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From RPi to ESPHome, from DIY to a professional solution

Avid readers of this blog may know that I have add a few temperature sensors to my heating setup (exactly 8 of them), in order to troubleshoot an issue we had as we moved into our new house. The description how I did that is described in this post. I used DS18B20 sensors and a Raspberry Pi to monitor temperature changes which delivered measurements to my Homeassistant installation over MQTT using rpi-temperature-mqtt . Over time, I added more and more functionality to this RPi: controlling the boiler via relays and also monitoring the serial bus of my Buderus boiler. Adding all these functions incrementally was pretty simple, but as a professional software engineer, I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable with how I would reproduce the same installation should the RPi fail. As a software professional I believe in CI/CD systems, automated tests and deployment. Infrastructure as Code and all that. I have to confess that this deployment was completely unlike show it should have been don
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From admiration to contempt - Frontier Development plc & Elite Dangerous

This post is somewhat unusual to this blog, this time it is not about syslog-ng , home automation or electronics: I would like to share an experience I had recently with a Frontier Developments plc , a Video Game company, a quite respectable one at that. The story starts ~30 years ago, when I was a boy in early teenage years, saw a game called "Elite" on a friend's computer, running on a C64. The friend also had a floppy drive for his C64, which cost a fortune (roughly the same price as the main computer, as it was using the same CPU). I didn't have a floppy drive, so the only times I could peek at the "game" in admiration when I was my friend's place. I only remember that the game itself was not much more than a 3D wireframe. You had to dock by spinning at the same speed as a square in front of you, that represented the docking bay. We, my friend and I, were not really successful in playing the game, but nevertheless I still remember it, even though I a

Extending a flap door's grip

I am not a pet-person, so we don't have any kind of pets. Kids sometimes are requesting this or that but so far our evasion tactics worked. In any case, I was in one of these big "pet shops" the other day, because we have moved to a new house roughly a year ago and the old owners installed a flap door on one of the garage doors, like this:   As you might recognize the flap door was missing, and the plastic on the outside was pretty worn due to UV radiation. I've decided to replace it so I ended up buying this one : Although I made an effort to pick the right one, however I failed miserably: I had to recognize that the 4cm width of my garage door is too wide for this kind of flap door: the screws were not long enough (quickly remedied by buying a set of M4x80mm screws) the two ends of the flap door didn't reach one another, there's a ~2cm gap between the two. I ended up designing and then 3d printing the missing element. I used Blender for the design:   And th