Music meme: day 21 of 30

Aug. 21st, 2017 12:50 pm
liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
[personal profile] liv
A favourite song with a person's name in the title: Several options for this one, but I'm going with Hey there Delilah by Plain White T's. I generally really like songs that tell a bit of a story, and I can imagine the characters in this one so vividly. I like the balance of emotions; it's a sad song about missing a lover, but it's also optimistic and the music is at least somewhat catchy. And I like that they're apart because they're both pursuing their careers, it's not some passive muse waiting for her artist boyfriend to come home. It's not my usual musical style; indeed I discovered it simply by listening to chart radio like some young person who's in touch with the recent music scene.

Besides, I've been in long-distance relationships pretty much my entire adult life, so I can really relate. But no longer; I haven't posted about this in public yet, but in a couple of weeks I'm properly moving to Cambridge. So I'll be living full time in the same house as my husband and the same town as my Other Significant Others. And I won't be spending every Friday and Sunday evening commuting. I'm really really looking forward to this next phase in my life, but also at the moment up to my ears in arranging the move, and quite emotional about leaving the situation I've been settled in for 8 years.

This weekend I lead my last Shabbat morning service with my lovely community. They are understandably nervous about the future without me, and I will miss them absolutely terribly. I talked a bit about Re'eh, making sure that there's no comparison between Moses saying farewell to the Israelites and me saying farewell now. I discussed keeping sanctity while you're living in an imperfect situation, far away from Jewish centres. What compromises can you make (eating meat without making a Temple sacrifice) and what lines can't be crossed (worshipping in Pagan sites)? Then it will go well for you and your children after you, for all of time, because you will do what is good and right in the eyes of the Eternal your God. And we ate cakes made by my sister and the community gave me some really nice silver Shabbat candlesticks with engraved stands.

[personal profile] jack came up to help me sort the flat out. In lots of ways the decision making is the harder part of packing than the physical labour, so having my husband with me was an amazing help. I am really looking forward to living with him and properly sharing the work of running a household, because we're such a great team. Not just one day in the distant future when our dreams come true, but next month:
We'll have it good
We'll have the life we knew we would
My word is good

video embed )
chebe: (AsciiC)
[personal profile] chebe
This is a fun one. I was playing with my Explorer pHAT and noticed that every time I Ctrl-C'd out of a script I'd get a message;

Broadcast message from root@raspberrypi (somewhere):

BCM 4 held low, system shutdown in 5 minutes


Broadcast message from root@raspberrypi:

The system is going down for power-off!


And yes, the pi would turn off. Every single time.

I don't know why the Explorer pHAT seems to pull BCM 4 low upon exit, when none of my other pHATs do. But I do know why that was triggering a shutdown.

I had also installed (though not in use) the Zero LiPo SHIM and the OnOff SHIM. They both install the clean-shutdown library that does just what it says, shuts down your pi when BCM 4 is held low.

It installs the cleanshutd service, but it didn't respond to my attempts to stop it, so I had to disable it.

In /boot/config.txt add;
disable_cleanshutd=1
Save, exit, reboot. Then you can play around with your Explorer pHAT in peace.
sporky_rat: Jars of orange fruit, backlit (food)
[personal profile] sporky_rat

It has been a week. It's been a busy week, but a week none-the-less.

We have Nico this weekend because Jenna's gone to Florida to go get her dude and drive with him back so they can get Nico registered for school. School started a week and a half ago, but he couldn't be registered because the school district can't accept the notarized paper stating that Jenna lives in the house that doesn't have her name on it.

Weird, I know, the utility folks accepted it.

My meds have given me back my ability to eat. It's distressing because it's hard to feed yourself with a minimum of effort. I see a lot of oatmeal in my future. (It's easy to cook. It's easy to eat, especially if I put a glug of maple syrup in it.)

I did cookie balls so they can baked off at will and did up the five ingredient biscuits from Budget Bytes that require heavy cream instead of butter. They usually work pretty well. I like them. They're tasty and easy.

I have grapes, kiwi, a cantaloupe of some sort (it's got a fancy name), we'll have corn on the cob tonight and I need to figure out something for these beets.

