Transitioning from Twitter API v1.1 to v2 (Part 1)

As part of The Twitter Debacletm I have spent the last few weeks trying to get my Twitter bot working again which has taken quite a bit of effort.

I thought it might be worth looking at what I did to get my bot working again once access to the API was cut in February. As there is so much in this I have broken it down into two parts:

  1. setting up your project and getting the keys you require to use the API
  2. calling the API from PHP

Getting the keys

I struggled to find which keys to … Read the rest

The Twitter Debacle

Ever since Elon Musk took reluctant control of Twitter he has been walking a tightrope as he balances bringing Twitter into the black with not losing the core base of users. That includes laying off a large number of staff.

One decision that I think he might yet come to regret is the change to the API access moving from free access to a freemium model. Where you used to be able to post an unlimited number of tweets this is now restricted – 1,500 a month for the free account, 50,000 a month for $100 and so on up.… Read the rest

Changing the Default PHP Version in MAMP

When doing any development on my laptop I use the very useful MAMP to give me an xAMP (Apache, MySQL & PHP) environment.

I recently upgraded and found that the free version offers two versions of PHP: 7.4.33 and 8.2.0 which would be fine but my production server is still on 8.1 and so I needed to match that. I could have upgraded to MAMP Pro but £90 just to switch to PHP 8.1 seemed a bit much, although, I do appreciate that by doing so I would be supporting the developers.

Changing the PHP Versions in MAMP Free Edition

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Hyper Local Weather Part 2 (It’s not that)

A while ago I wrote this article about the box installed on a lamppost down our road. I surmised that this was a local weather station providing hyper-local weather, but that is not the case. Read on to find out what it actually is…

I was surprised to see someone up a ladder tending to the contents of the box this week and so I decided to go and find out exactly what it was all about. The person was happy to chat and explained that he was from the Transport Research Laboratory, contracted to the … Read the rest

Hyper Local Weather

I’ve spent years not really considering where our weather forecasts have come from. Other than having a vague sense of awareness that Cray Supercomputers are involved, that the forecasts themselves covered too great an area to be of any use and we’re frequently inaccurate. If you want to know the weather look out the window was my mantra.

Recently though apps have started sending notifications for weather warnings, such as rain starting in 10 minutes, for your “local” area. It’s unclear what area the warning covers and what they consider to be local but here in the UK you … Read the rest

Bringing Robbie the Robot back to life

A job that I never look forward to is mowing the lawns. Don’t get me wrong I love being in the garden and gardening in general. I think gardening is great for one’s mental health, but that does not extend to lawn mowing. So, a couple of years ago I bought a robotic lawnmower – a Flymo Easilife 250 – which we dubbed “Robbie”.

In order to get the mower to know where to mow you have to lay a wire around the boundary. This is a pretty straightforward job and you can either peg the cable down (in which … Read the rest

The LastPass Debacle

You will probably have read about the LastPass security incident(s) that took place last year and, perhaps, have seen the belated response from LastPass. Turns out a bad actor got access to an employee’s laptop by exploiting a weakness in the Plex media server software – something that had long since been fixed but the employee hadn’t felt the need to apply the update.

I am a long-standing LastPass user (since 2013) having long recognised the need for somewhere to securely store my passwords. Unsurprisingly I have accumulated quite a few passwords in those ten years – over 1,700 … Read the rest

Untethering a Raspberry Pico from your Computer

In my series on the PiHut Maker Advent Calendar, I posed a couple of questions:

  1. how do you move from a wobbly breadboard to something more permanent?
  2. How do you run code without having the Pico tethered to a laptop running Thonny?

I have, at least, now worked out how you do the latter of these two and I will explain how below.

In order to get a script to run on start-up you need to save a file called “” to your Pico device. To do that I have included steps for this using Thonny. Firstly, make sure … Read the rest

How to Restore Twitter to Something Useful

Since the takover of Twitter by Elon Musk changes have been coming thick and fast. Some, such as Twitter Blue, have been well reported and endlessly debated. Others, such as the change to the timeline, less so. It is the latter that I am going to concentrate on today.

Twitter has long tried to encourage behaviour that it wants rather than what the consumer might want. This means pushing tweets from people that you might not follow but others you follow do, in the hope that you will build your own followers. The problem with this is that you end … Read the rest

Memobottle Stainless Steel – Review

Not so technical but still geeky so I think it counts for posting here.

Regular readers will know of my love of Kickstarter and memobottle is one of my great successes from the platform. Disclaimer I am a (very, VERY) small investor in the business.

The Background and Kickstarter Campaigns

The original memobottle was a series of reusable water bottles in sizes that matched paper sizes (well anywhere but US paper sizes) such as A7, A6 and A5. These were (and are as they’re still available on the memobottle website) great and I still use my A7 and A6 constantly. … Read the rest