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Scripting the colorful LEDs in my office

Finally, Wireshark to the rescue, I got my LimitlessLED home office RGB LEDs scripted. In plain English: I can now send commands from a computer to my lights via WiFi and their base station, and they will turn on or off or red or blue or bright-white or "party" or whatever. While I previously could…

Thoughts on this special day

Today, October 31, 2017, is a special day for me. For one, it's my birthday, and a very round one at that. (Thanks for all the good wishes!) But also, 500 years ago today, an obscure cleric nailed some highly provocative statements on the door of a church in an obscure town, an act --…

Learning to OpenSCAD

As a proud new owner of a 3D printer, obviously I have been attempting to learn how create 3D CAD models for it. My friend Joe Andrieu pointed me to OpenSCAD, an open-source, "programmer's" CAD tool. Unlike all other CAD tools I've ever heard of, OpenSCAD uses a textual programming language to describe the object…

In praise of commons-based development

Let's say you run into an operating system bug on a Friday afternoon. You post it on a user forum. You ask around on IRC, and you find somebody who can reproduce your problem on a different system architecture. (Ha, I'm not crazy!) You investigate a bit, but nothing obvious shows up. Monday morning, you…

Thesis: What blockchain is for

Last night I went to a blockchain meetup. Some presenter in particular enthused about applying blockchain to a problem where using it has no advantage whatsoever. Like almost everybody else these days I'm tempted to say. No wonder many dismiss blockchain as a complete fad. That got me thinking. What is the general pattern where…