Things I’ve Made

Showing all works, the most recent first.

I dabble in a bit of everything. I program software, write articles, sculpt things, paint things, carve things, learn things, design, assemble and build things. This is where I put all the stuff I want to share in a more permanent format.

Assorted notes on supplies for 'making'
Every time I make something, I come up with ideas for where to get new materials and what to use those materials on. (I wrote this on 2016 Jun 30. )
How I make conference posters
I'm super proud of my scientific posters, and I'd like to share my design process with you so that you can be proud of your posters too. (I wrote this on 2016 May 24. I last modified it on 2016 May 31.)
Poster: Will legume-insect specificity break down under climate change?
Hotter, drier weather is pushing plants out of their normal ranges. What happens to the insects that need them? (I wrote this on 2016 May 24. )
Levelling the bed of a Printrbot Simple Metal
Even though my printer has bed level compensation, it wasn't enough to compensate for my slanted bed. I used spring washers to make the bed adjustable. (I wrote this on 2016 Mar 03. )
Accenting 3D prints with nail polish
If you make a print with recessed lettering, like a dial, you need to do something to make the lettering easier to see. I like to use nail polish. (I wrote this on 2016 Feb 23. )
Pomodoro Technique egg timer MP3s
I like using an egg timer for time management but I don't want to disturb others with its ticking, so I made MP3 tracks of an egg timer. (I wrote this on 2016 Feb 17. I last modified it on 2016 Feb 15.)
The effect of fan quantity and fan shrouds on 'short' layers
'Short' layers are layers of a 3D print that finish so quickly that the plastic may not cool down before the next layer is printed on top of it. Good cooling is essential when printing these with PLA. I investigated how the number of cooling fans, and the shrouds fitted on them, affected short layer success. (I wrote this on 2016 Feb 13. I last modified it on 2016 Feb 21.)
Guide to the Ultimate Filament Colorer technique
A guide to loading a Sharpie with 3D printing filament to make durable, fully-coloured prints. (I wrote this on 2016 Jan 17. I last modified it on 2016 Feb 15.)
Pastel-coloured 3D prints using Sharpie-brand markers
Filament can be dyed during printing by passing it through a permanent marker. This article outlines the colours you get from dyeing opaque white filament with different Sharpie colours. (I wrote this on 2016 Jan 16. I last modified it on 2016 Feb 09.)
Assembling a kit of standard parts for 3D printing projects
3D printing is not appropriate for hardware that fastens parts together and allows them to move and interact (i.e. screws, springs, and more). All designers should own a kit of these basic parts — here's what's in mine. (I wrote this on 2016 Jul 12. )
The effects of fan types and fan shrouds on overhangs and warping in 3D printing
3D printing with PLA demands good cooling to produce accurate, attractive objects. I did tests to find a cooling setup that gives me the best quality PLA prints from my Printrbot Simple Metal 3D printer. (I wrote this on 2015 Nov 21. I last modified it on 2016 Feb 21.)
"Everything you swallow will one day come up like a stone" by Porpentine
A rehosting of Porpentine's hypertext game about suicide, trauma, and social and cultural systems that don't help. (I wrote this on 2016 Sep 24. )
Calculating flow rate for your 3D slicer
'Flow rate' is a slicer setting that tells the 3D printer how much plastic to extrude. Correct flow rate is the first step towards pretty and dimensionally accurate 3D prints, so it's important to know how to set it properly. (I wrote this on 2017 May 30. I last modified it on 2017 Jun 01.)
Tools and consumables for your first 3D printer
New to 3D printing and not sure what you need? I list the tools I use most, and what I use them for. (I wrote this on 2015 Nov 07. I last modified it on 2016 Jan 20.)
Universal WASD controls for top-down RPGs
Move your character using WASD in games like Titan Quest and Torchlight instead of clicking all the time, because I get really sick of clicking. (I wrote this on 2010 Oct 29. I last modified it on 2016 Oct 27.)
