Wednesday, 12 December 2012

09:58 – I’m still working on building subassemblies for chemistry kits, but I’m also going to try to devote some time today to working on the documentation for the LK01 Life Science Kit, which we intend to start shipping in Q1 of 2013. I’ll also continue working on the reorganization of the upstairs and downstairs work areas.

I’m also going to play around with packaging of glass Petri dishes for the LK01 kit. The BK01 Biology Kit includes a sleeve of sterile plastic Petri dishes. That wasn’t an option for the LK01 kit because it has to fit in the smaller USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A rather than the RRBB we use for the BK01. A sleeve actually fits the RRBA, but it doesn’t leave much room for anything else. So we had to go to glass Petri dishes. I actually prefer those because they can be sterilized in the oven and used indefinitely, but shipping glass is always an issue and Petri dishes are particularly fragile. We’ll wrap them in bubble wrap and tape them. But I need to figure out what kind of bubble wrap to use and do some drop-testing.

10:47 – While I was walking Colin yesterday, I had a long chat with Brian, who’s Steve’s son and Heather’s stepson. I asked him about his plans to join the Navy. He said those were on hold. He’d scored very well in the entrance exam, high enough to guarantee him his choice of specialty. But he said he was deferring his Navy plans in favor of going to work with his father, who’s a master mechanic at Merchant’s Tire and Auto, where we take our cars.

Brian is a bright kid, and he’s fully aware that getting a college degree is no guarantee of employment in this economy. On the other hand, becoming a skilled auto mechanic–or a skilled anything–is about as close to a guarantee as exists. Even more important to Brian is that he really loves fixing things. He commented that he wasn’t considering this only because mechanics make good money, but because he didn’t want to spend his life doing something he didn’t enjoy just to make money. As I said, he’s a bright kid.

12:58 – I see that Redbox/Verizon plan to introduce a streaming service to compete with Netflix. At $8/month, they’re matching Netflix. It’d be interesting to see what they have that Netflix doesn’t, but I’m not sure we’ll be able to use it. The supported devices list is pretty small, and I didn’t see the Roku box among them. At this point, it’s mostly mobile devices and a few smart TVs and Blu-Ray players. Still, if Redbox/Verizon expects this thing to fly, they’d better get it available on at least the major media boxes and game consoles that Netflix supports.

I’d be very surprised if Redbox Instant has anything near the selection of Netflix streaming, at least initially. Still, Verizon isn’t short on cash and connections, so it may expand the selection pretty quickly. At $8/month, we’ll probably sign up for it even just as a supplement to Netflix, assuming it’ll work on the Roku. There is supposed to be a free one-month trial.

14:08 – Hmmm. I just discovered that our new CK01B chemistry kit is not the only product with that number.