A quick summary before I work on the year-end post.
More work on the tree tomography project, including much writeup on Hackaday.io:
- Hammer of Science: a da Vinci hammer first done in cardboard and then wood.
- Code for microsecond-level time-of-flight measurements.
- Initial analysis & graphing.
- A prototype board for the Pi Pico, with connections for the piezo sensors, that doesn’t suck.
Side note: I wanted to see what it was like to document things on Hackaday.io, so I added the project & was curious to see how I’d like it. While the site has a few little hiccups, it’s pretty good. What stood out to me, though, was how much I wrote there as opposed to here. I think there are a few reasons for that: the different audience (and, honestly, the chance for a nice dopamine attention hit); the novelty of writing on a different website; and the ease of adding images.
That last point is pretty big: I’d never thought before about what a difference that makes. I work with Emacs, and as a text editor I love it – but the process I have for adding pictures is clumsy. This needs some thought; I know there are graphical markdown editors, but I’d hate the idea of giving up the sheer flexibility I have with Emacs.
Not exactly hardware hacking, but: I got a Keychron Q8 programmable mechanical keyboard, and OMFG I love it. The switches are Gateron G Pro Reds, so it’s fairly quiet. I’d never understood the appeal of mechanical keyboards before, but I get it now. But the programmable part is even bigger; I’m able to set this up with the keyboard shortcuts I’d always wanted.
Began working on replicating a project written up on Hackaday.com in 2016: a one-pixel camera. There was an episode of the Hackaday podcast where one of the hosts called for people to trawl through that site’s vast archive and look for fun projects; that seemed like a great idea, and in short order I tripped over the one-pixel camera. This was a great excuse to order a bunch of servos, so I did. Current status:
- I was able to get an X-Y setup with two servos and an Arduino
controlling them directly, and have it scan a field of view
- I’m now working on duplicating that by controlling (and powering) them through a PCA9685 module.
- I was able to set up a single photoresistor & get measurements from it.
- I’ve got Python code to graph those measurements.
So far, the results aren’t great, but I’m plugging away on it.
- I was able to get an X-Y setup with two servos and an Arduino controlling them directly, and have it scan a field of view successfully.
More observations for iNaturalist, of course.
I’ve taken a couple of freshwater samples from local streams to keep at home, so that I can examine the organisms in there a bit closer. I’ve found Eucyclops, copepods, pocopods, and pea clams. Terribly fun!
Still trying to book a meeting with my MLA; this has taken longer than expected. But I was able to meet her, along with my federal MP, briefly at a Christmas community event & talk about climate action, so there’s that.
Switched retirement investments away from TD due to their refusal to take climate change seriously.
Attended the Vancouver climate march in September.
Emailed New Westminster City Council about following Nanaimo’s example and banning new natural gas hookups; got reply from 2 councillors (both in favour) and the mayor (in favour, though wants to see how this can be worked into current city policy). In general, I’m very happy with how our current mayor & council are handling this…though I’d like to see more serious engagement from the New West Progressives, who seem more focused on scoring points than actually getting anything done (whether about climate or anything else).
Submissions to the BC government against the Ksi Lisims LNG project.
- I’m continuing to learn Italian through beginner courses at the Italian Cultural Centre. This is really fun; it’s such a stretch for my brain. My reading comprehension is coming along; my spoken comprehension is, uh, ripe for improvement; and I’m still slogging through the grammar and tenses. The “Italiano Bello” and “Simple Italian” podcasts help a lot.