New Website Design

After who knows how long, I finally sat down and updated the landing page with a modern design.

The impetus for doing the redesign came from the work I just finished — setting up the landing page for the book I’m writing: From Plan to Prototype.

This gave me an opportunity to play with a few new technologies: Pug, Tailwind CSS, and Parcel.

The biggest improvement was the easy-to-use responsive design classes from Tailwind, which makes layout extremely simple and predictable.

I’m still in awe of this library.

Parcel handled the compiling, bundling, and development hot-reloading for Pug, and is a breeze to use as well.

As it turns out, Parcel has a “my way or the highway” style of compiling and bundling files together that didn’t make any sense to me once the redesign started to involve more than just the landing page. It was overkill.

So I had to take a step back and write a build script to generate the contents of the website, which gave me a chance to learn the command-line versions of pug, tailwind, PostCSS, and PurgeCSS.

New Landing Page

Much nicer, and now using dark mode!

Old Landing Page

Minimal, to a total fault.

New Food Reviews Website

Massive redesign of https://vilimpoc.org/food.

Old Food Reviews Website

Super, super ugly and unappealing.

Spice Shredder

I wanted to motorize a cheap IKEA spice grinder, which was a silly idea for a project.

But it got me back into mechanical modeling and 3D printing, so here are the results (video).

The full write-up is part of the GitHub repo that has all the design files (https://github.com/nuket/SpiceShredder) and the STL files you could use to print this yourself.

If it’s helpful for you, or you have modifications that could improve the design, feel free to drop me a line!

STM32 Virtual COM Port Issues

For some reason, the Virtual Com Port (VCP) drivers for STM32 chips were acting up and not properly enumerating a usable COM port on Windows when I was testing an STM32L476 chip.

I’m not sure if this is a chip-specific issue or if this problem shows up on more chips using the STM32Cube Hardware Abstraction Layer.

(Even after I installed Atollic TrueSTUDIO and the older STSW-LINK004 Windows utility, which I like better than the new STM32CubeProgrammer because it doesn’t require Java.)

Continue reading STM32 Virtual COM Port Issues

Does Microchip have a C++11 / C++14 / C++17 compiler for their 8-bit microcontrollers?

Not really.

Only the AVR series chips from the Atmel acquisition have this support, when using the open source GCC suite. And even then, their official compiler build is pretty old.

Continue reading Does Microchip have a C++11 / C++14 / C++17 compiler for their 8-bit microcontrollers?