Snow White, Part Two, LEDs and Python

Snow White Part 2: Driving LEDs with Python

The state of python on embedded systems isn't great. That's not bad news though! Raspberry Pis are cheap and run python pretty darn well.

If you want to drive a single LED on a Raspberry Pi with python, I'm not going to cover that here. I'm going to talk about running a few thousand LEDs, but let's start with some basics.

I like[1] the World Semi set of LEDs called the WS281X series, there are several variations, and working with them with an arduino is REALLY ...


Snow White, Part One

Snow White, Part One: Motivation.

I made a project. It's silly and wonderful. There are many parts and it had some restrictings which drove the decisions I made. Any project has restrictions, mine were sort of arbitrary.

  1. As much of the project would be written in python as possible.
  2. It has to fit in a briefcase so I can carry it through the airport.
  3. It has to present well for a conference talk or a small group.

I'm going to write a series of blog posts about how I built this. This is the first of the series ...


Machining PLA from my RepRap

I've got a Taz 2.1 from Lulzbot. It's tons of fun, but I had really hoped I'd find some joy in the ability to use it for rapid prototyping. I've done some minor stuff with it, but this weekend I finally got to build a thing which I designed that was not trivial.

One of the final pieces being printed

I also took all the scraps and did some ad hoc materials testing. A 6mm standoff will take a 1/16" drill bit just fine, and then the resulting hole will hold an M3 screw ...


Wake Me Up!

Wake me up!

Alarms are alarming. They’re super fine and useful if you really need to be up at a certain time and it’s hard for you to hit it. Otherwise, they are the harbingers of morning terrorism.

I got my lights to slowly turn on to tell me it’s time to get up. It takes 15 minutes to go from 0 to full brightness, at the time I specify.

I’m finally back on a hacking/automation kick. For a number of reasons which I won’t write about, for everybody’s sake, It’s been ...


I'm Issac Kelly. I like to build things, with software and hardware. By day I do that at Nonchalance in San Francisco. I like to teach people, but mostly about the things I'm interested in.

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