Don't be afraid to explore

Don't be afraid to explore


2 min read

Something I always struggle with is getting set in my ways. When you learn to code a certain way, with certain tools, it always seems easier to keep using the same tools than to embrace something new.

For example, my largest Python project Arcade Retro Clock is over 25,000 lines of code, all written with Notepad++. Each time I change the code, I FTP it to my Raspberry Pi and then execute it.

2021-09-09 00_03_27-datagod_ArcadeRetroClockRGB_ Arcade Retro Clock converted to run on RGB Matrix (.jpg

I debug manually using print statements and verbose error handlers.

Depending on which Pi I am updating, I will SSH to it and execute the code from there, viewing the debug output as it scrolls by.

But you know, after doing that for 5 years I think it is time to upgrade to a real IDE.

New Tools

Yesterday I started tinkering with Visual Studio Code. I was able to figure out how to have the code automatically save to the Pi (using a downloadable extension). I am still getting used to it but wow what a difference. Edit, save, run. Skipping the whole "what is the IP address again? and other FTP fun).

Now for the results of my tinkering. I was reading in a forum where a person was asking if there was a way to read messages from a Meshtastic LORA device (pictured above). With a few minutes of reading the documentation, I was able to grab an example and start experimenting.

2021-09-09 - pi [SSH_ meshtasticPi.local] - Visual Studio Code.jpg

When I want to learn new tools or tech or languages, I always try to find something fun to explore. For the next while that will be Meshtastic devices. Stay tune for more articles about these fascinating devices.