ESP32 Devices now less than 4 pounds each

The Wemos D1 Mini has been my favourite device for a while now. It has an ESP8266 with WiFi, plenty of memory, it’s tiny. And you can now buy them for less than two quid. However, I think I may have found my next favourite device. Its’ got a lot more pins, an ESP32 which brings two cores and Bluetooth. And you can pick these up for less than four pounds. Astonishing value. The only snag I’ve found… Read more →


If you've got Netflix, watch RIPD

RIPD is the kind of film that you might like to watch after a hard day writing and editing course notes. It’s nice, mindless fun. If you took the scripts of “Men in Black”, “Ghost” and “Ghostbusters” and put them in a blender you’d get the script for RIPD. In fact that might be how they did it.Then again, they may just have decided that the name RIPD (Rest In Peace Department) was awesome and writ… Read more →


Back Lit Tracing Screen

I’ve been taking pictures of devices for a course that I’m writing. I’ve been fretting about the way that it is hard to avoid shadows underneath components and wires. I wondered if a tracing screen would be any good at eliminating dark areas on the background. You can pick them up for not much money nowadays, so I bought one. It’s not quite what I want, as you can see above the light is a lot of p… Read more →


ESP32 for Tiny Money

A while back I bought one of these devices for under four pounds. It’s a dual core processor with oodles of rom and ram, Bluetooth and WiFi. You can program it in C++ using Visual Studio (or Visual Studio Code). You can also run Python on it. We do live in interesting times… Read more →


Easy Paper Referencing and Research

For my Msc (Masters in Science) degree that I'm currently working towards, I'm having to do an increasing amount of research and 'official' referencing in my University's referencing style. Unlike when I first started at University, however, my now I've developed a number of strategies to aid me in doing this referencing properly with minimal effort - and actually finding papers in the first place… Read more →


CheeseFest Fun

Yesterday we went to Cheese Fest . It was great fun. Not enormous, but just enough going on to make it “Cheese Quorate”. They had other things too, including my favourite name for a purveyor of afternoon snacks called “Game of Scones”. Read more →


Go and see Shazam!

Perhaps the secret of a happy life is well-managed expectations. Anyhoo, my expectations of Shazam! were not that high. We’d been to see Captain Marvel a while back and marvelled (no pun intended) at the ease with which the Marvel empire seems to be able to turn out pitch perfect superhero movies whereas those from the rival DC stable seem to be much harder work. However, Shazam! was really good f… Read more →


Slack is not your friend

I use Slack quite a lot on various projects. I quite like it (even though I have real difficultly understanding how a such a simple program can take around half a gigabyte of memory to run). However, one thing that really irritates me is the way that every now and then it pops up a trite aphorism (something like “Don’t forget to breathe”) with the byline “Your friends at Slack”. Every time I see t… Read more →


Being polite pays off

I’ve started saying please to my electronic devices. This is not because I’m super-polite (although I like to think I am). My reasoning is that if you put “please” on the end of a request the device can tell that you’ve finished your command, and that it needs to go off and work out what it means and then do it.From my completely unscientific testing I’ve found that it does slightly improve accura… Read more →


Amazon Echo buttons are surprisingly easy to use

You might thing it’s surprising that I’m this late to the home automation party. What with my love of gadgets and all. I guess laziness trumps gadget love in the end. However, a few weeks ago, on the back of a really tempting Amazon offer, I got myself a batch of Teckin smart sockets. They fit into your mains socket and then you plug the device to be controlled into them. And then the device is co… Read more →