Not all threads are created equal, I guess

After I disassembled my second prototype I’ve been trying to sew it back: Three times now and every time I ended up in failure by kinks. Now I think the thread is too thin. Not too long (I jotted down the correct length when I first sewed up the second prototype). Not insufficient waxing (in this last try — after I first noticed the probable cause — I had waxed the thread like six or seven times and it still kinked up). I must have been using a different kind of thread and never noticed the kind of thread made a difference. So this “30 weight” thread is useless. I have some upholstery nylon thread but they’re the wrong colour. I’m going to need to get some nylon thread of different colour and get some denim thread and some other kinds of thread that’s not “30 weight” and figure out what exactly I was using.

Interim test plan

(If you belong to the same organization as I do you’ll know what this is for.) This is a work in progress, but right now (October 5) I’m thinking:

General usability

  • Menu items should not generate 404 errors


Typography focused

  • Contrast ratio should be adequate
  • Elements intending to have contrast should have perceivable contrast

Keyboard operation focused

  • Each page should be navigable by keyboard alone

Text browing focused

  • Each page should render properly in a text browser
  • Logging in without Javascript should be possible
  • Pages should not contain garbage content when Javascript is not available


  • Dates generated by the template should be in French
  • Other content generated by the template should be in French
  • Static elements in the header and footer, etc. should be in French
  • Hidden elements that can be seen by a screen reader should be in French
  • Hidden elements that can be seen by a text browser ideally should be in French

The biggest hindrance to making progress in our project

Our professor was suggesting that we could document our experience of having a geographically separated team designing our gizmo for our installation. But I have this feeling that our biggest problem isn’t really our geography, it’s the simple lack of access. Our biggest progress was made approximately during the last one and a half weeks, yet we saw several days where Angela was in town but we could not do any work on our installation either because the room was in use all day, or simply because the office separating the elevator lobby and our classroom was locked and no one was available to open that door for us. We literally wasted at least four days because we physically could not get into our own classroom (in a building we were told would have access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year). It’s not the remote aspect; it’s the “last mile”—or, in our case, literally, the last inch (that is, the thickness of a locked door). So I could not even mount a set of information panels I freshly made yesterday because when I got back (from the cold, outside, in Butterfield Park, because students in our program apparently have no access to proper, ventilated studio spaces, and for obvious reasons I was not going to use rubber cement or spray fixative in the only studio space I actually have access to—I don’t want to literally blow up the studio we all love) the door was already locked. In hindsight, during our group meeting yesterday we could have easily defended our (unreasonable, I admit) slowness—we could not make any progress not because Angela was not in town, nor because I could not understand her code until I got my own Arduino, nor because of the steep learning curve of figuring out how to drive the stepper, nor even because the wheel was slipping and we could not make it not slip; we could not make progress simply because we could not get into the classroom to work on the installation. This has to be the stupidest reason ever why work could not be done, but it’s true, and it’s sad. And it has absolutely nothing to do with us allegedly treating this “real-world commitment” as mere “schoolwork.” And I fear this will repeat in our next installation, because 49 is another space we simply cannot get in.
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