RSS is on fire again, and it's all down to SlackOps

Bring out your dead I’m that guy, the one who never gave up on blogs and never ever gave up on RSS. “Let me tell you, young whippersnappers, what the Internet was like in 2007, it was glorious,” etc. My GitHub account is mostly just a collection of scrapers to turn webpages into RSS for all those companies who have killed their feeds over the years. RSS and advertising never really made good bedfellows. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Celebrating 40 years of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum with ZX Wordle

Sir Clive launched the greatest home computer of all time on April 23rd 1982, almost 40 years ago. I got mine in late 1982 and I still have it. Better, faster, stronger. I wanted to do something to mark the occasion and decided to play around with Z88DK, a C Compiler and toolchain for 8-bit micros like the Speccy. It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux and it turned out to be ridiculously easy to write programs using it. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

The Arduino Uno Mini Limited Edition is a bit odd

Two things happened in early 2012 that have made the past almost-decade a geeky joy - I discovered the Arduino project and the first Raspberry Pi was released. Since then I’ve had a ridiculous amount of fun with both and built a ton of useful and useless projects. Despite having a Masters degree in Electronics, I’ve never worked as a Electronic Engineer and have always lived in the software world. I’d often wanted to dabble over the years but everything seemed just too difficult. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

The new MongoDB Atlas Data API is huge for No-Code and Low-Code Automation Platforms like Tines

It looks like I first started talking about MongoDB online back in 2011 - We’ve come a long way baby. Right, need to finish watching the MongoDB vids (easier than I thought) and then do an Amazon ELB setup for kicks. — Conor O'Neill (@conoro) May 28, 2011 Mongo has remained one of my favourite tools for getting things done. I always think that’s why it succeeded. Whilst the factions argued it out on HN, developers just got on with using it for practical purposes. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

No-Code Halloween Hacking with Blockly, Espruino, Node-RED and Tines

Every Halloween for the past decade or so, I’ve built something silly to scare or entertain the trick-or-treaters. Some years it works brilliantly, other years, not so well. But the basic idea is always the same - detect arrival of kids and use sound/light/motion to jump-scare them. And every Halloween is a last-minute race to assemble electronics, plastic, duct-tape and code. That code is often a horrendous unreliable mish-mash of Arduino, Espruino, Python, Node. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Almost a decade of Espruino leading to the Bangle.js 2

TL;DR - Gordon Williams has a new Espruino Kickstarter for the fabulous Bangle.js 2. Go and back the project and enjoy every geeky minute of playing with it. I have one of the devices already and it’s a massive leap forward over V1. Imagine running JavaScript and TensorFlow Micro machine learning on your wrist! I’m still not sure how I heard about the Espruino project originally back in 2013. Hackaday maybe? »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Using Tines for Home IoT Automation

I recently joined Tines as Head of Community and have been on a wonderful exploration of its capabilities over the past few weeks. Tines can connect to almost any system, process data and events and then forward on or persist that transformed data somewhere. This seemingly simple model with seven action types and a variety of auth options has turned out to be incredibly flexible. That flexibility caused me to look far beyond security use-cases and examine other things I could connect to and automate. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

A quick thought on failed computers in education

I saw two related threads over the past few days about computers in education. Walter retweeted one which called the Rasperry Pi a failure as it didn’t achieve its original mission. Clickbait title time: The Raspberry Pi failed (a thread). The original mission statement of the Pi was to be a modern BBC computer - a cheap educational resource that could be scattered throughout schools for kids to learn on. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

TikTok RSS Flat - Generate RSS feeds from TikTok using GitHub OCTO Flat Data

Gen-X nerds continue to ruin the internet for Gen-Z by implementing RSS feeds for TikTok 😁 I was really intrigued by the launch of GitHub OCTO Flat Data, having already been a longtime fan of Simon Willison’s work (all the way back to the early days of Django). There is something very powerful in there that is not obvious on first look. Connecting it to Low-Code platforms could unleash lots of crazy fabulous new ideas. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Pano2Insta - Panoramic photo to Instagram converter

My Huawei P30 Pro takes great panoramic photos but Instagram isn’t able to use them properly. The trick is to split them into multiple 1080x1080 photos (up to 10 of them) and include all of them in one post. People can then swipe right and left to get a pseudo-panoramic view. There are lots of ad-supported or pay-for apps to do this in the Google Play Store. But I figured it was hardly difficult to do. »

Author image Conor O'Neill