Do Per Line
Perform mouse/keyboard actions with every line of text in the clipboard. (I wrote this on 2015 Aug 26. )
A 5-month summary of science job openings in Sydney
I gathered science job ads for 5 months and looked for trends in job types and locations. (I wrote this on 2014 Aug 18. )
My gaming behaviours, visualised
I downloaded all of my Steam data and crunched it to figure out how I buy and play games. (I wrote this on 2014 Jan 05. )
VLC Pause-Play
Pause and play VLC Media Player from inside any other application. (I wrote this on 2013 Dec 15. )
The big guide to working with PDFs for students and knowledge workers
Working efficiently with PDFs is essential, but no one is taught what they can do with PDFs, or how to solve problems with PDF documents they encounter in the real world. In this guide I demonstrate the process of ’fixing’ a bad PDF using a real-world example, and then working with it effectively. (I wrote this on 2013 Nov 28. I last modified it on 2015 Nov 28.)
PDF Note Automator
Use one keypress in Adobe Reader to create and pre-fill ’Note’ annotations with the highlighted text, making it possible to extract your highlights from exported FDF data files. (I wrote this on 2007 May 12. I last modified it on 2016 Oct 27.)
FDF Text Extractor
Annotations made in PDFs can be exported as FDF files, but FDFs are full of junk formatting and are not directly usable. This tool pulls text annotations from FDFs and presents them as plain text for use in other programs. (I wrote this on 2013 Nov 28. )
An Arduino-based random number generator
A random number generator gadget built on Arduino. It’s way over-engineered and that is how I like it. (I wrote this on 2013 Sep 01. )
Auto-Incrementer, a tool for numbering things efficiently
Auto-Incrementer is a tool that helps you number things quickly and easily with a single keypress. (I wrote this on 2014 Sep 23. )
Dana Plaintext Suite: Streamlining the AlphaSmart Dana's plain-text workflow on Windows
In this article I outline my improvements to plaintext workflow with the AlphaSmart Dana. Previously, importing .TXT files to the Dana and exporting Dana's .PDB files as .TXTs was a slow process requiring several manual operations. I have produced a software suite that a) reduces it to a single drag-and-drop operation, and b) allows batch processing of many files at once. (I wrote this on 2013 Jul 04. )
TXT to RTF converter (command-line)
Drop a plain text (.txt or Markdown) file onto it, and it sticks the contents into a .RTF file. (I wrote this on 2013 Jul 03. )
Windows software for handling plain text, useful for writers and students
I’ve gathered a bunch of software that help me write and manipulate plain text as a student, programmer, and web developer. (I wrote this on 2013 Nov 29. )
DIY mountings and holders using Play-Doh
Sometimes I need to make a custom mounting to hold an object in some non-standard way. I've been using Play-Doh to solve such problems. (I wrote this on 2013 Apr 25. )
Android study apps for Science students
A QR code list of the Android apps I use for university. (I wrote this on 2013 Mar 15. )
Reference photos for tonal drawing
Photos of simple shapes in harsh lighting, suitable for practicing tonal drawing and as lighting references. (I wrote this on 2013 Feb 08. )
A Christmas house made out of shortbread
You hear a lot about gingerbread houses, but a quick Google search reveals that not many people have made houses out of shortbread, and of those people, only one other has written about it online. (I wrote this on 2013 Jan 09. )
A harbor scene, carved in relief in plaster of Paris
This is a relief carving inspired by a line drawing by Karla Gerard, and which was given as a birthday present to a friend. (I wrote this on 2013 Jan 09. )
Standing computer desk
I designed a computer desk that I could use when seated or standing. (I wrote this on 2013 Jan 09. )
Desktop cable holder
Plans for a removable cable holder made from thick wire. Stops your USB cables from falling off the table. (I wrote this on 2013 Jan 08. )
Basic shortbread recipe
This is my favourite shortbread recipe. (I wrote this on 2013 Jan 04. I last modified it on 2017 Aug 29.)
