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idbruce
03-06-2012, 06:11 PM
Hello Everyone

Just a friendly little poll to substantiate that I have definitely developed a severe lack of focus as compared to other folks. For some odd reason, my lack of focus definitely gets much worse when it comes to machining parts without the proper machinery. Here is just a few of my most important unfinished projects.

Machinery Projects

Automated Packaging Machine (95% complete)
First PCB Driller (Future 3D Printer- 85% complete)
Second PCB Driller/Laser Photo Plotter/Laser Direct Imaging Plotter (25% complete)
Hot Wire Foam Cutter (80% complete)
Hang Tab Dispensing Machine (95% complete)
Alterations To CNC Wire Bender (25% complete)
Programming Projects

Stepper Driver Object (95% complete)
PropCom Serial Communication (95% complete)
Miscellaneous Projects

Finish Testing The Exposure Box With DATAK PCB Boards (98% complete)
In my opinion, that is a lot of unfinished business, but I am wondering how the other creative minds compare. If you feel like sharing, where do you stand?

mindrobots
03-06-2012, 06:26 PM
Bruce,


substantiate that I have definitely developed a severe lack of focus as compared to other folks

NOT A CHANCE!

I'm not going to answer this in detail since the only reason I saw it now is because my mind wandered from something I really need to get done in the next hour or so for my day job...but I got distracted. My detailed response will be coming.

Don't feel concerned, you are not alone in your fragmented attention abilities.

Bits
03-06-2012, 06:36 PM
Boy do I have several projects and most are being done in parallel. I work my day job as an electrical engineer then return home only to dive into more work. I also started a PCB company a few months back. In fact I wish I could call someone to pick up some of my slack.

idbruce
03-06-2012, 06:41 PM
@Bits



Boy do I have several projects and most are being done in parallel. I work my day job as an electrical engineer then return home only to dive into more work. I also started a PCB company a few months back. In fact I wish I could call someone to pick up some of my slack.


I can relate. I work on a project until it gets boring or tedious and then I go back to one of the other projects. Parallelism definitely goes on here. And just like you, I wish I had someone to call, or just someone to shoot the breeze with while I work would be cool also.

Bruce

Heater.
03-06-2012, 06:50 PM
All my projects run in parallel.
None of my projects are finished.
There is always "that new shiney thing, over there".
Perhaps I will not live long enough to finish a project.

Work is different. Those projects get shipped when "good enough" else they are scrapped.

Martin Hodge
03-06-2012, 06:54 PM
Need to add another option to the poll:

"When I think I'm 95% done I find out I'm only 25% done."

mindrobots
03-06-2012, 06:58 PM
I don't think I want to meet the "I always finish a project before starting a new one."

Dang, I told myself I was going to stay away from here until I got my work done!! :lol:

Heater.
03-06-2012, 08:08 PM
Martin,
They say "The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time, the last 90% of a project takes 90% of the time".

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
03-06-2012, 08:16 PM
If I didn't have unfinished projects constantly calling for attention, I'd have to clean my shop!

-Phil

davejames
03-06-2012, 08:36 PM
...I have one unfinished actively worked on over a four-year period. How does that fit the poll?

And five others are in the queue.

Martin_H
03-06-2012, 10:29 PM
Isn't everything a work in progress? My LED sign for example works, but it would be better with a wireless interface to send it commands. My TankBot can roam, but is blind to pitchers of water, so physical bump switches would be a good addition.

A project is only done when I get bored of it and take it apart to recycle the components in another project.

idbruce
03-06-2012, 10:38 PM
Martin_H



A project is only done when I get bored of it and take it apart to recycle the components in another project.


I think we should dedicate a thread to funny and profound quotes within the forum. I nominate your post as entry one :)

Bruce

Dr_Acula
03-06-2012, 11:19 PM
A project is only done when I get bored of it and take it apart to recycle the components in another project.

Ha, very clever. And in doing so, you destroy any evidence of previous unfinished projects!

ElectricAye
03-06-2012, 11:25 PM
To answer your poll, I have included a list to help elaborate my position:

(Note: answers, though numbered, are not provided in any particular ranking order).

