Crystal Boxes

20 days into 2013, and it’s hectic already.

As austerity measures kick in and income taxes are hiked even further1, I’ve been keeping myself busy at home sorting out the family photo archive2 and clearing out my desk — as it happens, my home office is still there, but the desk was crammed with cables, Raspberry Pi boards and Android devices instead of Macs.

So I tore everything down and tidied up (in fact, am still tidying up), leaving only the stuff required for some hobby coding:

  • The Codebits digital signage code (besides straddling the rather fuzzy boundary between work and hobby) needed some minor cleaning up, but I realised it could be significantly easier to manage and deploy and partly rewrote it to make sure it’s not too bound to the Raspberry Pi (Update: I’m about halfway through but decided to publish it anyway - it’s a way of spurring myself onward).
  • I picked up Yaki again, broke it down into its constituent parts (storage, indexing, etc.) and am patiently reassembling it as a WSGI app — I’m shooting for even higher performance and simpler setup, and it’s remarkably snappy (if mostly broken at the moment) on the Pi.
  • D3.js version 3 came out a month or so ago, and most of my toy visualisations can benefit from it somehow — to be honest most of them needed rewriting anyway… It’s remarkably fast on low-end hardware, but the Android stock browser still can’t handle it properly so I’m targeting Chrome and iOS instead.

Work’s been piling up already so these are mostly poked at rather than worked on, but on the whole I’m happy with the results. And I’ve been setting up another ARM board (an ODROID-U2) — which I’ll get to some other time.


  1. The degree of irrationality in all things economic here in Portugal is beginning to grate, so I won’t go on about it. Oh, and remember that levy I wrote about last year? Guess what, it’s back, and this time it’s classified as a state secret. Which is so depressingly third-world I’m beginning to think the country’s beyond redemption. 

  2. Incidentally, I’ve added a few snippets to my jhead page to help with sorting batches of photos by camera model and added download links for my Automator workflows.