Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   long tunnels of wasted time
Friday, July 5 2019
Don't get me wrong, I love digital electronics and tinkering with computers doing interesting things in a remote environment, both from a hardware and software perspective. But periodically the maintenance and extension of computer technology takes me down long tunnels of wasted time, infuritating me multiple times along the way. I had that experience today when I was trying to get PHP to control Python on the Raspberry Pi I'd managed to get working yesterday. Something on some page I read caused me to update the Raspberry Pi using rpi-update. Unlike most computer enthusiasts, I am not a particular fan of running the latest and greatest software (partly because things can be taken away as well as added in an "upgrade," and partly because any time one changes something that is working, there's a non-trivial likelihood of breaking it), but I was feeling a little desperate, so, I did. That proved to be a huge day-wasting mistake. The "upgraded" Raspberry Pi could no longer connect to any USB port, and I was soon forced to revert to a flash I'd made of one of my video surveillance robots. That wasn't a reversion to stock, but it meant I'd lost all the tweaks necessary to get this special WiFi card working and it also meant I'd lost some modifications needed to produce sound.
Making lemonade from lemons, I took the opportunity to switch in a smaller WiFi dongle (one that also had an antenna jack). This would mean that I would eventually be able to fit all of the electronics (except the solar panel and solar controller) into the battery compartment of the megaphone. But first I had to get the new WiFi dongle working. I'll spare you the details, but for much of the afternoon, I had it working, but only with DHCP, and I would have to connect manually after every reboot (not something you want in a device in a remote location out in the forest). Somehow I bumbled into a solution, which required a specific order of commands in /etc/network/interfaces (a place you're no longer supposed to be adding configuration). I still never managed to get Python working with PHP.
Then I had to get the audio working again. With a Raspberry Pi, one has to do two different things in software to pull this off, and I'd only remember one of them. Luckily, there was an informative video on YouTube to set me straight. I much prefer assistance in web-page form when it comes to just about anything, but at this point there are some subjects for which video tutorials are all you get.

Meanwhile, our friend Chrissy appears to have a new boyfriend, and, in hopes of having a good night therewith, she dropped off her dog Chongo with us for the night. Since Gretchen had a busy social calendar this afternoon and evening, Chongo hung out with me. He seemed bored watching me tinkering with the Raspberry Pi, so I eventually I took him and the other dogs on a walk in the forest. We went down the Farm Road and then up the Chamomile Headwaters Trail, cutting over to the Stick Trail prematurely. Despite his short corgi legs, Chongo was a fast walker, and seemed much more energetic than Ramona and Neville (both who seemed a bit overwhelmed by the heat and humidity). As something else for my hands and mind to do, I've been working on building a stone wall jutting out from the Stick Trail on the side of a lesser-known trail I use as a firewood-gathering shortcut about 50 feet south of the Chamomile. Today I made so much progress on the wall that it will probably take Gretchen by surprise the next time she walks past it.

Late tonight, Gretchen and I managed to watch three episodes of the second season of Barry. Chongo was proving to be something of a prevert, repeatedly humping Neville's head and haunches. He didn't mind at first, but eventually he started growling, and we had to tell Chongo to stop sexually assaulting our dog.

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