SmartParallel: refreshing the design

The SmartParallel, aka DottyMatrix, project has been languishing for a while now, but it’s time to get it restarted. SmartParallel is a serial-to-parallel interface that I embarked on because I wanted to be able to use my decades-old Epson MX-80 F/T III dot matrix printer with a number of platforms that don’t have parallel interfaces, such as the Raspberry Pi…. Read more »

Fixing an e-bike pedal sensor – part 2

Well, it looks as though this series of posts (of which this is the second and possibly last) could be badly mis-titled. For a start, it doesn’t look as though the pedal sensor of my malfunctioning e-bike is faulty. And it now appears unlikely that I’m going to fix anything – not in the near future, anyway. However, I had… Read more »

Fixing an e-bike pedal sensor – part 1

For the past four years one of my great joys has been cycling. Although of a certain age, and with not a few health issues, the advent of the e-bike has allowed me to return to one of the pleasures of my youth, as I’ve been known to blog about elsewhere. But we’re not here to talk about cycling –… Read more »

Building a PC: GPU – PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

First steps The case – Corsair Carbide SPEC-06 PSU – EVGA 1000GQ Gold The motherboard – Asus Prime X470-Pro RAM – Corsair Vengeance RGB GPU – PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Putting it all together Wrapping up Elsewhere in this build I’d start by considering a modest component and upsell myself before actually clicking the buy button. The reason is… Read more »

Building a PC: RAM – Corsair Vengeance RGB

First steps The case – Corsair Carbide SPEC-06 PSU – EVGA 1000GQ Gold The motherboard – Asus Prime X470-Pro RAM – Corsair Vengeance RGB GPU – PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Putting it all together Wrapping up This should be quick. The Asus Prime X470-Pro motherboard I’d settled on needs DDR4 RAM. The board supports 3600MHz memory. I’ve heard good… Read more »

Building a PC: the motherboard – Asus Prime X470-Pro

First steps The case – Corsair Carbide SPEC-06 PSU – EVGA 1000GQ Gold The motherboard – Asus Prime X470-Pro RAM – Corsair Vengeance RGB GPU – PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Putting it all together Wrapping up The motherboard is a critical part of any PC build. Although your decision is guided, to a large extent, by your choice of… Read more »

Building a PC: PSU – EVGA 1000GQ Gold

First steps The case – Corsair Carbide SPEC-06 PSU – EVGA 1000GQ Gold The motherboard – Asus Prime X470-Pro RAM – Corsair Vengeance RGB GPU – PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Putting it all together Wrapping up This was the second purchase for this build, after the case, and is seriously over-specced. But that’s how I like my power supplies…. Read more »

Building a PC: the case – Corsair Carbide SPEC-06

First steps The case – Corsair Carbide SPEC-06 PSU – EVGA 1000GQ Gold The motherboard – Asus Prime X470-Pro RAM – Corsair Vengeance RGB GPU – PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Putting it all together Wrapping up The case is one of the most boring parts of a PC build. But it’s where I had to start because, although motherboards… Read more »

Sharing code: at your own risk

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Often, when discussing projects on this blog, I share bits of code. Sometimes more than a bit. But I rarely share whole programs or libraries because, well, it’s a pain uploading it and making sure WordPress hasn’t munged characters. And it’s equally difficult to correct errors and keep code updated. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “FFS, use GitHub.” And… Read more »

Sharing safely on GitHub: how not to leak passwords

Recently, I found myself wanting to share some code via Github, but realised it contained my wifi password. That’s not a huge issue (see below), but neither is it a good idea. You should never hard-code credentials into your software – in principle. But when you’re hacking together an Internet of Things (IoT) toy for personal use in your own… Read more »

Looking back: reliving the age when computing wasn’t yet retro

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be – it’s a lot better. Once upon a time, examining the past relied heavily on memory – an unreliable witness at best. Maybe you could dredge up a few old magazines and books, some dusty photos and a few other artefacts. But you were mostly dependent on whatever you’d personally kept from the… Read more »

Go or Python for the Raspberry Pi

Pretty much all of the code I’ve written for the Raspberry Pi (and the BeagleBone for that matter) has been in Python. It’s widely regarded as the de facto language for the platform, not least because it is newbie-friendly. But does it have to be this way? Ups and downs of Python It’s not hard to enumerate a long list of… Read more »