Sunday 22 December 2019

a WifiScanner written in Gambas Script

I've been looking for a suitable application to write using Gambas Script, as a means of demonstrating its possibilities.

10 years ago I created a Gambas GUI app called WifiScanner which fits the bill.

So I've just stripped it down and created a script version.

Saturday 14 December 2019

Geany Syntax Highlighter for Gambas Script

Gambas scripts can be written using any text editor in 'black & white'.

But I'm so used to seeing my code in colour that black text seems to slow down my comprehension.

Although this post shows how to add colour for your Gambas script files in Geany, it may be more widely useful for those trying to add syntax highlighting for other languages to the Geany code editor.

Thursday 12 December 2019

Gambas Scripts

If you are familiar with Gambas (or Basic) you shouldn't have too much trouble writing Gambas scripts.

Although scripting is often used for small programming tasks, it can be used to create more ambitious projects.

It may also be useful on headless/GUI-less systems, like the Raspberry Pi.

Saturday 7 December 2019

Feeding the Rats (...and hedgehogs) part 1

We are all encouraged to feed garden birds and look after our local hedgehogs.

But its difficult to do this without boosting the population of pests, such as rats.

So is there anything we can do to get the balance right?

Saturday 30 November 2019

Camera + monopod + Hugin = Panoramic Photos

I recently started to take an interest in stitching together photos to form panoramas.

The process is not that difficult, but some photos can be more problematic than others.

So here are a few tips.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Never look a gift horse in the mouth

One of the best things about the internet is free stuff!


I'm thinking specifically of information and software.

But its sometimes not good enough for some people.

Thursday 24 October 2019

Remote Control KitchenPi: playing with NodeJS

I wanted to change channels via a phone or iPad on our internet radio.

This looked like a good excuse to try out something new.

So I settled on getting my head around NodeJS, which looks ideal for headless Pi projects, including internet radios and birdbox camera systems.

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Canon MG3650: a printer for Linux?

Choosing a new printer for Linux is always terrifying.

Printer manufacturers never seem to take Linux users seriously.

But I took the plunge today and bought a new Canon MG3650S.

Friday 4 October 2019

Police UK API: Local crime data with Gambas

In the UK our Police force have recently made crime data available via the net.

You can access monthly crime figures by category from their website.

But there is also a simple API available for you to carry out your own data analysis.

Monday 23 September 2019

my photographic workflow: RAW > Geeqie > RawTherapee > Gimp > Jpeg

I seem to change the way that I process photos every 18 months or so.

These changes may affect the choice of photo viewer, editor or even the format used to take photos.

So this post just details my current preferences.

Thursday 5 September 2019

Broken Boombox? ...just Bodgit!

I was recently given a Bluetooth speaker with an unusual fault.

It worked fine, so long as you held down one of its buttons.

I couldn't open the box, so what to do?

Monday 2 September 2019

Add Copyright text to Photo with Gimp

Adding a copyright watermark to photos before uploading them to the internet seems like a sensible thing to do.


It may deter someone from reusing/stealing your valuable artwork.

Here is my suggested method when running The Gimp on Linux.

Friday 2 August 2019

Acrylic Splashbacks & KitchenPi

Earlier this year we refurbished our kitchen & utility room.

With a new layout, new floor, new sink, a mixture of new cabinet doors and a few completely new kitchen cabinets, we are happy with the end result.

However, the choice of red splashbacks meant we also needed a new enclosure for our internet radio: KitchenPi.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

What we have learnt about hedgehogs

We have been capturing pictures & video of hedgehogs in our garden for the last 18 months.

Its been very interesting.

So what have we discovered?

Wednesday 19 June 2019

our Huffing Hedgehog

Apparently hedgehogs have a range of sounds that they can make depending upon their mood and situation.

The sound on our trail-cam has always been a bit 'iffy', but when it works it can reveal interesting behaviour.

We noticed a faint sound on some recent recordings, so I cranked up the audio level by 18dB...

