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Quentin Stafford-Fraser's blog

Last Build Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2018 23:47:33 +0000


A possible solution to slow or unresponsive Hue lights

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 23:44:06 +0000

They used to say that there are two ‘internet of things’ systems that ‘just work’ out of the box: the Sonos sound system, and Philips Hue lighting. I’m fortunate enough to own both of them, and I would add the Honeywell Evohome heating system (though one of my friends has had a few complications with Continue Reading

iOS tip of the day

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 23:56:59 +0000

When you’re setting up your fingerprints for Touch ID, take the time after registering each one to go in and give it a name. Then if you find one finger becoming unreliable, you know which one to delete and reprogram.

A suggestion for 2018

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 04:09:13 +0000

Here’s my thought for the year: It’s much more important to read things with which you disagree than to read things with which you agree.

Merry XYZmas

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 00:55:48 +0000

If, like me, you have been pondering linear algebra on a Christmas afternoon (and, frankly, who hasn’t?), or if you know anybody who is learning it for the first time, then I highly recommend Grant Sanderson’s YouTube channel, 3Blue1Brown where he makes all kinds of mathematical ideas easier to understand through some clever visualisations. In Continue Reading

Oh Deer

Sun, 24 Dec 2017 18:39:55 +0000

Spotted this morning just behind my in-laws’ house in Michigan.

Caian coffee

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:35:07 +0000

There’s a nice post about the coffee pot webcam on the Gonville & Caius College website this morning. Thanks, Lucy!

Retro Space Invaders

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:12:08 +0000

I think this is wonderful. Today I got to play with Gareth Bailey’s Space Invaders game – a quick hack, he claims, which he put together yesterday. This uses an oscilloscope as an X-Y plotter to draw the graphics, harking back to the earliest days of computer displays. But historically, displays like this would usually Continue Reading

All you need is Lovie?

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:59:49 +0000

Last night we went into London because the kind people at the Lovie Awards, the European branch of the (rather better-known) Webby Awards, had been good enough to give me an award, mostly for the work that friends and I had done in creating the first webcam. I was a bit embarrassed about this, partly Continue Reading


Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:59:22 +0000

Sean Riley creates the Computerphile YouTube channel, which has clocked up nearly a million subscribers, and produces some great stuff, especially for the geeks among us. I had fun talking to him about the early days of the Trojan Room Coffee Pot.

What 3 words?

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 08:52:23 +0000

This is a brilliant idea. Take the world and divide it into 3m squares. Then, given a modest vocabulary, you can label each square using just three words. For example, I work half-time at ‘’, which you can find by typing it into the What3Words map at, or you can turn it into a Continue Reading

Guaranteed way to cheer up your day

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 07:35:48 +0000

Spend 10 minutes with the brilliant Victor Borge.

Autumn comes to Grantchester

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 09:11:05 +0000

Speedy boarding?

Sun, 01 Oct 2017 22:14:36 +0000

Elon Musk’s latest rocket concept – the ‘BFR’ – would take you anywhere in the world in under an hour, and most destinations in about 30 mins. Oh, that’s plus, presumably, three hours for check-in, security and passport control. And another for baggage collection and immigration when you get there… However, if he can fix Continue Reading

The Dyson Car?

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:49:06 +0000

So Dyson are planning to make an electric car. Here are my predictions: It will be very expensive, but will look as if it’s made out of cheap plastic. It will incorporate a few very cunning engineering innovations, and many dozens of equally cunning patents. It will probably use some terribly clever steering mechanism. The Continue Reading