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What Happened to Design Creations??

We are still around but we are no longer focusing on making DC a real world business. We started the real
world  operations in late 2019/early 2020. Then covid hit. It was rough going, people loosing their jobs,
the governments putting restrictions on businesses and how when where people meet and congregate, it
just made things overly difficult for a start-up business. It no longer became fun, or an outlet for our
creativity and energies. And the world and society as a whole got really disturbing. Yes, we had a few
nasty encounters with the new norm. Customer Support went down the tubes with many call centers
closing and big corporations moving to "new business models" (Try contacting Google for support, NOT
happening!) Then we had a couple of personal life issues that left us tattered and disillusioned. We
checked out for a while, became near hermits. Then one evening (maybe over a few) I had some rants,
near tantrums and lots of arguments with my Wife. We finally decided enough was enough! It was time
to get back to basics and do what WE wanted, what WE enjoyed and what made US happy. We are now
going to focus on the ENJOYMENT of making and crafting for the sole pleasure and enjoyment of making
things. Whether it be virtual or physical, DC has once again become a HOBBY!


In A Nutshell:

Some of you may be asking, "What is Design Creations?" Design Creations is many things really. It began as a construct of my wife's
design back in the Virtual World SecondLife. At the time we we were creating 3D virtual products and selling them for virtual currency which we
could trade back for real world currency. It was not a get rich quick deal, but the funds it brought in were nice in a pinch.


A little More Detail:

I started in 3D design back in 2003/2004 with GMax and Flight Simulator 2004. After MANY months of frustration,  trial and error I finally got the
hang of the program and began creating simple objects.  I moved on to AutoDesk 3DS Max with its more advanced feature set and just continued from there.

In 2004 I was introduced to the Virtual World Second Life. I tried my hand at 3D creation there but just couldn't get the hang  of it like I could in GMax
or 3DS Max. Then in 2010 SL did a wonderful thing, they introduced MESH! This enabled me to use  3DS Max to create objects and import them into the
Virtual Grid! Thus Design Creations was born.  Along with my  Wife, Nikki, we embarked on a whirlwind of creation; houses, furniture, architectural
features and all kinds of things. We eventually moved from SL to InWorldz then we tried our hand at our own Grid. Then we just kind of stopped,
 lost interest maybe. Things kind of got annoying with people being weird and demanding and lots of drama in the virtual worlds.

We stayed off grid for a while, then in 2020 the year of "covid" we had a windfall come our way and we dusted off Design Creations,
 converted our garage into a Workshop/Den, bought some tools, a GlowForge, a 3D Printer and a small CNC machine and just went to town!

I've been steadily honing my 3D Printing knowledge and skills, dusting off my 3D Modeling know-how and learning about
 Laser Engraving/Etching/Cutting. I'm even TRYING to get the hang of the CNC. Now THAT is a tough nut to crack!

Right now I'm mostly downloading and modifying designs here on Thingiverse, doing ReMixes as I learn and practice with my
 3D printers and I dabble a bit with a few "from scratch" designs as needed. I'm not an "organic" modeler
 as in I don't have the talent to do characters and such. I mainly to architectural items, inorganic items, building
 blocks, very geometric items. OCCASIONALLY I get creative and come up with something "fluid", but that has to be
 on a really good day and probably in an "altered state of mind" And we won't go into details of what that means. ;-)

So really, Design Creations is a jack of all trades and master of a few.
Don't want to say none, because we do have some nifty tricks up our sleeve
.

What runs, drives our creative processes and activities.
 
Take a gander out the PC's, Servers, SoC Boards, Printers and tools we employ.

Specs



Halcyon

The Halcyon Project is a 3D Virtual World forked from the OpenSim Software which was based on the Linden Labs SecondLife
3D Virtual World Software. The popular world InWorldz was the main progenitor of Halcyon before it closed it's doors in 2018.
Design Creations has had it's hands in Halcyon for quite some time, helping out where it can, poking at bugs and fueling a few
projects here and there. We have written a tutorial which will help a user go from zero to hero in setting up a running Halcyon based Grid.



Moonlight Grid

We've been working on and off since 2016 on our own Halcyon based Grid, The Moonlight Grid. It has been a yo-yo of a ride with the website

and grid coming on and offline as we worked on it, housed it on internal servers, off-site data-centers and as our personal time and gumption
wavered over the years trying to keep up with the strain of maintaining a Halcyon Grid. While Halcyon is a very full featured simulator software
base it does take quite a bit of resources and time to bring up a fully functioning grid. Unlike OpenSimulator you just can't toss it onto a spare PC
and connect it to the net. There are quite a few components under the hood and each piece must be in place for the whole kit and caboodle to work.

