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2020/12/22 Covid Christmas and New Years 2020 with my Family
π 2020-12-22 01:01 in Family
This year was complicated given covid. I was allowed to fly back and forth because I'm a french citizen and a US resident, but otherwise, travel was not allowed. Obviously this wasn't a great time to travel, but Xmas is precious for my family, so I quarantined before the trip, got covid tested before and the morning of the flight.
The flight itself was not fun, I wore an N100 mask for close to 12H, and let's just say it was not enjoyable, but I was reasonably sure to be safe as a result. I arrived a couple of days before Xmas eve and everything was fine. I just didn't go anywhere after that (most things were closed anyway).

My brother and family came over for Xmas eve and Xmas. Lots of nice food, time together, and games:



























After Xmas, we went to see my mom at our retirement home. We were only allowed to see her 1H and in a secluded room while wearing questionably useful surgical clothing






she seemed a bit happy, but also confused by what was going on
she seemed a bit happy, but also confused by what was going on

It was a quick visit, after 1H they asked us to leave, but hopefully she enjoyed it

I used the opportunity to visit my brother's place a few minutes away, it had been a while since I last went:








my brother spent quite a bit of time working on low res LED projects, too
my brother spent quite a bit of time working on low res LED projects, too

I used to have a rabbit, I miss him :)
I used to have a rabbit, I miss him :)


We also had a small family gathering for NYE (4 out of the 6 allowed)

appetizers
appetizers

yum
yum





seared foie gras? yes please :)
seared foie gras? yes please :)


buche et petits fours, yum
buche et petits fours, yum

jean michel jarre concert for NYE countdown
jean michel jarre concert for NYE countdown



we even got snow for New Year's
we even got snow for New Year's

For New Year's, we were invited by the Francs, also our chance to see Tata who got special permission to come out of her retirement home (to be fair, she already had gotten CV19 without even getting sick, so she was kind of low risk). Nice to see the whole family.
As a joke, I came suitably dressed:



like james bond, I had a suit under my suit :)
like james bond, I had a suit under my suit :)






nice foie gras, yum
nice foie gras, yum



Martine did a fantastic job, as always
Martine did a fantastic job, as always





this is literally all of Paris that I saw on this trip
this is literally all of Paris that I saw on this trip

Lots of nice meals:






choucroute
choucroute



A few other pictures:



While I was there, my dad used me as child labor, to carry heavy loads and help him build custom cabinets:


why change bits, when you can just change tools?
why change bits, when you can just change tools?



I also helped him rebuild his video system so that all his devices go through his A/V receiver:


doesn't look much worse than ours at home :)
doesn't look much worse than ours at home :)

This was a slightly longer trip than usual, given that there was only one plane out of 6 (between UA and AF), both my flights there and back were cancelled, so I took other ones and ended up staying a bit longer. My dad didn't complain :)
The trip there and back was not fun, I didn't get to see anything at all in Paris this year, but it was still well worth it, glad I was able to go.

2020/12/16 Seeed Studio Arduino Sensor Kit Base
π 2020-12-16 01:01 in Arduino
Seeed Studio gave me this sensorkit to review. See the ESP8266 and arduino nano v3 at the top for scale:


I'll start by saying that the kit is very cool in design: the sensors are wired so that they just work, but they can be disconnected and used with wire cables later:


The kit is not as diverse as a previous kit I had, but that previous kit had so many sensors, many hard to use, and came with no instructions whatsoever. The seeed studio kit is much better in that respect and only costs $25:


You could probably use one of these: https://www.seeedstudio.com/Seeeduino-Lotus-Cortex-M0-p-2896.html

Documentation:

  • https://www.seeedstudio.com/Arduino-Sensor-Kit-Base-p-4743.html
  • https://sensorkit.arduino.cc
  • Code: https://github.com/arduino-libraries/Arduino_SensorKit
  • The main downside though was that this was a colaboration with arduino, who thinks it still makes sense to push the entirely obsolete and overpriced arduino uno. The uno is so limited that it's not every funny. The kit could not even make proper use of OLED display due to lack of RAM. I really really wish it was designed to work with a proper 32bit board, like the one shown in this picture (you can also see the wires between the different boards):


    At the time of this writing, the kit does not come with instructions on using a better board that is 3.3v based instead of the 5V arduino uno. See this bug: https://github.com/arduino-libraries/Arduino_SensorKit/issues/10
    To use it, Install "arduino sensor kit" from tools/manage libraries, which will include dependencies:

  • U8g2
  • Grove_-_Barometer_Sensor_BMP280
  • Grove-3-Axis-Digital-Accelerometer-2g-to-16g-LIS3DHTR
  • In my arduino install, I ended up with this:

  • Using library Arduino_Sensorkit at version 1.0.5 in folder: /home/merlin/Arduino/libraries/Arduino_Sensorkit
  • Using library Wire at version 1.0 in folder: /var/local/arduino-1.8.5/portable/packages/arduino/hardware/avr/1.8.2/libraries/Wire
  • Using library DHT_sensor_library at version 1.3.8 in folder: /home/merlin/Arduino/libraries/DHT_sensor_library
  • Using library U8g2 at version 2.27.6 in folder: /home/merlin/Arduino/libraries/U8g2
  • Using library Adafruit_Sensor at version 1.0.2 in folder: /home/merlin/Arduino/libraries/Adafruit_Sensor
  • Using library SPI at version 1.0 in folder: /var/local/arduino-1.8.5/portable/packages/arduino/hardware/avr/1.8.2/libraries/SPI
  • The OLED display can be used with U8g2 insted of U8x8 (see https://github.com/arduino-libraries/Arduino_SensorKit/issues/8 ), but this sstretches the very limited memory on an arduino uno:


    One downside of the kit was that it didn't have an example that uses all the sensors, but I wrote one, so now it does ( https://github.com/arduino-libraries/Arduino_SensorKit/pull/6 ):


    The resulting code is here: https://github.com/arduino-libraries/Arduino_SensorKit/blob/main/examples/Combined_Demo/Combined_Demo.ino

    Enjoy the kit!


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