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A Raspberry Pi light switch API with Node-RED

My brother has been working on a small project to control some ¬†Christmas lights with a Raspberry Pi. He is using the Energenie system, and followed¬†MiniGirlGeeks python example¬†to get things working, and set up a cron job to syncronize his four (yes four) sets of lights. He then asked for pointers on controlling them via a web page served from the Pi, and I immediately thought that Node-RED might be a great solution. I don’t have the Energenie setup, but using my Pibrella LEDs as a substiture, I thought I’d put together a quick hack to show him how it might be done.

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On Wearable computing…

I’m getting a smart watch for my birthday. It’s a big one, the birthday not the smart watch, although I’ll admit the current models aren’t the smallest arm wear ever. Ever since Android Wear and the first three Android Wear smart watches were announced, I’ve wanted one. Not because they are new technology¬†and¬†the latest thing, or because I want to show off. My phone is over two years old, and my tablet is even older – my tech purchases tend not to be on a whim. No, I want one because I genuinely think it will remove some pain points in my interactions with my phone, and I can see the potential for a smart watch to make my life a bit easier.

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Elite: Dangerous – First Impressions

As a fan of the original Elite, first released way back in 1984, I gave in to temptation and backed Elite: Dangerous on Kickstarter. E:D is actually Elite 4 by a better name, and had long been considered vapourware. David Braben, co-author of the original, and author of the two later followups in the early 90’s had often talked about a possible new version, ¬†taking the game back to its roots and exploiting powerful new hardware to build on the original experience. For twenty years or so ¬†it was all¬†just talk, until last year when the stars came into alignment, and a Kickstarter fund raising project was launched. It was an overwhelming success, and as a backer, I finally got to play the upcoming new game when the standard beta started earlier this week.

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Adventures in MQTT, MongoDB and REST ‚Äď Part 2

In part 1 of my adventures in MQTT, MongoDB and REST ¬†I described the project I’m working on in my free time, and how I want to use it to explore these technologies. In part 2, the focus will be on MongoDB, since that was really the first part of the puzzle I needed to get working. Once I have the database in place, I can start feeding it with data, and creating the API to access it.

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Adventures in MQTT, MongoDB and REST – Part 1

Unfortunately my day job doesn’t involve much of the new technology I see talked about, but ¬†I do like to keep up where I can. Since the start of the year, in my free time I have been starting to scratch the surface of MQTT, MongoDB and REST. ¬†I have an existing project which I’m updating, and ¬†thought it might be worth jotting down a few thoughts as I go, probably over several posts. In this first post, I’ll cover a bit of background and outline ‘the plan’, with future posts going more technical as appropriate.

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Lies, damn lies and statistics

A friend on Facebook posted the following image of a newspaper cutting, and it piqued my interest because, despite not being a fan of either club, it really annoys me when people misuse statistics posed as facts, just to score points off a rival.

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Newcastle, City, and The Offside Rule

I had the Newcastle v Man City match on while I was working at my PC (I feed games through to one of my monitors), when the ref disallowed what would have been a crucial, and spectacular, equaliser for Newcastle. On first look, it appeared to be a legitimate goal, but after a brief discussion the ref disallowed the goal due offside. An instant twitter storm erupted, with many people immediately castigating the referee for an awful decision, but was it an awful decision? I took a look at the various FIFA documents to try and work it out.

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