This is now a travel blog

During my studies I decided to do one semester abroad.
As I have this blog now for some time I thought about reviving it.
This is mainly to collect my experiences and something for me to look back after some time.
And not to spam anyone. In good old fashion web2.0 everyone interested can have a look.

Not sure if I manage to maintain a schedule but I will try.

Tasmotize Sinilink USB Switch

I wanted to be able to turn the Chromecast connected to my AVR on and off remotely without unplugging the cable. The rationale was that I did not want to have this device active all the time, only when I want to use it. One option would be to use a dedicated power supply in combination with a wireless plug. I use such devices with the open source software Tasmota.

After some digging around I found the Sinilink USB Switch Module (XY-WFUSB), a USB thumb drive size device that is able to be flashed with Tasmota as it uses an ESP8266 as chip.

The flashing, Breadboard to connect gpio zero to ground

As you can see the flashing is not trivial as the pin connectors on the device are quiet small. In my collection of electronic components I managed to find some pin connector that where fitting the small holes and could be used as adapter to regular sized breadboard cables.

Three pins where inserted from the top of the board and three from the bottom. Then trimmed to size so that they would not stick out of the board anymore and then wired according to the guide.

Another user was using sewing pins and Andreas Spiess made great video documenting the whole process that really helped me and encouraged to try this out.

Root Girl, or we made a game!

Last weekend I was at the Global Game Jam and made a game.

Click the image to play in your Browser

Root Girl is a jump, swing and run platformer that is set in a jungle environment. Your goal is to swing through the levels and is to reach the flag at the end. Originally, we wanted to make a puzzle platformer, but realized halfway through that we would not be able to finish in time as more features and mechanics would be required. This idea included two main characters called Root Boy and Liana Girl with some root attaching and rope swinging mechanics and they would have to work as a team to beat the levels. The solution was to shift our focus to what you can play now.. just Root Girl.

We settled on the name as Root Girl as the theme of the Jam was chosen as Roots

Root Boy and Liana Girl

Root Girl is written in the Godot Engine and can compile as HTML page. A Windows .exe file is attached to our Jam Page and the source code is available on GitHub.

Let me know in the comment section about your time and high score.

There I fixed it

There is something super satisfying if the thing that bugs you finally fixed and working again. In the picture you see the aftermath of my wireless mouse repair. Since a couple of weeks the middle klick was working less and less. Luckily, I had already ordered a set of switches and the right switch was readily available. So iron out and after some careful destructive pulling the old switch was out and the new one installed. Clicking is a little louder, but it seems to work now.

Making a card game

Some good friends of mine own (too) many board games. To keep track of their stash and play sessions they track everything on Board Game Geek (BGG). Board Game Geek is a site for board game hobbyists and a game database that allows board game enthusiasts to rate and review games and maintain collections.

So I thought to myself: What if I create a game based on their games.

The card generator can be found on GitHub where you can get the three main scripts and generate your own version of this game.

A game in a box