papertyper (digital typewriter #4)

Im reasonably done with the papertyper. As I write this I’m sitting on a bench in my garden. Listening to the birds sing and one of the neighbours works in his garden. The device turned out better then I had hoped, but I still have things I want to make better. The case is one of those things. It rests on my lap now, and that is good, still I’m not super satisfied with the angle. If this where a laptop I would have had to make it in another angle. Oh well.

To recap, I’ve used a raspberry pi zero, a waveshare power HAT and a waveshare screen. And a mechanical keyboard. I did some configuring of linux on the raspberry to get it to boot as smoothly and fast as possible. I made it synch the text written to google drive.

The text editor that is started on boot is not the one I coded. I could not get the Swedish characters to work. Instead I use micro, a spiritual successor to nano. Not that it really matters but nano could not be configured to save at regular intervals (the one I coded myself saved on every time I hit enter) oh, well. As I type this I notice that it doesn’t matter. I hardly look at the screens or the keys. Instead I’m looking at the parachute jumpers and the way the leaves move in the wind. So I guess It could have been anything (slow e-ink, mini lcd screen). Probably did not even have to have used this big screen. But it sure looks cool, when it boots.

If I would buy one of these from someone else (I would se if it has a good keyboard and built in power-management. I can call a script to se how much power I have left, but it’s not “convenient”) Still for this price, and the joy of making something truly original I’m happy . Now I’m going to take some nice photos to put together with the text you are reading.

https://www.waveshare.com/wiki/UPS_HAT 980,99 kr

Raspberry Pi 353,15 kr

Mechanical 10-key less keyboard. 319,00 kr

https://www.waveshare.com/wiki/7.9inch_HDMI_LCD 323,63 kr

SUM 1 976,77 Kr = 238,94 USD = 196,39 Euro

Digital typewriter #3

Update time bridges.

First off, I used a tutorial to write an editor that I can start directly. It has very few thrills. But more than I wanted to. So I removed a lot of code. Then I added the feature auto-save and the feature open an empty text file on start. Then it was time to configure rsync to upload everything from that directory to google drive at a 1 hour interval. I’ve ordered a new screen and an UPS hat that will arrive mid of this week. Until then I’ve made a mood board for how I want the hardware to look as soon as I’ve made it.

Digital typewriter #2

Things did not go as expected, but I expected that.

So all the things that I ordered came, and putting them together was not a big deal. Except for the missing usb-hub I thought I had. But that was soon solved.

However, the snags came when using the e-ink screen. When writing Swedish characters the example crashed. My tries to add Swedish characters failed. The font files had some info on where they where generated from so I hunted down that script and remade with Swedish characters. But that broke the whole font. So I hardcoded äöå and ÅÄÖ to be aao and AAO. Not elegant but enough for now.

Next problem. refresh rate. It’s just too slow, Even with partial refresh. Cant use the screen for what I intended. I was about to write my own “printf” function for the screen to do the typewriter on. But that seems like a waste of time now. Oh well. I will research those ultra wide screens now. And maybe a power pack.

For my next project, a digital typewriter

I’ve been thinking about this writing thing. I do enjoy it, but I get sidetracked a lot when on the computer. I edit things, I do other things, I reply to an email and what not. So I wanted to try some offline writing. A pen is great, but it’s hard to get into the computer later.

Existing stuff

Freewrite is a device that solves it. It’s a digital typewriter t hat you can only write on. Not edit, just write. And it synchs to the cloud, so you can edit later. It’s expensive though. Then there is the Lisperati1000 that looks just as good, maybe even better. But it is not in production yet. Same goes for the clockwork devterm.

And it looks like none of the supports the åäö I like to use when writing Swedish.

The solution?

Making my own of course. I will borrow aesthetics from ivie PC-40, that small old Toshiba laptop. typewriters. Moog synths. for hardware I will use a mechanical keyboard, a raspberry pi zero, an e-ink screen and a battery pack. The body will be made out of wood. There will just be a long text document on the e-ink screen. And it will be synched either automatically via wi-fi (to my home network or a shared from my phone) or when I write “SYNCH” or something similar. That’s it. That is really it. I think there will be some challenges in regards to getting stuff onto the e-ink screen. But it probably wont be that difficult. <— last words 🙂

Another KDP tool

I like making books for Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Today I wanted to se if I could do a book filled with good comebacks. I searched the internet, paraphrased some with the help of an AI and I made some myself. Did not use my own favourite “Are you so great yourself then? So I wanted/needed a tool. Since I know how to make PDF files (KDP’s upload format #1) I decided to make such a tool. Then I made the book and then I decided to share the tool.

