Using the Google Calendar API from your web site with PHP

This post is mainly to remind myself how to do this when I inevitably forget in a year or two and want to integrate data from a Google Calendar into a project. There are quite a few steps, but it’s pretty straightforward once you know what to do. As with most programming, there are many […]

About: – the software

This is the bird box that is shown at It is on the side of a house in Cambourne, about 8 miles west of Cambridge, in the UK. Right from the start, the plan was to get it working roughly and quickly and then improve it until it was the best I could do with […]

About: – the hardware

This is the bird box that is shown at It is on the side of a house in Cambourne, about 8 miles west of Cambridge, in the UK. When I put a camera in this bird box last year, I was not optimistic. Expecting to capture nothing more than the inside of an empty […]

Ever wondered why plumbers are paid so much?

It’s a difficult job that combines working in horrible conditions with the need for multiple skill sets. But the main reason plumbers are well paid is because they know the arcane secrets of plumbing fittings. It is dangerous, forbidden knowledge, some of which I am about to share. Strap in. We are going through the […]

Chill out man

The journey of creating a proper brewing setup begins (and continues) with various pipes popping off and blasting your face with water, cartoon-style, before you eventually end up with something that works and doesn’t fill your garage with water. The horrible mess in that picture is what I actually tried to use for my first […]

Spicy Potatoes!

The Spicy Spud is a unique Cambridge phenomenon which probably occurs in other places too. Every fish and chip or kebab take away in Cambridge seems to do them – except the ones that don’t. There is no standard recipe or supplier, so each shop has their own version. This recipe is my attempt to […]

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Login Loop – Fixed!

I have just upgrade 18.04 to 20.04, which went fine. But when I tried to log in, it would just dump me back at the login screen again. Looking through the logs I saw the line (EE) xf86OpenConsole: Cannot open virtual console 7 (Permission denied) The permissions for /dev/tty7 were fine. Various pages suggested solutions […]

Taming the PiFM Transmitter (Part 2)

In part one of this guide it became clear that a Raspberry Pi with a 700 mm long wire on pin 7, running a variant of the PiFM software is an easy way to make a nuisance of yourself. We might not be broadcasting kilowatts of power and realistically, you are not going to be […]

Taming the PiFM Transmitter (Part 1)

One of the million things you can do with a Raspberry Pi is using it as an FM radio transmitter. It is stupidly easy; you just attach a 700 mm long wire to pin 7 and install one of the many variants of the original program which was hacked together at a code club meeting. […]