FlatList: Plaintext lists made presentable
FlatList is a PHP script that converts your text-only checklist into a pretty list with graphical checkboxes and everything! (I wrote this on 2013 Jan 01. )
Scratchpad, the rapid note-taking tool
Scratchpad is a quick-and-dirty note-taking tool with a minimum of frills, meant to show up when you need it and get out of the way when you don’t. (I wrote this on 2012 Dec 26. )
AlphaSmart Special Character Converter
This script detects special character keystrokes that are performed (presumably while an AlphaSmart is dumping text using the Send function) and outputs the correct special character in its place. (I wrote this on 2012 Jun 05. )
Locks your cursor within a horizontal resolution of your choosing. Handy for full-screen games that don't capture the cursor. (I wrote this on 2012 Apr 26. )
Imagine you have a lot of blocks of text that need to be wrapped in quotes or brackets or something, way too many to do by hand without developing RSI. TextWrapper lets you wrap a highlighted block of text with a prefix and suffix string in one keystroke. (I wrote this on 2012 Dec 27. )
Skyrim One-Key Dual Cast
Allows you to activate both hands by pressing only one button in Skyrim. (I wrote this on 2011 Nov 19. )
Better Binds for Red Orchestra 2
An Autohotkey script for Red Orchestra 2 that adds hold-to activate binds for crouching, proning, and aiming like you'd find in other games. Also adds spot-while-firing. (I wrote this on 2011 Sep 23. )
Tronic Revamped: Minecraft Texture Pack
Tronic Revamped is a clean, minimalist texture pack for Minecraft, built on the original Tronic texture pack. (I wrote this on 2011 Sep 18. )
ScreenCap: Portable Screenshot Saver
A tiny, portable program that captures the contents of your computer screen with one keypress, and saves it in lossless PNG format. Stick it on a flash drive and off you go! (I wrote this on 2011 May 31. )
Calculations Involving Titrations
You go to the supermarket and buy a 3L bottle of bleach for $3.40. Scandalised by the realisation that most of this is probably water, you resolve to go home and calculate exactly how much of the active ingredient (molecular Chlorine) you have actually paid for. (I wrote this on 2011 May 02. )
How To Get Head Tracking For Under $50
Head tracking is a method of monitoring the movements of your head and translating them into computer input. It's an efficient and powerful tool, especially for video games, but it's normally expensive. Here's how you can get it for less than $50! (I wrote this on 2011 Feb 23. )
Instant Text Automator
The Instant Text Automator lets you quickly write and use macros based on Autohotkey's Send function. (I wrote this on 2013 Jul 17. )
BFBC2 - TeamChat
Use the number pad to instantly send chat messages in BFBC2 about enemy positions and states on either the Squad or Team channels. (I wrote this on 2011 Jan 25. )
Spot While Firing in BFBC2
An Autohotkey script that automatically Spots an enemy as you fire at him in BFBC2 and BFBC2 Vietnam. (I wrote this on 2011 Jan 04. )
DeathSpank Auto-Clicker
This script makes the Left-Mouse and Right-Mouse autofire when playing DeathSpank or its sequel. (I wrote this on 2010 Dec 02. )
Mr Window Manager
Makes dealing with multiple windows easy by allowing you to assign a window to a Numpad key, and then automatically minimise/restore the window by pressing that key. (I wrote this on 2010 Nov 04. )
Mouse-Only Controls for Top-Down RPGs
Creates extra key maps that make it easier and less RSI-inducing to play action RPGs like Torchlight, Titan Quest and Diablo. (I wrote this on 2010 Oct 31. )
Minecraft Key Remaps
An Autohotkey script that creates extra, more comfortable keybinds for use in the ridiculously fun indie game Minecraft. (I wrote this on 2013 Jul 21. )
Can't install Viva Pinata
There is a common installation problem with Viva Pinata where the install program might freeze partway through and leave you with a half-installed game that can't be uninstalled. I've found the solution. (I wrote this on 2009 May 13. )
Random Noun Generator
The biggest word generator on the internet. Picks up to ten words from a list of more than 2,200 common nouns. Useful as a brainstorming tool for writing and problem-solving. (I wrote this on 2009 Mar 14. )
SimTypewriter - Typewriter Simulator
SimTypewriter is a pared-down online and portable text editor for writers, meant to replicate the text input style of a typewriter to help you become more productive. (I wrote this on 2009 Mar 13. )
Carpet Bombing Extended
A mod for Vanilla Supreme Commander that allows all Tier 1 and Tier 2 bombers to carpet bomb enemy units and structures by ordering them to fly over it. (I wrote this on 2009 Mar 01. )
Ligature auto-linking wiki
Ligature is adaptable wiki software that automatically creates links between articles based on the nouns and other words that appear within them. Use it as a wiki, or as story-telling software, or whatever. (I wrote this on 2009 Jan 17. )
The Great Noun List
A list of commonly-used nouns in the English language, delivered in a plain .txt format. (I wrote this on 2013 Jan 25. I last modified it on 2017 Apr 17.)
