Watching Tokyo

    Over the summer, I played around with the idea of an always-on display showing a livestream of a different location on the globe. The inspiration came from Michael and Laura, who have been keeping me up to date with the Brooks Falls stream on YouTube, as they watch the bears in their pursuit of dinner.

    Using a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, coupled with an Adafruit PiTFT Plus 320x240 2.8" TFT + Capacitive Touchscreen, I showed a YouTube livestream of Kabukicho, Tokyo. It was fascinating to simply glance over and see the goings-on half-way around the globe: it really brings a much greater sense of presence and connection with a place.

    Raspberry Pi with screen

    In the future, I hope to create something more permanent, making use of an LG LP097QX1 - iPad 3 / 4 Retina Display and a suitable HDMI controller. Unfortunately, the stream itself does not seem to be available any more, but I’m sure other options will present themselves.

    Photo Feed

    Since publishing all my photos here, I’ve been considering different ways to make it easier for friends and family to see updates. With that in mind, I’ve introduced a new feed (using JSON Feed) containing just my photos.

    If you use Feedly, you can subscribe directly by clicking this link.

    (Apparently, I’ve tried this before.)

    Mechanical Keyboards

    A few weeks ago I accompanied James and Tanika to the Bay Area Mechanical Keyboard Meetup–perhaps one of my most ‘South Bay’ experiences to-date. The event took over at Mosaic, a restaurant in San Jose, with both companies (such as Massdrop and WASD), and individuals showcasing their keyboards.


    There were a huge range of designs on show

    It’s fantastic to see how much creativity and personality people express through their keyboards. I’m personally fond of the diminutive Planck by OLKB, and it was great to see so much variety in even this little keyboard.

    I love the matching striped case which I think might come from Modern Coup (though they don’t seem to have that in-stock any more)

    In addition to the commonplace Cherry MX switches and everyday key-caps, there were a number of builds using different switches and older manufacturing processes. James and I were particularly impressed with the feel of this Preonic-like JJ50 keyboard by Evan, which employed DSA Honeywell key-caps and Box Royal switches.


    In true Bay Area style, TheGlyph had combined his love of climbing and mechanical keyboards to bring us the Crux Cap:

    Crux Caps

    And, needless to say, there was also an IBM Model M in attendance:

    IBM Model M

    There were many split keyboards, with a Rorschach, Helix, and various Iris keyboards, to name but a few. The looped cables give these real character, and there are some fantastic meta keys on the Rorschach.

    There were also many keyboards from older systems: one chap brought his collection of mechanical calculators, and I was overjoyed to finally have a chance to try out a Curta calculator.