• Engineering

    IoT CV Project Demo

    The Internet of Things + Computer Vision = “Remote Roller” I’ll post more about this shortly. For now, enjoy this demo video. You can find all the code on GitHub.

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  • Engineering

    Un-Expected Value and a Slow Snake

    I just finished the latest course towards my Masters in Electrical Engineering at UW – Probability and Random Processes for Electrical Engineering. And yeah, I got an A (>100%). And I’m glad I took it even though I had, years and years ago, taken Stochastics at Johns Hopkins. Although core concepts like probabilities, random variables and the like haven’t changed, the options available to engineers for numerical methods seem more practical now. Our final project involved using a Naïve Bayes Classifier to classify handwritten digits from the large MNIST database ( http://yann.lecun.com/exdb/mnist/ ). First you train your classifier against 60,000 training images (handwritten digits from 0 to 9) and then…

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  • Engineering,  Leadership

    Back in the Engineering Saddle Again

    A little over two years ago, fresh off the heels of helping ready my company’s part of the Internet for the GDPR, I offered to again take up the leadership of a small team I had led before – this time to launch another SaaS offering – this time in payments. The opportunity aligned well with my personal goal of leveling up my leadership skills with what was then an eye on a director of engineering role, and it also aligned with a engineering roadmap I had set forth nearly five years ago to get hardware related work (specifically integrating our software with mobile payments and point of sale hardware)…

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  • Engineering,  Hardware

    Z Nope

    I was excited to start setting up the Z-Wave bridge. That excitement has dimmed. I’m got the device in the mail, whipped out the installation instructions, plugged it into my Pi and… The first step was to run a curl command to a http site and pipe it to sudo bash. Eeek. I mean I know people joke that the “S” in IoT is for “Security” but this wasn’t funny. I’d never ever do such a thing on a device and trust that device again. I proceeded against my better judgement to see how far the rabbit hole went. (I’ve since disconnected the Pi from the Ethernet and will reflash…

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  • Engineering,  Hardware,  RF

    A Photogenic Z-Wave Bridge

    We’re moving away from Z-Wave tech and investing more deeply in Apple HomeKit. Part of that will include using a Raspberry Pi to act as a Z-Wave bridge until we (eventually) replace the Z-Wave devices with devices supported by HomeKit natively. And because it would be boring just to plugin in a headless Raspberry Pi, I decided to have it do double duty as a digital picture frame using a neat little touchscreen by EVICIV. This article covered most of the setup needed to use feh and xscreensaver, although I did need to do one tweak, probably because I am running a relatively new version of Raspbian (Raspbian GNU/Linux 10…

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  • Engineering

    Cardboards and Plastics

    The family and I headed up to our “local” comic book store, Everett Comics, to pick up the latest issues waiting for us in our subscription box. Because of the pandemic, this involves parking and calling inside the store and asking them to bring them out for curbside delivery. They don’t have a mobile card reader yet (that’s something I can help them with soon) so there is a bit of give and take and back and forth and waiting as they shuttle payment in and out of the store, but that’s another post for another day. What was remarkable about this trip is that — after we checked what…

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  • DotNET,  Engineering,  Hardware

    .NET 5 + Blink an LED

    Microsoft announced the release of .NET 5 today… and included an example with the quintessential “blink an LED” that is the Hello World of the embedded IoT space. Can’t wait to try it on one of my development boards. https://devblogs.microsoft.com/dotnet/announcing-net-5-0/ https://github.com/dotnet/iot/blob/master/samples/led-blink/Program.cs

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  • Career,  Engineering

    Expertise in Your Craft

    There is a world of distance between being expert in this system and being an actual expert in your chosen craft. The second is seniority; the first is merely .. familiarity https://charity.wtf/2020/11/01/questionable-advice-the-trap-of-the-premature-senior/

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  • Engineering

    STM32CubeIDE FreeRTOS Include Paths

    This was odd. I’m noting here so 1) I don’t forget and 2) in case anyone else runs into this. My STM32CubeIDE 1.4.0 based project was building fine, I used the STM32CubeMX editor to unlink PC13 from the user button since it was limiting my RTC configuration. On saving and re-generating, a bunch of my FreeRTOS includes stopped being found by the compiler. Scrutinzing the diff of my .cproject file showed all of the paths had been removed from the configuration. I added them all back in and the project resumed building normally. It is possible this is because I’ve switched to Windows based development for this project, or it…

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  • Engineering

    Connected Home Over IP… Progress!

    Announced today: Project Connected Home over IP Connectivity Standard Developing Into Reality Follow along at: https://www.connectedhomeip.com/ Or on GitHub: https://github.com/project-chip/connectedhomeip#connected-home-over-ip

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