Andrew Bolster

Senior R&D Manager (Data Science) at Synopsys Software Integrity Group and Treasurer @ Bsides Belfast and NI OpenGovernment Network

TL;DR I’m taking 2 weeks off my Synopsys work to work on all those side projects I promised I would, either to myself or to others.

We’ve all got a box somewhere of either AliExpress / PiMoroni / PiHut boards and a number of repos and half started projects that you promised that you’d be able to work in playing with in evenings or weekends, but you keep finding yourself doing stupid things like “spending time with family/friends”, “working out”, “spending time with / trying to find your significant other”, or “eating” or “sleeping” or other ridiculous indulgences.

For the past three years, I’ve basically taking December off from work because for a while there, there was no major motivation to take significant blocks of time off work… (Dear American colleagues; we have to take holidays, it’s very good when there’s no pandemic, check it out…)

In an effort to try something different this year, I’m taking a two week “StayCation”, mostly going to be spent in Farset Labs.

Projects I’ll be working on (and trying to write up…)

  • Make a proper AirFlow / MongoDB / Kafka setup for personal projects
  • Make a Home Assistant integrated EPaper Weather / News Display for the bedroom
  • Fix Farset’s HotDesking page…
  • Check that this Arduino Workshop from years ago still works…
    • If it does, add in my recently acquired SDS011 Particulate Sensors into the mix…
  • Test out HDMI Capture for the Farset Labs Event Space for easy streaming / remote engagement.
  • Try out fixing Farset’s front porch display with HDMI CEC so it can automatically wake up the big vertical display
  • Build out a persistent EPaper display for the desk with Todoist
  • Calibrate the recently acquired CR30 (the treadmill one) at Farset
  • Plan out how to get ClubMate into the country this year for both Farset, BSides Belfast, and my selfish, thirsty, self.
  • Flesh out and productionise the ElectionNI API and Persistence layers
  • Fix a particularly nasty and annoying CI/CD bug in my wee secondary brain package
  • Setup, Document and Install Nexudus driven Amazon Fire tablets (or other…) for room occupancy / booking displays in Farset
  • BSides Belfast Sponsor Logo Collation and Scheduled Shoutouts
  • Write an Instagram Scraper for a “protest wall” for a certain beardy fella (not myself for a change)
  • Treasurer update for Farset Board
  • GIF - To - LED Array webservice for the Cosmic Unicorn
  • Write a rotating/interactive badge for the Badger 2040W

That’s all… 🤣

I have no expectation of completing all these but it’ll be fun trying!

Wish me luck…

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