Image for post
Image for post

A long time ago, I used to be a regular listener to Simon Mayo’s Radio 1 show. He ran a “Dead or Alive” segment where a listener would call in, and he’d challenge them to tell him whether a series of celebrities were dead or still alive.

I figured this might be a fun game to replicate, using Wikipedia pages as my source of truth. I’m working on building that… watch this space. Rather than write all the code I’d need as one project, I decided that the core “hey Wikipedia, is this person dead or alive right now” functionality could be broken out and released as its own npm package. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image credit: Michael Henzler / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Launched in 2019, the Raspberry Pi 4 was a significant upgrade over previous models. With USB 3, gigabit ethernet, a faster processor, dual 4K HDMI display support and options for 2, 4 or 8Gb RAM it seemed to be breaking into the low end desktop computer space.

I’ve had a 4Gb Pi 4 since April, and haven’t really used it for too much yet. It had a stint as part of Balena’s Folding for COVID project then went back into the box for a while.

Fast forward to November and the Raspberry Pi foundation released the Pi 400, an all in one Pi 4 based computer inside its own keyboard. This got me interested in building up my own Pi 4 as a desktop computer, with the aim of using it as a workstation for future personal coding projects. As I’d want to leave it on my desk for extended periods and use it for hours at a time, I decided I’d need a case with active cooling to keep the dust and the temperature down. This article covers adding such a case to the Pi, and installing software that manages the fan and other features. …


Image for post
Image for post

In this second video looking at the ioredis client for Node.js developers, I check out argument and reply transformers. These features simplify the marshalling of data between Node and Redis. Check it out:

Missed my original introduction to getting up and running with ioredis? Watch it here:

If you’re interested in more content like this, please check out Redis University on YouTube.

We also offer free online Redis courses where you can earn a Certificate of Completion for your LinkedIn profile. Sign up at our website.


Image for post
Image for post

Bloom filters are a probabilistic data structure that I’ve wanted to learn more about for a while. When I started reading up on them, I found a lot of the material to be quite dry and theoretical, so I thought I’d try and implement one in hardware somehow and make my own visual learning aid.

So what’s a Bloom filter? Wikipedia says:

Bloom filter is a space-efficient probabilistic data structure, conceived by Burton Howard Bloom in 1970, that is used to test whether an element is a member of a set. …


Image for post
Image for post
Let’s visit Bombay Beach, on the Eastern shore of the Salton Sea. Notice the moon in the daytime?

I got in the car, and did a 375 mile round trip to the Salton Sea and back! To break the monotony of being in the same place since March, I decided to take a day trip East to the Salton Sea — somewhere that I’ve been to many times before, but not recently. …


Image for post
Image for post

Recently we’ve all been spending a lot more of our time on video conference calls from home. I’m sure that, like me, you find yourself needing to mute your microphone and turn off the camera frequently. Perhaps something you can’t control is going on in the background, or someone needs your attention for a moment. Perhaps you are having a sneezing fit or something’s boiling over on the hob.

With the popular video conferencing service Zoom, there’s no single “I need privacy now” button that will both mute the microphone and turn off the camera. You need to become proficient at hitting (on a Macintosh) Command + Shift + A to toggle the microphone and Command + Shift + V to toggle the video camera. …


Image for post
Image for post

Here’s a video I made with our team that shows you how to get started with the ioredis Node.js client for Redis. In this video, I look at:

  • Installing and configuring ioredis.
  • Sending Redis commands and retrieving results.
  • Pipelining, an important performance optimization.

If you’re interested in more content like this, please check out Redis University on YouTube.

We also offer free online Redis courses where you can earn a Certificate of Completion for your LinkedIn profile. Sign up at our website.

If you want to see the second video in this series, click here


Image for post
Image for post

I decided to build a small application that would demonstrate some features of Redis in a fun and engaging way. I quickly hit upon the idea of a prize draw web application that would serve as the basis of a Meetup talk during which we’d actually use the application to give away some prizes.

This article isn’t a complete explainer for how the application works, it’s more of a look at the process and how the data is stored and managed in Redis. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo Credit: William Warby (Creative Commons 2.0 License)

I’ve written several articles before using Low Voltage Labs Traffic Light LEDs for Raspberry Pi, but never tried this with Arduino before. A little while back I noticed that they also make Traffic Lights for Arduino and Breadboards so I decided to try these out using a couple of different types of Arduino board that I had on hand:

  • Arduino Uno: Ideal for trying the lights by plugging them straight into the headers already attached to the Arduino. This board uses a USB B port for its power and data connection to the Arduino IDE.
  • Adafruit Feather Huzzah ESP8266: Ideal for trying the breadboard approach as the board has leg like headers that attach all the pins to a breadboard. This board uses a micro USB port for its power and data connection to the Arduino IDE. Note you need to buy the version of the board with the headers attached unless you want to solder your own on there. …


Image for post
Image for post
On one of my regular San Diego waterfront rides.

I grew up in Nottingham, England in the 1980s-90s. At the time this was the home of the Raleigh bicycles HQ and factory, so almost everyone rode a Raleigh. They were solid bikes, and everybody had a relative who worked for the company or knew someone who did. I had a Raleigh Commando, then an Ultra Burner BMX before swapping to the Raleigh Équipe 12 speed road bike. At that time, I had a regular cycle route of around 16 miles through a few local villages and I would ride with a friend. He had a Peugeot road bike with Reynolds 501 tubing and indexed gears. …

About

Simon Prickett

Software Professional, builder of things with Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store