Posts

New paint job and other "minor fixes"

I've always found it interesting how the human brain worked. Recently, I've been playing with Tailwind CSS and reading the Refactoring UI book. One of my longer term projects has been working on BotQueue v2, with all of the fun issues and delays with that. At some point, I realized that I would have to make the site look semi-professional. So I decided to learn how to do some UI stuff which is where that UI book comes in. The same author is also behind Tailwind CSS which is a really nifty utility first CSS framework that I would recommend checking out.

What I didn't expect is how doing even a little effort in making the design look good would help my motivation to work on it. I've been focusing on removing blockers recently, and it's fascinating what I find is a blocker. I didn't really expect a little bit of "paint" to go a long way in me working on it. I no longer had the "it's functional, but it's going to suck to make it pretty later&…

What it's like working in tech with ADHD

Whoa, it's been almost 3 years since I last update this blog? Geez, what's happened in the interim? Well... A lot. I'm currently coming up on two years as a software developer for Uber, and what a crazy couple of years it's been. I'm not sure why I haven't written in a while. This blog was always designed to describe my adventure, navigating from job to job and what I learned or sharing some perspective that might help others.

Today I'm going to share a personal perspective on what it's like working in tech with ADHD (if you couldn't tell from the title).

Alright, so first things first, let's define some context. This is as much for you reading this as it is for me writing it. What is ADHD? ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Okay, so that's not very useful is it. I mean there's this ADD thing which is everything minus the hyperactivity. Okay, perfect, that explains it! I have a deficit of attention.... and it's…

Thoughts on working and "working" on company time

It's been a while since I've done a blog post. A lot has changed since then: I've graduated from a university, moved, and started a job. A coworker asked me to type up my thoughts on working on things that aren't exactly work related to enhance your skills, the assertion being that any new skills could benefit the company in the long run. My first thought was "Hey, blog post!" and such this post was born/forged/hastily thrown together.


I've always been a fairly laid back developer in some regards and very much not in others. That's not a very descriptive way of putting it, so let me explain. I will take my shoes off, try to relax and write some code. I'll walk around and talk to other developers, maybe even playing a game of Go or helping with a jigsaw puzzle or two. I feel that environment helps foster creativity which is good for developers. Creating software is as much an art as it is a science. I like to compare it to writing an essay, in that…

BotQueue client updates!

It's been only a couple of months since the last software release, but it feels like it has been far too long. Instead of releasing 0.6, I'm releasing 0.5.1 today. There are two reasons for this, which I'll get to in a minute. But first, features!

Makerbot support Or at least, mostly Makerbot support. It supports all of the printers that speak s3g/x3g, so no 5th generation (yet). There is also way to slice things. I have a solution for that, it's just somewhat difficult to work with closed source software. For now, you can upload your *3g files and it will run them just fine. It also allows you to upload .makerbot files, but those aren't supported yet.

Automatic updates This is something I've wanted to do for a long time, and is the first reason why this only jumped up to 0.5.1. I released version 0.5.0, and in the very next commit, released 0.5.1. This was to test the auto update feature. Every 2 minutes, if your bots are either in idle, error, or offline mode…

FTDI: The Clone Wars

I saw an article on Hackaday that talked about an FTDI driver update on windows that purposefully set the PID of the device to 0 on fake or 'cloned' FTDI chips. I've also seen a bit of confusion on this topic, so I'd like to clarify a few points.

First, what is FTDI? Basically, this company makes products that allow micro-controllers to communicate to a USB host, like your computer. The make both drivers, hardware, and most importantly here, chips.
1) Many people aren't aware if they even have a fake One of the first arguments that I saw was in regards to how users should be punished for using a fake chip. Most of the people using these products are using end products, or products that are made using these chips. It's much easier for someone to include an FTDI chip with their device than to go through all of the trouble and cost of getting their own Vendor and Product ID. So, some devices have these chips in them without their users ever really knowing. This me…

Setting up Bumblebee to run on boot

BotQueue's client code no longer requires there to be a tty to function. You could simply add a line in your /etc/rc.local file to run bumblebee as your user:
( su -c /home/user/bumblebee user ) & the /home/user/bumblebee file would just be an executable that runs the python code. An example:
#!/bin/sh
cd ~/Bumblebee/
screen -dR botqueue python -m bumblebee It's a much simpler process than previously. This should work exactly the same on a raspberry pi too.

BotQueue 0.5 released!

I know it's been quite a long wait since version 0.4 was released on July 4th, 2013. Since that time, Zach Hoeken has moved away from supporting BotQueue in code, but he still believes in the project and has continued to help whenever possible. For that support, I want to thank him. Now on to the fun stuff!

I'm so excited to release this for a couple of reasons. The main one is that this is my first major software release, so I expected it to be a bit rougher. Still, I expect bug reports in the future, so please post those here for the server, and here for the client.

I was originally going to summarize every cool now feature about this release. This release doesn't have too many amazing new features, but it has quite a few bug fixes. I wanted BotQueue to be more solid than ever, because that's what you should be able to expect. This involved fixing everything from UI issues, to a ton of fixes in the background so that everything runs smoothly.

Some of the new features…