The LCD charger is coming along, although, days turn into weeks and weeks into months with this project. I came across a blog post by Dave Jones famous for the EEVBlog entitled "Traps for even simple successful crowd funded projects." Even though a battery charger is very different from a ruler, I can relate on so many levels. The most recent frustration to pop up has been related to shipping with the US post office. I was a little under educated about shipping at the start of this project, but I have sure learned a lot. In the beginning I used to wait until I had about 15 chargers ready and then I would take them all down to the post office and have the lady (or man) at the desk weigh them and label them one by one. They hated me! One lady told me her schedule and asked that I not come when she was there. I had a long talk (almost argument) with another about printing postage online. One lady insisted I could print All postage from the USPS website, but I tried to tell her, that is true for all But First Class (you can with third party software). Turns out she had never actually been to the USPS website... humm. I digress.
Anyways, jump ahead, I now have a great system and have actually become rather good at printing postage and preparing everything in quantity to drop off without having to bug the people at the counter. Here is where the problem popped up. If a package gets lost or damaged it can be covered if you bought insurance. I make sure and get tracking and insurance with every package. Seems like a good idea right?... unless they never scan it! about two weeks ago I dropped off 20 chargers to be shipped out and then over the next few days I watched the tracking on them. A few took longer than others to show up in the system. However some never showed up. Weeks later and they are no where to be found. Well then, insurance right?... No. How do they know I even dropped them off? As far as they are concerned, insurance, tracking, doesn't matter if in their system it looks like I never gave them the packages. But I Did! Only some of them must have never been scanned. So there is the flaw, if they don't scan a package it might as well not exist. The answer... back to bugging the people at the counter and watching them scan each one so they can giving me a record of it.
If anyone has had experience with this sort of thing, please feel free to comment!
In other news, the LCD charger is coming along, slow as ever, but along. Mark and I have had several late-night skype calls where he has me test some chunk of code and sometimes I even hold the charger up in front of my webcam so he can see the results. Due to many of these test I have compiled a good sized list of things that need to be changed, from very subtle, like slightly moving a part in a direction, to more extensive, like flipping the LCD 180 degrees. The reason for the LCD flip is I figured that most of the time the charger will be sitting on a surface such that the buttons on the bottom will be facing you. At a low angle, like sitting down, the colors on the LCD can look inverted. From the other side of the LCD rather than go inverted, the whole image just looks lighter. I decided Lighter is a much more pleasant experience than Inverted. So the LCD gets rotated 180 degrees.
I have said this in the past but feel free to comment on any spelling, grammatical, or just typos that you may see. I catch them every once in a while but when you can't spell that great to begin with it makes it hard.