Helsinki, Worldcon

Aug. 18th, 2017 12:04 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
That was not the Worldcon I would have liked; I'd hoped to do as several of my friends did, and travel overland and explore some of the region. Or at least to really get immersed in the con itself. And I'd have liked a proper holiday with my partners and their children, which hasn't really happened this year though we've had a few short breaks.

In reality I was only able to go for the long weekend. I spent an eye-watering amount of money on a trip that didn't quite work for me, between flights, accommodation, Worldcon membership (when I actually only ended up attending for half a day), and just general living expenses in a not very well planned trip to an expensive city. It feels churlish to complain about being in a position to spend a bit too much on a less than perfect trip, and in many ways it was good, just not quite what I'd hoped for.

more details )

Agent Carter is back up!

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:36 pm
sporky_rat: Nyota Uhura in TOS Mirror Universe uniform (star trek)
[personal profile] sporky_rat
However, I don't remember how to start IRC on the commandline for Ubuntu (I do remember my password but not the instructions).

Also, um. How does one go about updating Ubuntu? I'm not quite sure which edition I'm on but it's definitely a few years old. (When did I take Microbiology? At least that long ago.)

Reading Wednesday 16/08

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:28 pm
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
Recently read:
  • Dzur by Steven Brust.

    I didn't love this; I'm not sure how much it's a weaker member of the series and how much it's me. It is book 10 in a set of 19, of which the last five are still to be written. I may have left it too long since I read the previous volumes, or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it. I decided I couldn't be bothered following all the complex allusions to the meta-structure of the whole series, and as a single novel it's never more than just ok. I didn't find Vlad's voice or Loiosh's asides witty, and the pacing dragged, and I didn't care about the mystery. Because I hadn't been following the chronology properly, the twist at the end wasn't a delightful surprise, it just unsatisfyingly didn't make sense.

    When I was reading 50 books a year, I intended to read the whole series, because both the individual novels and the way they fit together into a complex whole appeal to me. Now that I read more like 15 or 20, I'm thinking I may drop this. Not sure; one weaker book doesn't mean the whole series isn't worth bothering with.

  • A taste of honey by Kai Ashante Wilson. This was a Hugo-nominated novella, which meant that several of my friends read it, and were enthusiastic about it. So I ended up reading the copy from my Hugo packet on the way back from Worldcon, which is not exactly in the spirit of things. And I regret not reading it in time to vote for it, not that it would have made much difference since McGuire's Every heart a doorway (which I wasn't keen on) won by miles.

    Anyway, this is a really amazing fantasy romance story. It's beautifully written, great characters, twisty, thought-provoking plot. The worldbuilding is really deep; looking it up it turns out this is a companion novella in the setting of a novel, which I'm now definitely going to seek out. I had dismissed Wilson's Sorcerer of the Wildeeps mainly because the name is so clunky; I assumed it was parodic or just really generic swords and sorcery.

    It's hard to describe exactly what's so great about AToH without spoilers, but it's a really moving romance, and has a lot to say about choices and sacrifices made for love. [personal profile] jack thought it maybe needed some content warnings; some of the content is about homophobia and abusive parenting. To me it didn't feel like misery porn, it felt as if it centred its variously Queer characters and described some of the bad things in their life as well as the good. But I can imagine some readers finding it hard going.

    Up next: The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. I'd been meaning to read this, though I'm a little scared of what I've heard about it, and I've now bumped it up my list since the sequel won a second Hugo.
  • Controlling Ikea Trådfri lights

    Aug. 17th, 2017 08:45 pm
    chebe: (Candles)
    [personal profile] chebe
    The Ikea Trådfri lights look very interesting. While not cheap, they are much more affordable than other wireless 'smart' lighting. They don't do RGB colours (yet), but you can control the colour temperature; ordinary neutral soft yellow, a warm orange, or a bright white. You can also dim the lights, and of course, turn them on and off. They don't do too much, but what they do they do well, and there don't appear to be any major security holes. But most interestingly, they use ZigBee, and seem to be built on top of a lot of open source stuff. Which means, there are already tools to play with them.

    First thing you're going to need to do is get some Trådfri lights. They do have a starter kit, but I wanted the smaller E14 bulbs so I built my own (for not much extra). You'll need the Gateway hub, a control device (remote control definitely works, I don't know about using the dimming set, or motion sensor instead), at least one bulb, and have a lamp/socket to put it in.