1. Pending.
2. Please see answer number 1.
3. (EDIT: insert excerpts here from unpublished thesis concerning the neurophysiology of procrastination.)
4. TBD.
5. Reserved.
6. In transit.
7. See footnotes on page 2.
8. In progress.
9. Cut and paste Google search results for Da Vinci syndrome here.
10. I'm sorry, could you, uh, please repeat your original question?

Martin_H
03-06-2012, 11:52 PM
Glad you guys liked my quote.


Ha, very clever. And in doing so, you destroy any evidence of previous unfinished projects!

I think God may use this strategy with the universe for the same reason.

lanternfish
03-07-2012, 12:30 AM
Good poll, idbruce

Here my unfinished projects.

DMX:

1/2/3 phase 4/8/12 channel relay/contactor controller (Auto detection of number of phases. LCD and keypad i/f)
DMX2MIDI / MIDI2DMX interface
Multi Hi-power LED/LED string controller
Riggers Hand Control (RF)
Portable DMX monitor


Most of the above are to be based around modules.

Other:

Rocketry Data Recorder/GPS Locater/SMS Telemetry


Programming:

Getting SPIN to do what I want it to do, not the other way round!


Abandoned (until Prop 2):

Rotating 'live' VGA display (includes frame grabber & resolution reduction (decimation))

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
03-07-2012, 04:49 PM
Interesting...

I won't call my projects "unfinished" in the sense that they were abandoned due to lack of focus, but rather organized by priority.

{From the highest priority down..}

Servo/Sensor board for QS -done!
QuickPlayer for QS-done!
Servo/Sensor board for PP-done!
Establish UPEC (June 23rd, 2012)
Propdos update for LCD touchscreen-currently working on
Instructable for LCD touchscreen module
Secret wireless project-done!
New menu for Games Megapack
Linkfarm for Propeller projects
New Propeller Video Game

My list goes further down, and items tend to become shifted toward the top as needs require.

OBC

prof_braino
03-07-2012, 05:09 PM
In June I vowed I would not start another project until PF5.0 was complete, since it would easily be done by August.
This determined focus resulted in:
I built a 3D printer from parts, and started a new design for an improved model; and learned the entire tool chain.
I helped another person start AND finish a much more complex project, the DS00 range finder.
This week, I rewired the house for broadcast TV, installed ubuntu on a laptop, and started debugging minicom on the OLPC, and finish filming a time lapse video of a giant snowman melting.

It seems the more excited I get, the more tangents I find to keep me from doing the target task. The less excited I get the less I do.

"Focus" might be better measured in terms of the attention the environment demands, rather than what My brain thinks it wants to get done.

David B
03-07-2012, 05:19 PM
I have a long list of unfinished projects. There seem to be a few that I consistently come back to, but there are others than just get shoved onto a shelf in the garage. But hey, this is a hobby. I'm not committed to a customer, as in my day job.

Most of my projects are more like learning techniques rather than creating a finished project - how to get a propeller to work with DRAM, or floppy disks, or hard disks, or CDROM drives, or how access an SD card in parallel mode.

So when people ask me what I make, it's hard to come up with an answer that they can understand. It's more like "Well, I don't really make anything; it's more that I just learn stuff".

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
03-07-2012, 05:42 PM
It seems the more excited I get, the more tangents I find to keep me from doing the target task.
Avoidance activity can be remarkably productive in its own right. Some of my best projects have originated from avoiding what I "should" be working on.

-Phil

mindrobots
03-07-2012, 05:44 PM
If someone were to map my recent "investigative journeys" and short lived activities trying to determine what I was working on, you would all know that I'm in the process of building:

A Propeller powered autonomous quadcopter UAV with multiple robotic support vehicles (possibly swarm based with Xbee and Wixel wireless connectivity). The various platforms will be programmed in SPIN, PASM, C and Forth and may involve the emulation of a COSMAC 1802 processor. It is assumed that there will be work stations either running native Ubuntu or Ubuntu running under VirtualBox on top of Windows 7. These will probably be programmed in either Ruby, Python or Perl. Intermediate nodes will be BeagleBones or Pandaboards or Spinnerets. The web interface will be Ruby on Rails. This entire platform will either assist in home maintenance or aid in the capacity planning of a large corporate storage environment. The voice response module will, through request discrimination, respond, "Yes, dear"; "Honey, daddy's busy" or "Which 'top' priority is this request, boss?" as appropriate. All of this is of course to be built on a cleaned off workspace with a new fluorescent light that still needs to be hung.......

