I’m by no means a programmer, nor do I have any engineering, soldering, coding, or other technical background other than sysadmin stuff. I’m a pretty solid shell scripter and make a relatively comfortable living as a freelance sysadmin, but even we self-employed people have personal projects. Mine are oriented toward home automation and monitoring and, lately, kicking Microsoft around a bit.

Taking on Microsoft (and Winning)

In May of 2016 Microsoft sneakily modified their months-old Get Windows X application to behave differently, tricking unknown numbers of Windows 7 and Windows 8 users into updating before we were ready. One such victim was my grandfather, who required my help to get his PC recovered. Microsoft is still on the hook for what they did to my grandparents’ household, but I made them pay me in the meantime! Read more >>

Raspberry Pi Perimeter Radio System (RPiPRS)

This gadget is built around an original Raspberry Pi A, cheap 433mhz chips and sensors from Ebay, a massive boost from NinjaBlocks, and a few hundred lines of shell script. It notifies audibly when doors or windows open, sends text alerts for door, window, motion, or water sensors when armed, and will soon be expanding to utilize multiple Pis and maybe Arduinos and a robust web interface. The RPiPRS is under HEAVY development and I’m an awful developer. Stay tuned at your peril. Read more >>

Tail Pet

Building on the Pisec project and inspired by cats who don’t like to come home when they’re supposed to, the Tail Pet combines a tiny 433mhz RF transmitter, an ultra-power-efficient Arduino with a massive (relative) battery, some soldering, and a bit of custom 3D printing. A cat or dog with one of these will radio ping a home station like the Pisec a dedicated code every few seconds when nearby (range specs TBD), and can be located with a handheld beacon device like in all the movies as soon as I get around to building one. The Tail Pet is in the prototype phase, which for an untrained amateur nobody like me means I’m smashing my keyboard in FreeCAD and hoping it prints a collar enclosure. Read more >>