Controlling Homebridge with Alexa

Controlling Homebridge with Alexa

I've written a fair few posts about HomeKit and Homebridge but there was one piece of that whole puzzle that I was never really happy with—Siri. While Siri does a job to some extent I think it's hard to say that it does it well. Constantly mishearing or misunderstanding what I'm saying, having to have a phone or iPad nearby to activate, and long waits while it converts speech-to-text were infuriating. My Dad had recently bought into the Alexa eco-system with an Echo Dot and was controlling his Philips Hue setup with ease. He couldn't stop praising the thing—…

HomeKit IR Blaster: Controlling My TV with HomeKit

HomeKit IR Blaster: Controlling My TV with HomeKit

If you've read any of my previous posts then you probably already realise I'm on a mission to automate my entire house and control it using Apple's HomeKit protocol. I'm pretty satisfied with the lights in my house now but there's plenty more I would still love to be able to control from my phone. In Search of an IR Blaster Rather than replacing everything in my home it made sense to try and find something to control my existing stuff. The majority of things like my TV, amp, fireplace, and fan are all controlled by IR so I started…

Building An Arcade Cabinet: The Hardware

Building An Arcade Cabinet: The Hardware

It must have been around 8 years ago that my Dad and I had the idea of building an arcade cabinet. This was before the Raspberry Pi even existed and there was nothing like Arcade World here. After a bit of research we imported everything we needed for the control board from the US and knocked together a MAME box on an old Windows XP computer. And that's where the project stopped until I decided to have another go in December 2016. The Cabinet After I'd decided that I definitely wanted to have another go at this I started shopping.…

Echo: Revolutionising NHS Prescriptions

Echo: Revolutionising NHS Prescriptions

Like millions in the UK I rely on repeat prescriptions to keep me healthy. The NHS is marvellous but the repeat prescription service has always felt a little archaic. Little slips of green paper popped in a box or handed to your pharmacist and then a 24-48 hour waiting period before you can actually get ahold of the medication you need. The NHS Electronic Prescription Service launched in 2014 did seek to solve much of this. If both your GP and pharmacy supported it you could use their online service to order repeat prescriptions and collect them at your leisure.…

Quick Tip: Auto-include Open-Source Acknowledgements with CocoaPods

Open-source software is so prolific that it's likely nothing written today doesn't include some in one form or another. Keeping track of the licenses and acknowledgements that need to be included when working with multiple dependencies can be tricky. CocoaPods does a great job of managing the dependencies themselves but as it turns out it can also help us including those acknowledgments in our app. Settings Bundle As you probably already know a Settings Bundle is the way we add settings to iOS's global Settings app. It's essentially just a plist or collection of plists and handily CocoaPods generates a…