The Minty Amp – My First Altoids Tin Project

My life is filled with embedded computers and tiny components, and I love it. I’ve always had an affinity for underpowered equipment. The limitations force you to become creative. I love working with multi-processor computers, don’t get me wrong. But there is something that fuels my creative drive something fierce when I work with embedded […]

Data Science For Humans – Beta Lecture Series

Recently I had the pleasure of delivering a data science lecture for the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Public Policy. After that lecture, I decided to re-record a few choice bits for a more global audience. This series of videos takes a quick look at how to install Anaconda, an all-in-one programming setup for data […]

My first book, “Beyond Passwords,” is DONE. Wow.

Today marks a big day in my life. I completed my first book. I just sent off the final manuscript for publishing. (That’s fancy-words for “I emailed a formatted PDF to the publisher.”) This book is all about cyber-security for small businesses. While some of the content applies to individuals, I geared it toward the […]

Your Wi-Fi Password is (Probably) Too Short

When’s the last time you changed your Wi-Fi password? Perhaps you’re among many who have never thought to. When you signed up for Internet service, did you have the technician set up your modem for you? If so, your Wi-Fi password is probably way too short to be secure. tl;dr: If your Wi-Fi password hasn’t […]

Pattern Matching & Systematic Reduction Continued: How I Learned to Multiply

Last time I talked about memory and memorization I discussed how I learned the Braille alphabet. We reduced the number of symbols to memorize from 64 down to 5, plus a few rules to transform those symbols. I mentioned I wanted to show how I skipped learning the multiplication tables. In elementary school, I hated […]

Pattern Matching & Systematic Reduction: How I Learn New Ideas Efficiently

Throughout my life I have always searched for patterns. I can’t explain why, but I’ve found it’s been the way I’ve learned most efficiently. One example of this is my recent fascination with Braille. I had the chance to play Scrabble recently with someone who is fully blind. It was, no pun intended, an eye-opening […]

Modernizing Your Libraries: What Magical Go-Fast Button Lurks Within Your Code?

One of the specialties of my consulting company, Northern HCI Solutions, is to take old software and modernize it. Often companies have programs that work perfectly well, but because their code is aging, it’s hard to find people to maintain those systems. One of our most recent projects involved modernizing a Delphi app written in […]

PurpleBlu2 – My First Custom Wi-Fi Pi Speaker Build – PART 2 – Test Run

In part 1 of this blog series, I covered the basic design of PurpleBlu2, my first from-scratch Raspberry Pi-powered Wi-Fi speaker. To recap: I designed a speaker system from scratch using some small 2″ full-range drivers (for good quality audio), a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, a small 5 watt amplifier, and a wood box I […]

PurpleBlu2 – My First Custom Wi-Fi Pi Speaker Build – PART 1 – Plans

After the success of retrofitting a Raspberry Pi into my old guitar amplifier, I started the design of my next project. This time I didn’t want to reuse old parts. I had the following objectives. Cabinet that could be mounted in the kitchen. Small speaker size. Powered from one replaceable power supply. My long-term goal […]