Rick iOS & macOS & Hardware Developer I make things. Sometimes, I’ll talk about it here.

My Gorram Frakking Blog

BurningMan Solar Power

Last year I powered my camp entirely from the sun (with the exception of our ridiculous lighting on Pipe Dream). I built a solar power station that stored electricity generated from solar panels in two large gel-cell batteries, and provided 2 kW of pure sine wave power. It powered our camp’s Wi-Fi and lighting, as well as our toaster.

Antique Radio Podcast Player

One of my favorite things in the world is The Thrilling Adventure Hour, a stage production in the style of old-time radio, performed live on stage, and recorded as a podcast. This got me thinking about what it was like before television, how people gathered around their radios to listen to radio plays. What if you could listen to The Thrilling Adventure Hour on an old radio?

California Requirements for Wiring an Oven

Just in case you wanted to know, the Section 422.16 (B) (3) of the California Electric Code for 2013 contains the following:

(3) Wall-Mounted Ovens and Counter-Mounted Cooking Units. Wall-mounted ovens and counter- mounted cooking units complete with provisions for mounting and for making electrical connections shall be permitted to be permanently connected or, only for ease in servicing or for installation, cord-and-plug-connected.

A separable connector or a plug and receptacle combination in the supply line to an oven or cooking unit shall be approved for the temperature of the space in which it is located.

So, if you wanted to replace your oven’s direct wiring with a plug (in case you were experimenting with something that required 240 V power), you’re good to go (assuming you do it right).


I took day trip out to Cardiff, Wales, where a lot of Doctor Who is filmed. Wales is beautiful, and I can't wait to go back. I saw the area where Torchwood Headquarters is, and enjoyed the Doctor Who Experience (which is surprisingly awesome). I also got it into my head that I wanted to see Amy’s duck pond.

Validating a Self-Signed SSL Certificate in iOS and OS X Against a Changing Host Name

We developed a device with which we communicate securely over SSL using a self-signed certificate. The device gets a dynamically-assigned IP address, and that is communicated to the iOS app via other means. By default, NSURLConnection tries to validate the SSL certificate against the hostname, but it was impossible for us to create a wildcard cert that would match.