Posts by Category


Two-factor TOTP codes

    3 minute read     Technology

Two-Factor authentication is a good way of increasing login security in systems, and is now quite widespread: it’s the six digit number that rolls over every 30 seconds. It’s designed to be very simple to operate as a user, but how much effort is involved as a developer?

Parametric 3D design

    6 minute read     Technology

I mentioned in my last post that we’d had a 3D printer at work for a couple of months. In that time there’s been a lot of hype and printing, with many custom designs floating around. Most of my colleagues have used TinkerCAD, but I’ve had a lot of fun (and some headaches) with OpenSCAD.

My first time with a 3D printer

    8 minute read     Technology

Recently, work bought a 3D printer for prototyping and to encourage staff innovation and creativity. It’s been quite fun playing around with it and seeing designs I’ve found and made come to life. This post is going to be a quick recap of what I’ve printed lately.

Garmin Connect code exploration

    7 minute read     Technology

I’m a big fan of fitness tech, and one of my favourite devices is my Garmin fēnix-series sports watch. Garmin’s Connect platform lets you examine your data and activities, but there’s no public API for us to interact with programmatically. Consequently, it’s a perfect opportunity for me to look at it and see what I can pull out.

TLS with S3 static websites

    12 minute read     Technology

It’s been quite a while since I set up my blog using AWS S3’s static website hosting and while it’s been great so far, there’s one long-overdue feature I’ve been missing: transport encryption. I’m ashamed it’s taken me this long to add it, but it’s now available and you can learn how to set it up yourself!

Reading and writing NFC tags

    6 minute read     Technology

Now that we’ve resolved all of the major teething issues we had with Python 3 and nfcpy, we can look at reading the contents of tags presented by the user and writing our own. There’s a wide variety of tags that can be written, so I’ll cover a couple of the most interesting — Wi-Fi credentials and URIs.

NFC fun with Python

    10 minute read     Technology

I’ve recently been looking into using an NFC reader/writer pad at work to make configuring some devices we have much quicker and easier, as the standard process for these devices is an Android phone and a lot of manual data entry. Checking the device using a mobile is great, but configuring them this way is not scalable.

Slack for push notifications

    6 minute read     Technology

Following on from my post about Push notifications with Python, I’ve recently been looking at using Slack for more advanced notifications and interactions. This post will go through the process from the start, including setting up a Slack workspace and making a new App integration. If you’ve already done part or all of this stuff, feel free to skip ahead!...

SMS conversations with Python

    9 minute read     Technology

Following on from my last post about sending SMSes with Python, we’re now going to look at ways to get SMS responses and how we can use this to build a basic conversation flow. I find I learn best when I have a goal or project, so here I’ll use the example of an SMS-controlled stopwatch.

Sending SMSes from Python

    6 minute read     Technology

In yet another article in the series of ‘playing with Python’, today we’re looking at sending text messages! In Australia, Telstra allows you to evaluate and develop with their API services for free, up to a limit of 1000 SMS per month and at most 100 in a single day.

Setting up Jenkins in AWS

    7 minute read     Technology

This is a bit of a follow-up post related to my earlier one about setting up AWS and Jekyll. In this instalment, I set up a Jenkins server to automate building and deploying my Jekyll blog. Overview AWS provides some great documentation on how to set up a Jenkins build server (click ‘Get Started with the Project Guide’). However, the...

Push notifications with Python

    5 minute read     Technology

Recently, I’ve had an interest in using push notifications to keep me updated. These are extremely common nowadays, but they’re surprisingly difficult to implement as a hobbyist. I wasn’t opposed to installing an app on my phone or laptop, but I did want whatever service I picked to be reasonably low-cost and easy to use.

Email on your own domain

    6 minute read     Technology

In the last few days I’ve wanted to set up a domain for myself where I can host this blog and also get emails. The simple solution to the hosting problem is to buy a domain and set up S3 static serving as I discussed in an earlier post. However, the email problem presents a few more traps.

AWS and Jekyll

    11 minute read     Technology

This first post will detail some of the steps I went through to set up a working Jekyll-based blog hosted on Amazon S3. The steps will be messy and some details might not be correct - I apologise in advance for these. I would like to go through my own instructions again from scratch with a clean setup to check...

Back to Top ↑


A holiday in Bali

    6 minute read     Personal

I recently flew to Bali for a holiday with my partner and some of my family. It was a really good trip for me to unwind, relax, and take some time away from work. Even though I wasn’t working, I was still thinking, and there were a few things that stood out to me during my travels.

2018 in review

    3 minute read     Personal

Whenever I look back at the recent past, I often forget a lot of the things I’ve done, or gloss over them in my thoughts and don’t give them the personal significance they really deserve. Consequently, I thought I’d make a summary post of some of the different things I’ve done in 2018 to remind myself of some of what...

Selling on eBay

    8 minute read     Personal

Recently I’ve tried my hand at selling some of my old electronics on eBay. While I’ve frequently purchased items from eBay in the past, I’ve not yet used it to sell anything. As a result, it was a bit of a new experience for me. Thankfully, what I was selling was pretty straight-forward and I was fortunate that I could...

Back to Top ↑