WebRTC is pretty cool. It allows any web browser to make voice and video calls to any other browser – no extra software required!
The problem is that while there are tons of guides and gobs of sample code out there, nobody really explains how it works.
The end result is that you program away, and then discover that OOPS! It’s not connecting…
So, let’s see how to make WebRTC actually work!
If you’re a web developer, you’ve probably used Google’s Material Design Icon font. It’s a great way to include 1 small file and get gajillions of icons – instead of making 20 different pixel sizes of numerous icons, and then creating sprites and all that jazz.
The trouble is that until now, there was no reference for PAST versions of the MD icon font. You’re supposed to just load it from Google’s servers and be happy.
But what if you you don’t need 1800+ icons at 102kB in file size?
What if an older version of the MD icon font is just fine, you want to load the font file from your own servers or CDN, and you just want to know what icons are available in that older version?
Now, you’re all set!
For reasons unknown to me, other people are always asking me how to learn programming.
Well, there’s the traditional route: go to school, become a coder. Done!
But as we all know, many of the best and most famous programmers were those who dropped out of school and were essentially self-taught.
Are they onto something?
Ubuntu server 18.04 LTS is a rather popular linux OS for servers.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come without its problems. For example, the current version of stunnel – an SSL tunnel – is woefully outdated.
It seems that although Canonical is aware of the problem, they have no intention of fixing it!
Fortunately, there’s an easy workaround that’s much simpler than you might think…
ImageMagick is great. It allows your web app to process, resize, filter, and do all kinds of other nifty things with images.
Not so long ago, ImageMagick 7 was released. One of the big new features was full support for WEBP images, the new image format from Google.
Now, you might think it’s easy to just upgrade to ImageMagick 7. If you’re using a linux OS like Ubuntu, you just apt install and you’re done, right?
Ah yes, the Mobile Revolution!
In desktop web browsers, you generally get a web inspector / debug console that lets you do all kinds of fun stuff, including debugging your JS code.
But on mobile, well, no such luck.
In fact, most mobile browsers give you absolutely nothing! Fortunately, there’s a neat trick that fixes everything.
In the olden days, there was only “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows 10”. This little gem gave you something like reverse WINE.
You got an Ubuntu linux install that’s running on top of the Windows kernel – with full file system access, the ability to install and run all kinds of linux command-prompty stuff like git, and even graphical linux apps like gitk.
Fast forward a few years, and things have changed…
What if you’re still running Bash on Ubuntu on Windows (Ubuntu 14.04) and you want to upgrade to the latest Ubuntu 16.04 without reinstalling everything?
Or, what if you want a different flavor of linux?
By popular demand!
Meltdown and Spectre are the recently-publicized exploits that take advantage of flaws in modern processors.
These flaws are big news, but what’s the actual scoop?
It turns out that they ARE a big deal, but with a few important caveats…
Since the exploits themselves are so technically complicated, I have tried to explain them in a simplified way without sacrificing actual useful details.
That way, you can make up your own mind as to whether or not you should run for the hills!
Everyone knows that coders are weird people.
Interrupt them, and you often encounter a rather strange and “interesting” reaction. Why is that?
Well, it’s all about what happens in your brain when you’re programming something. It’s probably one of the hardest things to focus on, at least for me.
There’s a reason why programmers tend to work late/early hours: fewer distractions!
Fortunately, there are a couple of tricks I have taught myself over the years that can make everyone much happier.
Even if you aren’t a coder, you can still benefit from these tips!
If you have a fuel or water tank that is either metal or colored plastic, you may have run into the same problem I had: How do you know when it’s empty?
Mechanical level gauges are nice, but not always practical or even possible. So, I went on the hunt for an ultrasonic level sensor for my fuel tank.
Alas, what’s available on the market is too expensive, not very reliable, and often goofy in terms of features. So I decided to build my own!
This ultrasound fuel gauge can be built for around $33 using a breadboard, Arduino Uno, and one of 2 different ultrasonic transceiver modules designed for use with Arduino or Raspberry Pi boards.