Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Installing Node.js on Raspberry Pi!

Node.js is server side JavaScript and it is awesome! JavaScript is now a powerful multipurpose language that can do literally anything. It allows you to use the same language for a whole host of applications on any operating systems for desktops, embedded devices, smart phones, inside the browser and more. This is why there has been an explosion in the amount of people using JavaScript and it has become the lingua franca of programming languages. There is also the Node Package Manager or NPM which is a massive stockpile of free applications, frameworks and packages. NPM will intelligently install software packages not just those written in JavaScript, downloading all the required dependencies and putting them together in a logical folder arrangement.

The Raspberry Pi is the perfect choice for using a light weight language such as Node.js, but you can't install Node on your Pi through the usual apt-get method because of its ARM architecture. Don't despair there is an easy way to install it. Just go to this website and follow the instructions. Node-Arm, http://node-arm.herokuapp.com/

Good luck and may the Node be with you!

If you are upgrading be sure to delete the old node_latest_armhf.deb file as it will end up installing the old one and not the update. Or you could rename the file or whatever.

Multitasking the Arduino

This is a series about multitasking the Arduino from the Adafruit learning site. I had difficulty finding links between the three articles, so I am going to link them all here. This tutorial shows what the best way to the most out of your Arduino, It shows you how to use millis() how to create timer or external interrupts and good stuff.

Multitasking the Arduino:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Have fun!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Does Donald Trump Really Tell the Truth?

I have made several Facebook friends from the US in recent months and I have been surprised by the amount of support Donald Trump is receiving. Their number one reason for their support? He tells the truth.

But is this true?

Not according to the fact checkers at PolitiFact.com run by the Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper the Tampa Bay Times.

“Our real unemployment is anywhere from 18 to 20 percent. Don't believe the 5.6. Don't believe it.”

He said this at his presidential announcement speech on June 16. It’s not true.

“Public support for abortion 'is actually going down a little bit,' polls show.” June 28.

Not true.

“The Art of the Deal, is the No. 1 selling business book of all time.” July 1.

Not true. Although he did say “I think” at the end of that sentence.

“The $5 billion website for Obamacare … never worked. Still doesn't work.” July 11.

Not true.

John McCain has 'done nothing' for veterans. July 19.

Not true.

Black income, unemployment 'worse now than just about ever' August 2.

Yawn, not true.

He denies calling women ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals,’ except for Rosie O’Donnell. August 9

He said it.

This is just a small sample of the "truthful" statements that Donald Trump has made recently.

And some Americans wish that he was their nation’s next president, when clearly he is not worthy of such a position. Very scary.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Congratulations, you are a Feminist!

It irritates me greatly when women (and others say), I don’t believe in feminism. The fact is that virtually everybody you meet is a feminist. If you believe that women should be treated equally both culturally and before the law - you are a feminist. Feminism is one of the foundations of our society. To say, “I'm not a feminist,” is untrue, offensive and stupid - unless you are a bigot that believes that men, or women, are superior. Which I guess puts you in the “stupid” category.

You hear the same thing about liberalism - or “the left.” The stupid thing is if you believe in democracy, equality before the law, the rule of law, the separation of church and state, freedom of religion and free markets, you are a liberal - whether you like it or not. So all the things that the so-called right-wing believe in today were once positions held by the radical left. The right and left wing of our political parties are closer together now than they ever have been - so close in fact that somebody from the 17 hundreds wouldn't recognise any difference between the two.

Back then the right wing believed that there were varying qualities of humans. There were those that were born with the qualities of leadership. Only those who inherited titles had rights. Then only people who own land could vote. Eventually the idea of liberalism formed and we ended up with the system we have today, but I do not believe this means that we cannot make the system even better.

The major problem with the world today, besides global warming, is hypocrisy. There are now many peaceful western nations that continue to prop up hideous regimes. You don’t hear anything about the way women are treated in countries such as Saudi Arabia. They don’t have any of the values that make the Western democracies such great places to live. I'm not saying we should invade the Middle East and convert them - that has never worked in the past and only makes the situation even worse than it already is. But we need to stop accepting that the people in power these few countries can continue abusing their people. This is the real cause of terrorism in my opinion. We also need to be wary and protect the rights that our ancestors won for us.

