Web-development as life-style
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Links May 2020

Some more interesting links:

🛠 Development

  • Chrome Kiosk Mode to build custom kiosk devices
  • hCaptcha – recaptcha-like, but focused on privacy. Cloudflare has moved to it.
  • Ask HN: Is your company sticking to on-premise servers? Why?. Some highlights:
    • Not sure that’s universally true. We have probably tens of thousands of EC2 instances in our infra right now. Just the cost alone to build out on-prem infra and migrate things over would likely wipe out a half-decade or more of cost savings. And in the meantime our shift in focus would hurt our market position. If we’d started in the beginning (11 or 12 years ago) with our own infra, I imagine our recurring infra costs would be lower right now, but I also suspect that our 3-person founding team would have failed to produce an MVP before their initial time and money ran out. If I were starting a company now, I’d probably do things in a more “platform agnostic” way such that a cloud->on-prem migration might be easier. But I still never expect it’d be easy.
    • I agree with everything you say – I’m convinced that a huge part of the cloud’s financial success is due to how it allows CTOs/CIOs to indulge their fantasies about having a mega-scalable app – even if their workloads are very regular and predictable. Along the lines of buying an expensive sports car but never driving it fast, you’re just paying for the kudos it brings you in the eyes of other people. Having said that, we are happily using the cloud for our small app because it makes no sense to build out our own infrastructure for a single VPS and database.
  • XOD – visual IDE for Arduino.

📹 Design

🕶 Cool stuff:

Working remotely from a village

These days I’m working from a village!

Initially we planned to come here for a week or so to play with my wife’s nephew while she had school holidays.
However it has coincided with the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown in Ukraine, so we stayed.

It’s been a month now, and I want to tell about my experience.

We’re staying in Novobohdanivka with population under 1000. It’s a relatively well-doing village, with some central water supply and town gas. There is a post office, bar, some small shops, nursery and primary school.


Workplace against the carpet on the wall

This is my workplace. At home I have another monitor, but most of the time 15” laptop is fine for doing work and listening at the same time to DI.FM.

Also you can download the carpet backdrop for your Zoom calls.


There is no land-based Internet connection, so I brought an LTE router with me or sometimes using my phone as a router. Right now fast.com rates the download speed at 5.7Mbps. It’s enough for most of my work and occasional video-calls with multiple people. I have a 3Gb daily cap on my mobile plan, and the speed is throttled to 0.8Mbps after the limit is exhausted. It’s enough for my daily work, listening to online streaming music, and very limited 360p-Youtube-time.


When I have some free time I try to help around the house and the garden.

A couple of weeks ago we planted potato and carrot. Last week I did some digging around currant.

Also doing misc country house staff like cutting trees, coming with creative ways to join water hoses of different diameter etc.

After hours

The scenery is very nice here, got to see sunsets like this almost daily:

Sunset with the view of the kitchen-garden

I’m really happy we got to stay here during this quarantine.

Links April 2020

Here are some interesting links from this month.

Webhook Bot

Webhook Logo

At some point I was considering to make a bird-feeder with a simple Arduino sensor to count birds.

I thought I could make use of some simple tool that would notify me of another bird visiting, or that the battery is low. E-mail would do, but it feels like too much hassle when you can send one request to a messenger of choice.

Glip and Slack offer easy creation of a public webhook URL for any chat, that you could use to send messages.

However, I wanted to use my private messenger accounts for it, and did not find a similar project nor for FB messenger, nor for Telegram.

So I made one myself. That’s how Telegram @wwwebhook_bot was created!

Initially I wanted to use it with FB messenger, but it’s hard to get it approved there for public use.

The project has first seen light of the world in August 2018.

Source code on Github

Arduino Bluetooth Car Controller

Arduino 4WD Car Kit

My wife has recently presented me an Arduino 4WD Car Kit.

The kit is great, produced by keyestudio, and based on l298n motor driver.

It took me a while to assemble and make it work, but I got so much fun in the process.

The app

The kit producer provides an Android app, but it’s quite buggy, so I looked for alternatives.

I found a simple app code by Boldi Zopcsak and tweaked a little bit tot include the MAC address input field which was hard-coded before.

Also the app now tries to connect to Bluetooth device on start.

What I’m especially happy is that I set up the Github Action to build the app on every commit. It also stores the app builds, very handy.

Check out Repo on Github.

Builds: Android CI

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