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arduino  bit  boards  cracks  dorodango  generating random  kenken puzzles  new  people  random latin  random  thought  time  wemos 
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This feed is dedicated to all the mental flotsam and jetsam that I find on the web and pursue in my off hours. It's a view into the head of a geek blogger with more interests than time. I hope you find something interesting.

Last Build Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:00:29 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2006, Mark VandeWettering

Simple tests using the WeMos D1 R2…

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:00:29 +0000

I didn’t have a ton of time to tinker when I got home, but I did play a tiny bit more with the WeMos D1 R2. I got it mounted on an old breadboard that I had previously used for Arduino experiments, and then tried reflashing it with new, fresh NodeMCU firmware that I built […]

New WeMos D1 R2 boards have arrived…

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 18:44:47 +0000

I just got a trio of WeMos D1 R2 boards from Banggood this morning. I haven’t had a chance to do anything with them yet, other than power one of them on and check it for basic function, but I thought I’d give a brief review. For those of you who maybe haven’t been tracking […]

A new theory of dorodango…

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 15:50:53 +0000

Okay, I’ve done two, with nearly identical outcomes: a fine network of relatively shallow cracks in the “capsule”, the thin layer of fine particles which encapsulate the core. I’ve been rereading various accounts on how other people make dorodango, and have noticed a couple of differences which I think I am going to test. I […]

Dorodango cracks again…

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 06:11:06 +0000

Sigh. My second attempt has also cracked, although it is beginning to look pretty shiny.

Ordered some ESP8266 boards in an Arduino form factor…

Sat, 20 Aug 2016 15:47:54 +0000

The ESP8266 is an amazing little processor: cheap and capable and (most interestingly) WiFi enabled. I have some of the older “nodemcu” boards that I got for about $7 each, but there are newer alternatives that include up to 4M of flash memory, and a variety of interesting form factors. I noticed that WeMos was […]

FFMPEG overlay needs “repeatlast” argument…

Wed, 17 Aug 2016 20:38:57 +0000

I use ffmpeg to add some information overlays to the videos that I often upload to YouTube. I’ve documented these before, but I had a problem that arose from time to time that I never figured out: occasionally my encodes would seemingly just go on forever, and never terminate. I discovered today that this was […]

No! My precious dorodango!

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 03:57:32 +0000

Eek! I was getting a bit impatient with my dorodango, so I decided to leave it out in the open air when I went to work today so I could let it dry out a bit. I returned to it having dry cracks! Note to anyone attempting this: don’t be impatient. Let it dry out […]

Dorodango: Having (or rather making) a ball with just mud

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 21:03:08 +0000

On Sunday, I started a new project which on the face of it, seems like an enormous waste of time, but if you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that wasting time is pretty much the bread and butter of my online presence, so here we go. I’ve started work […]

Hooded Oriole at my hummingbird feeder…

Sun, 26 Jun 2016 16:09:05 +0000

Last year, I bodged together a motion detecting camera to photograph hummingbirds at my hummingbird feeder. But it was always a temporary hack. We had some difficulty with the ants that discovered the feeder, and we discontinued the experiment. I had a post that I could hang some feeders from, and decided to fill a […]

J1a system on a Lattice ICESTICK40

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 06:03:27 +0000

Long time readers of this blog might remember that I received a Gameduino board designed by James Bowman. I used it to construct ANGST, an Arduino and Gameduino satellite tracking project. James did all the heavy lifting: the Gameduino uses a Xilinx FPGA to implement an Arduino shield that can generate graphics and sounds. To […]

My Fizz Buzz solutions…

Thu, 26 May 2016 17:40:35 +0000

Joel Grus blogged about a job interview where he was asked about the ridiculous Fizz Buzz question that apparently some companies use to weed out complete frauds from their job interview process. The task is to create a program which prints the numbers from 1 to 100, but where all numbers which are a multiple […]

Shower (or should I say “cow-er”) Thought of the Day…

Wed, 25 May 2016 19:10:28 +0000

I just recently found out about the /r/showerthoughts subreddit, where people vote on pithy sayings. I thought this might be a fun thing to have to replace the aging and relatively static “fortune” file that I use. I used the Python “PRAW” library to fetch the top entry for the day, and then optionally pass […]

Some random pictures from the Maker Faire…

Sun, 22 May 2016 04:52:26 +0000

Code for generating a random Latin square…

Wed, 18 May 2016 00:35:46 +0000

The other day I mentioned that generating random Latin squares was a bit more complicated than I thought, and that an algorithm by Jacobson and Matthews was the way that people typically did it. I worked up this implementation based on a couple of different descriptions of the algorithm (the original paper was behind a […]

Atinlay Aresquares…

Mon, 16 May 2016 20:45:01 +0000

My last post dealt with a solver for KenKen puzzles. Once you have one of those, then the obvious thing to work on next (in your copious spare time) is a generator for KenKen puzzles. It didn’t seem too hard. You’d begin by generating a random Latin square, then divide it up into “cages”, assign […]