this collaboration station including an open (no flaming forum). with the DTS we created the DTS-L forum that was on bitnet, STEPs and through a number of BBS systems, and was available on the Internet as a Listserv. The rule – no flaming people if you did we locked you out. The second would be the brainstorming channel – a place to noodle through ideas in a crowd funded scenario – lots of people, lots of great suggestions to improve an idea. Finally there would be the debate area where people could debate the merits and values of various educational concepts, theories, ideas and models.

One of these days I am going to start a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign to build this. Not today but someday.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Time to build a better mouse trap


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It is in the end about the people you meet.

Another Kickstarter project got funded yesterday. The c.24 piano keyboard for the iPad was successfully funded. I find myself spending a lot of time looking for musical instruments. I have written a few songs over the years and I like plunking out melodies when I have a couple of minutes. It allows me to quickly refocus.

There is a horrible adage and not one I subscribe to, “he who has the most toys wins” rather I am looking for devices that make me more effective and better able to do what I like to do. For example, I like to take walks and sometimes Dylan and I veer off course. Having a reliable GPS and compass then becomes critical. The disadvantage of every GPS is that you have to close the map screen to get to the compass. The disadvantage for me of electronic compasses is they are always out of battery when I need to use them. So while I carry a hi-tech GPS that I love (with extra batteries) I also carry an old fashioned liquid compass (the air mounted compasses take too long to become stable).

At times the GPS is too much to carry and I only carry my iPhone, but I still carry the compass. If it is a track or course that Dylan, the boys and I have walked a hundred times we don’t take the GPS or the compass. Those are only for when we are exploring the universe beyond the known.

Which brings me to my last topic. Portable dog watering devices. Yes Dylan likes the occasional drink and he won’t carry a whiskey barrel on his collar so we have to carry a watering device for him. We have tried several so far (I won’t use product names) and frankly they are disappointing. We have been talking about trying to print a device on the 3-d printer but we are struggling in the design phase. We have a couple of ideas for better ways to work through the problem. If we are able to produce the device we will happily share the open-source design specs for 3-d printers.

Anyone else have that issue? That portable dog watering devices just don’t cut it? Or is it just the boys and I?

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Simple doesn’t equal quality…


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Oh for the boundless energy of youth.

I realized last night, after picking up the boys and then coming home that I am no longer young. The past two nights (after long weekends of unpacking) I have sat down on the couch for a 5 minute pre- unpacking break only to fall asleep.

I used to be able to run on 4 hours of sleep and catch up on the occasional lazy weekend. Now, I am exhausted mentally during the week and physically by the end of the weekend.

Oh for the boundless energy of youth.

The boys are entering (not gracefully) the silent rebellion of their teen years. The transition from their parents being smarter has begun. Now they are smarter (just ask them). So they tacit or silent agree to do things with a forced “OK” and then of course being smarter realize that the things they have been asked to do are not really needed so they don’t do them.

As Bill Cosby said “All children have brain damage.” The corollary to that is they have brain damage until suddenly they don’t. That “don’t usually” occurs sometime around the first time they can’t pay rent or when they have their first child. Either way it goes away eventually.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the biography of Steve Jobs, I highly recommend it. Growing up during that time period I found a number of points of connection with where he was at various times. It mirrors nicely the concepts argued in the book “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.” Simple doesn’t equal quality but quality shouldn’t be hard.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

and freaking laser beams on the top of it


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Note: (please excuse the whining tone) It feels like the two coasts always make fun of folks in the “Middle” but I wonder, on the East coast people leave when the sun is still hiding and don’t come home until the sun is down. The concept of neighbors is very different here than in the middle. Sure life moves a lot faster on the coast – but you don’t have someone to lean over the fence and talk about it with.

I was addicted to foursquare for awhile. I need to go to an FA meeting. I decided yesterday to stop cold turkey. The next step is deleting the application from my portable devices.  When that happens I know I will be over that addiction.

Long day yesterday riding home on the Metro watching tired people stand in the cold waiting for a train I realized two things, I need a better winter coat then the one I’ve been using and two I hate cold weather. I used to love the concept of snow but right now it just makes me cold. So I started thinking as I was freezing walking to my car after getting off the train what was the perfect winter coat.

First it can’t be the kind mom bought  us when we were eight, remember? Removable liners? the first time you took out the liner was the last time the liner ever fit into the jacket. More than a test of dexterity and patience I have to say. Of course mom got mad at us for not using the liner but who could get the freaking thing back into the jacket, anyway?

The perfect winter coat needs to have lining made for 20 degrees and above with wiring inside the jacket that allows you to turn it on for heat when the temperature gets older. Since we would need batteries (or maybe just the batteries from a 787 they seem to be able to combust at will) we could also charge devices. It needs to be like the way cool Scott-Vest and coats with lots of pockets. Finally, an attached scarf and gloves would be awesome so I don’t forget them.

It isn’t hard people. Oh yeah and with deference to Dr. Evil, it needs to have freaking laser beams on the top of it. Seriously again it isn’t hard people!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow