Don’t toss that old Wacom Tablet!

Back in 2010 I got a Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch Tablet which connected to my computer via USB and allowed me to create digital drawings. I used it for a while, then used it sporadically, then a few years ago I found it in my office and tried to install the drivers to get it working and… Nope. Seems Wacom gave up on updating them to work with the modern operating system I use nowadays.

So I found it again last week and decided to see if there was a way to get it working, and… there is! Seems it just takes a software person to fix the drivers, and since Wacom didn’t do it, someone else did! And big thanks to that person! So what did I find?

I found wacom-driver-fix which… fixes the Wacom drivers!

Boom. Installed and I got my old tablet working, which mean it did not go in the bin. Of course, companies suck. When I looked on the Wacom site and realized it was no longer “supported” I checked pricing on new drawing tablets… Yeah, those bastards almost got me! Nope, we’re good for now.

I posted about this on Mastodon and at least one person immediately got their old tablet working as well.

To celebrate I drew this angry meatball. It’s angry at Wacom for sucking so bad.

(I also threw a few bucks to Nicholas Sherlock for providing the fix!)


The Blower that Blows Air

I picked up this Air Duster (as it says on the tin, or as Amazon calls it “Compressed Air Duster, New Generation Canned Air, 33000 RPM Electric Air Can for Computer Keyboard Electronics Cleaning, 6000mAh Rechargeable Battery, Reusable Dust Destroyer”).

Right, “Reusable Dust Destroyer” is good… Anyway, I got this tip from an exhibit shop pal of mine. He said they stopped buying cans of compressed air and just got one of these instead.

Interestingly enough, I too was using cans of compressed air in my home shop, and I really don’t like buying them just to use them up and throw them away, so this thing is a good replacement. (I do not have a need in my shop for a large compressor, so a small handheld device is much preferred.)

This thing works well for my needs. I have just a few minor gripes. The first is that, at least compared to a can of compressed air, it takes a second or two to deliver a full power blast of air. The blower motor takes a bit of time to spin up to full speed. This is pretty minor, and I can live with it, but if you need immediate satisfaction of blowing air when you pull the trigger, you may be disappointed. If you can wait a few seconds, you’re all good.

It comes with two attachments, a normal nozzle and one with brush bristles. I really only use the normal one, but I guess if I want to clean out a mechanical keyboard, the bristle version could come in handy. It may also work well for cleaning dust off flat surfaces with aid of the bristles.

There is a place to store the one you are not using, but… then you can’t use the device, as it blocks the trigger!

I think the way it’s meant to be used is that you can remove and store the nozzle when you are not using it, but you can’t really keep the other one there since it acts as a trigger guard. This is probably a good solution for portability and travel.

One more way it is different from compressed air cans is that it does not get cold. If you’ve ever purposefully used a can of air to freeze something, this will not do that. If cans of air getting cold always annoyed you, this does not have that problem.

The nozzle is quite large compared to the tiny diameter “straw” that a can of compressed air has, so if you’re going into a tight space, that might make a difference. (I may experiment with 3D printing more nozzles, which should not be difficult.)

Of course you also have to charge up this one before you use it. Honestly I’m not running it that long when I use it, so I’ve probably only charged it twice since I got it four months ago. It comes with a short Micro USB cable which I probably binned because I have dozens of them around already for charging things.

So yeah, the “Reusable Dust Destroyer” has been a nice tool for the shop, and I’m pleased to not be purchasing cans of compressed air once or twice a year anymore.


The Ultimate CR2032 Battery Holder!

Apologies for the (mostly) joke title. I’m sure this is not the “Ultimate” CR2032 Battery Holder (as there are many) but I do think it’s a good one. Read on for my defense of this statement…

I came into the office one day and Josh said “Hey, I found this CR2032 and printed it, what do you think?” Which was… interesting, because I had been working on a design for a CR2032 battery holder. I didn’t finish it, for whatever reason (I probably started designing something else.) Anyway, I looked at the print and thought… I can do better!

Above is the one Josh printed (in front) and the one I designed (in the back). The one he printed had the batteries a bit too close together, so you couldn’t grab one to get it out using your fingers. For my version, I spaced the batteries a bit so you could grab one. (Note the batteries sort of “snap” in place, they aren’t just held in by gravity.)

My design was still not great… but after about a dozen revisions I had something good.

The design is parametric, and with the OpenSCAD file you can choose how many batteries you want to hold, and (slightly) adjust the space between them.

But the real beauty of this design is that you don’t have to space the batteries enough to grab one with your fingers… With this version you pop them out from the bottom! The batteries snap into place to hold securely, and you press them to get them out. (Check out the video below.)

There’s one more bonus feature… If you print two the same size you can use one as a cover.

Add a rubber band (or a piece of tape) and you’ve got a secure battery holder you could toss into a bag with little worry of any batteries shorting out. Neat!

But wait! There’s more to this story… At some point I asked Josh about the file he found, and he pointed me to the Thingiverse page, at which point I said, “Oh, I know the guy who designed this.” and he said “Of course you do.” to which I replied “Yeah, I hired him years ago for some exhibit work, and I’ve worked with his wife to produce Maker Faire Orlando.” and yeah, sometimes the Maker World seems a little small. But wait… also, I grabbed the files Adam posted and realized he did post a parametric OpenSCAD file! It still didn’t have the pop-out feature I added, but it did allow for changing the spacing of the batteries. (Josh just printed the STL example file that was there.)

So to wrap up, you can see the guide on these at, grab the files from Printables or from GitHub, and do whatever you want with them! We now use these at all the events we do when we have supplies out on the table, and they’ve been a huge improvement to just spill out batteries on the table or keeping them in the (difficult to open) packaging.


Current Age Shortcut

Josh Holtz ( had posted about his iOS widget called “What’s My Age Again” which does one thing… Tells you your current age! I’m much older than Josh but I guess we both suffer from not knowing our age. I think it’s mainly the issue that my birthday is in middle of the year and I am a different age for the two halves of the year. Anyway… You can read Josh’s post about his widget.

When I started messing around with Shortcuts for iOS and macOS I got inspired by Josh and ended up making my own “Current Age” shortcut which is slightly similar to what Josh created, at least in the output.

My Shortcut doesn’t display my age all the time though, you need to touch the Shortcut to run it, which is fine. I like the fact I was able to easily add this functionality to my phone.

The other neat thing is that you can create Shortcuts on macOS, and some of them will work on the desktop or mobile… and some will work on the Apple Watch I guess. (I don’t have one, and probably will not have one in the future.)

I guess you can also share / publish these Shortcuts so others can use them, you know, so others can know when my birthday is!

I was a user of AppleScript many (many, many) years ago, and while Automator has been around awhile, I never really liked it. And even though it was fun playing with Shortcuts for a bit, on the desktop I was using Quicksilver for a few things, but recently stepped up to Keyboard Maestro, which is simply amazing for automation on macOS, but I should probably save that for another post.


Hex Driver Handle

I’ve seen a few handles that convert a hex key into a “screwdriver” style tool, so I figured I would make one. (I’m sure there are better ones, but this one is mine!)

This one is two pieces. The main handle has a slot so you can insert the hex key, and then a piece to put into the slot. (Which I call the “Slot Filler” of course.)

When I printed this on the Prusa (not pictured) it came out perfect, and the slot filler filled the slot… perfectly.

When I printed it on the Maker Select Plus (the red version in the photos) it… well, fits, mostly… sort of. Hmmm. I had to X-ACTO knife away the blobs on the end. (Sorry, but the Prusa just prints better!)

You could always glue the slot filler into place I guess. It’s a wedge so it should “wedge” in place. In theory…

The first version had no slot filler, and no hole for the short end. I just smashed it into the slot. I figured making it removable might be a better option though…

Maybe it’s not a god idea? I don’t know. I did widen the slot a bit and added the slot filler. I just like designing these things and testing them out.

You can get the STL and .scad file from – Hex Driver Handle (2mm). Print it if you need it!