Creating RSS feeds for Cork's Evening Echo newspaper website with Node.js and Serverless

For nearly 10 years I relied on Twitter as my primary source of news. Now that I have left Twitter and Facebook mostly behind, I have turned back to email newsletters and RSS for non-tech news. I never stopped using RSS for tech news. Of course, in that time, many news sites have forgotten about RSS. e.g. The Cork Evening Echo in Ireland has some pages that refer to RSS but they are no longer functional. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

A Big Thank You to Ben Heck

Ben Heckendorn recently ended his YouTube show with Element14 after several years of wonderful maker videos. Whilst the channel continues with a new name and other presenters, Ben has moved on. I had a hiatus from electronics for 20 years after I left UCD Elec Eng in 1992. In 2012 I discovered the world of Arduino and quite soon after, the Raspberry Pi launched. I’ve had so much fun building stupid (and every so often, not stupid) things over the past 6 years and I think Ben had a lot to do with that. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

I may be totally done with Twitter-style sites including Mastodon

I gave up on Twitter in Nov 2017 due to their complete inaction around online abuse, particularly that of women. I setup a Mastodon account at that time and didn’t use it much initially but ramped up activity recently. Despite all the articles written recently about how Mastodon is the nice anti-Twitter, the sad reality is that asshole behaviour has nothing to do with the tech or the tools, it has to do with people being assholes. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

email-to-hugo - Update your Hugo blog via email

My most productive period of blogging here was when I used the late lamented Posterous. That was due to its blogging-by-email feature. Whilst a similar feature is available for hosted blogs like WordPress, things are a lot more difficult if you have a static blog.┬áThat Posterous blog (e.g. this one) was converted to several other systems over the years and is currently generated by Hugo.┬áMy workflow for blogging is generally to write a new markdown file, add it to the git repo, commit it along with any images and then wait until CircleCI re-generates the blog output and deploys it to S3/Cloudfront. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

First few minutes with the RasPad

My RasPad arrived this morning and I’m very impressed after just a few minutes of checking it out. I grabbed a Pi3 that has RetroPie installed on it and inserted it into the bay. Loved playing SNES Galaxians at lunchtime! »

Author image Conor O'Neill

First live test of my new email-to-hugo blogging tool

I have almost completed a simple new tool which enables you to send blog content via email. The emails are converted to Markdown files and then uploaded to my Hugo source repo, along with any inline images. CircleCI then automatically rebuilds and redeploys my blog to S3. I’ll post full details and source code over the next few days. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Fund this project to add Allwinner VPU support to the official Linux kernel

Anyone who has any interaction with technology benefits from all of the work done by Open Source developers around the world from the past few decades. Unfortunately there are far more takers than givers. I think there is a strong chance that many OSS developers will become burnt out and disenchanted with building things for free when others reap the commercial rewards. Many of the Chinese silicon and box companies are particularly bad at providing proper maintanined OS support for their devices. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Running new C code on a 1982 ZX Spectrum in 2018

The 1980s home computer retro scene remains very vibrant. I dip a toe in every so often and recently have been enjoying the new Speccy games that I’ve found on Indie Retro News. One thing that caught my eye with these releases was the mentions of “engines”. It turns out that people have been building games engines for the ZX Spectrum for years. Mostly in C it seems and mostly using the z88dk toolchain. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

What do you think of when you read that Open Source is 20 years old?

Yesterday I read that Open Source is offically 20 years old. This doesn’t mean free software or GNU or anything like that, just the definition and initiative itself. It made me think about all of open source (lower case) and free software that’s had an impact on me since I was a teenager. Here’s that as a quick brain-dump. I’m sure I’ve missed tons and will update as they pop into my head. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Downloading YouTube videos on Android for offline viewing later

One of the all-time great tools of the internet era is youtube-dl. It enables you to download any YouTube video for watching offline/later. It has been a fantastic boon over the years for watching all my hundreds of subscribed channels when in planes, trains, automobiles and treadmills. It’s also the basis for my own YTPodders tool for generating podcasts from videos. Normally I run it on the PC and copy the files to the mobile devices, tablets or media players. »

Author image Conor O'Neill