Pruning tomato plants
When should tomato plants be pruned? And how should they be pruned? (I wrote this on 2009 Jan 04. )
Pastry Flower
I had decided that if I couldn't get her flowers, then by God I was going to make her some. And I did. Using short pastry. (I wrote this on 2013 Jan 25. )
How to Crack Eggs
Impress your friends and woo your significant other by not looking like a dingus when cracking eggs. (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
Keyword-based blacklisting
Mainstream anti-spam technology is not future-proof to any degree — spammers change domains and servers too often to keep up. I believe keyword-based blacklisting is the best approach to spam protection, and I'll explain why (and how). (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. ) compact manuscripts is a quick and secure way of serving up template-based documents — especially manuals and other documentation — in as small a format as possible by using templates and storing content in separate .txt files. (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
The Verbosifier shoutbox/tagboard (discontinued)
The Verbosifier is shoutbox/tagboard software with unprecendented anti-spam measures and oodles of customisability. (I wrote this on 2013 Apr 19. )
‘The Punctuator' Text Inserter
The Punctuator allows users to insert special punctuation marks and common text formatting tags at the click of a button. It comes bundled with my blogging/article publishing software, Writer's Block. (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
How not to sweat after a shower
With all this global warming, it's time I taught you a skill that very few people have mastered: how not to sweat as soon as you get out of the shower. (I wrote this on 2009 Feb 07. )
How to make a puppet leader
Ever wanted to control a world leader? Well now you can! (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
Writer's Block CMS (discontinued)
A multi-user Content Management System with blogging, article writing, multiple categorising and the ability to give items their own text URL instead of being forced to use an ID number. It's running this site right now, in fact. (I wrote this on 2005 Feb 21. I last modified it on 2015 Apr 02.)
Trash Floods
Trash Floods are minor floods that attract peoples' garbage. How are they made, why do they do this, and why are they here? (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
The 'Ditto Machine'
A look at a photocopying blast from the past. (I wrote this on 2008 Aug 28. )
Love via late train
A friend did a pick-up, so to speak, while waiting for her morning train. (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
The Express Train
An old man runs down the stairs, buys a ticket and jumps onto an impatient train — all in under thirty seconds. (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
How to run DOS games
Playing DOS games is a rewarding venture. If you can get the game running to begin with. (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
How to make clean URLs
Clean URLs are prettier, easier to remember, more compact, are easier to link to and allow search engines to spider your site. (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
How to open a jar
An unopenable jar has to be one of the worst things that can happen to you, especially on a bad day. What creates such an abomination, and how can we topple it? (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
How to use a cultivator
A cultivator is a gardener's implement that looks like a three-fingered claw on a stick, and although it's a pretty common thangymabob to have lying around, a lot of people don't know exactly how to use one. (I wrote this on 1970 Jan 01. )
The Ligature Dev Diary (archived)
This is the development diary of my now-discontinued auto-linking wiki software, 'Ligature'. These posts were collapsed into this single page for permanent archiving, and are ordered from oldest to newest. (I wrote this on 2009 May 15. )
The Writer's Block Dev Diary (archived)
This is the development diary of my now-discontinued CMS, 'Writer's Block'. These posts were collapsed into this single page for permanent archiving, and are ordered from oldest to newest. (I wrote this on 2005 Nov 15. I last modified it on 2009 May 15.)
That's all there is, there isn't any more.
© Desi Quintans, 2002 – 2016.