The teapot lives!

Are we all familiar with the Ship of Theseus? As explained by Wikipedia:
The paradox is most notably recorded by Plutarch in Life of Theseus from the late first century. Plutarch asked whether a ship that had been restored by replacing every single wooden part remained the same ship.


I’ve genuinely heard it refereed to as a the Sugababes problem.

I bring this up in the context of the 418 teapot, which you might remember, looks like this:
Careful readers might have noticed this small detail in the doghouse posts:
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Yes, there’s been a small change.  Chiefly because this happened when I was moving house:
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(You can see both the teapot spoke jutting out, and also my glasses, placed just before a less photo-obsessed person might have rushed in and stood on them)
So I attached the slightly damaged pot onto a new laptop and ran the old code on it.  Up and running.
However, visiting a Art4Fun cafe with a friend recently I decided to paint up a proper teapot.  The shop glazed it for me and I got it by post recently.  After a small amount of no-more-nails.  The new and improved (but somehow the same) teapot lives!
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This is the teapot being attached…
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Ready to use…
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…and ready and willing. It’s still available to ping, and it’s still in some sense the same teapot that will indeed make tea.  It’s just a bit better looking now.

Project Doghouse stage 5: floor…

I’ve been trying out carpets in the Doghouse…
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My girlfriend owns a wide range of rugs from her travels and has kindly donated some of the more hardwearing ones to my general comfort.  I’ll spare you the photos of every rug in every position. Instead – it’s worth pointing out that the desk is still standing on trestles that I salvaged from the recycling centre some months ago.
They’ve been mostly out of the way, but I had some spare fence posts from another project and I thought I’d see if there was much use in them.
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This turned out to only be half an hour’s work – particularly when I also realised I could use some of the spare cladding I also had, to make low-visabilitiy supports for the legs (which are themselves screwed in).
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This is the direct result.
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I’m actually astonished at how much difference it makes. The whole side of the desk was suddenly much more free – particularly because the trestles had encouraged me to store stuff on them, under them and near them.  I’ve got a lot more space to play with (full view below).
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Project Doghouse stage 4: monitor stand

So the last post in this series finished like this:

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The overall look it great, but the usability is a little low – ideally I want the side and top monitors to curve around so that I can see them all without shifting my head to the left and right (the one on the left is also vulnerable to glare from the window).
This is actually a bit tricky to do with wood, without seriously risking the weight. Fortunately I had some kit lying around.
Regular readers might remember my previous setup:
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The monitor stand used in the previous setup is still hanging around and the monitor attachments still work.
So, it was time to take down (apologies for the poor quality of the next set of photos)  and rebuild the new stand using the parts from the old one… (apologies for the poor quality of the next set of photos)
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 I bought a set of large eyelet bolts from eBay and, with the help of my intrepid GF bolted them onto the frame as housing.
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It’s difficult to make out on this photo, but you can see the eyelet bolts, along with (on the desk) the attachment from my old monitor rack…
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Now that that are up and together (this was one of the longest stages of the build) they look a little less ‘display’ and a bit more ‘used’.  More to the point, they are a lot more used. The curve is just right for someone sitting at the desk to properly take in all the information.
You’ll also notice that during this I switched out the old black cord for slightly less visible white cord – and I changed the anchor points so that they were anchored more securely. In fact the cords now run over pulleys and are hitched carefully to suitable points in the wall.  (in in preparation for something cool I’d like to do later).
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This time round I also remembered to take some panoramic photos so that the progress is a little clearer to see.
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Project Doghouse stage 3: desk, lights, and cables

So last iteration finished like this:
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I’m gradually adding cladding to the inside of the room, mostly when I’m bored of work and want to do something else for 30 minutes.  Most of the walls were relatively simple matters of slotting the boards together and putting in a few nails.
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(fish eye lens to make things easier)
But I wanted the monitor setup to have it’s cables tided quietly away, which meant running them behind the walls, preferably in a replaceable way…
So the solution was a couple of access points from Wicks, one behind the monitors, and one down where the power supply lives.
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Definitely worth threading the cables though before putting the points in the wall.  To make life easier – I’d bought a couple of double headed kettle leads (like these) so that the four monitors only needed two plugs, but there’s still a lot of wire to run.
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While I’m here we also did some tidying of the light cables (the lead that the lights came with was pretty short, so I bought an extension that could sit behind the cladding (this photo is slightly out of sequence, but belongs in the ‘cables and cladding section’).
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It certainly starts to look a lot shaper now it’s hanging more nicely (I’ve since tidied away the leads poking out, and I’ve got plans for the ones scattered over the desk.