Here is an example of what it produces quote-test.pdf you can download the code here and you need processing from processing.org to run it.

import processing.pdf.*;

/* we need the pdf library */
PGraphicsPDF pdf;

/* 50 seems to be a good size if you want to get a pretty long quote in, but if you change the font, that will change */
int fontsize = 50;

/* variable needed so that we wont get a blank page at the end */

boolean isFirst = true;

void makeQuote(String quote)
{

  /* if this is  the first quote, don't make a new page in the pdf */
  if(!isFirst)
  {
    pdf.nextPage();
  }
  else
  {
   isFirst=false;
  }
 
  /* clearing the background to white */
  background(255);

  /* printing the quote on screen and in the pdf with a frame of whitespace around it */
  text(quote, 40, 40, width-80, height-80 ); 

 

}


void setup() 
{
  /* the size of the area will be set in pixels for processing, the pdf library will interpret it as points, so this is 6 inch by 9 inch size*/
  size(432, 649);  
  
  /* Loading a pretty font, you need to have this in the data directory */
  PFont font = createFont("Baloo2-Bold.ttf", fontsize);
  textFont(font,fontsize);

  /* initialisation of the pdf file */  
  pdf=  (PGraphicsPDF) beginRecord(PDF, "quote-test.pdf"); 
  /* if we don't tell the pdf library explicitly it will not include the font, this trick was hard to google */
  pdf.textFont(font);
  
  /* setting the text size alignment font and leading. Play around with these*/
  textAlign(LEFT, CENTER);
  fill(100);
  textSize(fontsize);
  textLeading(fontsize);    
   
  /* call all your quotes here, one by one, and they will be in the pdf document */ 
  /* for this example I took some from https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/famous-quotes remember to set a backspace before " marks and an \n if you want a new line*/
  makeQuote("\"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.\"\n-Nelson Mandela");

 makeQuote("\"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.\"\n-Walt Disney");
 makeQuote("\"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.\"\n-John Lennon");
 makeQuote("\"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.\" \n-Eleanor Roosevelt");
 makeQuote("\"Whoever is happy will make others happy too.\" \n-Anne Frank");

  
  /*stop recording to the pdf */
  endRecord();
  
  /*since we are don, let's exit*/
  exit();
}

void draw() {
}

Made a tool to make word searches

While I’m getting into KDP publishing, I needed something that can make word search style puzzles from a list of words. So I made such a tool for my one of my Pen Names. Worked out pretty well. I made it in processing and it spit’s out .pdf’s with both the game and the solution. As an exercise I wanted to see if I could port it to javascript. p5.js. And I could. I’m not done though. And while this port has a lot of the original features. It does not support export multiple pages to PDF (yet). Maybe I’ll add that tomorrow.
The features:
Makes word-search games from user inputted words. Can do different sizes. Some customisation of text size and spacing. Solution on and off. Download png.

Future features will be:
Download as PDF
Make a series of puzzles.
Choose randomly from the list of words (needs to be a lot of words)
Select how many words on each puzzle.
Maybe some font choices. Depends on the pdf-generation.

Etsy, is it worth it?

Me and my oldest daughter Tova has started an Etsy store. https://www.etsy.com/shop/SloydJuntan In this blogpost I will mind-vomit a lot of things I’ve learned.

We sell stuff we make ourselves, Tova takes the pictures and fixes the shipping and those other things that I find a little bit boring. She takes a hefty commission, but really, how many boxes of bowls do we need around the house 🙂 So what we have are unique items that are not super high in price.

But do we make any money? are those boxes of bowl’s getting fewer?
What have we tried?
What worked?

I fell down the SEO rabbit-hole. And also the joy of figuring out blackbox algoritms on how Etsy promotes things in searches. And Etsy ad’s.

First of SEO, yes, SEO on Etsy matters, you get more hit’s on your things if you figure out good tags. But you also need to give your item’s titles that include search terms. That makes your handmade unique items look like Aliexpress things though. I dont like the estetics of doing that.

However, the search algos on Etsy does not kick in until you made a few sales. So until you sell something, there will be no boost. This is a downside if you are not making the bowls exactly the same. Your one-offs will not have any benefit from this.

I read somewhere that Etsy boost’s things that you get sales from organically. So, you need to advertise outside of Etsy and get sales. Then Etsy will pay attention to you.

Videos on the items, no change for us.

We tried some print it yourself posters, but either the motives are not nice enough or the prices are too high. They have been favorited though, but maybe that is from ppl wanting to remake them in their own style.

When selling from Sweden Etsy adds VAT to all the different areas where they charge you. I’m not sure why they are charging Swedish VAT for us. The way is ass-backwards if you are a swede. Unless you are a company (registered) you always se the prices including VAT. For an Etsy buyer, that is also the case. For a seller? nope. The listing fee is 0.20 USD, and then VAT added for that.

Profit. You really really need to take a deep look when pricing things. It’s made to be confusing. First you have a listing fee. Then VAT on the listing fee. Then depending on how you charge for items, or rather how the sale is being done, either via Etsy or Paypal there are different charges. Subtracted from your profit. Then the item (if you have more then one) are getting “re-listed” witch is another .20 USD. Then A bunch of different things happen. This is for one sale of Tovas wonderful small crocheted figures.

Confusing, right? What is the actual income from Etsy for the sold item?

Then we have Etsy ADS. They are worthless if you are selling one-offs. The algoritms wants a month to learn Etsy tells us. But if you sell your thing, then it’s gone. And the learning cost has been wasted. Still I tried it. Ran with about USD 3 for some time. Got 3 sales on the. Cost 54 USD. + taxes. So, a pretty big net loss.