Wednesday 5 June 2019

Switching from dSLR to micro four thirds

What is it like to use a mirror-less M43 camera after years of using digital SLR cameras?

Is the quality acceptable from the smaller format used in this new breed of camera?

Now that we have made the switch, for us the answer is yes.

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Is my laminate floor de-laminating?

We recently refurbished most of the ground floor rooms of our house, finishing the job off with modern flooring.

However, some of the flooring board corners appear to be lifting.

So I've had to try a simple glue job to affect some kind of repair...will it last?

Friday 3 May 2019

BirdBox2019: great tits & robins

Unlike 2018, we haven't had the excitement of birds being evicted from their nest [so far] this season.

Developments in the 'maple tree' birdbox are continuing as you may expect.

But we do have the added interest of robins nesting in an old analogue camera box.

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Putting Facebook back in its box

It really annoys me when I've been searching for (say) a new Zimmer frame, and the next time I log into Facebook I'm swamped with adverts for new Zimmer's.

I then imaging some androgynous, bug-eyed, American geek leaning over my shoulder saying "Hey buddy, what are we looking at today?"

I needed to put a stop to this...

Wednesday 10 April 2019

Newts, hedgehogs, bats & BirdBox2019

I wasn't really prepared for this spring.

There was too much going on inside the house for me to be able to keep an eye on the garden.

Fortunately, time waits for no man...

Thursday 14 March 2019

DNA Testing: what can it tell you?

Personal DNA kits have become very popular over recent years.

Many are sold to those looking for long-lost relatives, or to people just curious about their 'roots'.

But what can they tell you about your origins and relationships to other people?

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Bluetooth Audio Transmitter Repair

We recently had a problem with our Insomniacs Bedside Radio.

The Bluetooth pairing button seemed to have shifted position within the box, causing it to be jammed on.

So time to open it up and reposition it, or so I thought.

Sunday 17 February 2019

Your toilet won't flush? How jolly inconvenient!

Modern, low-level cisterns don't last like the old, high-level, chain pull bogs use to.

One of the most common complaints is when they become difficult or impossible to flush.

This could be the reason why...

Monday 4 February 2019

Electret Microphone Preamplifier

This design runs from a 5Volt USB supply and attempts to minimise electrical noise.

I wanted to create a simple preamp for an electret mic insert using components from my bits box.

So component values and transistor types are not critical.

Monday 28 January 2019

DodoPi Bat Recorder: "hey, we have a live one!"

Bats flying around in mid-winter! ...whatever next?

It may be relatively rare compared to the number of recordings made each night during the summer...

...but just one recording shows that there are bats out there.

Friday 25 January 2019

Garden Birds: a pox upon thee

We sometimes see birds in our garden that are clearly 'not right'.

A few have physical disabilities such as broken or missing feet or legs.

While others are clearly just unwell.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

my 'always-on' stair lights

Sometimes things work better than they were designed to.

The lights on my stairs work as expected when I turn them on, but continue to glow when I turn them off!

So whats going on?

Saturday 19 January 2019

BirdBox 2019: early interest ( hog & bats update)

Seeing small garden birds showing an interest in our bird boxes is a reminder that the nest box season will soon be upon us.

There is a long run in, a couple of months of building, egg laying and chick rearing, and then its all over for another year.

So make sure you are ready by putting up any new boxes now!

Friday 18 January 2019

Gambas: using external C libraries

It may be useful sometimes to use C-language library functions in your Gambas programs.

There may be a performance advantage in writing your own C functions or you may simply wish to use existing C libraries.

Here are my notes which may help you get started.

Tuesday 15 January 2019

Gambas: using external Gambas libraries

The Linux programming language Gambas can use functions from external libraries.

This post gives a few simple examples to supplement the information in the Gambas Documentation.

Friday 11 January 2019

Gambas Bat Recording Software for the UltraMic + Pi 3

As soon as Christmas was behind me, I found some time to progress my bat detector project.

I've been running the Dodotronic UltraMic with a Raspberry Pi 3 using re-written Gambas code...

...but the problem at the moment is a distinct lack of bats.