I have a wide variety of interests including Psychology, Business, Software Development and Cryptography, my main passion though is computing. Ultimately, I enjoy problem solving, whether through software development or when managing servers.
The more complex the problem the happier I am.
Although not exclusively so, most of my current software development efforts are centered around PHP. When I have the time free, I enjoy working on Arduino and other IoT related projects, though not nearly as regularly as I would like.
I have a pretty broad range of skills, all built up through experience, but I do like to write down stuff as I test and build so that is how this blog was formed, largely as a documentation project, something I continue to add to regularly. If any of that documentation is of use to others, then that is great!
Please follow me on Twitter @ErikThiart and let us talk about whatever you want. If you can meet me in/near Cape Town, I will happily buy you a coffee or beer.
This blog contains quite a lot of posts, across a wide range of topics, and chances are you're not interested in all of them. I think the best way to find the stuff you will like is to browse through the "tags" listed in the sidebar. If you can come up with a better way to organise the blog, please let me know.
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Enclosed in the same shell, SNZB-02 Zigbee temperature & Humidity sensor reports back every couple of minutes. The sensor is powered by CR2450 3V battery. The extra capacity means that the sensor will last a really long time. I have a heater connected to eWeLink app and, once I added a hub (absolutely required) this thing has performed well. The heater is controlled within +- 1°C. That's another thing, eWeLink only provides temperature readings in °C with no option for °F. I'm thinking about placing another sensor on the outside of the window so that I can control based on outdoor temperature as well.Read The Article
Binance exploded onto the scene in the mania of 2017 and has since gone on to become the top crypto exchange in the world. The company is very dedicated to making the exchange the premier source for trading, there are many trading events all the time, and coin approval doesn’t come without solid review. This allows for an exchange where every coin on it is considered to some degree legitimate. Binance actually understands the mindset and ethos of the crypto-community and the mantra of decentralization, it’s no wonder that they have the highest trading volume in the world while being a relatively new exchange.Read The Article
Whether it happens gradually over time or all of a sudden, trying to work with a slow computer can be seriously frustrating. Even if you’re fairly diligent with the maintenance of your laptop or PC, it’s surprising how quickly things slow down. If you are asking yourself “Why is my laptop so slow” and running Windows 10, 8, or 7, this post is for you!Read The Article
Google’s official WordPress plugin. Get insights about how people find and use your site, how to improve, and monetize your content, directly in your WordPress dashboard. If you have a WordPress website and would like to see how users find and use your website, Site Kit is right for you. To help you build, maintain, and grow your online presence, Site Kit gives you easy-to-understand metrics and actionable insights directly on your WordPress dashboard.Read The Article
There are plenty of web hosting providers out there, and it may seem difficult to decipher the good from the bad. So I have put together a guide on how to find the right web hosting provider for your business and my personal recommendation of who to use depending on where you are in the world. Teaming up with the right web hosting service is more important than you think. It’s a partnership. Opt for the wrong one and you could find yourself struggling to get support, suffering downtime, or worse.Read The Article
I know this review is long, but I wanted to include all the details to help you decide. This smart security camera from Xiaomi had so much going for it, I still believe there a route for Xiaomi to redeem themselves and make this camera available to its full potential by issuing a firmware update to remove the restrictions and allow RTSP access from the Xiaomi camera.Read The Article
The Sonoff lightbulbs are very affordable and provide you with the basic functionality that a smart home needs. If the budget is tight and you don’t need all bells and whistles of the more expensive lights, Sonoff lightbulbs will do the job just fine. The prices start from $9.90 for the (plastic, White + color temperature) B02 B A60 and $12.90 for the fancy, pear-shaped B02-F-ST64 (glass, retro look, White + color temperature). As far as connected lights go, the prices are very attractive and Sonoff lightbulbs indeed are as inexpensive as you can get.Read The Article
You probably know the Sonoff brand for smart home electronics like the POW R2 or the Sonoff Basic switches, but they also released a security camera, the Sonoff GK-200MP2-B. I decided to try it out and made an in-depth review so you can make the right decision. Considering this is Sonoff, a well-known brand for robust electronics. I expect a good working, premium product that just works especially since to use the Sonoff GK200MP2-B, you need the eWeLink application which integrates very well with other Sonoff devices.Read The Article
Sonoff Pow R2 is a 16A WiFi smart light switch that allows you to remotely manage and control your appliances and monitor your home energy usage. The WiFi light switch works like a power monitor, which allows you to keep track of 99% accurate real-time current, voltage and power on your app.Read The Article
You might have found that Hulu is limited to US viewers and the BBC iPlayer is likewise limited to UK IP addresses, however using a very easy to set up proxy server you can access BBC Iplayer, Hulu and many others from any country on all of your internet capable devices such as your Laptop, PC, Mobile Device, Kindle Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast etc. In this guide you get the ultimate viewing experience when streaming/downloading any type of regional or geo-blocked content online.Read The Article
The following mikrotik firewall rules will force all the clients on your local network like your Sony PlayStation and Google Chromecast to use your Pi-hole or your own local server as their primary DNS server, even if they have hard coded their own DNS servers we do this because many apps and devices do not use the offered DNS servers per DHCP, they are just that – an offer. Hardcoded DNS servers will still resolve and allow ads and tracking unless we use NAT rules that will redirect all DNS requests, no matter where they go, to the Pihole.Read The Article
With Pi-Hole you can block in-app advertisements. Network-level blocking allows you to block ads in non-traditional places such as mobile apps and smart TVs, regardless of your hardware or OS and since advertisements are blocked before they are downloaded, network performance is improved and will feel faster. Pi-hole is a black hole for Internet advertisements.Read The Article
The internet is full of restrictions, censorship, privacy invasions, security breaches, and a host of unwanted entities trafficking in your personal data. Using a VPN is a great first step toward protecting your privacy online. Privacy is fundamental to a well-functioning society because it allows norms, ethics, and laws to be safely discussed and challenged. Without privacy, a free and open society can neither flourish nor exist.Read The Article
First thing to understand is that on the hidden web, you do not know about a website unless that website is shared with you. The dark web’s content on the internet isn’t accessible through traditional browsers or standard browsing technology. Content on the dark web is designed to be hidden from search engines and from casual users – you can’t simply stumble across dark web websites by accident.Read The Article
To convert a Youtube video or any video for that matter requires just one step, in essence you will transcode the video file (normally an MP4) to MP3 using ffmpeg. In this tutorial I will show you how you can convert videos to audio in a matter of seconds, it does not cost a cent and requires very little effort.Read The Article
Transcribe a video to text using AWS. In this tutorial we will create a Word Document from a YouTube Video using the automatic speech recognition service from Amazon called, AWS Transcribe. Amazon Transcribe is an automatic speech recognition (ASR) service that makes it easy for developers to add speech to text capability to their applications.Read The Article