Practical Arduino - RV Lighting


Jan 30, 2015
I replaced a recently failed RGB LED strip light controller in my RV with a homebrewed version using an Arduino Yún. The result is wifi-controlled, schedulable exterior lighting that is far superior to the overpriced, failed piece of junk! Do as I say, not as I do… I own a large fifth wheel RV that, until recently, lacked good porch lighting. While browsing the aisles at a Camping World store, I found a 16’ 12VDC...
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Bleeding edge bspwm


Jan 26, 2015
The bspwm tiling window manager is fast, new, and feature rich, but unfortunately sparsely documented. Finding myself under the weather and bored, I decided to give it a spin. I’m impressed! Here’s my experience so far, along with my (hopefully well-commented) configuration files. I’ve tried tiling window managers before. I found Awesome to be anything but. I was confused by xmonad, and I gave up on it perhaps too quickly. i3 has promise, but I...
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Rolling with Arch


Jun 05, 2014
Arch Linux is a far cry from the feature laden, n00b friendly, stable Zorin distro I last wrote about. Though Arch can incorporate all of the features usually installed by default in popular desktop distros like Ubuntu and Mint, its initial installation is arguably lighter weight than even Ubuntu minimal. Though it’s highly configurable and uses a rolling release model a la Gentoo, Arch uses a package manager (pacman) that installs precompiled binaries from the...
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Zorin to the Max


May 13, 2014
Zorin OS promises “Linux for everyone.” The distro is targeted toward Windows users who want a free/open source OS. It does a pretty good job of delivering a fairly intuitive interface. I’ve taken to using it because it automatically includes a lot of the often problematic multimedia/restricted content found in other *buntu and apt-based distros. It makes a great all-around laptop or media center distro. Zorin OS 8 is current as of this post. Here’s...
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Arduino IDE - Kustomized


Feb 27, 2014
Next level Arduino nerd rage, including Teensy support and command line build/upload capabilities, all within a reasonably clean installation on any *buntu variant. Here’s how: Install dependencies The Arduino IDE requires a working JRE. It used to absolutely require Java 6, but it seems as if I’m up and running with Java 7. Regardless, issue: apt-get install -s arduino The -s flag simulates installation of the Arduino IDE and will show all dependencies. If java6-runtime...
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Easy as Pi?


Feb 23, 2014
I just set up my brand new $35 Raspberry Pi single board computer. Here’s how I did it. The fixin’s All of the following are available via Amazon, most via Amazon Prime: - CanaKit Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kit - Mini Wireless Keyboard/Touchpad - GertDuino - Arduino-like shield for Raspberry Pi - Arduino Screw-Terminal Shield - Male-Male Jumper Wires - Male-Female Jumper Wires - Female-Female Jumper Wires - I forgot to order these, and they’d...
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Raking it in


Feb 18, 2014
I’m not lazy, I’m efficient! To speed publishing, I added these tasks to my Jekyll Rakefile. I can do almost everything required to add content to this site by issuing a rake [task] command. Hope you find some of them useful! rake The default task prints a usage message - helpful if I ever forget about some of the shortcuts I’ve created. # default task - added by yuri # Usage: rake" desc "Default task...
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Doctoring Jekyll


Feb 15, 2014
Here’s how I improved upon the bootstrapped site that I cloned from Jade Dominguez’s GitHub repository. I used the Hooligan theme - you’ll see it throughout the code samples. However, I doubt that any of these hacks are theme-unique. Add a post list to the site homepage This bit of magic will list all of your posts, starting with the most recent, with links to their titles, each followed by the first 75 words. Jekyll...
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Microprocessor powered, steam injected brewing


Feb 08, 2014
I started brewing beer because it seemed slightly interesting, and it was cheap to try using liquid extract, a few buckets, and some kitchen utensils. I kept brewing beer because the hobby lends itself to tons of DIY projects across many genres. I find the science and mechanics absolutely fascinating. In this video series, I showcased my first microprocessor controlled homebrewery. For mash temperature stabilization, I built a steam generator out of an old Cornelius...
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Blogging via the command line


Feb 05, 2014
I just set up my GitHub account and wondered if I could use it for web hosting. It turns out that not only can I host webpages on GitHub, but there is native Jekyll support. That means that I have an opportunity to learn a bit about web design in the 21st century (I haven’t hand written an HTML doc yet!), and pick up some Ruby along the way. Git is a slick way to...
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