I made a music player using the awesome Pimoroni Pirate Audio HAT for . It plays any format including OGG and even videos, remembers where it left off, buttons work exactly how I like it because I wrote the code, and it has outstanding audio quality (24-bit DAC + headphone amp). The UI needs work tho!

tobykurien.com/images/microblo

Giving up the smartphone (currently in airplane mode in the drawer) for a dumb phone. I want my attention span back. I want control over my computer. I want to eschew mobile computing for good old fashioned desktop computing.

Nokia 105 Smartphone in airplane mode

A solution I've been playing with: Blue Nova 280Wh LFP battery + 300W inverter. Runs my laptop for over 6 hours, charges with standard car battery charger, over 10 years of cycle life, weighs less than 3kg, costs under R3000.

WebApps is my app I am most proud of. Many years in the making, it allows you to save websites as apps, with privacy-enhancing features similar to uMatrix.
WebApps sandboxed browser github.com/tobykurien/webapps

Not super proud of this, but when it's a choice between tossing out an old tablet because of a broken USB charging port, or an ugly fix to save it, I'll do the ugly fix.

My fav gadget of 2020: the LCD writing tablet. Costs under R200. 2 year battery life. Doesn't sync with anything. Can only erase whole screen. Helps me focus distraction-free on today's tasks and jot down notes.
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A lot of excitement around putting a into a keyboard (Pi 400), but I've been working on putting a Pi into a touch screen! I present the Pi Portable PC: as comfortable on a couch as it is compiling code on a desktop!

I decided that my 7" tablet should also do double duty as my main desktop. Here I have it hooked up to an 11" HD screen, running VSCode, compiling my Arduino code with PlatformIO. My python projects also worked straight away. That is to say, apart from Android dev, this can totally replace my laptop. It's all powered up with a cellphone charger.

Two and a half years later, and my has served me well, and is still (I'm proud to say) clean, inviting, and uncluttered.

I built both a 7" and an 11.6" tablet. Find out why I built them, how I built them, what I can do with them, and how you can build your own, in my blog post:

tobykurien.com/rpi_tab/

India bans TikTok and a bunch of other Chinese apps "for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India"

techcrunch.com/2020/06/29/indi

After a few months with the awesome Mudslinger GoSmart Explorer, I've added a review to my blog (Part 4):

tobykurien.com/escooter/

I ordered the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless, and it arrived the next day. Definitely an improvement over the wired. Despite the slating by 'audiophile' reviewers, best headphone listening experience I've had! Love it!

skullcandyshop.co.za/headphone

I've been testing various seating positions (upright, standing, raised laptop, etc.) for my "home office desk". The most comfortable seating by a long way is on the setup shown in this pic, with laptop on my lap. This reclined position prevents pinch points on my legs, and evenly distributes weight over my back. My legs raised on the ottoman means better blood circulation (can help prevent hernia or varicose veins). Can also use a wireless keyboard/mouse, and connect the laptop to a TV.

My DIY project: 11.6" 4 tablet. Easy build and fun to use, and can stand in for a laptop for most use cases.

And just to prove the point, instead of buying an iPad or Android tablet as a reading device, I made my own using a Raspberry Pi 3b. 18 hour run time on a powerbank ( proof), latest updates and browsers, multiple OS's, 4 USB ports, hardware upgradable. Love it.

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Pro Tip: Do NOT fit a foam tube to your ebike in hope of avoiding punctures. It is super hard to fit, even harder to remove (had to cut the tyre), but worst of all, the rolling resistance is so high my speed and range were reduced drastically.

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