Friday, June 18, 2010

Paper YZF-R1 (2003-2004)

Origami being a hobby I adopted really young, when the link to this paper YZF-R1 showed up on Slashdot back in 2003, I had to investigate.  I usually stick to models requiring folding only (i.e. no scissors or glue), but the detail in this model was so interesting I had to build it.

The pattern is still available from Yamaha's website.  It took approximately 80 hours to cut, fold and glue, spread out over the course of approximately three months at the start of 2004.

The observant will note that the cycle is missing its rear right flasher.  It was actually inhaled by accident while holding it up close to try and push out a kink.  (Don't ask.)  The fresh glue was difficult on my digestive system, even though the manufacturer claimed the glue was non-toxic.  My vocal complaining prompted my chemical engineering friend to explain that "non-toxic just means it's not going to actively try to harm you, dude, it doesn't mean it's going to be fun to digest."

The above pictures are from 2004, when I finished building the bike.  Six years later, I still have it, and it has proven both a blessing and a curse: I'm glad to have built it, but now I'm stuck with a new trinket, so to speak. As with most things, it was about the journey more than the destination, and now I'm wary of forgetting about the former if I dispose of the latter.

Lessons learned:
  • When you set out to build something fragile like this, you really need to know up front where you're going to store it afterwards so it doesn't deteriorate.  In this case, I think a shelf behind a glass window would have been perfect to avoid physical damage and dust.  (The dust is now virtually impossible to get off.)
  • Craft glue does not hold up forever.  After a few years, the parts that stick out will start sagging, even if the model is not manipulated often.  Be prepared to either endure or touch up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

it begins

[Wow, what a badass case of writer's block - over ten years.]

Once upon a time, I had a blog of sorts on a university server.  I wrote nonsense about my student life, and shared a few projects.  One day shortly after hitting a thousand hits, I oversaw this dude I'd never met before running one of my OpenGL programs on a public terminal.  It really drove home the notion that my stuff was "out there" for anyone to read or download.

Strangely, I truly felt as though this was a massive intrusion of privacy.  I wrote a final post detailing that very event, and that was it - the site never got updated again, eventually being eaten up by the maintenance langoliers.

What gives?  In retrospect, I realized that I was using the web more as a way of writing home than as an open book which anybody could read.  Typing in a URL is about as difficult as reading a street sign, and your content is just about as public.  Quite a simple insight, but as the saying goes, sometimes it's difficult to see the forest for the trees.

So, here we are.  Since my last post, Napster has died, the Matrix has Reloaded, Katrina has destroyed, Barack has been elected, and Michael Jackson has left us.

As for me, I plan to share projects and thoughts.  Great success!