Then there is the NVidia PhysX physics engine, while it it far superior to ODE and BulletSim unfortunately the fork used in Halcyon is based on an
older Windows based fork. Therefore the Halcyon region servers are dependent on a running Window server to be hosted on. this unfortunately
increases costs with licensing Windows versus freely available Linux based Operating Systems. Work is being discussed on moving to a newer
fork of PhysX so the reliance on Windows can be alleviated. Though development on Halcyon has been rather slow the past year or so since the collapse of InWorldz.
A handful of grids exist but unfortunately we are dealing with quite a few bugs introduced with the changes of Viewer code, mainly Firestorm, that break some basic
functionality. There has been a bit of a resurgence in interest from the core developers to bring Halcyon up to date and fix many of the glaring issues. There has also
been discussion on creating a Halcyon World Organization to help drive and fend further development. Much of the work that needs to be done is beyond the scope
of free open-source development and would be better suited to a paid developer or team of developers in order to be competitive with SecondLife and other Virtual
Environments that have developed over the years. Hopefully with the state of affairs in the Real World lately people have seen the benefits of online meetings and the
interaction richness of virtual worlds, Hopefully this means a resurgence into the virtual world community.

The Moonlight Grid can be accessed at https://www.moonlight-grid.com, though it is currently behind a home router on a residential internet connection until we are ready
to co-locate the server onto a public backbone. The Forum and Gallery are currently residing on publicly accessible servers and will work pretty much as intended. You
can also check out my public blog, Sonja's slice of the Grid at https://sonja.moonlight-grid.com and keep up with work and happenings on the grid until it becomes available
to the general public. You can also find us on Discord at https://discord.gg/7Pg9B7G or on Discover Creo Mundos Grid where many of the Halcyon supporters, developers,
merchants and Grid Owners meet and discuss the future of Halcyon and it's associated Worlds.

HAM Radio Operator? Check out the Band Conditions:


Design Creations is proud to be a member of the The South Canadian Amateur Radio Society.
We monitor 147.060MHz and can be found at Call Sign KG5YFZ. We also monitor the Digital DMR frequecies
and hover about the BrandMeister WorldWide TalkGroup 91
Occasionally we can be found on D-STAR on Reflector030C.

I use an Icom 5100A as my shack's base station. I've been using a SlimJim antenna from N9TAX Labs hanging from my workshop
ceiling and recently made a bow mount to put on a satellite j-pipe mount to move the antenna outside
to the eave of the workshop. I printed a reducer to fit 3/4" PVC to the j-pipe, the files can be downloaded here.
After the antenna came down about 36 hours later in the usual Oklahoma wind I went on to redesign the
reducer. Though the new design was going to take about 10 hours to print and out of Carbon Fiber.
Considering I had several other more important print projects to attend to, I was thinking to myself that
maybe I was over-engineering the problem. While washing my truck a few days later I looked up and
thought, "Ya know, just a couple of hose clamps outta do the trick." A quick run to Home Depot and
three hose clamps later the antenna is back in the sky and working quite nicely! Sometimes it just pays to
go old school from the get go.

Just a few shots of the completed mount:
mount

Up in the air:
Antenna

A wee bit crooked, but it's functional!!!!

The satellite dish in the background is going to come down soon and be replace by an Ambient Weather WS-2902C WiFi Smart Weather Station.
Ya can't be too careful in this freak ass Oklahoma Weather!


DashCam Project

I'm a bit of a tech-head, ok maybe that's a bit of an understatement. I got my first computer in 1982 and was in the IT field professionally in
the '90s when the Internet was really getting started. I worked for the big companies like AT&T, IBM, Digital, Honeywell, etc. Around about
2000 I got out because it just got too competitive and everyone was just all about the certificates and the paper you carried. I went
full-time EMS and the eventually Firefighting in 2006. I retired in 2010. Though I still hang onto my tech roots and tinker prolifically.

With the rise of Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, etc and just the craziness of drivers lately I began looking into DashCams.

For one, it's a neat little technical project. Secondly, it provides piece of mind if you should get into or even witness
an accident or other event on the road. Thirdly, it's just kind of a cool thing to do.

Check out my DashCam Project here


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Modified - 06/18/2021
Sonja M Thomas - Design Creations, LLC