SRLM
03-07-2012, 05:48 PM
Avoidance activity can be remarkably productive in its own right. Some of my best projects have originated from avoiding what I "should" be working on.

-Phil

Yes! A professor at my very own university was noted for saying exactly the same thing: http://chronicle.com/article/How-to-ProcrastinateStill/93959

SRLM
03-07-2012, 05:49 PM
If someone were to map my recent "investigative journeys" and short lived activities trying to determine what I was working on, you would all know that I'm in the process of building:

A Propeller powered autonomous quadcopter UAV with multiple robotic support vehicles (possibly swarm based with Xbee and Wixel wireless connectivity). The various platforms will be programmed in SPIN, PASM, C and Forth and may involve the emulation of a COSMAC 1802 processor. It is assumed that there will be work stations either running native Ubuntu or Ubuntu running under VirtualBox on top of Windows 7. These will probably be programmed in either Ruby, Python or Perl. Intermediate nodes will be BeagleBones or Pandaboards or Spinnerets. The web interface will be Ruby on Rails. This entire platform will either assist in home maintenance or aid in the capacity planning of a large corporate storage environment. The voice response module will, through request discrimination, respond, "Yes, dear"; "Honey, daddy's busy" or "Which 'top' priority is this request, boss?" as appropriate. All of this is of course to be built on a cleaned off workspace with a new fluorescent light that still needs to be hung.......

What are you basing the quadrotor kinematics on? Are you writing your own low level flight control algorithms or getting them from somewhere else? What sort of math do you have planned out?

mindrobots
03-07-2012, 05:52 PM
What are you basing the quadrotor kinematics on? Are you writing your own low level flight control algorithms or getting them from somewhere else? What sort of math do you have planned out?

Ooops! Guess I need to spend some time over at Kahn Academy and brush up on my math skills before I can research that....thanks!! :smile:

Publison
03-07-2012, 06:00 PM
If someone were to map my recent "investigative journeys" and short lived activities trying to determine what I was working on, you would all know that I'm in the process of building:

A Propeller powered autonomous quadcopter UAV with multiple robotic support vehicles (possibly swarm based with Xbee and Wixel wireless connectivity). The various platforms will be programmed in SPIN, PASM, C and Forth and may involve the emulation of a COSMAC 1802 processor. It is assumed that there will be work stations either running native Ubuntu or Ubuntu running under VirtualBox on top of Windows 7. These will probably be programmed in either Ruby, Python or Perl. Intermediate nodes will be BeagleBones or Pandaboards or Spinnerets. The web interface will be Ruby on Rails. This entire platform will either assist in home maintenance or aid in the capacity planning of a large corporate storage environment. The voice response module will, through request discrimination, respond, "Yes, dear"; "Honey, daddy's busy" or "Which 'top' priority is this request, boss?" as appropriate. All of this is of course to be built on a cleaned off workspace with a new fluorescent light that still needs to be hung.......

Sounds like a piece of cake.

So... what are you going to do next week. :)

mindrobots
03-07-2012, 06:04 PM
Um, knowing me, probably something COMPLETELY UNRELATED to the above!!

xanadu
03-08-2012, 12:58 AM
'unfinished projects' and 'don't reinvent the wheel', two phrases people say waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much

idbruce
03-08-2012, 12:21 PM
Hello Everyone

My latest poll will end in a few hours and I want to thank everyone for their participation, because now I don't feel so bad about my unfinished projects. One thing that amazes me is the fact that nobody selected the option of finishing a project before starting a new one.

More polls to come and thanks for your participation.

Bruce

T Chap
03-08-2012, 04:01 PM
There is a point where the mind cannot effortlessly juggle stuff anymore when there are multiple projects going on. Past that point, 'getting things done' becomes highly inefficient because in a lot of cases, getting your head wrapped back around the project takes time. However, I have more often than not found a benefit in putting off the task and letting it marinate for a week or two, only to come up with much better ideas over the lull than what I originally 'was going to do'. So there is no right or wrong, and as Phil said it can be a REAL tangible benefit. The subconscious mind seems to keep processing the project in the background.

