Monthly Archives: December 2017


lora dev board

LoRa Dev Board

There’s a catch-22 involved in feeling uninspired: you need a seed of inspiration, but in order to find it you have to go out and experience things – and that seems like a huge amount of effort when you’re feeling uninspired.
In the fug of a long-term grey period of un-inspiration, some of the fine hairs on the edge of my inspiration-gland were inadvertently stimulated during a DevOps conference (yes I know… more later). Someone started talking about a thing called “LoRa” which it turns out is a low power long range digital radio standard.
Several months later, it was last night.
Last night was great. After work I went to a “pre-hackathon meetup” focussed on this LoRa thing which was being held by phLoRa in advance of a big Hackathon effort next weekend. This is the first time I’ve ever been involved with a Hackathon and it was a tad nerve-racking, right up until the point of entry into the venue: a sort of incubator thing called WeWork. It was lovely for so many reasons; suffice it to say there was free beer. Also there was a bunch of very friendly, excitable and knowledgeable geeks who were there for much the same reasons as I.
We got given some hardware to play with and, thanks to the skillful presenter’s abilities, we were all able to hook the hardware up to a local Philadelphia LoRa network by the end of the night. We, probably like you dear reader, also became aware that there was such a thing as a local LoRa network!
It was a great experience on a technical and social level. I met some lovely people from as far away as Italy, Georgia (the country) and even Kensington (the Philadelphia one). The guy from Kensington turned out to be an ex-employee of my current employer and used to work with a lovely guy I have known for a few years now: Nick.
Anyway, we all had and the inspiration level indicator on my tank was back into the “F” region. That’s “F” for “Full”. You knew that.

After the meetup, whilst waiting at the familiar bus-stop on Walnut St, I received a text message alerting me to the notional existence of a pint of beer that would be mine providing I attended the Dawson St. Pub in Manayunk; it was from Nick [q.v. above]. It was also clearly a message from the Gods, as was the severely delayed bus that arrived at my stop just when I needed it.

So, after the usual unpleasantness of I76 I spent an unreasonably pleasant experience at Dawson with Nick, his friend, and a couple of pints of beautifully kept British-style real-ale: Yards ESB.

The cherry on the cake was that I had taken Friday off of work, as a result of the ludicrous “use it or lose it” policy, and so had the freedom of not worrying about getting up in the morning.

Sometimes things just come together.