It’s alive! I mean, they’re alive! But not really. Because they are inanimate, non-physical collections of ones and zeros. But you get my point. After much more time than it should have taken, I have finally restored my Metal Earth and Piececool Checklists to function properly. I’ve had to relocate them to a new home, but old links should automatically redirect (let me know if they don’t) so that your checked items are not lost (let me know if they do get lost).

Long story short, my web hosting provider upgraded some of their systems a while back and it kinda broke my ability to update the checklist in the fashion I had gotten used to. Admittedly, the approach I had been using was a bit of a hack. Nevertheless, it was broke. And furthermore, the Metal Earth version ordered by model number (rather than category), as well as the Piececool list, became inaccessible. Well, I finally got around to addressing it this last week / weekend. I had to rewrite the data-access layer, which it why it took so long to get to, but I did it!

Of course, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, I should probably catch you up. Long before I was a regular builder “with a blog”, I was just a regular builder. Okay, an extremely nerdy builder. One who wanted to “Build ’em All.” But it was hard to measure my progress towards that, since there wasn’t an easy way to keep track of which models I had, and which I didn’t, especially when you threw in exclusives and stuff. So I decided to make a printable checklist (based off the model list from the Metal Earth subreddit). Then I remembered that I was a programmer, and made the checklist interactive and online and stuff.

But I didn’t want to keep it just for me… I figured other people might want one, too. However, I didn’t want to deal with user management and signups and stuff. So I found a weird way to store the checked off items in the URL itself, so that you could bookmark it (or update an existing bookmark) after checking off the items. I figure, most people have access to a browser that can sync bookmarks across devices, this should work!

And thus my odd little checklist was born. It was a little clunky, a little weird, and somewhat useful. Over time I added a few features, an alternate version that ordered by model number, rather than grouped into categories that I made up. I added one for Piececool models, too. Then I thought it would be cool to include the number of sheets in a model. Added in links for models, when available, to more information about them. Improved the navigation (adding “jump to category” and “filter” features) and made the checklist much more mobile friendly. And then it all broke.

But now it’s back, and I’ve added a couple of features. I’ve added the difficulty ratings (that I could manage to find) as a little icon on each row. I’m not sure of the accuracy of the ratings on Metal Earth models, as I data-mined them from the InnovaToys website, and there are a bunch of missing difficulty ratings. Please feel free to leave me a message if you find the official product difficulty ratings that differ from (or are missing from) the values in the checklist. And yes, I’m just using the official product difficulty ratings (1-10 for Metal Earth, 1-7 for Piececool), even if I personally disagree with where the particular model falls on the challenge scale. Also, I added a checkbox at the top to “hide” all the checked models (so that you can filter it to show just those you don’t have checked).

Anyways, that’s it for this week! The new location of the checklists are:

But you can always access them from the links in the sidebar as well (right above the Support the Blog? section). Oh, and another thing that died with the checklist was the Cylinder Tool Guide Generator, which should now be back online, too.