I grew up with my parents having a transistor radio in the kitchen. It was usually playing news or sports or my Dad’s favorite jazz station. I always liked the idea of having one in the kitchen, to accompany meal prep, cleanup, dishwashing, etc.
A few years ago, I decided what I really wanted in the kitchen, though, was a streaming radio / remote speaker. I realize I could have gone with a smart speaker or a simple Bluetooth speaker, but I really wanted something flexible, and I liked the idea of building a DIY radio with off-the-shelf parts.
It was pretty easy to build a Raspberry Pi system and get Volumio running on it. In addition to supporting playback of local media, Volumio also supports web radio and can work as an AirPlay remote speaker.
I added a USB laptop speaker with a built in DAC, similar to this one (it fits perfectly on the counter ledge, hidden behind a small plant) and I was ready to go.
Quite often, I’ll want to stream audio from my phone, when streaming an EPL match, for example. This is pretty straightforward — I just need to switch my audio output to my fancy kicthen radio.
Thankfully, IOS 13 adds some nice automation options that make this as simple as can be. I keep a credit card-sized NFC-enabled card in the little nook where the radio lives. Now, all I need to do is wave my phone past the card and the audio output is redirected to the kitchen radio. This triggers a Shortcuts automation so that I con’t even need to unlock my phone or go fiddling with audio settings.
I can now use my Apple Watch to approve sudo requests on my Mac and it’s freaking adorable…
The bits to do this are here. Some assembly required.
requires: macOS Catalina+, watchOS 6+
I really love Kraftwerk, so trust me when I tell you that this album of steel drum covers of Kraftwerk songs is more fun than a basket of puppies.
Hard to believe that I’ve been using Apple platforms for 40 years, Macs for 35, the internet for 30, and the web for 25 years.
Here’s an interesting resource: “A collection of open and indie Mac, iOS, and web apps that help promote the open web.”
Admittedly, I’ve largely ceded my online presence to generally unpleasant silos like Facebook, Twitter, etc. No need for links to those, of course. The gravitational pull of these “click and go” platforms is hard to overcome.
I’d like to add some functionality to my PyBlosxom install here that would reduce the impedance wrt regular posting, but it just never seems to happen. It’s hard to justify spending a weekend buried in an IDE when I’ve got a 6 year old at home. If anyone’s aware of a relatively simple blogger/metaweblog/atompub server-side tool I can point at a Blosxom-style blog-store, I’m all ears. Eveything I’ve found has bitrotted to the point of unusability.
As you can see from the above timeline, I got off of an annual replacement cycle for iPads pretty quickly. My primary workhorse machines are MacOS laptops, and as much as Apple has pushed (in fits and starts) an iPad-first computing philosophy, they are, and remain, consumption devices. Traditionally, I’ve used them for websurfing and light reading from the couch or in bed.
This is a very longwinded way of saying that Apple’s cpus have gone through many generations since I last had a new iPad. Going from an A7 to an A12 is an upgrade you feel. Webpages that took 5-10 seconds to fully render on my old iPad render nearly instantly on the new one.
I was actually torn between the Air and the new Mini, but I decided that I might want to try using it with a Smart Keyboard later. I haven’t picked one up yet, but I did get the 1st generation Pencil. The Pencil is primarily going to be used by Julia on her currently backordered Mini, since she can actually draw. 😄
The Celts invented two things, Whiskey and self-destruction.