Ryan McLean

July 2, 2023

HomeKit Buttons from Home Assistant feat Habitat

Integrating multiple home automation platforms is not for the faint of heart, and yet I do it. Here's a little write-up on getting virtual buttons on a virtual remote into HomeKit, that can be "pressed" by an external platform and make HomeKit stuff happen. Background: I like HomeKit because I am in the Apple ecosystem and Siri is fast...
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July 14, 2022

Inspect and Adapt

I completed my masters degree about 35 days, 7 hours, 50 minutes, and 15 seconds ago (As of the time of writing this sentence). During this time I've been enjoying the opportunity to rest, recharge, and reflect. Being able to attend graduate school was a great privilege, and this break has felt luxurious. "Break from what?" Good questi...
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March 9, 2022

Flying discs...in space

Wait a minute ... no those were flying toasters never mind. I really wanted to get a video of the full and fully working Letterpress process out today and that's not happening but instead please just go enjoy this short (15 second) YouTube video (SOUND ON). And also enjoy this
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March 8, 2022

ByDesign 2022

It's that time of year - where one of my favorite spots in the world, Northwest Film Forum, runs ByDesign, its annual Design & Architecture film festival. This year will be a hybrid format, so you can participate too, even if you're not near Seattle. A few favorites from years past: 2021: Making a Mountain - a documentary about the was...
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March 7, 2022

Letterpress part II

In my desires to make a second video (it’s not happened yet and 50/50 on THAT happening THIS week) I have been neglecting an important update. (My favorite part of this photo is through the magic of digital editing you’ll never know I mucked things up and in reality this is reversed) I picked up a set of steel rollers encased in friend...
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March 6, 2022

Just press print

I spent a decent amount of time today troubleshooting what I believed to be a problem with my 3D printer slicer. It was refusing to properly slice some embossed letters. Eventually I got close enough that I decided to run a print and see how it looked off the screen. (Isn’t that the point of having a 3D printer in the first place?) It ...
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March 5, 2022

Throwback Friday

This was done as a joke but I like how it turned out. It reminds me of the stocker prints from the old gameboy printer.
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March 1, 2022

Precision measurements

I love precision measurement instruments, and Mitutoyo makes some of the best. Since I'll likely never drive a Porsche or own a Leica, I like to think of this as enjoying that 👌 workmanship on a budget. Today in the mail I received two Mitutoyo gauge blocks (one pictured below). I'll be using these to demonstrate the phenomenon of wrin...
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February 27, 2022

Letterpress Adventures: Part I - Tortilla Press

I also want to try video-form blogging sometimes, but I don't think I can embed a video here. 150 seconds of me trying to use a tortilla press as a DIY letterpress setup: https://youtu.be/bzycASArxtE
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February 25, 2022

Start with the second diamond...

I love this 4 minute video from Don Norman, where he flips a model he played a role in popularizing.
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February 23, 2022

Kansas Hyatt Regency

I was recently refreshing myself on the details of the Kansas Hyatt Regency walkway collapse (Widely taught as part of engineering curriculum / ethics) to see if it was a good example of the recently mentioned Chesterton’s Fence. I learned some new facts I didn’t realize before: 1 - Although the sky bridges were not built-as-designed, ...
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February 22, 2022

Practicing disciplines

Today I’ve been pulling materials together to familiarize a new team with some concepts of scrum for the first time. I won’t be talking about doing twice the work in half the time. I will be talking about transparency and alignment from making work visible, capturing work in a backlog, and separating planning from doing. None of these ...
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February 20, 2022

Using text-to-voice for better comprehension of academic literature

This is intimidating to admit although I know I'm not alone: I sometimes have a hard time working my way through academic papers and similar writings. I say this as somebody who reads a lot of non-fiction! Even when I find the subject compelling, academic writing is just not not usually as engaging as you might find in a publication de...
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February 20, 2022

SX-70 Promo Film

A friend was recently extolling to me the virtues of the Polaroid SX-70, specifically its complex internal optical path. (did you know they’re called Land cameras because that’s the name of the guy who started the company? I always thought it was some aspirational thing like you take your Land Camera in your Land Rover to go take pictu...
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February 19, 2022

Chesterton's Fence

This week I either first learned of, or was reminded of, Chesterton's Fence. Being, as it were, a fable, there's some room for interpretation, but the general concept at play here is: 1- Things are often more complicated than they seem. 2- One person's "arcane" may be another person's deliberate intent. 3- Therefore, consider trying to...
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February 17, 2022

Just Press Record

A recent article on The Verge talks about a cloud transcription service and some of the potential privacy implications of using such a service. Starting in iOS 13, Apple made APIs available to developers that allow for on-device voice-to-text transcription. There is no subscription cost, no need for an internet connection, and nothing ...
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February 16, 2022

3D Printed Light Modifiers

I recently purchased a NAMÅNE lamp* from Ikea to bring some more light to my couch for reading. The couch is in the center of my living room, and with no other direct/task lighting, reading was a bit tougher than it needed to be. I like the aesthetics of the lamp a lot, but I was getting a lot of uncomfortable glare from the light due ...
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February 12, 2022

(False) Spring Cleaning

Some days are just about maintenance. Long overdue! Products I really enjoy: Turtle Wax Graphene Flex (applied almost a year ago) Griot's Brilliant Finish Rinseless and Griot's Wash & Wax Rinseless (Glad to have both!) OPT Big Red Sponge Honorable mention: Griot's Ceramic 3-in-1 -Applied last fall and helped a lot getting through winte...
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February 12, 2022

Publishing a Portfolio with Publii - Part I or my history with web publishing.

Side note before we begin: It's difficult right now, knowing that I have virtually no audience right now but that these posts might be read at some future time, knowing exactly what audience to write for when creating these entries. But not to be deterred... A brief and laughably incomplete history of web design, through Ryan's eyes In...
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February 10, 2022

Using Amazon Alexa (even without an echo device) to control home automation devices through web hooks; IFTTT substitute

After several smoke-filled summers promising myself I would purchase a good air filter the next winter, I finally followed-through with the recent purchase of a Coway air filter. I went with the Coway Airmega 250S (a discussion for another time) - the "S" stands for WiFi. Or Smart. Or Something. Like a lot of modern "smart" devices, th...
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February 9, 2022

Show Your Work

This is why I'm here. I mean here, where you are reading this. Learned about this HERE (Come for the unboxing, stay for the Katy Perry #collabs), which I know about because of HERE...which somewhat maddeningly...I don't recall how I know about. Such is life. This book hit me at an opportune time, as I need to get the story of what I've...
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February 8, 2022

Hello, world.

I guess I’ll start here, with this. It seems silly. I’ll almost certainly have to do some transition later. But now at least I’ve begun. And so it begins.
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