Category: Uncategorized

This happened quite a few years ago, as a my Computer Science bachelor’s final paper.
I built what started as a database monitoring tool, to help manage an Oracle 8i instance. At the time there were not may easy-to-use tools out there, and Oracle wasn’t so ‘hands-free’ either.
As implemented, it could be used as a dashboard to display any data (financial, production, etc.), as long as you could query it through an odbc driver. One of the graphs was real-time, if that was needed.
Here’s what it looked like (labels in portuguese, mostly showing used/free resources).


I named it ‘HoloDB’, because it gave you a holistic view of your data.
While I was happy with the results so far, I wanted to take it a step further. At the time, VRML was around, and I decided to see what it would look like in a 3D VR ‘world’ that I could walk around in.


Now, VRML wasn’t supported directly by any browser, and you needed a plug-in in order to view and navigate.
A few I used:
Cosmo player:
A few features of a VRML ‘world’:
You can walk, which keeps you on the ‘ground’, or fly, which lets you move around more freely.
Sky/ground can have specific background pictures.
To diminish impact of overlapping objects, you can turn on a ‘fog’ effect that increases as objects move farther away from you.
Iterators are activated when you get close to an object – I used it to animate a color change on the objects.
While you can zoom out to figure out where things are, I spread them around in ‘islands’ in concentric circles, and defined specific viewpoints – that way you can move directly to the best viewing position for any defined object being monitored.
At the time it was a fun experience, but it suffered from VRML 2.0 not being a true standard yet. Each plug-in implemented it slightly differently. No built-in browser support either.
With VRML evolving into X3D, one day I may go back and play with it, especially if I can get to view/navigate within a browser without needing any plugins.
You can download the files and view them with the cortana plug-in. The .wrl file will not open with the windows 10 3D Builder app without some editing. Some of the features are not supported by the current standards.

You can grab the holodb.wlr file (and top/bottom .jpg) here:!AsLcnPt58gPPuZM2wtHou-ra8svYXw

Just save them somewhere, install the Cortana plug-in and open it with a supported browser.


I have a Nokia Lumia 1020, with the charging back, and while their own wireless chargers are great, they not exactly cheap, so I went to amazon and bought a generic Qi charger for around $10 at the time.

Now, I could leave the phone flat on top of the charging plate, or up in a holder, but it was hard to fit the charger there as well.

So I decided to build my own.

At first I used some craft board, and while it worked, it still could be improved.

Then I found out our local library had a 3D makerbot printer available for patrons – best library ever!

They have 3D education programs for teens, so if you’re in their district, check it out.

Here’s my homework:

  1. Download sketchup, watch the tutorials and build a model
  2. Export it as a .stl file – requires a free extension
  3. Load it to the makerbot desktop app, which makes a couple of extra verifications
  4. Email it to the library
  5. Drive over to pick it up, and for $3.50 I had a custom built holder.

Here’s how it looked like – I printed it flat – MUCH easier on the 3D printer



WP_20150127_10_02_19_Pro 1

With the Qi charger added to it:

WP_20150127_10_25_05_Pro 1

Normal use:

WP_20150127_10_26_54_Pro 1

My project was specific for the Qi charger I had – you may want to reposition the support ‘pins’ to match whatever you have.

Now that I have an idea of cost to get these things printed, I’ll probably spend some time designing a few new toys.

Feel free to use my design as a starting point, or just to give you ideas: