Retro Pi

I’ve been trying to get a Raspberry Pi 3 project off the ground for a while now – specifically since the other half treated me to one last February. I’ve always had fantastical ideas for my projects. Too many great ideas, inaccessible ideas, this has put me off even plugging it in and installing an operating system. I must organise the perfect project first, I thought. However last weekend, I took it out of the box and installed Raspbian. I now plan on turning it into a retro gaming device using RetroPie because instead of having grand plans I think it’s a better idea to at least become a user instead of putting off becoming an experimenter.

HTML Buttons

I wanted to make some HTML buttons for my site on the portfolio section, and I found that WordPress very irritatingly removes indentations and new lines from my code. Does anyone else have this issue? I now make all my edits in Notepad++, copy and paste then refresh or debug in Google’s page inspector. It’s very difficult to muddle through your stylesheet when it’s all on one line. I’m going to investigate a plugin to see if WordPress can offer better HTML editing facilities.


Project Nebula is an amateur, unmanned, collaborative space exploration project I hope to bring to life.

Project Nebula serves to make space exploration accessible to the amateur. Our aim is to test a variety of high altitude balloons (with lightweight, low budget payloads) using different distances/launch sites/trajectory aims, etc.  Real time data will be collected by the c-band antenna and data analysis will be carried out. Data we hope to gather will include images, trajectory, weather anomalies, communications, and potentially astronomical observations such as radio, optical and other.

I believe the project could benefit greatly from XML.


The aim of our project is an open collaboration culminating in making all the data gathered available open source.

We wish to involve those who are from any background (not necessarily IT or astrophysics) and we need a streamline way to document the experience. XML is both machine and human readable, and easy to learn. This will promote the accessibility aspect of our project

To Boldly Go

I Googled low budget space exploration and this was the first search result:

“India’s Mars mission has a price tag of about $74 million, a fraction of the $671 million cost of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s latest Mars program.”


Doesn’t seem very low budget or accessible to the amateur, now does it?

Since I was a little girl I wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted to explore space; I still do. However I’m not going to be accepted into the astronaut class anytime soon so my only option is high altitude ballooning and reaching the stratosphere.


But what if we could collaborate? <mad capped notion> Enthusiasts from all over the world could create budget nano satellites. But how can they be launched? Is it possible to send up a rocket as a payload to be launched from the outer atmosphere? I genuinely don’t know the answers to this but I want to find out.</mad capped notion> 

First of all I want to gather data on high altitude ballooning without the risk of losing a payload. This will be real time data gathering and analysis. How you ask? All will be revealed in the next few weeks if I get the go ahead for this project. The data will be open source and I hope to coordinate the project as a collaborative effort.

Watch this <pun>space</pun> for more details on Project Nebula.


The Deletionist

This might be saying something about my predilection for the dystopic, but the idea of the Association of Wikipedia Deletitionists is quite intriguing. As the Wikipedia entry says, “deletionist” can be seen as a derogatory term, however aren’t all editors deletionists in some form? Cutting out the noise from entries to produce concisely edited, factual, cited pieces only serves to benefit the craft of Wikipedia creation. Deletionism sounds elitist and policing but why not have standards? If you wish to cultivate information sources all information should be as accurate and relevant as possible. Why should readers have to filter through the rubbish to pick up some key facts about a subject? Why are we subjected to hoaxes and false information that serves only to spread mass hysteria? An encyclopaedia should be factual. Any other waffle is best left for the pub if you ask me.


Have a read and let me know what you think

Code as a Cultural Artefact

Apollo Guidance Computer Source Code

The source code to the infamous Apollo 11 mission’s Apollo Guidance Computer was previously available online it was not easy to locate. Last July it was released on GitHub making the code easy to find and search through. One may not normally look upon same as a historical or cultural artefact but the code was designed and written by humans and was a part of one of the most important events in recent history. The posting of the code on GitHub introduces the code to a modern audience and because of the collaborative nature of GitHub users can comment and suggest changes to the code thus immersing themselves in a historical artefact.


The above photo went viral after the release. The photo is of the project’s main software engineer, Margaret Hamilton standing next to a visual representation of the vast amount of code that was written. The code itself almost acts as a 1960s time capsule full of cultural references and colloquialisms of the time.

Code shouldn’t be dismissed as a non cultural reference. It’s the language of the future

Stop Looking Into Mine!

As children some of us covered our work as we wrote, horrified at the thought of the person next to us copying our homework and getting credit. Others shared, they were open source learners, and openly shared everything from examples, to explanations, and helped fellow students to understand the material, not just copy it down. They were still given credit for their hard work, they boosted the class overall, and they reaped the rewards through learning valuable skills.

Why do we find it so difficult to share then? Collaborative work is proving to be the go to in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Everyone is collaborating…ideas person? Why get bogged down with analysis when you can outsource it to a data savvy colleague who doesn’t even have to be local.


1. Greater access to research data

2. More opportunities for researchers – access to projects they usually wouldn’t have the resources for

3. Ideas can be spread quickly



1. Lack of ownership and responsibility

2. Misinterpretation of vision

3. Not up to your personal standards


For further reading please see:

Four Critiques of Open Data Initiatives

The Problem with Open Data

What is Open Access? – Pros and Cons