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. »

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Preserving old blogs/sites and the importance of GitHub

Many of us remember the cultural ignorance of Yahoo deleting GeoCities and Twitter deleting Posterous off the web. Those responsible are no better than library arsonists. Whether you think all of that published creativity was rubbish or amazing, there is something very wrong with it all just disappearing. The Internet Archive does an amazing job but it’s simply impossible for it to keep up. So I’ve taken it as a bit of a challenge to try and keep as much old content as possible online if I’ve been involved with it. »

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Empowering Citizen Non-Developers

I’ve been thinking about tools for non-developers for several years. It seems to me that all the big players are leaving behind this important group. They keep talking about citizen developers, low-code and no-code. But the focus is on “code”, so most of the world will self-select out of using any of those tools, including the no-code ones. Even the title of Satya Nadella’s article this week is “Want a More Equitable Future? »

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Getting PCManFM on your Raspberry Pi to remember SMB/Samba passwords

It’s always this time of year when I say I’ll definitely blog more next year. I was also sure I’d blog tons during lockdown but I was busy doing other things. This is the type of post I used to do very regularly on this blog so I thought I’d ease myself back in with a simple one. If you access Samba/SMB shares on your home network via the stock PCManFM file manager on your Raspberry Pi, you’ll probably have hit the problem that it forgets the password on reboot, even tho you ticked “remember forever”. »

Author image Conor O'Neill

Why running TensorFlow Lite Micro on very inexpensive devices changes everything

When NearForm Research announced Bangle.js at NodeConf EU with Gordon Williams from Espruino, we highlighted the uniqueness of having an inexpensive off-the-shelf Chinese smartwatch running both JavaScript and Google’s TensorFlow Lite for Microcontrollers. Whilst hardcore technology people got the implications of this, most people didn’t. You can now run Machine Learning models directly on the $5 chip inside a watch and do all of the interaction inside a web browser. If you can’t wait until Bangle. »

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Running Wasmer on a Raspberry Pi 4 with 64-bit userland

Like many people I’m excited by all of the possibilities opened up with WebAssembly/WASM. Most recently I’ve been keeping an eye on Wasmer and similar projects that enable WASM outside of the browser. So when I saw that you can now run it on a Raspberry Pi, I had to give it a try. But it’s not quite as straightforward as the article suggests and this is what I had to do to get it working. »

Author image Conor O'Neill