This project uses the Circuit Playground Express to create a visual thermometer. The current temperature is measured and represented with LEDS.

Using Circuit Playground Express is a great way to start programming a microcontroller and components. The Playground Express contains components on one small board; including 10 NeoPixels, motion sensor, temperature sensor, light sensor, sound sensor, mini speaker, pushbuttons, slide switch, infrared receiver/transmitter, and capacitive touchpads. Without wiring and soldering, you can write programs that interact with one or all of these components.


In the article, “ Raspberry Pi — Expanding My Mind with the GPIO, “ I describe my discovery of the Raspberry Pi GPIO and my first project using it. While my second project, Mouse Shake, is a small step forward in complexity, I use it daily. It’s exciting to make something useful.

This article reviews the Mouse Shaking program and its journey from a Raspberry Pi Pico on a breadboard to an Adafruit Neo Trinkey.

Mouse Shake is Raspberry Pi used as a USB mouse that continuously moves the cursor on a computer screen. It’s used to keep my computer…


I switched to Linux three years ago. After being a Mac fanboy for fifteen years, this was a significant change in my life. Most of the hardware and software I used daily changed. For sure, the software transition was slightly painful but worth the upside. The most significant benefit of switching from Mac to Linux is choice.

Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

Software Choice

While software availability is sometimes a blocker for Mac users to switch to Linux, it’s more of a benefit. Except for a few Adobe products, I found strong Linux alternatives for the Mac applications I relied upon. …


On January 15, 2021, Google announced they are “Limiting Private API availability in Chromium” on March 15 2021. On this day, Chromium Browser users will no longer have access to features found in Google Chrome.

Photo by Chunlea Ju on Unsplash

Chromium Project

Chromium is an open-source browser developed by Google in 2008. Google’s Chrome browser is based on Chromium, as are other popular browsers such as Microsoft’s Edge, Opera, Brave, and Vivaldi. As of this writing, the browser market share across all platforms¹:

  1. Chrome 63.63%
  2. Safari 19.37%
  3. Firefox 3.65%
  4. Samsung Internet 3.49%
  5. Edge 3.24%
  6. Opera 2.16%

Google Chrome is the dominant browser, and Chromium, as the foundation…


I love technology and tinkering with it. After fifteen years of being a devout Apple fanboy, I switched to Linux. While there were many reasons for this significant change, at the core, it was about learning. Since the switch, I’ve learned more about how computers work, both the hardware and software. I’ve built a desktop computer and breathed new life into older computers with Linux. My recent acquisition of the Raspberry Pi 400 started me on a new journey learning physical computing.

Photo by Vishnu Mohanan on Unsplash

Since the Raspberry Pi 3 release in 2016, I’ve been using Pis for single-purpose servers. I’ve set up…


I recently reviewed the Pi 400 Complete Computer Kit, with its ‘out of the box’ configuration running on Raspberry Pi OS. Now, I’m reviewing an alternative operating system, Ubuntu 20.10, running on the Pi 400.

Ubuntu Desktop, initially released in 2004, may be the most popular Linux desktop distribution in the world. It’s backed by Canonical, a UK-based private company that sells commercial support and services for Ubuntu-based products. Ubuntu comes pre-installed on desktop and laptop computers from various hardware vendors, including System76, Lenovo, and Dell. Ubuntu can also be installed on many other current and legacy computers.

With millions…


When the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the release of the Pi 400, the company described it as “a complete personal computer, built into a compact keyboard.” This is a bold statement from a company selling project-based single board computers since the first Raspberry Pi release in 2012.

To me, “complete” means including everything needed, hardware and software, to use the Pi 400 as an everyday computer. Let’s explore the Pi 400 as a complete personal computer.

My first Raspberry Pi was a Pi 3, and I use them for specific purposes, such as a media server, print server, and home…


Never did I imagine a government request to wear a mask while in public, and when it began, I never imagined I would have an opinion about the design of a mask, but I do.

I expect most people own at least three masks and maybe a dozen or more. For those like my wife, Erica, who wears a mask nine or more hours a day while teaching at school, fit, comfort, and protection are important.

A friend, Johanna, is making masks and gifted one to me. I’ve worn store-bought and homemade masks, and Johanna’s mask is, by far, better…


In my post Pop!_OS Tiling — Always Float, I describe Window Exceptions and how to implement them manually. The latest release of Pop!_OS Shell, installed with the most recent Pop!_OS 20.04 update, now includes a graphical tool for managing Window Exceptions.


I’m a fan of tiling window managers. Pop!_OS introduced tiling windows, known as Pop Shell, in version 20.04. While the Pop implementation is not as powerful and functional as a tiling windows manager, like i3 or Awesome, it’s a great start but needs some improvements. In my post, Pop!_OS Switch Workspaces with Super + Number, I recommend adding keyboard mapping to move between workspaces easier.

Some windows don’t work well in tiling mode. The Settings and Calculator applications work better as floating windows

Stephen Cross

A web developer for 25+ year. Drupal developer, podcaster and Linux enthusiast.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store