Out now: a Swift-ier version of imageprep

I’ve just released version 6.0.0 of imageprep, my macOS command line tool for processing batches of images. Born a shell script, imageprep has now not only finished school and graduated from college, but also has gained employment as a fully compiled application. It’s written in Swift so it’s quicker these days.

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Double Dabble for a Compact Clock

I like clocks, and the digital variety make fun little projects. Here’s an example: a tiny LED timepiece based on a trio of Adafruit Feather parts.

Compact time-teller
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App updates support Apple Silicon

These apps will now run natively on Apple’s M1 chip:

All of them are available as downloads from the links above, and all but PreviewMarkdown, which is available from the Mac App Store, can be installed and updated through Homebrew.

Apple Silicon survival notes — day one with an ARM Mac

You have to take your hat off to Apple: it knows how to transition from one processor architecture to another, completely incompatible one. It did it in the mid-1990s with the switch from the Motorola 680×0 series to PowerPC, then again a decade or so later when it put Intel inside new Macs. Now we get ARM.

Apple Silicon ARM-based MacBook Pro
ARM-our plated
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Look, ma, no SD! Boot a Raspberry Pi from USB only

The Raspberry Pi 4 is now capable of booting from a USB Flash drive without requiring an SD card to kick-start the process. Here’s how you set it up.

USB disk, yes (left) — SD card, no (right)
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A cure for Raspberry Pi ‘Slow USB Mouse Syndrome’

I don’t quite know how I missed this, but I’m guessing plenty of Pi users might have missed it too so here it is. If you’re tired of the Raspbian desktop’s too, too laggy mouse performance, there’s a very easy cure. Poor mouse responsivity was the only thing preventing me from using the Raspbian desktop on a regular basis. Here’s how to fix it.

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Released: revamped and expanded Python drivers for your micro projects

I have revised my Python drivers for the Holtek HT16K33 display controller, combining Micropython and Circuitpython versions into one and adding support for Adafruit’s Bi-colour 8×8 Matrix in the process.

Display useful information on a matrix LED
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Get to grips with Hugo templates

The Hugo static website generator is an incredibly flexible site builder, but this very flexibility means that the way it matches page templates to page content can seem unclear. I’ve been using Hugo for some time now and I only ‘got it’ just recently. What follows is essentially a summary for my future reference, but hopefully it’ll help other Hugo users too.

Built with Hugo’s template scheme
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Tap Homebrew to easily install and upgrade your own apps

The package manager I use on macOS is Homebrew, Brew for short. This is a great open source tool for installing command-line apps and utilities, and keeping them up to date. It’s essentially the Mac version of the Raspberry Pi’s apt. So much of the software I use on a regular basis — the nano text editor, Node.js, Python 3, the shellcheck shell script linter, the hugo website builder, the sass CSS wrangler and a whole load more — were added and are maintained using Brew.

Provide your own apps through Homebrew
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The Serpente R2: a compact CircuitPython controller

Updated The Serpente R2 from Solder Party is yet another addition to the now long roster of compact Atmel microcontroller-based breakout boards aimed at the maker community.

A compact breakout board for compact projects
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