To anticipate and prevent

February 19, 2020

Introducing pyLegLight – A Python module for the Elgato Key Lights

At work, I’ve been spending more time on video calls with our Eastern European office. In order for it to be a reasonable time of day for the team, my calls are either very early in the morning or very late at night. To make sure that both sides get the most out of the limited time we have in the calls, I want the call quality to be the highest possible. That means a clean background, a Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam and lighting — specifically two Elgato Key Light panels. The panels work super well, perhaps I’ll review them another time, but my first interest was how I can control these lights (which operate over wifi) in a programmatic fashion. Queue some basic reverse engineering and Python — Enter pyLegLight!

February 13, 2020

Obviate.io v3: Now on Hugo Static Site Generator

After a lengthy run of using Wordpress and a fair amount of time with basically no posts, I wanted to start the new year off right by bringing the blog back to some semblance of it’s former glory. Unfortunately that meant grappling with a wildly newer version of Wordpress with an editor that had changed significantly. Change isn’t bad, but these changes got in the way of it’s own core function: writing. So I’ve spent the last few weeks endeavouring to fix this problem in the only way I know how… burn it to the ground (and rebuild it using a static site generator).

November 25, 2019

Hex Editing Pokémon Sword to Change My Stupid Jersey Number

Hello fellow Pokémon fans, tech enthusiasts, and people looking to do silly stuff! From the same person who brought you the MFA phone: Stupid video game decisions and solutions. When the new Pokémon Sword and Shield games arrived on the Switch a couple weeks ago, I was as excited as a kid on Christmas. A new adventure with the childhood formula of capturing dangerous creatures in little balls of magic and having them fight to the d… Knockout.
February 26, 2018

Video Tutorial: How NOT to package your ESP8266 & BME280

Continuing our series from last week, we’re going to package up the Wemos D1 Mini and the BME280 Environmental sensor on a perfboard, with batteries. Or at least that was the plan until we ran into a software bug… which could have been fixed. Until… well, watch the video and count how many ways this project didn’t go according to plan. If you agree that #LearningIsEducation please leave a like or subscribe!

February 20, 2018

Video Tutorial: BME820 Environmental Sensor and MQTT under Micropython

This week we’re starting to make our Micropython powered Wemos D1 truly useful with a sensor and data collection. We’ll wire up a BME280 sensor which measures temperature, humidity and air pressure. After we know it works, we’ll use Wifi and MQTT to send the data to a website for viewing.

February 5, 2018

Video Tutorial: Writing code onto Micropython Wemos D1 using Ampy

Last week we covered how to flash Micropython onto an ESP8266 (Wemos D1 Mini) but we had to type our code into the REPL by hand. That’s not terribly useful for a real world project, so this week we learn how to upload code and make it run on boot. We’ll be using a tool called Ampy, by Adafruit, since the Micropython world is a little immature.

January 29, 2018

Video Tutorial: Flashing Micropython on a Wemos D1 Mini

Welcome to Episodes #01 of the new Obviate.io video series where we’ll be flashing Micropython 1.9.3 onto a Wemos D1 Mini ( ESP8266 ) development board using Apple macOS.

January 22, 2018

Miracle-Gro AeroGarden 8 weeks in – serious tomato action

Just two months ago we bought a Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Bounty Elite as a Black Friday deal. Previously I covered the activity in the first two weeks of growth. At the time I felt it was surprisingly fast and continue to feel that way. In just 6 weeks from planting we’d grown from pods, to sproutlings, to decent sized plants with flowers, to visible tomatoes! So now it’s just a matter of time until they mature and we’ve got tasty snacks in the middle of winter!

January 9, 2018

Review: Kinesis Freestyle Edge Gaming Keyboard

Recently Kinesis released the Freestyle Edge which is a new mechanical version of their previous “Freestyle2” split keyboard (which was membrane based). While the Freestyle Edge is advertised for gamers, I think any serious user should seriously consider it. It has most of the critically important features you see on all “ergonomic” keyboards today including split angels, tenting and a lot of adjustability.