It's not always a software problem

I've been doing some work to try and improve the reliability of the distance sensor on the Hull Pixelbot. Not that it isn't particularly reliable, but I got to worrying about all the interrupts and timers that are going off as it takes its readings. I did some tests today and discovered, to my alarm, that the distance reading was being horribly affected when I turned the motors on to move the robo… Read more →

Rob Speaks

I've signed up as a speaker on the Community Connect Portal. If you want "The Rob Miles Experience", feel free to invite me over. The speakers are ordered alphabetically by default, so you'll have to scroll down a bit to find me. I suppose I could have changed my name to "Aaron Aardvark" before registering, but I'd have to get rid of all my monogrammed towels if I did that..... Read more →

Begin to Code with Python Tools Page

The Begin to Code with Python book now has its own tools page. This has links to the downloads for Python implementations, the code samples, and also a rather nifty guide that maps the book content onto the skills for the Microsoft MTA: 98-381 Python exam. And you can find a link to Amazon as well, so you can buy your own copy. Read more →

Begin to Code Editor

The code editor for the Hull Pixelbot scripts is coming along nicely. It now behaves itself if you change the size of the window. The program above is for a "hand-wavy" game for the robot. You can make the robot move by waving your hand in front of it. First to the finish wins. Read more →

3D Printing "Snap Off" Components

I'm putting together some Hull Pixelbot kits and one of the components that I need is a set of spacers to separate the circuit boards from the perspex base and top. You can of course buy these, but I'm too mean to do this, and I happen to have a 3D printer that I can play with. I wanted to print all the spacers as a single item, so that I don't have to count them into each kit. One way to group a… Read more →

Hornsea in the New Year

Way back when we used to go to Hornsea on New Year's Day. We didn't manage it this year, the weather wasn't good enough to tempt us out of the house, but we did go today. Of course I took a few pictures. I took the one above on Hornsea Mere. I love the way that the pier creates a calm region of water on the right of the picture. This might be a nice metaphor for people in these fractious times. Read more →

What happened to WinUX?

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Rendering LaTeX documents to PDF on Linux (and maybe Windows too)

I'm starting to write another report for University, and unlike other reports, this one apparently has to be a rather specific format. To that end, I've got two choices, apparently: Use the provided Word / LibreOffice template, or use a LaTeX template instead. After the trouble and frustration I had with LibreOffice for my previous report, I've naturally decided that using the LaTeX template might… Read more →

Going backwards...

I spent a chunk of today making some carefully considered changes to the Hull Pixelbot software that turned out not to be necessary and didn't work afterwords. Oh well, thank heavens for version management. Read more →

The new Paddington movie is better than Star Wars

Before Christmas we went to see the new Star Wars movie. Lots of bangs, crashes, people turning to the Dark Side (or not - who cares), more bangs, more crashes. The end. It was OK. On Wednesday we went to see the new Paddington Bear movie. It was awesome. A tale of a bear always trying to do the right thing, striving to see good in everyone and managing to find it in a variety of beautifully reali… Read more →