Project Doghouse stage 2: felt, insulation, and cladding

So at the end of the last iteration, the Doghouse looked like this.
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I’m failing to mention a few things here – one was that I was yet to install proper light (using a battery powered lamp is suboptimal), sort out power properly, and deal with the massive heat leakage (the heater had to be on constantly to stay at working temperature – although this was early December).
Lights were the next up:
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I went with this long LED strip – as many people use for the battle-station setups. It supports full RGB tweaking so I can do things like make the light less blue when working at night.  (I occasionally just play with the lighting to make it look cool.  At the moment they are just draped around the inside until I sort out the interior cladding.  I was impressed by how much light they provided in the small space, but I suspect that I’ll be buying a second set in the near future to give it really workable amounts of light (and to provide some for the outside, when I’m faffing with the keys).
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Very improvised remote control….
However, the lighting was a fairly small part of this stage. Mostly this was about heat.   The doghouse was weeping heat at this point, and that wanted sorting.  The first stage of course was to finish building it. I’d been avoiding felting the roof but I clearly needed to get that sorted.
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Unfortunately, one more layer between me and the rain wasn’t enough,  it was time to properly insulate.
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First thing I learned, polystyrene  gets everywhere.  Not only was I carrying out rubbish bags of the stuff, I broke the hoover (which my girlfriend fixed for me) cleaning up after myself.  Those little balls stick to everything. I’m still cleaning those of my clothes.
However, once they started to go in, there was an immediate change in how well the building kept the heat.
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I was now only running the heater intermittently, and mostly when I opened the door (which remains the weak link in my insulation).
A few packets of tongue-and-groove cladding later, the doghouse even started to look like an office (battlestation if you came here from reddit)
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…and now we can take a snapshot (actually two, one with light levels so that you can see what’s changed) of where we got to…
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Not only has the insulation and tongue and groove started to arrive (apologies, this photo was taken before I’d got back to the store to fetch the rest of the polysteynrine), but you can see a few other changes,  The teapot server has arrived and is running one of the screens for a start, also I’ve replaced the cheap desk with a countertop that I cut to size after scavenging it from my girlfriend’s kitchen redo (It’s resting on hurdles that I rescued from a man about to throw them in the dump).
This iteration has been quite fun, and the project is starting to form up.  In the process I’ve had to disgard a few of my earlier ideas to work with what I have, but it’s hanging together.

Project Doghouse stage 1: building the shell

I’m building a home office.  I’m a programmer by training so it’s being build in iterations. This is the first iteration.
The original site looked like this:
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A six foot by four foot potting shed, in a six food by eight foot space.
First step, is obviously demolition…
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I’d bought a new, basic, shed, online, and was so incredibly unimpressed with the customer service that I couldn’t recommend them less. Really, you’d be better building from scratch. However, it’s a fairly simple setup:
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Once the shell was up, I wanted to get a working space up next.  Not because I was finnished – far from it, but because I wanted to get the hang of the space – work out what needed in terms of desk space, power outlets, bin’s, and decorations.  I’m glad I did, my original intentions for the inside were way off the things that I ended up with.
This is the end of the first itteration – monitor rack isn’t even all connected at this point, and it’s nestled in the tangle of wires from everywhere on top of the tiny desk I brought from my old flat.
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What I was impressed with, was how functional the space instantly was compared to the other places I’d been working since I moved in (Lounge, sofa, ect).  From the first setup I started generating (with the aid of a small, but remarkably effective space heater) much more quality work than I had since moving it.
So that’s the end of stage 1.