OT: Buck Rogers in the 21st Century (was: Router w/ negative template)


: I only mentioned the CNC approach when asked if the guide : bushing/template method was the only way the job could be done and if : there wasn't an easier way.
When I was growing up we thought that by the year 2000 we'd have flying cars and video wrist communicators.
I was putting a DVD away the other day and realized that if I had seen a DVD player back on the 60's, I would have thought that I had walked into an episode of Star Trek.
I don't have a video wrist communicator or a flying car, but I carry a phone that displays a picture of the person who's calling. My friend has one that accepts voice commands ("call Judy at home"). All of us have access to a library full of reference material at our fingertips: Google "prime minister Uganda" and get the answer in a few seconds (Apolo Nsibambi, from Wikipedia).
I work in a school that has programs in robotics, digital media, and bio-engineering. 18 year olds grumble over homework assignments that were just science fiction when I was 18.
We really are living in the 21st century. When Morris mentioned using CNC, I chuckled to myself. Think outside the box, sure, but it's pretty ridiculous to suggest using computers to cut wood.
And then a I realized that I not only had access to a CNC machine, but one that used a laser for cutting. Morris didn't mean it seriously, and I didn't take it seriously, but by a bizarre coincidence it was actually a good suggestion. How weird is that?
It just made me stop for a minute, imagining what I would have thought of all of this when I was a kid.
--- Chip
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Chip Buchholtz wrote:
| || I only mentioned the CNC approach when asked if the guide || bushing/template method was the only way the job could be done and || if there wasn't an easier way. | | When I was growing up we thought that by the year 2000 we'd have | flying cars and video wrist communicators. | | I was putting a DVD away the other day and realized that if I had | seen a DVD player back on the 60's, I would have thought that I had | walked into an episode of Star Trek. | | I don't have a video wrist communicator or a flying car, but I | carry a phone that displays a picture of the person who's calling. | My friend has one that accepts voice commands ("call Judy at | home"). All of us have access to a library full of reference | material at our fingertips: Google "prime minister Uganda" and get | the answer in a few seconds (Apolo Nsibambi, from Wikipedia). | | I work in a school that has programs in robotics, digital media, and | bio-engineering. 18 year olds grumble over homework assignments | that were just science fiction when I was 18. | | We really are living in the 21st century. When Morris mentioned | using CNC, I chuckled to myself. Think outside the box, sure, but | it's pretty ridiculous to suggest using computers to cut wood. | | And then a I realized that I not only had access to a CNC machine, | but one that used a laser for cutting. Morris didn't mean it | seriously, and I didn't take it seriously, but by a bizarre | coincidence it was actually a good suggestion. How weird is that? | | It just made me stop for a minute, imagining what I would have | thought of all of this when I was a kid.
It /was/ science fiction back then. The future is *here* - and there's a lot more to come. Like CNC technology? The building blocks are available off-the-shelf so that with a minimum of effort you can assemble one to suit yor own specs. At least two of the people here have done that (follow the link below to see a couple of photos of mine).
I have this most amazing window in front of me. Through it I can see the weather over the entire surface of this planet - and the traffic flow in Istanbul /in real time/ - and contact my favorite authors - and share ideas with people who share interests - and ...
Wow! What a time to be alive! :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Morris Dovey wrote:
| (follow the link below to see a couple | of photos of mine).
Oops - forgot the link...
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/JBot.html
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On Sun, 19 Aug 2007 00:49:41 +0000 (UTC), "Chip Buchholtz"

I did see an article on a wrist communicator/computer a few months ago that went even farther than Dick's wrist communicator I believe that the title was "Shades of Dick Tracy!".
Some of the other wonders are 3 dimensional printers (rapid prototypers) and laser measuring systems, some of which are accurate to 100th of an inch from airplanes. Lets not even go into remote surgery.
Although there are no flying cars on the market, you can buy a jet pack from a couple of different manufacturers.
Bill
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wrote:

Please try and keep up.
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id398892
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That's Moeller. He's been trying to make that thing work for _forty_ years.
The SEC charged him with fraud in 2003, he settled.
He's no closer today, than he was 35 years ago. Either Popular Science or Popular Mechanics did a feature on his "skycar" back in the early 1970s.
Wander over to one of the rec.aviation.* newsgroups and ask for an opinion. Recommendation -- put the nomex on _first_. Kelvar, too, depending on which group. :)
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

That particular design is basically a toy. It can't lift me and with a 10 foot altitude limit and 50 MPH top speed it's not all that useful.
The big problem with flying cars has always been the control system, not the lift technology. There were numerous "flying Jeep" designs demonstrated in the late '50s and early '60s that were much more capable than Moller's design, but they had a habit of killing very experienced pilots. With a modern stability augmentation system such a design might very well be flyable by "average" pilots or capable of autonomous operation (autonomous aircraft are already in service) which would if people were willing to trust a robot with their lives make them usable by just about anybody.
The one that looks likely to actually happen is the X-Hawk flying ambulance and urban rescue vehicle, which is based on the "Flying Jeep" technology but upgraded with advanced composites and modern gas turbines and computer controls and a novel flight control system, is being developed by a company partnered with Bell Helicopter, one of the original developers of that technology, and is not aimed at the recreational and personal transportation market but the fire/police/rescue and military markets where it if successful fills a perceived need that easily justifies the cost.
If it's successful then they'll also almost certainly be used for executive transportation and once that starts happening the technology it uses should become more widespread over time.
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--John
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Chip Buchholtz wrote:

The producers of "Star Trek: Enterprise" had to deal with the problem that many of the gadgets used on the original Trek series look downright klunky compared to consumer products that do for real the job that in TOS were done by props and/or FX. That's one of the reasons that they tried to "re-imagine" it.
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