Bit Cannon

Replacing a MacBook Pro

This is the fourth post in my series on finding an alternative to Mac OS X. Part 3 was about finding replacements for some of my favourite Mac productivity apps. My migration away from Mac OS X is still going well. I rarely use Mac OS anymore. The one remaining application I’m yet to find a suitable replacement for is MoneyWell. In April I started a new job and was given the choice between a Mac or PC laptop. Continue reading

Being Productive on Linux

This is the third post in my series on finding an alternative to Mac OS X. Part 2 was about my experience with elementary OS and the switch back to Arch Linux. I received a lot of great responses to the last post, thanks to all that commented, emailed and shared the post. I’d like to particularly call out the comment that Daniel Foré, the founder of elementary OS left on Reddit: Continue reading

Finding an Alternative to Mac OS X — Part 2 Video

I gave a short (10 min) talk at work on my adventures with Linux. It covers the same core content as the post, Finding an Alternative to Mac OS X — Part 2. Continue reading

Finding an Alternative to Mac OS X — Part 2

This is the second in my series on finding an alternative to Mac OS X. Part 1 was about evaluating 13 alternative operating systems and then choosing one to use full time. The selected OS was elementary OS. The motivation for this change is to get access to better hardware since Apple is neglecting the Mac lineup. Continue reading

GNOME 3 on FreeBSD

As part of my evaluation of macOS alternatives I set up GNOME 3 on FreeBSD. I received some comments asking about this so I thought I’d expand on it a little further. FreeBSD GNOME desktop I’m a FreeBSD fan and (small scale) donor. It was the first open source OS I ran back in 2000 and I continue to use it today. In fact, this very blog is hosted on VPS running FreeBSD. Continue reading

Finding an Alternative to Mac OS X

This is the first in a series on finding a replacement for Mac OS X. Background I have used Mac OS X since the public beta and use it at both home and work. I’ve also run various Linux distributions and BSDs since around 2000, so am quite familiar with them. In April 2016, dissatisfied by the lack of MacBook Pro updates (and performance of Ruby) I had a custom PC built for work. Continue reading

Installing Rust on C.H.I.P.

Yesterday I tweeted that I had successfully installed Rust on my C.H.I.P. computer. @LeMoussel replied asking for a tutorial, so here goes: Step 1: Connect to C.H.I.P. My C.H.I.P. is running the Headless v4.4 Debian image. I connected to it using a serial console over USB, as described in the documentation. To do this, connect your C.H.I.P. to a computer (I’m using macOS in these examples) via a USB cable. Continue reading

Watering System Parts List

This is a running list of the watering system parts, updated as I go. 3 ⨉ Water Pump 1 ⨉ relay module

Automatic Watering System

The first project that I’m planning is an automatic watering system. I have a bunch of pots on my balcony and keeping them well watered is a challenge, especially in summer. Furthermore, if they are watered too much, swarms of fungus gnats appear, which are difficult to get rid of. The goals I have in mind are: Automatically water plants based on moisture levels in pots. Solar powered — running power out to the balcony isn’t really an option. Continue reading

First Post

Hi and welcome to Bit Cannon! I’m Wes, a software developer and tinkerer from Melbourne, Australia. Here I plan to write informally about hardware and software projects I’m working on. I’ve recently revived my interest in embedded systems and have acquired a Raspberry Pi 3, C.H.I.P. and have an Arduboy on the way. I have a few ideas kicking around for what to do with these devices and plan to write about them here. Continue reading