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 (buster)) that was released after the article. Instead of finding the autostart file in ~/.config, it was in /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi

Here’s what it looks like:

Yeah, I should put some real photos in there, not memes 🙂

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 comics were in that day and they were about to ring up the total — I asked them to be sure to include “cardboards and plastics” … quickly earning a chuckle from our adult daughter. “It’s bags and boards, Dad,” she interjected with a tinge of embarrassment.

It reminded me of something a former co-worker once said about the importance of learning the correct terms to use for a domain, as part of establishing your credibility. It’s not “a database,” it’s “Azure Cloud Storage.” For iOS Swift programming, they aren’t “class members” – they are “properties.” For embedded development, it isn’t “bit banging” but “direct register manipulation” – although the paucity of results for a quick Google of that mouthful of a phrase makes me wonder if my professor last quarter had their own “cardboards and plastics” moment. 🙂

.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.