I’ve written about Electromagnetic Compatibility testing previously, and it’s the one thing that keeps Nick from being able to relax. He continues to test Little Printer’s bits and pieces, subjecting them to a barrage of emissions testing (in which electromagnetic radiation is measured) and susceptibility testing (which involves the zapping of much high voltage electricity). It’s a little like examining lightning strikes, looking for where the electricity decides to go, and whether it’s had an adverse effect on how everything functions.
We use banks of expensive oscilloscopes and spectrum analysers and machines that go “ping” to probe and pinpoint hotspots directly on the circuit boards. It’s actually quite invasive and intimate – we cut cables apart, scratch off insulation, and generally make things difficult for ourselves. Reports will follow, and graphs will be analysed. It’s very much like waiting for exam results. Maybe we’ll even get a certificate to hang on the wall. Maybe.
While some things dawdle gently along, others gather pace, and people are beginning to do some very cool things with the API. Alex Forey, for instance, is developing a Little Printer publication for his Markpond bookmarking site. Remarkably, Markpond is hosted on a server farm constructed from two Raspberry Pis and a heap of LEGO®. Even more remarkably, Alex is 14 years old. And Open Pen (London’s first ‘Open Literature’ magazine, it says here) are also getting involved, planning to publish a weekly short story for Little Printer.
Other people are coming up with angles we could never have predicted — we loved Simon Orr’s thoughts on organisation and novelty. Simon has also written a small program which might be useful for anyone developing a image-based publication for Little Printer, which you can fork from GitHub.