Scott O'Brien

Projects, Ramblings and Resources of my (online) life

Custom Study Desk

2021-11-10 00:00:00 +0000 UTC

My partner and I recently started renting an old place in Palo Alto. With COVID, we’ve been working from home for almost two years now, and sharing a desk at times things felt a little cramped (especially with the occsional electronics project).

I’m no expert in woodwork, so decided to 3D model it before building the desk. This also helped as my father, who’s a carpenter, could then give me tips when I shared my computer screen with him (being on other sides of the planet). I’m pretty happy with how the design came out for this one.

Only thing I’d change if I were to do it again is the supporting plywood on each side. If I had made them longer than the main surface, it could have also been used to support the side returns. The frame is designed to butt up against the wall on each side to hold the desk steady. The two support beams are then bolted together to hold it firmly.


2021-10-20 00:00:00 +0000 UTC

When deciding what to attempt to grow where in the unit we’re renting, I decided to perform a light study of the backyard. To perform this, first I had used the 3D Scanner App to perform a LiDAR scan of the house. Areas of interest are the fences and the walls of the house. Once a scan is performed, I exported this to obj format, and loaded it into my favourite Blender 3D

Once I had the file in Blender, I used a light plugin to set my location, and keyframes to animate time of day, then I could alter the variables for month and day to see how much sun I’d get in various locations of the yard through the year. I had also inserted some trees, using the current time of day and shadow location to work out roughly how high they were.

Paragliding Tasks Checker

2021-09-20 00:00:00 +0000 UTC

It’s so easy to build react apps these days. Over two nights, I knocked up a quick website to be able to upload igc flight files, and an xctask files to locally compute if you managed to hit the targets.

It’s something to play with more later, but I’m hoping to start putting these widgets into my logbook app to be able to log flights against tasks when they’re done.


Source code:

I followed this guide to host on github pages. It basically entailed:

  1. Adding homepage in package.json
  2. Adding in predeploy and deploy scripts package.json
    "scripts": {
    "predeploy": "npm run build",
    "deploy": "gh-pages -d build"
  3. running yarn run deploy to deploy it.

demo video


2021-09-11 00:00:00 +0000 UTC

I’ve not been writing or blogging for some time. Over half a decade. It has been about 12 years since I started this blog, and a lot has changed since then. I’ve not found the time to document my tinkerings and projects as work has taken most of my time. I’m going to leave work related things on Linkedin, personal posts on Facebook, but I would like to continue using this site as my partner tends to use her diaries, as a way looking back at what I’ve been playing with.

I tend to have more than a few projects going on, and with this being the first of 5 weeks away on recharge from Facebook, my goal throughout is to start using this to document projects I’m playing with. With trying to squeeze as much paragliding as I can during this time though we’ll see how it goes.

I had this intention probably 12 months or so ago, when I moved the content of this page over from Workpress to Hugo, and changed the hosting to Github pages, but with a bit of spare time to kickstart this effort now, let’s see what happens :)