The Jimternet


James Stewart - Making Stuff

Redmi Note 4 - First Impressions

I've always bought mobile phones outright and in 2013 Google made my choice easy when they introduced their much-lauded Nexus 5 - a powerful, fully-featured phone at a reasonable price. Sadly after 2 years the battery of my beloved Nexus started to give out and so the time came to source a replacement.

I would've likely bought another Nexus 5 but the model no longer receives Android updates. Google's latest offering is the Pixel which is lovely by all accounts but with a starting price of $1079 it was never in the running. I searched for an alternative but a good value option just didn't present itself. That was until I was scouring AliExpress during their annual Singles Day Sale and came across the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 for $229 including shipping to Australia.

Just over a week later it arrived direct from China:

Redmi Note 4 Unboxed

I've been using this phone for a few days and a couple of people have asked if it's any good... so far the answer is a resounding "Yes!".

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The Pythonic Staff of Enlightenment

Introducing... The Pythonic Staff of Enlightenment:

Pythonic Staff 1

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Bike Helmets Decorated with Electroluminescent Wire

Back in October my daughter and I went along to the excellent EL Wire Wearables workshop hosted by our makerspace SparkCC.

Purple Helmet Unlit

We had a great time going through the process of first designing our creation and then making it a reality. The result was a helmet decorated with a very cute purple flower on top and a pair of purple eyes at the front.

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YOW! 2015 Sydney Day Two

After an interesting and informative Day One, YOW! 2015 Sydney day two got off to a geektastic start with Anita Sengupta and Kamal Oudrhiri talking about their fascinating work on the Curiosity Rover. It was quite humbling to be in the presence of engineers involved in such a groundbreaking project and we heard about interesting problems the team had to solve including how to slow an entry vehicle from 30,000 mph to 0 mph in 7 mins and the infamous Sol 200 anomaly.

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YOW! 2015 Sydney Day One

YOW! Sydney 2015 got off to a great start yesterday. The timing of Australia's leading Software Development conference could not have been more apt given our Government's recent focus on technology and innovation. Likewise the setting of the Australian Technology Park evoked the sense of possiblity inherent in Engineering disciplines, Software comfortably juxtaposed against real Hardware...

atp entry

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Inexpensive Garden Boxes - Variations on a Theme

Previously I authored a post describing how to build inexpensive garden boxes from fence palings. In it I mentioned that the basic design could be altered to create boxes of different shapes and sizes. With Spring well and truly underway our garden has been a hive of activity and I've been busy creating new beds to fit in various spots around our backyard.

The size and shape of the first of these boxes was dictated by the raw materials. In this case timber salvaged from an old pallet:

pallet

Not having to pay for the timber made these boxes very inexpensive indeed! Some short work with a wrecking bar and a drop saw resulted in a solid square garden box:

pallet box

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How to Build Inexpensive Garden Boxes From Fence Palings

Spring is almost upon us and all around Australia garden beds are being prepared for the coming season.

Garden boxes built from fence palings are inexpensive and easy to make. They also look great and best of all they will last for years.

watering boxes 1

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SparkCC is Open For Business

Posts to The Jimternet have been a little thin on the ground in recent months. Of the myriad reasons behind this shortage of missives, one of the most exciting is the birth of SparkCC.

sparkcc logo

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Open Source: The Journey from Project to Product

In their seminal work Getting Real, 37 Signals talk about scratching your own itch when looking for a new project. Well I was itching to brew consistently tasty beer. And brewing consistently tasty beer requires reliable temperature control.

Sure there were thermostats for sale on Ebay for 100 bucks that could keep fermentation temperature consistent. But I could see the limitations of these and knew that a software-based solution would provide the flexibility to do so much more.

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Introducing Braubuddy - A Temperature Management Framework

Today I'm very pleased to make available the first beta release of Braubuddy.

Braubuddy Dashboard

Braubuddy started as a simple Python script to monitor the fermentation temperature of my home brew using a Raspberry Pi and a USB thermometer.

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