Arabs, Muslims and others see what goes on in the Middle East. They see how Western nations continue to supply state of the art weaponry to countries that do not respect any of our values - this includes Israel. Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza do not have any rights that are respected. They can be stopped, searched and imprisoned at any time. They can’t vote even though they are occupied by Israel - they are non-citizens in their own country.

Many of those on the right continue to support Israel even though they do not represent the liberal values they supposedly believe.

Many of the colonies that went on to form the United States of America were founded by people fleeing religious persecution. The Bill of Rights was drafted to protect people from all sorts of government interference in their lives, protecting them from things like religious persecution and inequality. Yet today in Israel people are being unfairly treated simply because they belong to the wrong religion.

So feminists, liberals stop using those labels as a slur because they describe you - all of us for that matter (unless you have joined Islamic State).

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The rule of asshole equality

The rule of asshole equality is probably the most important rule ever conceived by man.

A lack of understanding of this rule could possibly be the basis of all the world’s problems.

The rule states that: there are an equal percentage of assholes for any given group that someone is born into.

Say your mother and father are Catholic this would be a group you were born into. It does not apply to a group you join later in life like the Ku Klux Klan.

I’ll give you some practical examples. Say 10% of people are assholes.

In multicultural societies it can be difficult to pin down exactly what group someone is born into, but the principle still applies. Lucky for me I have a really obvious group I was born into, I have muscular dystrophy and use an electric wheelchair. So you can say 10% of my fellow muscular dystrophy sufferers are arseholes.

Similarly 10% of your family are most likely arseholes. Most families have that special someone that no one else in the family really likes. You know, that uncle that drinks too much at the Christmas party and tries to grope your girlfriend.

At this point you might be saying, “So what I knew that already, why is this important?” Racism and other forms of bigotry such as homophobia or islamophobia are all caused by a lack of understanding of the “rule of asshole equality”. Because only 10% of homosexuals are arseholes and only 10% of Muslims are arseholes likewise 10% of your own group are arseholes. We are all the same, people are just people and some are arseholes and they are spread around equally. This rule applies to everyone - even You - do not forget that.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

RIP King Abdullah - NOT!

Flags on government buildings in Australia were at half-mast commemorating the death of Saudi Arabian King Abdullah. The Saudi Arabian Royal family is the last absolute monarchy in the world. Their government brutally suppresses dissent and women are considered second-class citizens. Since 2011 there has been protests asking for women to be given the right to vote, the right to drive and the right to leave their houses without having to get there their fathers or husbands permission to do so. The Saudi government also actively suppresses those who do not follow the state religion of Wahhabi Islam.

Saudi Arabia only formed relatively recently. In a remote part of Saudi Arabia an alliance was formed between Muhammad bin Saud and Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab. Wahhab gave bin Saud political legitimacy and in turn bin Saud helped to spread Wahhabi Islam. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire In the aftermath of World War I, the house of Saud gained enough followers to proclaim the formation of Saudi Arabia in 1932.

The Wahhabi form of Islam is considered to be ultra-orthodox in fact they stamp other Islamic groups as being apostates. This gives some Islamic fundamentalists “permission” to commit atrocities against other Muslims particularly the Shia community. Far more Muslims have died at the hands of terrorists than any other group.

Many peaceful protests have ended in violence with security forces using live ammunition. Dissidents are jailed often without trial. Saudi Arabia also has draconian legal system similar to something you would have seen in fourteenth century Europe. For those found guilty there are public executions featuring stoning, people who steal have limbs cut off, some are even publicly flogged just for daring to criticise the government.

Most other countries would feel intense pressure to reform, but Saudi Arabia is blessed with massive oil resources. Many Western countries are terrified by what would happen if Saudi Arabia cut off their oil supply.

In 1973 Egypt and Syria tried to invade Israel in an attempt to win back territory they had lost during the Six Day War in 1967. The US strongly supported Israel and the Arab states were pushed back. In response the OPEC nations proclaimed an oil embargo on the US, The Netherlands and the UK. Of course the US craped themselves using their great power and influence to end the war ASAP. The war soon ended and the OPEC nations lifted their embargo. This event greatly strengthened Saudi Arabia and since then western nations have bent over backwards to keep them happy.

The weakness of western nations to hold the rulers of Saudi Arabia to account has only perpetuated this regime and continuing human rights violations. I do worry that Saudi Arabia may fall victim to its own success. One day the Arabian Peninsula will run out of oil. When it does the Saudi regime will no longer be propped up by huge amounts of oil money, western nations will no longer feel obliged to keep the house of Saud in power. If Saudi Arabia falls in a similar way to what Syria has it would be a global catastrophe. Saudi Arabia is stocked full of the finest Western weaponry it could be really nasty if those weapons fall into the wrong hands.

The Saudi regime should have been undergoing reform, but they haven’t done that. Only recently has some small reform measures happened. It was only in 2011 that women were finally given the vote and even then it is a pretty useless right as Saudis only have the right to vote for half of the seats in municipal elections and none at all for higher bodies. There have been one or two other concessions, but not nearly enough to stave off a potentially bloody revolution. We shouldn’t be showing the rulers of Saudi Arabia any sort of respect - they don’t deserve it.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Chemical of Courage*

I admit I am a drug taker, my drug of choice – heroin! No not really. It’s really Prozac. I have suffered with depression for many years and it mainly manifested as being extremely unmotivated. I also had no balls at all; I let fear of failure and what other people think control me. I was in denial about all of this for at least 10 years.

I believe many people are in denial about being depressed. You must remember that we evolved in completely different circumstances to what we live in today. People like me used to simply die they never got the opportunity to get depressed. When living day-to-day you don’t get the opportunity to be depressed either. Unmotivated people just died.

But the world is different now. Life has no purpose other than what we give it. My primary purpose is to have fun in life. Worrying what other people think is frankly one of the stupidest things you can do. Don’t listen to the part of your mind that puts you down or tells you that you can’t do something.

Some people have these ridiculous beliefs that hold them back. They believe that to take a drug like Prozac for depression is shameful and should be avoided at all costs. Only pathetic cripples, ex junkies and recent divorcees take them. They think it is weak to take drugs like this.


If there is a drug that will make your life better that does not have adverse side-effects or any side-effects you would be an idiot not take it. I know, it is often that these sorts of drugs are over prescribed particularly to children. Parents that need to drug their children to keep them under control need to take a good hard look at themselves and maybe consider taking the drugs that you want to give to your child.

Many people are also mortified by failure or humiliation, particularly in public. All humans make mistakes - it's a fact. Virtually every other human on the planet recognises this fact, maybe not consciously, but they forget about your mistakes - as you should. You ask them a few days later about a mistake that you made, They will say, "what mistake?" If it is a particularly large mistake, they will forgive you and perhaps even laugh about it - just look at all those fail compilations on Youtube. Some of the greatest scientific discoveries have been made due to failed experiments - antibiotics being one of them.

I started taking Prozac in December 2013. Since that time I have blogged more, read more, learnt more, done more and played computer games a lot less. Before that date I was a useless meatbag that only played games all day.

Since then I have started Melbourne Eastern Suburbs Hackers or MESH. This is a group that is part of the broader maker and DIY movement. It is for people that like making things. Currently most of us are interested in computer programming, robotics, drones and all sorts of other nerdy stuff. We became an incorporated body late this year.

I have also started writing a book called, Future Shock, which, you guessed it, is about the future. I just wish that I had started taking this drug years ago, just imagine what I could have achieved.

So just ditch everything in your life that is holding you back - most of these will be inside your head. There is no limit to what a motivated person can achieve in this age. Nerds that would have died in the gutter a few centuries ago now can rule the world, think of Bill Gates, the Steves (Jobs and Wozniak), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), Elon Musk (space X, PayPal and Tesla) and you. Although that second last one probably would survive in the Stone Age.

Some people can achieve the same results as drugs if they simply gave up fear of failure, the stupid belief that humans don't make mistakes, they should never apologise or not forgive people for their mistakes. Maybe if people thought a lot more about the way their mind works, go through your beliefs and opinions one by one analyse them using logic - give up denial. If it means taking a drug to get you there - who gives a flying fuck!

*If you got this reference, good on you - now take some drugs! You will need them if you ever saw this atrocity of a movie, even if it was over 20 years ago.