Desktop Binary Thermometer

Parts all ready


I assembled a geeky new kit today.  It displays the current temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius in binary format.  The kit takes about 20 minutes to assemble and solder, and the instructions are really easy to follow – recommended for any beginner.

It’s PIC controlled, so in theory it could be reprogrammed to work in a different way.

Link to the website: http://maximumoctopus.com/electronics/dbinarytemperature.htm


Read More

Move to DigitalOcean

Just moved my hosting from several years on a reseller account to DigitalOcean.  Lots of things have changed in the last few years with regards to hosting.  I did look at Amazon EC2 for a while, which is really flexible and you have a bewildering amount of options.  The ability to link separate instances for images, database and website seems ideal for building modular services, although when I started reviewing how much it was going to cost, it ended up looking like a lot of extra work setting up for the same as what I was paying for already.

So in come DigitalOcean, which is only $5 per month and you can instantly (55 seconds is what they advertise) set-up a fully working WordPress site (they offer other applications like Drupal and Magento, or of course you can set-up whatever you like).

It really is the quickest, simplest and cheapest option I’ve seen so far for your basic blog – I still use other hosting services for testing other things.

If you want to try it out you can get $10 credit by following this link and signing up, which gives you 2 months to make up your mind if you want to continue using it or not.

Read More

My Developer Essentials

In this entry I’m just going to mention the applications that I use in my working day.  Partly just as a reminder to myself what to install when I try a different Linux installation and it’s here on my website.  If you find the list useful, or have any better / alternative suggestions then feel free to comment below.

Note: this is a working list, and may be updated from time-to-time.

The list is as follows (in no particular order):

  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • ClassicMenu Indicator
  • Shutter
  • GIMP
  • FileZilla
  • Thunderbird Mail
  • TeamViewer
  • PHPStorm
  • Sublime Text
  • Fish
  • Terminator
  • Zeal
  • Vagrant
  • VirtualBox
  • Japanese MozC Keyboard Input


Read More

Get running with Laravel on Ubuntu ultra-fast

This is just a very quick guide to get a fresh Ubuntu install working with Laravel.  It doesn’t use Apache2, but the web server capability of PHP5.  It’s not a comprehensive guide, and it doesn’t go into setting up and installing a full LAMP stack, so there will be no MySQL – this is meant as a base to work from for more front-end AngularJS experimentation.

First, install PHP5 and necessary modules (Ubuntu 12.10 comes with PHP 5.4)

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install php5
sudo apt-get install curl
sudo apt-get install php5-mcrypt


Read More

Arduino Nunchuck project

nunchuck Sketch_bbI have cobbled together a couple of circuits to combine output to an OLED with input from a Nunchuck, through a WiiChuck adapter.  I have avoided using the analogue pin (by plugging the adapter directly into the arduino, over analogue pins 2-5) and instead used the 3.3v output because apparently the Wii Nunchuck should be powered by 3.3v and not 5v.  I have attached a diagram, but for clarity, there is the wiring explained here too: (more…)

Read More

Processing multiple strings in an array

This post concentrates on filtering values from a one-dimensional array.

There are a lot of really useful functions in PHP, and it’s almost impossible to remember them all.  Array functions are no exception, and as with PHP functions generally the little inconsistencies are just waiting there to catch you out.

Anyway, I just wanted to mention the difference between array_walk and array_map, and why array_map is particularly useful.


Read More