3D Printing to the Rescue!

Today is another fun filled day with new found 3D printing experience. I printed more 3D things from www.thingiverse.com. The AA battery holder is a pretty good one. This print was actually in two parts and after printing, there was some assembly required. The two parts fitted perfectly, and now I have a AA battery dispenser. The picture shows the resulted print. It is a bit rough because I used the fast mode.

As luck would have it, the stars and planets came together and an end cap with one of our dining chairs cracked. It went from this:

to this:

This gave me an excellent opportunity to create my first 3D model for the very first time. No longer do I need to print someone else’s work. I spent the morning learning SketchUp, triple take the required measurements, and designed my custom end cap.

The one on the left is mine, and the one on the right is from Home Depot. I even added a little round ridge so that it is a better fit. Here is the result:

It worked really well! I even surprised myself.

Into 3D Printing I Go

I purchased a 3D printer last week, and did not have an opportunity to open it until today!

I purchased the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus. It was super easy to install. After numerous YouTube videos on reviews of different printers and how to operate them,
I decided on this one. I didn’t want a DIY kit, so I settled for this preassembled one.

The YouTube videos really helped to prepare me to avoid the gotcha’s, and before long I was doing my first print, which was this Okay hand signal.

I wanted to test the printer with something more challenging. I opted for the Comura Articulatum from www.thingiverse.com. I found out about this object from the Maker’s Muse YouTube review of the 3D printer that I purchased. As you can see from the video below, the print was pretty successful and it came with articulating joints! I’ll be learning more about 3D modelling and printing this long weekend. Fun times ahead.

Three Cheers for Software RAID

Last year, I built a NAS machine as referenced by my previous post here. This month, my media drive composed of an LVM logical volume of almost 5TB is almost filled.

This drive contains all purchased media and our home videos for Plex, as well as our time machine backups. To alleviate the storage shortage, I purchased two 4TB Western Digital WD40EFRX hard drives. This weekend I took the plunge and installed the two new drives into my NAS computer. In the spirit of the moment, without performing a backup, I proceeded to:

  • Use parted to partition the drives;
  • Use mdadm to create a RAID 1 device of the two drives;
  • Created a new LVM physical volume with the new RAID device;
  • Added the volume to the existing volume group;
  • Extend the logical volume to newly added 4TB;
  • and finally, Extend the ext4 file system to include the 4TB

In the end, I now have a near 9TB network drive that should last me for quite sometime.

In researching how to extend the logical volume, I also found out how I can upgrade my drives in my existing physical volumes to higher capacity drives without having to recopy everything to another drive first. This should come in handy in the future, because my NAS computer box has no more drive bays.

I know I probably should have taken a backup before this, but everything worked and I couldn’t be happier. Hurray, hurray, and hurray for software RAID.

A Mauritian Legacy of my Grandfather

On May 17th, 2017 a Mauritian Chinese newspaper, Hua Sheng Bao (华声报), published an article on how my maternal grandfather Wu Tao Xing (吳桃興), also known as Ng Thow Hing to all of my relatives, reminded us all how my grandfather participated in the formation of a mutually prosperous China – Mauritius diplomatic relationship that lasted until today.

I personally have known bits and pieces of the story, but this article apparently written by family members of my grandfather shed more depths to how he was instrumental to the founding of the Chinese Embassy in Mauritius.

It is too bad that the newspaper does not have a web site, at least none that I can find, but one of my cousins from Mauritius was kind enough to provide a photo of the original article which I’ve included here. Below the original I also provided a translation that my beloved wife was patient enough to do with me.

The original article:

Our translation:

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relationship between China and Mauritius. At the time when the agreement is still being established, this is a momentous event amongst the Chinese expat from Mauritius. A new generation of Mauritian Chinese are now among us, many of whom are not aware of such an occasion and how important it was to Mauritius. This story is worth retelling for those new generation.

In 1972 when the agreement is reached, Mr. Wu Huan Hing 吳桓興 (Gong Gong’s brother), Director of the Beijing Cancer Hospital, acted as the facilitator and arranged for the first Prime Minister of Mauritius, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, to come to China to discuss the possibility and development of diplomatic relationship between China and Mauritius. Mr. and Mrs. Ng Thow Hing 吳桃興 (Gong Gong and Po Po), and Mr. Wu Pan Hing 吳泮興 was part of the Mauritian delegation during the visit to China.

Once the relationship is established, the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai 周恩來 promised to assist in the creation of the Mauritian airport, hospital, and subsidized in other infrastructure improvements. The success of this relationship continues today and China is still a prime benefactor for Mauritius. As a descendent of Mr. Ng Thow Hing 吳桃興, we are proud that this heritage is part of our family history.

Afterwards, when China wants to establish an Embassy in Mauritius, it was Mr. Ng Thow Hing 吳桃興 who acted as a consultant to assist in the Embassy location.  Mr. Ng Thow Hing refused to accept any commission sighting his heartfelt connection to the motherland. Once the Embassy is completed, Mr. Ng Thow Hing 吳桃興 and his family members have always been invited — until his passing — to future Embassy celebrations in recognition for his contribution in the establishment of China – Mauritius relationship.

The son of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam presented the CSK Medal to Mr. Ng Thow Hing 吳桃興 on the eve of the Mauritius Independence and Republic Day. A large part of Mauritius prosperity can be said, is owed to China’s assistance a direct result of the very same diplomatic relationship that Mr. Ng Thow Hing, 吳桃興 help to forge. All the key individuals mentioned in this article have passed away. As descendents of Mr. Ng Thow Hing, we will never forget how he was instrumental to the successful diplomatic relationship which both countries enjoy until today.

I believe the picture below is a photo of him sporting the CSK medal that was mentioned above.

I may not share his surname, but needless to say that I still feel quite proud to be within his lineage! I personally will not forget the deeds he played in Mauritian / Chinese history, and I will do my best to share this momentous event with my kids.

Update: 2017-10-06

Yesterday, I received a Facebook post:

https://www.facebook.com/roland.tsangkwaikew/posts/10155043511043494

The post was from Roland Tsang Kwai Kew, he effectively provided some explanation and clarity on where the article that we based our translation may have been sourced from. Here is a related article from Le DefiMedia Group.

I really appreciated the fact that he attempted to get hold of me via Facebook. It is really good to find out that that someone out there is preserving, observing, and recording the Chinese Mauritian culture as well as the Sino-Mauritian connection.

Celebration of a Mentor

This morning I woke up to the news that an influential friend who I have the pleasure of working with since 1999 have passed away.

He was a passionate leader driven by a bottomless source of aggressive energy. He gave me an opportunity to excel in my work and taught me what credibility actually means and how to achieve it. Although on the surface, he would project a demeanour of all work and no play. Underlying that tough surface lays a big and caring heart. Those who are close to him will know exactly what I mean.

Aside from my family, Derek is one of the few colleagues who not only influenced and defined my work ethics but also contributed greatly to how I live and think. He encouraged and supported me during my episode with cancer. He is always there professionally and his support is as formidable, and as valuable as a diamond pillar.

I write this to celebrate the difference that he has made in me, and I am forever grateful for that. My condolences to the Smyth family. He will be missed and I will continue to take my cue from his spirit of life. That is eternal.