Since Twitter was officially taken over by Elon Musk a few days ago, there’s been significant staff cuts, a stream of questionable decisions, and uncertainty about the social media platform’s future. So it’s little surprise that a notable number of people, those in the tech and hacker scenes in particular, have decided to move over to (or at least bridge their accounts with) the distributed and open source Mastodon service.
Of course, the hacks would follow closely, and [Toby] shares a simple ESP32-based Mastodon client library for us to start with. Instead of “tweets”, messages on Mastodon instances are called “toots”, in line with the platform’s mammoth-like mascot. The library, called Luyba, is able to send toots and includes a demo firmware. Built using C++ and with support for Platform.IO, it should fit into quite a few projects out there, letting you easily send toots to whichever instance you find your home, as the library-aided demo toot shows.
What could you do with such a library on your MCU? Turns out, quite a few fun things – a home automation interface, a critter trap, an online BBC Basic interpreter, or, given image support, a camera that tweets whatever it’s pointed at. There’s quite a bit of fun hackers can have given a micro-blogging service API access and a bit of code that works with it. That said, for all the good that Twitter brought us over the years, there’s a lot that Mastodon can easily do better, between easily game-able “Trending” sidebar, bias found in auto-cropping algorithms and disarrayed internal security policies.
Our conscience almost prevented us from posting this one. Almost.
What do people all around the world want most? Free WiFi. And what inevitable force do they want to avoid most, just after death and taxes? Rick Astley. As a getting-started project with the ESP8266, Hackaday.io user [jaime] built a “free WiFi portal” that takes advantage of people’s deepest desires. Instead of delivering sweet, high-bandwidth connectivity, once you click through the onerous terms and conditions, it delivers you a looped GIF with background music.
And all of this on $4 worth of hardware, with firmware assembled in the cloud and easily available to anyone. We live in a truly
frivolous glorious age.
Digging through our archives, we found a number of Rickroll posts that we’d rather forget, but this steam-powered record player bears a second look.
Even the most die-hard Arduino fan boys have to admit that the Arduino development environment isn’t the world’s greatest text editor (they’d probably argue that its simplicity is its strength, but let’s ignore that for now). If you are used to using a real code editor, you’ll probably switch to doing your Arduino coding in that and then use the external editor integration in the IDE.
That works pretty well, but there are other options. One we noticed, PlatformIO, extends GitHub’s Atom editor. That makes it cross-platform, powerful, and with plenty of custom plug ins. It also supports a range of platforms including Arduino, many ARM platforms, MSP430, and even desktop computers running Linux or Windows.
Continue reading “Atomic Arduino (and Other) Development”