The one thing not mentioned in that article is you can only connect to the base stations via Ethernet. Setting them up via wi-fi won’t work as it auto-launches the new versions of AirPort Utility, version 6.
The Letterpress Collective is a community run company that has rescued the old art of letterpress.
The day started with Nick showing us the basics. Choosing type from the hundreds on offer, many rescued from the scrap heap.
Then he showed us how to mount the letters into a frame. Using lead to adjust line height (leading!). We learnt where all the typographic terminology comes from.
Once in the frame they can then be printed on one of the presses, here I’m working on a proofing press, the ink is hand rolled onto the type and then the paper is pressed on top.
It takes a few tries to get it right, mostly as the type needs to be uniform height as well as checking spelling and that the letters are the right way round.
I printed a couple of posters through the day, including this one for my wife (it was Valentine’s day after all).
In the afternoon I moved onto the card / small printing press. This one was a little easier as the ink and the rollers are automatic meaning all you have to do is place a card in, pull down, remove and repeat. I printed some basic business cards.
I really enjoyed the day, £75 well spent as I came away with two sets of 4 posters and about 20 cards and learned a lot.
I’ve had some spare time on my hands this Christmas and having just moved house, a huge pile of DVDs and CDs I’ve been meaning to do something with. I have an old Asus laptop, a Celerion with a DVD and a 2TB external drive gathering dust.
Vortex box is a media ripper and server designed to run on old PCs with limited hardware. You just put a CD or DVD in the drive it rips it, adds the correct metadata and makes it available on the network as a shared drive. The nifty thing is the extras it installs to make sharing media really easy.
The great thing about Vortexbox is that you manage everything through a web interface which not being the prettiest means you can do everything you need without needing to login to the machine directly, making it ideal to run headless (ie no monitor, mouse or keyboard) and leave it in a cupboard out of the way. You can do more fancy stuff but that involve getting jiggy with the terminal (it runs on Fedora Linux).
It rips CDs as lossless FLAC files and makes them available on the network as MP3s or ALAC (Apple’s lossless format). It runs both a Squeezebox server and Supersync which makes the files appear as an iTunes library. It also shares music as DLNA meaning XBox and loads of other hardware can read the files.
Vortexbox rips DVDs as MPeg4s and in the same way as with music makes them available on the network.
Plex is a pretty nifty video manager. You can stream videos to mobile, iPad, Xbox, Chromecast, Roku, you name it, Plex has a client for it. There’s even a great webclient. The videos are also shared as DLNA or SMB meaning pretty much any computer, console, TV or set top box can access them.
It also manages photos, has a BitTorrent client and is an AirPlay receiver (plug a stereo into the headphone socket).