Learn PCB Design at Connected Humber on Thursday

This could be your design…. This week we are having a rather special Hardware Group meetup at c4di. We will be looking at the creation of printed circuit boards (PCBs). We will be using a freely available tool which can be used on lots of different computers.If you have any interest in making stuff you really should come along. It is now very cheap to get PCBs made and they make construction much,… Read more →


I’m Pulling the Social Media Plug

In the words of a certain radio station, “Social media can be a force for good, but it can also be a giant pain in the arse.” When I wrote that First Class Post was the most rapid form of communication of which I approved I was only half joking. I recently spent two weeks Read more →


Easy AI with Microsoft.Text.Recognizers

I recently discovered that there's an XMPP client library (NuGet) for .NET that I overlooked a few months ago, and so I promptly investigated the building of a bot! The actual bot itself needs some polishing before I post about it here, but in writing said bot I stumbled across a perfectly brilliant library - released by Microsoft of all companies - that can be used to automatically extract common… Read more →


Get Your Eyes Tested

For the last few days I’ve been telling everyone I meet how sharp the world now appears to me. I’ve got some new glasses. They’ve made a huge difference to the quality of my life. I’m now able to read text by looking at the letters, rather than inferring the meaning from the approximate shape of the words. This is probably going to massively improve the quality of my writing. Then agane probuably… Read more →


Mini Air Quality Sensor Now Working

I spent quite a bit of today getting my tiny air quality sensor working. I’ve ported the code for the full fat sensor over, so that it has full MQTT setting control and all the other trimmings. It seems to work OK. I’ve mounted the pixel ring up against the 3D printed case and the result is rather impressive, and really hard to photograph. The biggest problem that I have is that my “artistic” back… Read more →


Making an RSS Feed for CSBlogs

What is CSBlogs CSBlogs.com is a really useful Node.js web application serving the Computer Science blogging community, built for and maintained by Computer Scientists and designed to let people to share their blogs with each other and encourage sharing projects and cool tech stuff within the community and beyond. What have you made and why? I’ve wrote an application that parses the JSON feed that… Read more →


HullPixelBots with Rob Miles

Yesterday Rob Miles, the creator of HullPixelBot, ex-lecturer at the University and now cool local tech person resident at the C4DI came to host a #hullCSS (Hull Computer Science Society) event and explain to us his work to make the robots - why he made them and how we could make our own robots. Why HullPixelBot They’re designed to be an easy and cheap intro to robotics for anyone, whether you’ve… Read more →


Cheap Power

I’m always on the lookout for cheap power. So I was intrigued by these phone battery packs in the pound shop in Hull. It turns out that they are actually quite usable if you need to power small electronic devices. I’m pretty sure that the advertised capacity of 1200 mAh is more than a bit optimistic, but I do know that a fully charged battery powered my “full fat” air quality sensor for well over… Read more →


Making a Mini Air Quality Sensor

I’ve got the large, “full fat” Air Quality sensor just about working. But the hardware cost of the device is a bit on the high side. So today I’ve spent the day grappling with FreeCAD to try a design a much smaller, WiFi only, device. This uses a cheap Wemos D1 Mini and a five pound air quality sensor and a pixel ring. The cost of this hardware is only around ten pounds, which makes it much cheape… Read more →


Hello to Asda

We had some robots on display… Robin and I were working in the c4di this morning when a bunch of folks dropped by with John to take a look at what we were doing. I had my old glasses on and taking a quick look at them, decided that it was perhaps a bunch of students, what with everyone looking fresh-faced and keen and whatnot. So I gave them what I thought was good advice for people in their posit… Read more →