DIY software development and/or electronics?

What skills to learn, what tools to get
CDR
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:45 pm
Location: Canada

Re: DIY software development and/or electronics?

Post by CDR »

On the DIY Programming side of things, I really enjoy writing scripts to automate tasks at work (majority of my experience) or at home (a little bit). I put together a python script that will smash together all the spreadsheets from my bank, pick out the transactions for the month I want, and put it in a new spreadsheet with the savings and spending rate calculated.

I've also taken to using scripts and the computer to schedule very simple recurring tasks. Like have my computer open a web browser to my bank website every Friday so I review my transactions (not logged in, for safety reasons :)).

Webscraping is a great area for DIY. Much easier to have a program that checks a website or forum every hour or 30 minutes for something than to do it yourself. Whether you're looking for a job, house, place to rent, free stuff, particular things (for example, a particular type of broken item), it's pretty easy to write a script for a particular website and let it go.

Just like sclass is always saying about the hardware side, it's really easy to find tutorials on youtube or else where on the web to get started with this stuff.

I use Python most of the time, automate the boring stuff is a great book that teaches you python and how to write scripts to automate things at the same time. You can read the book (legally) online for free: https://automatetheboringstuff.com/

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Sclass
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Location: Orange County, CA

Re: DIY software development and/or electronics?

Post by Sclass »

That’s awesome that you do that with Python. I was wondering what the right tools were these days. It’s kind of funny how I forgot about all my labor saving tools when labor was gone.

About fifteen years ago I learned just enough Python to check my reports’ time sheets on our server to make sure they filled them out before Friday afternoon. If they didn’t they’d get an automated warning via email. Basically the same calls you use above. I did some scraping for Craigslist free listings for biofuel (waste restaurant grease) with Python at the time too since the alert apps didn’t exist yet. I always was first because I programmed it to text my dumb phone. The local hippies were pretty fast but not faster than my scrape every thirty seconds. I did another one that would email me reports of how many units my assemblers had made/tested daily and their rate of production by the hour. It was really good to know what times were best to walk the line and “motivate” the troops. They thought I was snooping their web traffic on the test stations but I was simply compiling their test reports. When I ran a little virtual vending machine I wrote one to subtly change the text on the site daily because it definitely kept me higher on the search rankings at Google to have daily updates to the homepage. My version of SEO was changing five characters...only Google noticed. That was really neat stuff. After retiring I haven’t done anything like that.

CDR
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:45 pm
Location: Canada

Re: DIY software development and/or electronics?

Post by CDR »

Kind of makes sense, it seems like the perfect time to forget about them :P.

Funny enough, it was almost that long ago that I learned Python. I learned it in high school. I've just gotten 'lucky' that Python has become so big.

Love the idea of using scripts to help manage your reports, not that I have anyone to manage, but something I will keep in mind! Also, that's the kind of SEO I can get behind!

I'm starting a new job in IT, so I'm getting antsy to see what kind of scripts I'll be able to cook up :).

SavingWithBabies
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:50 pm
Location: Midwest, USA

Re: DIY software development and/or electronics?

Post by SavingWithBabies »

@Sclass Just catching up. Yeah, I know it's not hard to setup a test fixture. I just want to wait until I need one. I'm sure I'll make some custom PCBs one day I just don't have a need yet so I'll wait until I get there. I guess I've got a subset of interests that I'm waiting on until I have more time/space/house/workshop. Like the lathe and the mill. Hopefully one day.

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Sclass
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: DIY software development and/or electronics?

Post by Sclass »

I picked up a new oscilloscope. A Rigol DS1054z. It was really cheap. $349 inlucing shipping on Amazon. 100Mhz, 1GS/s, 24M points memory depth. Amazing for the price. I sold some stuff to make room and lo and behold it was a free upgrade.

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Not sure what is going on here but it is a good scope for the money. It’s kind of a Toyota Corolla of scopes. Fast enough and incredibly useful. Unbelievably priced. Good for hobbyists wanting to go beyond the $16 bargain basement models I discussed earlier. About the size of a boom box instead of a carryon suitcase so it’s quite portable. I was going to buy the fancier model with the logic analyzer inputs but I thought about it and realized that parallel is dead. The world has gone serial except for some of the highest speed chip to chip communications interfaces. This thing has serial protocol analysis on its four analog channels so you can do “logic analysis” on i2c busses with a single wire. I’m becoming a old engineer chasing after tools for obsolete tech. I really wanted 16 logic analysis channels but seriously I haven’t needed to do anything like that as USB serial/JTAG debuggers have replaced old school logic analysis.

plantingtheseed
Posts: 174
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:23 pm

Re: DIY software development and/or electronics?

Post by plantingtheseed »

Oh that's pretty!

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