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Rob Miles

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Rob Miles University Lecturer and Microsoft MVP. And tall.

Blog posts

Una Reborn again

The tiny little fan for the print head for Una the Ultimaker arrived today. You can just see it behind the grille in the above picture. I’ve rebuilt everything and I’m printing with it. Expect to see an anguished post in a couple of days about how everything has broken again. Update: Sooner than you think. The above print failed because some of the items came loose. I’m going to clean the print be… Read more →


Using the ESP8266 Real Time Clock memory to manage device reboots

The ESP8266 device has a built in Real Time Clock (RTC) that can work as, well, a real time clock. This is very useful if you want to put the processor to sleep for a while in low power mode and have it wake up later. The RTC also contains a small amount of memory which is maintained in low power mode. You would put values into this that you wanted to remember when the device wakes up again. You c… Read more →


Non-Fun Gibbon Tokens are now a thing!

Non-Fun gibbon Tokens now a thing. They are a horrible pun (on non-fungible tokens) made 3D real. Thanks to the efforts of Geoff and Derek who supplied the line art plus the InkScape and OpenSCAD tools you can now have the ultimate in slightly unique art. Prints a treat. They are quite big in the STL files, but shrink then down to 30% size in Cura and you get something which is printable and retai… Read more →


Quack House at Three Thing Game

At 3:00pm this afternoon we shipped “Quack House”. It kind of works. You can even have a go yourself here. It supports loads of players (we were surprised to find) and the goal is to attract ducklings and steer them to your badly drawn duck house. There are some gameplay issues. The ducklings are attracted to ducks and will follow you although they are very determined followers and an unwary duck… Read more →


Overhead Duck Pictures for Three Thing Game

Nothing like starting the day with some duck photography. I’m using the same duck as appears on the cover of the “C# Yellow Book”. We’re using the Phaser game framework and the socket.io framework for the communications to create a multi-player browser game where you control a duck seeking to attract ducklings back to your duck house. It’s going OK so far. Read more →


Return to Three Thing Game

I’ve got very fond memories of Three Thing Game. It’s a game development event run by the University of Hull. Entrants get three things and then write a game that incorporates them. I was invited by the estimable Dr. Parker to take part this weekend as part of the “Spooky Elephant Collective” team. We were all gathered together (in an on-line kind of way) for the Thing Auction. We had a menu of th… Read more →


What a difference a bracket makes

if (tolower(name[i] != com->name[i])) return false;Sometimes it seems to me that programming is a long, slow process of proving to myself how stupid I am. Take the statement above as an example. It is from the console process in my Connected Little Boxes project. The code is comparing a character in a name typed in with a character in a command name. The command name is always in lower case, but I… Read more →


Bitcoin boilers

Bitcoin mining, where powerful computers solve mathematical puzzles to generate money that is almost probably real, is consuming an increasing amount of power around the world. As all the power that goes into the computer comes out as heat, it seems to me that it would be sensible to make good use of this power. Why not make “bitcoin boilers” that use heat from the computers to do something useful… Read more →


Raspberry Pi Wide Angle Zoom Lens

Pimoroni now stock a new lens for the Raspberry Pi HD camera. This one is a zoom wide angle lens. I’ve been impressed with the quality of the longer focus lens that I got a while back, so I thought I’d invest in the new one too. The price is very reasonable at 15 pounds. The quality is very good. Focussing is fun. It is not a “pure zoom” in that if you change the zoom settings to move closer or fu… Read more →


Decaying Digital Ownership

I bought a CD last week. It’s one that I already “own” having bought it from the iTunes store a few years ago. Unfortunately, the 10 tracks that I thought I’d paid for turned into 2. This is probably due to licensing changes that should not in any way be my problem. I suppose there are some weaselly terms and conditions somewhere that make this quite OK. Anyhoo, the CD arrived today. I had to find… Read more →