    Supplies; gateway, remote control, two E14 bulbs, and two lamp shades
    Photo by chebegeek



    The Gateway has a companion app to set everything up. You pair the app (your phone) to the Gateway, then you pair the Remote Control to the Gateway. Then you add the bulbs (pairing through the Remote Control) one by one. The app lets you arrange the bulbs into separate groups, or lump them all into one if you prefer. Once all that is done, it's time to build your own control interface.

    Mostly I followed this excellent tutorial from the lovely Pimoroni crew.

    sudo apt-get install build-essential autoconf automake libtool
    (Or on Fedora;
    sudo dnf install build autoconf automake libtool)

    git clone --recursive https://github.com/obgm/libcoap.git
    cd libcoap
    git checkout dtls
    git submodule update --init --recursive
    ./autogen.sh
    ./configure --disable-documentation --disable-shared
    make
    sudo make install


    You're going to need the Gateway IP address. You can log into the router, or scan the network. The Pimoroni tutorial found their's at 192.168.0.10. I found mine at 192.168.0.20, so it probably jumps in steps of 10 until it finds an empty slot.
    There is a Security Code on the base of your Gateway, you'll need to make a note of it.

    The endpoint protocol is coaps:// and the port is :5684, followed by 15001 to control bulbs individually, or 15004 to control as a group.

    A good way to start is by sending info requests to both endpoints;
    coap-client -m get -u "Client_identity" -k "your_security_code" "coaps://192.168.0.20:5684/15001"
    You'll get back an array of devices;
    [65536,65537,65538]
    It's a bit predictable. The first number is your remote control, the next two are bulbs, in the order you paired them.

    coap-client -m get -u "Client_identity" -k "your_security_code" "coaps://192.168.0.20:5684/15004"
    Also gives you back an array, but with the group ids, which seem much less predictable. (You can also find the group ids in the app.)

    You can append the ids to the requests to get more information about each. Helpfully, there is an English description (i.e. "TRADFRI remote control", "TRADFRI bulb...", etc) returned in each.

    The bulbs have a field "3311" with detailed state information. You can set parts of this to control the lights with -m put commands, e.g.;
    coap-client -m put -u "Client_identity" -k "your_security_code" -e '{ "3311": [{ "5850": 0 }] }' "coaps://192.168.0.20:5684/15001/65537"
    "5850" controls on/off and takes 0 or 1.
    "5851" controls brightness, and takes values between 0 and 255.
    "5709" and "5710" seem to work together to control the colour temperature. Valid values can be found by using the Remote Control, and then querying the state. The three main ones seem to be;
    -e '{ "3311": [{ "5709":24933, "5710":24691 }] }' for bright white,
    -e '{ "3311": [{ "5709":33137, "5710":27211 }] }' for warm orange,
    -e '{ "3311": [{ "5709":30138, "5710":26909 }] }' for neutral yellow.


    But this is all from the terminal. There is a nice python wrapper (with come convenience calls) if you want to start calling it from python, which is helpful if you want to start using python libraries for interfacing with hardware on your Raspberry Pi Zero W. But you'll find all of that in the tutorial.

    There's also so much beautiful info in the thread that started all this. Have fun!



    Ikea Trådfri lights controlled from Raspberry Pi Zero W
    Photo by chebegeek

    Print+ DIY Headphones

    Aug. 14th, 2017 01:41 pm
    chebe: (Purple - DanceLikeNooneisWatching)
    [personal profile] chebe
    On 13 October 2015 I backed a crowd-funding campaign for DIY headphones. The plan being, they send you the electronic bits, and the fabric bits, and you 3D print the form (from designs they would provide). Seemed pretty sweet to me. And to many other people, because the next day it was successfully funded.

    Around 9 May 2017 the electronics and squishy bits arrived. They were still tweaking the 3D design files, but it didn't matter much as I'd lost my access to 3D printers. They said they would be partnering up with 3D Hubs to help out people in my situation, so I scoped out some prices. They went from hundreds of euro, to thousands. I didn't order any. Shortly thereafter Print+ opened their own store selling printed parts for only €35. Much better! I ordered as soon as I could on 30 May. There was more of a delay, as I think they actually started doing the printing themselves. They sent me an apology, a discount code, and I got a shipment notice 26 July. They finally arrived last week, 10 August.

