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Hi, I'm Iljitsch van Beijnum. These are tech/gadget related posts.

MySQL Unicode weirdness

After looking at the SQLite Unicode behavior, it's now time to do the same for MySQL. Coincidentally, I'm currently migrating some old databases that were created in the very early 2000s to a more modern environment. I think those old databases were from the MySQL 3.x days, before MySQL gained any sort of Unicode support. Those old tables are thus still in the latin1 (ISO 8859-1) character set.

But I encountered some MySQL/Unicode weirdness...

Full article / permalink - posted 2023-09-21

Looking back on 50 years of Ethernet

On Geoff Huston wishes Happy 50th Birthday Ethernet.

Back in 2011 I wrote an Ars Technica feature about the history of Ethernet: Speed matters: How Ethernet went from 3Mbps to 100Gbps… and beyond.

Interesting to compare our different takes!

And of course Ethernet is still going strong. My oldest computers have the original 10 Mbps Ethernet adapters that I got almost 30 years ago, while my newest computer has 10 gigabit Ethernet, 1000 x faster.

Permalink - posted 2023-06-29

Comparing digital and film resolution using MTF

I fell down a rabbit hole a while ago trying to come up with the definitive answer to the often-asked question "how can old movies be in HD/4K", which immediately leads to "how does film and digital resolution compare".

The answer to the first question is of course that film as a lot more resolution than standard definition TV, so just scanning the movies at a higher resolution will give you a sharper image than that old DVD or (shudder) VHS tape.

The problem with reasoning about film grain vs pixels or eyeballing images is that it's very imprecise. But we actually do have a tool that lets us compare digital vs film: the optical transfer function.

Integrated below a little tool with a slider to see for yourself where the tradeoffs are.

Read the article - posted 2023-03-29

Review: Sigma BC 16.16 STS CAD cycling computer

As I wrote earlier: recently, I lost another bike computer so I needed a new one. I decided to get a more recent version of the Sigma BC line that I've been using for the past decade: the Sigma BC 16.16 STS CAD. These seem to be on the way out now, being sold out almost everywhere. But no obvious replacement that isn't more expensive and more complex, so I'm glad I got to get one of the last ones.

Full article / permalink - posted 2023-01-01 - 🇳🇱 Nederlandse versie

Smart home Matter and Thread misconceptions (or not?)

I just saw a Youtube video kind of reviewing the new Thread smart home communication protocol. I'm not linking to it because it attributed a bunch of things to Thread that are Matter, unless I'm very much mistaken. (And the latter is certainly possible. Do your own research before buying new stuff.)

Matter logo

Matter is the new IP-based system that lets a smart home "ecosystems" such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings talk to smart home accessories. Matter has two big advantages. The first one is that you're no longer locked into a single ecosystem or a limited number of ecosystems. Every ecosystem that supports Matter can control accessories that use Matter. Even better, multiple ecosystems can control the same accessories.

Thread logo

Thread, on the other hand, is simply a wireless protocol for talking to smart home accessories.

Full article / permalink - posted 2022-12-03

Smart home: past, present, future

Recently, a few podcasts that I listen to talked about smart home technology. We also got the release of new smart home standards Thread and Matter. So I want to look at what smart home options have worked for me, and see if it's possible to draw any conclusions about what could work for most people. (As in: who don't enjoy tinkering with tech for its own sake.)

Read the article - posted 2022-11-27

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