13 Oct

Lean Manufacturing

I’ve been getting into ‘Lean’ of late. No, it’s not a diet, it’s a methodology of reducing waste. Lean’s premise is that everything you do, is for your customer. And if it’s not appreciated by your customer, it is waste. And sometimes you are your own customer. Lean is about learning to identify and eliminating these wastes which come in 8 forms.

The 8 forms of waste


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19 Sep

Starting to connect the dots

Today marks the day of formally starting an idea I have had for a while yet I never allocated the time. Multiple times I have seen a need for a simple yet flexible platform to get data back to the web from the real world. Clients have asked only to have to build it into their own product. Farmers have too but they wanted it from the perspective of the benefit it provides.

Gaining certainty

Though this is a ‘vertical’ product it’s easiest to explain with a real world example. If you have a water tank you know it’s good to know the level. Simple when you are close to it, but what do you do if your livestock depend on it and it’s an hour’s drive? Simply check your phone, the solution we are building takes readings from tanks, soil, gates and sends this to your phone. It provides you certainty and control.

A block diagram for all the geeks:

Block diagram of the wireless sensing platform

Though this will likely change these are my thoughts. A modular platform that can be added to but documented enough to allow you to adapt it to your needs. Solar for remote applications and XBee for when the things you need to check on are scattered.


Action items:

  1. Prototype solution
  2. Select target market that has an acute need
11 Jul

Beyond the IoT hype – Myriota Interview

Beyond the IoT hype, Adelaide’s own Myriota CEO Alex chats with Rooster Radio. Good for those looking to understand a little more of the commercial IoT space and some of the players in the game. IoT is described as at the peak of the hype curve at the moment with a lot of players coming into the market. Driverless vehicles also get a mention as one with a lot of interest but still waiting for the tipping point.

17 Apr

Day 1 – Jeff Bezos letter to Amazon shareholders 2017

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon has released his annual letter to Amazon shareholders and it is a fine view of what it means to be young at heart (as a company) and customer focused. Much is held in believing that when you step into ‘day 2’ your learning mindset and your edge will wain, a key indicator that death is around the corner.

Below is the letter in full, well worth the read.

2016 Letter to Shareholders

April 12, 2017

“Jeff, what does Day 2 look like?”

That’s a question I just got at our most recent all-hands meeting. I’ve been reminding people that it’s Day 1 for a couple of decades. I work in an Amazon building named Day 1, and when I moved buildings, I took the name with me. I spend time thinking about this topic.

“Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”

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27 Oct

Water sensor for plants

After getting my girlfriend a potted plant she was worried about forgetting to water it. This is the third iteration of the water reminder. It now sports battery power and a chirping sound when low on water. I am measuring resistance to determine when the soil is too dry.

Plant Water Sensor v3

04 Sep

Facebook Counter Version 2

Version 2 is now out. We have made some big improvements, not to mention the size! The new Facebook Like Counter is 20 cm long and 6 cm tall! With a whopping 8 digits it will satisfy any size business. You asked, we listened. Thank you to everyone for their feedback, it is appreciated. Without you I wouldn’t be able to make these brilliant devices!


  • Now 8 digits
  • 2.5 cm tall numbers
  • 20.5cm long
  • 6cm tall
  • Space for your logo

Counter V2

19 Nov

Lesson 1: Connecting Arduino to Computer with the Sparkfun Inventors Kit

Lesson 1 – This is a How to video on connecting the Arduino to a PC and installing the software to make it work. We are using the Sparkfun Inventors Kit in this example with the rest of the tutorials going through the circuits and programming!

  • Introduction to the development environment
  • Connecting the Arduino to the computer
  • Setting up the software
  • Uploading a program to blink an LED (light)

Previous: Lesson 0 –  Introduction to the Sparkfun Inventors Kit

Let me know how you go!