In cases where I actually do need to get things done, and the benefit of waiting and brainstorming is not a factor, then I find a major benefit in taking time to write out a form with the (known) steps to do the task. I put a checkbox next to each item, and print out the form and put it on a Shop Work Order Clipboard. The nice thing about this is that it takes me out of creative mode and puts me in execution mode, which are two different states. When possible, I add an estimated time to each line item, and also a space to write down the actual time it took to do it. This puts the process in a context of 'getting it done' with the least amount of distractions. As we all know, it is really hard to walk past a screen with some SPIN code posted and not say to yourself "I have an idea real quick to tweak this code or solve this lingering problem', which often can become a multi-hour detour. Then again, as already stated, sometimes those unintended detours produce excellent results. So You must become the master over your mind, and designate when it is useful to be creative and when it is mandatory to get real tangible work done towards projects. Having a form with a list of instructions to yourself may be liberating in the sense that you become servant to the list for a time. Whereas a no list method allows for more distractions. The whole concept of time management, doing creative tasks including code, electronic design, CAD design... versus execution... is a full time act of balancing. One key I picked up from some very successful people is that they always have a heightened sense and awareness of TIME and it's allocation, and also their management and filtering out of distractions.

codeviper
03-09-2012, 02:54 AM
primary reason %90 of my projects that don't get done..... don't get done.
nit pickers.

They sap away the hopes of a project and eventually steals the steam away.

idbruce
03-09-2012, 10:26 AM
codeviper

Not that my rambling will give you any inspiration, but I want to tell you a story about a project that is very near and dear to my heart.

Many years ago I had an idea for generating free electricity, so I built this contraption from an alternator, electromagnets, relays, a 12 volt battery, and an old General Motors distributor. I must admit that I was never able to generate free electricity, but this contraption looked pretty darn cool, and it actually worked to a certain extent, except for generating the free electricity. I was actually able to rotate the alternator to a decent RPM using the other parts mentioned. In reality, I would have to honestly say that this was the first machine that I ever built. Since then I have built many others, but this is beside the point.

Anyhow, since that experiment, I have developed a new plan and staregy, and I believe this one will actually work, however, keep in mind that most experts (99.999%), which includes physicists and engineers, say that you cannot generate more energy with less energy, which is the requirement for creating free electricity. Until I have the money and opportunity to test my new theory, I believe these experts could be wrong. :)

Don't let the nit pickers take the joy out of experimenting and being creative.

Bruce

ajward
03-09-2012, 11:17 AM
@idbruce - I love tinkering with things and trying to make something work. A phrase often heard around my workbench... er, desk... "What do you mean, 'NO'?"

Amanda

idbruce
03-09-2012, 11:53 AM
Amanda

That is a very nice attitude to have. I like doing things that most people would never attempt to do, because they think it is difficult or impossible. In fact, that is the very nature of my core. I am a problem solver and it is nice to know that I am not alone :)

Bruce

Martin_H
03-09-2012, 01:05 PM
codeviperAnyhow, since that experiment, I have developed a new plan and staregy, and I believe this one will actually work, however, keep in mind that most experts (99.999%), which includes physicists and engineers, say that you cannot generate more energy with less energy, which is the requirement for creating free electricity. Until I have the money and opportunity to test my new theory, I believe these experts could be wrong. :)

While I am part of the 99.999% I wish you luck in your endeavor. However, there is a way to get more output than input if entropy is what you are looking for in the first place. A heat pump is a good example, as well as this LED that converts infrared light into visible light. Both work by increasing overall disorder while giving you more of what you want.

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/48882

idbruce
03-09-2012, 02:25 PM
Martin_H

How in the world did you come up with that article on such short notice? :)


While I am part of the 99.999% I wish you luck in your endeavor.

I believe the secret to this endeavor is hydraulics.

Bruce

Martin_H
03-09-2012, 04:31 PM
How in the world did you come up with that article on such short notice? :)

Coincidence, it was a news link that came up on my feed. But it was relevant here so I thought I would post it.