Adapting CEC controls to RS-232

In this article, we will instill a Raspberry Pi with some magic in order for a TV to talk to a hifi amplifier. By the end of the journey, we’ll have the Pi pretending to be an AV receiver, intercepting commands from the HDMI CEC bus, and relaying them to the amp via a combination of serial and IR control outputs.

Zip tie to smartify: the dumbest way to upgrade your appliance

Any owners of Samsung laundry appliances out there will know they play a distinctive jingle when finishing a job. I find it incredibly annoying (mostly because it becomes stuck in my head for at least two days after hearing it), however disabling the chime causes me to forget to unload my clothes until I run out of boxers. I’m not a fan of most smart home products, because I distrust the cloud and I like to have control of my data. The only off-the-shelf “smart” products I have are simple Zigbee (802.15.4) devices, and a Roomba (because it can be configured for local control, with its cloud functionality disabled). Thus, when I bought a new washer and dryer a few years ago, I opted for non-smart variants, thus sacrificing a built-in notification capability. In this post, I’ll exhibit my stubbornness by explaining how I used Home Assistant, ESPHome, and some magic to get my dryer to tell me when it’s done without playing that awful song.

Scraping wildfire timeseries data with NLP

New Mexico is facing a severe fire season, and I wanted to visualize the progression of the major fires that are currently ongoing. However, I could not find a usable source of data on daily size and containment statistics. A repository of daily updates exists, however as articles rather than structured data. I ended up scraping the website and applying natural language processing to extract the desired data. The library and utility is available on my GitHub.

The keyboard nobody asked for

Late last year, I was finally exposed to the comfort of the Ergodox – a staggered-column, split keyboard. However, having been using 60% keyboards for the previous decade, I felt like it had too many keys. While some minimalist split ortho options did exist, I found many of them too minimal or too diverged from the Ergodox design, which I did like in theory. Like any sane person, I proceeded to learn an entirely new skill in order to fulfill my need for a keyboard that was kinda like an Ergodox but with fewer keys.

A demonstration of TDOA multilateration

Yesterday, a thread popped up on r/Albuquerque where users attempted to identify the source of a loud explosion in the early morning. A few individuals provided their locations and timestamps at which their surveillance cameras detected the sound. I thought I could use this information to pinpoint its source using multilateration.