What rhymes with stability? πŸ€” [Newsletter #3]

Leigh Johnson
Leigh Johnson
What rhymes with stability?  πŸ€” [Newsletter #3]

Hey folks! Leigh, creator of Print Nanny here.

Do you know what rhymes with stability and reliability?

The latest release of Print Nanny! Ok, you might have to say it fast and slur a little bit - but there's totally some internal assonance in there.

When I released Print Nanny in January, it was a prototype I hacked together in less than 2 weeks over Christmas break. In the nights and weekends since, I've slowly built up the prototype into the Beta you see today.

Building new software from scratch 

Sometimes the "gradual muscle growth" of improving every day is hard to see.

But when you look back, we've come so far! A few incredible milestones from the last five months:

  • 2 new developers have come onboard. We're a team of 3 now!
  • More than 2,000 requests to join the private Beta, including more than 200 small businesses and printer farms.
  • 54.87% of Print Nanny users print daily, and 93.31% print at least once per week
  • 501 git commits across 4 code repositories. On average, that 4 significant commits per day (with many more squashed on merge to main).

Want to learn more about Print Nanny's evolution?

Check out Soft-launching an AI/ML Product as a Solo Founder, which is a technical deep dive into my ML strategy and a tour through the supporting infrastructure. This article was featured as an Editor's Pick in Towards Data Science last month - so proud! πŸ’ͺ

How I feel after five months

What's New in Release v0.6.0? 🌈

A lot went into this release behind the scenes to make Print Nanny easier to develop and test end-to-end.

Please re-register devices after installing v0.6.0!

You might notice your device is missing in Print Nanny's web UI.


After you upgrade to v0.6.0, please re-register your device by following the steps linked here.

Are you wondering what will happen if you register your device with an old version of the plugin?

Please don't do this! You will unleash an ancient evil, which I banished by refactoring Print Nanny's data model. You risk dooming us all!

Good news: Print Nanny's data model and API are stabilizing in prep for v1.0.0! 

Choose your release channel

You can now choose between stable and pre-release channels in OctoPrint's Software Update Settings menu.

What's the difference between these release channels?

Stable - less frequent updates, which are more thoroughly tested for quality. Pick this one if you're tired of resetting your device every release.

Pre-release - test new features or fixes without having to wait for a stable release. Pick this one to install a patch I coded just for you (ahead of the stable release) or try out release candidate builds.

Now you can choose less frequent, stable updates or life on the bleeding edge.##

Automated tests protect you from bugs πŸ›

Print Nanny is now smart enough to test herself! πŸ€– Check out the following video, which automatically tests plugin installation as part of CI/CD.

I'll be adding more tests with each new release!

Simplified Alert Settings πŸ””

Thanks to your feedback, I simplified alert configuration options! Discord notifications are now sent using a simple webhook instead of full Discord bot.

Check out the new settings UI:

Do you like graphs as much as I do? πŸ€“

As part of continuously improving Print Nanny's monitoring system, I analyze performance statistics across many print materials and printer hardware.

Here's a quick summary of the filament and printer type y'all prefer to use.

Filament & Material Type

Printer Brand

This is all great, Leigh. Where is my invite?

If you're waiting for an invite to the closed Print Nanny Beta, you're not alone - more than 1,900 of you have been patiently waiting since January.

Keep your eyes on your inbox! Print Nanny will become more widely available soon. I can't wait to hear what y'all think.

In the meantime, join us on Discord to chat about your latest projects and hang out with some pretty cool people.

64-bit support is coming soon

Y'all might be itching to put Raspberry Pi 4's 64-bit capable CPU to work. I am too! Double the address space represents a significant performance gain for the on-device Machine Learning in Print Nanny.

So what's stopping us? πŸ€”

Software support is the blocker: most Raspberry Pi software is built for 32-bit systems. For example, Piwheels naively builds 32-bit Python binaries (also known as "wheels") but does not yet build 64-bit binaries. That means even if you upgrade to a 64-bit operating system, you'll still be stuck using 32-bit Python & Cypthon code. Major bummer.

So what's a gal to do? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Well, I'm going to start by building the world's first 64-bit PiWheels cluster.

Wish me luck! I'm excited to get back into bare metal computing.  Signing off to PXE (network) boot a cluster of 64-bit Raspberry Pis now. 🀘

- Leigh 🌻

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