Fortnightnotes this time, to cover the festive break too.

The break was understandably quiet. However, I did find time to rework the charging circuit for the LFC cufflinks that had been causing me trouble back in October. I've switched to a different charger IC completely, so we'll see if that's any better when the PCBs turn up. I've ordered a few test boards, and included a USB-C connector too, as it's a good opportunity to try that too (I've left the micro-USB connector on there too, as they're only test boards, so I'm not snookered if the USB-C turns out to be troublesome).

This first week in 2021 has been taken up with lots of work-that-doesn't-feel-like-productive-work-but-is.

Two phonecalls on Monday set two different strands of work in train. One was a short turnaround proposal for some contract product development. That was submitted on Friday, so fingers crossed. If it comes off it'll be a meaty and interesting project.

The other was a big step forwards for the company, where we agreed to hire our first employee. That, naturally, unleashed a heap more administrative work (if anyone has any recommendations for ethical/green-leaning company pension scheme providers, please shout!) as we sort out the paperwork and finer details. However, it's an exciting and long-overdue development. More details on that when they join the team.

To provide some relief from all the text, here's one of the developments at Aeternum (my two-days-a-week consulting gig).

I wasn't involved in any of the work to pull this together—that was down to a few of my colleagues there, laser-cutting the logo on the DoES Liverpool machines and then soldering up over 500 Neopixels—but I did provide a My Baby's Got LED board to control it.

When you start building up the LEDs into shapes like this it really shows off what's possible, and looks fantastic when animated:

And the segments option of the WLED software on the board lets us do nice things like separating out the rectenna logo symbol and colouring or animating that differently:

Finally, another bit of good news. Last month I submitted a proposal for a talk in the Embedded, Mobile and Automotive devroom at this year's FOSDEM conference, and it was accepted! I'll be talking about Adding Open Hardware to Open Software for a More Equitable IoT on Sunday 7th February. As with most conferences at the moment it's online—which also means that I'll actually be recording the talk this coming week, and then hanging out in the chat with everyone else watching it during the conference. Will be a novel change. I'm looking forward to it.