This is five days of ad’s. No sales, Turns out that if you read on Reddit, the consensus is that even if you have several of the same in your shop it’s not useful to have ad’s. Mostly because they cost so much. And if you are in a saturated market, and there are some that are reselling imported things that competes with your handmade thing the competition has been know to click your ad’s so that you have to pay the cost.

Free shipping in the US for orders over 35 Dollars. Nope, because you cant sett different prices to different locations, so everyone else would have to pay for the free shipping (it’s not free you know, it’s just hidden)

What will we do going forward? We’re just going to add the things we are making. Not doing anything digital except for patterns that Tova makes. We are not going to do any ad’s. And if we sell something, that’s nice. But It’s easier for our minds to just be happily excited when it happens. And only do marketing via the instagram account https://www.instagram.com/sloydjuntan/ Hope to se you there!

Javascript to automatically put likes on a tag on instagram.

I made and modified a script that I found on the internets that automatically puts likes on a tag on instagram when you are using a web browser.

It’s a little complicated, but also not that complicated.

Open chrome
Navigate to instagram.com
Be logged in
Type a search tag.
Open the first image you like.
then rightclick, chose inspect.
Find the “console”
Take the script I’ve added to this page and poaste it there (modify for english isntagram)
and press enter.

Viola, it will like and like and like

var likeCount =0;
 function loop()
 {
 	console.log('Script loading…please wait…');
 	var Time1 = Math.ceil(Math.random() * 10) + 3;
 	var Time2 = Math.ceil(Math.random() * 10) + 3;
 	var randomSkip =  Math.random() * 10;

 	setTimeout(function ()
 	{
 	 //Unlike

 		if (document.querySelectorAll('svg[aria-label="Sluta Gilla"]')[0]) 
 		{
 			console.log('Already Liked');
 		}
 		else if(parseInt(randomSkip) >=8 ) //we skip some of the post, we dont want to be a heart sleuth
 		{
			console.log('Random Skipping: ' + parseInt(randomSkip) );
 		}
 		else
 		{
 			likeCount++;
 			console.log('Liking the post');
 			 //Like
 			var btn = document.querySelectorAll('svg[aria-label="Gilla"]');
 			btn[0].parentElement.click();
 		}
 		setTimeout(function ()
 		{
 			if (document.querySelectorAll('a.coreSpriteRightPaginationArrow').length)
 			{
 				console.log('Loading next post');
 				console.log('Totally liked : '+likeCount);
 				var btn = document.querySelectorAll('a.coreSpriteRightPaginationArrow');
 				btn[0].click();
 			}
 			else
 			{
 				console.log('No more posts on this tag!');
 			}
 			loop();
 		}, Time1 * 1000);
 	}, Time2 * 1000);
 }
 loop();

Testing passive income- several years ago.

Many years ago, back in 2010 I tried something to fool the Spotify algorithms. I made an album with a lot of songs that where very short, with super-generic song titles. In those days the talk was that Spotify was paying a little for every play.

Now 11 years later I can tell you that the album “The Sound Of Money” by “Get Ritch Quick!” has made about 3 dollars in total revenue. But no income.

I would give this scheme a 1 / 10. I’m not “ritch”. But it made me laugh later now, with all the samples of coins.

Testing passive incomes – T-shirts (and other prints)



So I’m diving into passive income schemes. What is passive income?
Passive income is when you make something for a limited time and then it continues to make you money even if you are not doing the work anymore.
A musician that records a song, and then get’s royalties is a passive income. A painter that makes a painting and sells it once, that is not a passive income.

So I’m trying the t-shirt print game. Making t-shirts that are witty and unique. And also other things.

The way to do this is print on demand.
Print on demand is just putting the print on the thing when someone has order one. Nice for the environment!

There are a lot of options around. Redbubble and Printify and so forth.

I chose Spreadshirt, since, it I have bought stuff from them in the past and they seemed local to me (Sweden) because of the environment.

I did not put a heck of a lot of effort into thinking about this, or even do some research. Blinded by all the money I would make.

So now that I’ve taken a bunch of nice looking designs, and made some new that are witty and fun, and should be sellable, really, because they are nice looking and they are similar enough to other.

Spreadshirt has this nice thing where you can create individual “stores” but have one spot where you upload things but can create different “brands” So I used that and created a store that makes Prohibitory traffic sign but with other things. Using European style graphics.
So far the biggest seller has been the one against balloons. https://shop.spreadshirt.se/funnyverboten/f%C3%B6rbud+ballong?idea=603fa4d389e7102447680354
With 3 sales.

During these two weeks, the store has been open, 3 sales.

Guess I have to try and make ads for the shop now. Since even using the exact search terms does not end up on the ad Spreadshirt has bought on google does not show any of my t-shirts.

So I just changed the spelling of ballong from “balong” in the tag’s and installed Google search console to see what I can do with that.

Now I’m going to make a couple more Prohibitory traffic signs about the weather.