The best and worst Simpsons Halloween specials

As some of you might know, the Simpsons are among my favorite TV shows, and I’ve featured the show on this blog before. While I mostly prefer watching the older episodes, I sometimes check out the newer ones as well. So, in the spirit of Halloween, I decided to watch every single Simpsons Halloween special and give you a rundown of my favorite episodes.

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A simple custom I2C character LCD interface for Arduino projects

Character LCDs are a fantastic and cost-effective option when your project calls for a user-friendly output method. Besides being cheap and easy to use, these displays often offer enough usable screen real-estate for displaying simple status messages and interactive menu screens. However, the standard 16-pin interface can be quite a hassle to work with, and all the wires quickly clutter up your previously simple Arduino project. While there are some I2C character LCDs out in the wild, these models are often more expensive and sometimes difficult to work with. Therefore, I decided to build a simple-to-use alternative that allows you to control pretty much any standard 14 and 16-pin LCD display with only four wires.

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A look at various simple dithering algorithms in C++ [shorts #3]

The previous short article investigated a simple method for scaling images using standard C++. In that article, I mentioned that I was working on a way to shrink images for displaying them on the Mac Classic CRT. I also mentioned that, to display the images on the Mac’s CRT, I’d also need to employ a dithering algorithm to prevent losing too much detail. Therefore, this article takes a look at three simple and popular dithering algorithms implemented in C++.

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How to resize bitmap images using C++ [shorts #2]

Since 2016, I’ve always returned back to my Macintosh Classic CRT build, constantly trying to refine the project and make it easier to reproduce my results. In my latest attempt, I used a Raspberry Pi to communicate with the monitor. While that method worked like a charm for me, others have reported a few problems they’ve encountered and possible solutions. In my next attempt to finally get this project right, I decided to go down another path. Without going into too much detail here, the new method required me to implement a simple scaling and dithering algorithm in C++. This short article discusses my image scaling solution in C++.

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Writing a Quick and Easy Thread-Monitor (Watchdog) in Python [shorts #1]

A thread-monitor, often also referred to as a watchdog, is extremely helpful when building multi-threaded and reliable applications. In its simplest form, a watchdog should detect when one or more threads hang or crash, and it should restart the problematic threads if necessary. Depending on your use-case, you could implement this helper in a variety of ways, and you could add many more features such as a heartbeat function that allows each thread to report its progress to the monitor.

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Introducing nerdhut.de shorts

As much as I love writing long and detailed articles about complex projects, those take a long time to finish. Unfortunately, I often end up procrastinating a bit more than necessary before I get some articles done. In those longer articles, I often discuss several topics that are relevant but not directly related to the projects themselves. For example, I sometimes discuss a power supply design or a software design pattern in one part of a longer series. However, to prevent me from procrastinating too much and to make it easier for you, new readers, and search engines, I decided to publish at least one short article each week. These shorter articles discuss a single topic in as much detail as needed using as few words as possible. I’ll keep working on longer and more elaborate projects in the meantime!

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Building an Arduino based capacitive touch kitchen timer – Part 5

In this part of the Arduino capacitive touch timer series, I discuss the final working version of the project and what changes I had to make to the previous revisions. Towards the end of the article, I’ll have a look at what lessons I’ve learned while working on this project.

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