Recent Blog articles

The "ultimate" Thinkpad

In 2019 I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad X230 with the intention of using it as cheap laptop for travel/home use. Being a X series thinkpad the construction quality was good, but the display was absolutely terrible – a 1366x768 TN panel.
Sep 27, 2020 - 14 min read

How to get the best out of your Yubikey with GPG

I’ve been using a set of Yubikeys for some time now, not just for 2FA but for SSH authentication, remote code signing and password storage too.
May 19, 2020 - 14 min read

How to set up a wireguard VPN in minutes with dsnet

TL;DR: Check out dsnet for an easy way to manage a wireguard VPN. Background Wireguard is a relatively new VPN tunnel. It is now in the linux 5.
May 8, 2020 - 5 min read

Modifying my Gaggia Classic Espresso machine

I’ve owned a Gaggia Classic (pre-2015) coffee machine for about 4 years now. It’s served me rather well, and still produces delicious coffee. Triple shots of 100% crema!
Jan 20, 2019 - 12 min read

Universal wall mounted touchscreen bezel

After moving house, I no longer had my elaborate DIY home-automation setup running. I no longer had my touchscreens in place of lightswitches as detailed here.
Dec 30, 2018 - 3 min read

Large Horn Subwoofer Build

A few years ago I built a massive folded horn subwoofer that now lives in our lounge. It’s approximately the size of a refrigerator, and will happily produce bass that can distort your vision!
Dec 29, 2018 - 16 min read

Dstask, a Taskwarrior Alternative

Foreword: If you’ve just discovered dstask, I recommend the README file which contains everything you need to know! I’ve been using taskwarrior (which I still maintain is excellent) to track what I have to do on a daily basis.
Dec 27, 2018 - 3 min read

3D printed wall mounted touchscreen panels from Amazon Fire tablets

For my home-automation project I needed some professional-looking touchscreen panels capable of running the web-based interface that I developed to control my home. Looking around, I concluded that I’d have to make the panels myself given the proprietary nature and expense of existing home automation control panels.
Mar 17, 2016 - 7 min read

ESP8266 based Tank level sensor

I needed a way of measuring the volume of remaining fuel inside a 1200 Ltr fuel tank. The tank is outside, far away from my main home automation controller computer.
Feb 27, 2016 - 5 min read

Quick hack: Breadboard VESA laptop stand

Just a quick hack! I needed a decent laptop stand. I happened to have a few spare VESA monitor arm mounts. I ordered a breadboard on ebay together with some black M4 countersunk bolts, some washers and Nyloctmnuts.
Jan 31, 2016 - 1 min read

HomePlug AV network failover

My home network is reasonably fault tolerant; the main router is on UPS, as is my HP MicroServer running ubuntu. I use 2 HomePlugAV 500 network adapters for a reliable connection (compared to WiFi) between the server and the router as they are on different floors.
Jan 22, 2016 - 3 min read

RCDoS: cause a power cut from your phone

Moving into a new house, I felt I needed a way to test the RCDs and wiring on ring mains. It was an excellent opportunity to over-engineer something for the sake of it.
Feb 2, 2015 - 3 min read

Dsdrop: instant file sharing server

Early 2014, I needed a way of sharing file via a quick URL. Not willing to use dropbox or similar, I created DSDROP. DSDROP uses content addressable storage for de-duplication and instant uploads – if the server has already seen the file there is no need to re-upload it.
Feb 1, 2015 - 1 min read

Introducing algalon, a network portal that measures health

Algalon servers Algalon is a nodejs based network monitor/portal. It continuously tests your network infrastructure and computes the overall health metric of the network based on the number of passing tests.
Jan 18, 2015 - 2 min read

DIY linkwitz-riley active crossover

…OK so partially DIY. I got a pre-made PCB from ebay. I used a big die-cast aluminium box. Used a centre punch, scribe and combination square (later realised the box itself was not square).
Nov 20, 2014 - 2 min read

Introducing Megafilter

In my previous blog post I wrote about my idea for a google reader replacement suitable for my workflow. It’s written in NodeJS, and can load subscriptions from a google-reader takeoout.
Apr 5, 2013 - 3 min read

The demise of google reader

Google have decided to kill Google Reader. This has annoyed me. There are some open-source and cloud alternatives out there, such as newsblur. The internet is going bananas about what Google have done, it’s just a matter of time before a standard replacement emerges.
Mar 16, 2013 - 2 min read

Simple node app deployment

There are so many different ways to deploy a node app around the internet. Here’s my way. A way I no longer use. Use git for version control
Nov 11, 2012 - 1 min read