    13 October 2015 to 10 August 2017. But, I now have some nifty headphones.

    Assembly details )

    The fit is tight to the head, which I actually appreciate as there is less loss of sound. They're incredibly light-weight, and definitely possess an unique look. They also sound damned good, especially for the price tag.



    Print+ Headphones (design #1) in PolyMatte Grey and purple
    Photo by chebegeek

    just a passing through to say

    Aug. 11th, 2017 01:03 pm
    sporky_rat: The Roman Orator from Rome. Text: listen the hell up! (listen to me!)
    [personal profile] sporky_rat
    My love for Ke$ha will probably not fail me.

    Music meme: day 20 of 30

    Aug. 11th, 2017 11:48 am
    liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
    [personal profile] liv
    A song that has many meanings for you. I think this has to be Some kind of stranger by Sisters of Mercy. Partly because it's lyrically complex; I have never been sure if it's about a positive relationship or a breakup, a long-term connection or a casual affair, and it may well not be about romantic love at all.

    This is another song that [personal profile] doseybat introduced me to when we were teenagers. So it's tied up with discovering alternative music and the goth scene, and forming my own tastes in music as well as more broadly. A period of my life when I think I did the most growing up.

    In some ways it's a song about keeping faith in spite of everything that might push you towards despair. And that's why I keep coming back to it, whether it's faith in a person or just more broadly:
    And I know the world is cold
    But if we hold on tight to what we find
    We might not mind so much
    That even this must pass away

    Then it's the soundtrack of my PhD. The bit where my brother had a bad accident and I was in an emotional mess, but the science was still inspiring and still needed doing. The bit where it wasn't inspiring any more, it was a slog, and I had to keep going. One more step, one more flask of cells, one more measurement. The long repetitive bit at the end Come here I think you're beautiful over and over again, when I was sitting in the cell culture room with my headphones a portable tape player, and just keeping my cells alive and nourished before I could actually do any experiments took about three hours three times a week. You can't miss a sesssion or the cells die or mutate and you lose months of work. You have to concentrate enough not to get anything contaminated, but it's not exactly intellectually stimulating. In fact, a lot of the point of my PhD was providing justification for replacing me with a robot, but grad students are cheaper than robots, and I was just sitting there screening through hundreds of potential new drugs.

    It's also a song about making friends with [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel, towards the end of that PhD and the years just afterwards. [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel is also a Sisters fan and gave me a recording of one of their concerts, since it's nearly impossible to buy studio versions of most of their music since the 80s. The ambiguous words might be about a sudden, intense yet enduring friendship, maybe. Some kind of stranger / some kind of angel.

    And even though it's a pretty downbeat song, it's a very happy song for me now. It promised me that I could endure, and I have. My brother is fine now. I still love most of the people who sustained me in my late teens and early 20s. I've succeeded at some things that were hard and failed at others, but I have people who love me for myself, not my achievements. And nothing is permanent, but as long as I'm here and get to experience things and love people, I can cope with that.

    video embed, audio only )
    vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
    [personal profile] vlion
    Looking for jobs in EU West Europe now. Not aggressively, but seriously. Focusing on Germany and France. Others I know less about, but am interested in.

    I can execute in a senior software engineer position or a early-stage lead SW engineer; interested in doing the management gig too. Dev skills are backend, devops/sre, embedded. Linux very strongly preferred; preferred technology stack would be statically typed.

    I typically multitask with a wide variety of ongoing projects. Soft skills including gathering ad-hoc cross-functional teams with an intense focus on total user experience and delivering quality within conflicting multistakeholder environments.

    Master's in CS. 20 years of coding, over 13 years getting paid for it (academia, industry).


    Companies of interest would be stable and profitable; government or academia would be more than acceptable as well.

    Native English speaker, two years college German, self-teaching French.

    US citizen, no convictions, need visas for self, spouse (also no convictions, has grad degree), young child.

    Contracts no shorter than 2 years are fine. Estimated preferred duration of stay somewhere in the 3-7 year term.