James Foley

Week in review 2024-06

F1 silly season continues, Open Studios and the in-laws descend upon Rotterdam

Notes on the week

WDKA just had their Open Day for prospective students, and one part of the program of events is the Open Studios. The current crop of MFA students, of which Elle is one, open the doors of their studios spaces to the public to talk about their work, their process, the college and field any other questions that might come up. It’s a really great idea that’s beneficial for both future students (who get to learn more about the college), and for current students (who get to focus their practice, workshop ideas, and tidy their studio spaces!). I helped out in a small way, painting one of the walls in Elle’s studio that was need of a bit of TLC, and setting up my monitor in her space for people to view some video work of hers. It meant that this weekend would be spent without my usual computer setup at home, an inconvenience any other weekend but not this time because….

The Wallaces were in town! Starting Wednesday, and continuing Thursday and Friday a series of flights landed in the Netherlands carrying Elle’s siblings, plus one partner. It’s important to note that she doesn’t have 696 brothers and sisters (the passenger capacity of four Aer Lingus A320s), but rather her two sisters, one brother, and a sister’s partner were all travelling from different cities. The climate of impact of this weekend was immense, but it was easily exceeded by how good of a time was had. Mandatory visits to the Cube Houses and Markthal were interspersed with Bike rides, Bitterballen, Pints, Movies and the general catching up and good times that can only be had when everyone is in the same room together. The next time we’ll all be together again will be the Summer at the earliest, Christmas at the latest so it was a really precious moment. The fact that the trip lined up with Elle’s Open Studio day was amazing, and it meant we could bring the family to show her work and to meet the new friends we’ve made since moving here.

In my spare time I’ve been working on a little E-Ink dashboard for Elle’s college calendar. Their system is based on MediaWiki, which is for all intents and purposes objectively terrible. You cannot subscribe to the calendar, so you can’t have it sync with your existing iCloud or Google calendars. It has no way to alert you to an update or removal of an event. It is ugly, and honestly is just no fun to use. It is however, completely open to outside internet which means I can write a script to scrape the information (this also means anyone else in the whole world can see the comings and goings of a number of MFA students, but that’s beyond the scope of my ability to change). My goal with this project is to take this information and make a nice little wooden frame that will house an E-Ink display, showing today’s events, the current and predicted weather conditions for the day, and tomorrow’s events.

I’ll make a more detailed breakdown at a later date, but at this point all the code is running, successfully scraping the MediaWiki calendar and parsing out the correct event data, as well as tying into the BuienRadar.nl API to grab weather information. This is all passed into a html template that is laid out in a simple, but hopefully visually pleasing way. Because this information will be rendered on an E-Ink display and running on a very low power cpu, rather than displaying the output of the script as it runs, I convert the html to an image file, which the display will then render. In theory this all works, but the next step is to purchase the physical components and get building. I’ve never really worked with electronics before so this should be lots of frustrating fun!

RSS is pretty great

How to make a self balancing cube

Thoughts after 40 hours with Vision Pro

The Dutch art of doing nothing

The world is awful. The world is better. The world can do much better

Rules for negotiating a job offer

Deepfake video call scams are now a reality

Linux drops support for Floppy Disks


I think I’ve forgotten how to read. Things are not looking good for 12 classics in 12 months.


Final Fantasy 7 Remake part two, Rebirth comes out in just a few weeks, a fact that both to my delight and surprise slid under my radar. With the release impending this weeks MacStories Unwind goes into detail into how Federico is preparing, including a quick overview of the first instalment in the Remake series.

F1 Corner

Last week the F1 community was thrown into disarray with the news that Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari in 2025. In what has already been a tumultuous off-season (Steiner sacked from Haas, Andretti’s bid to create a new team being rejected, Barcelona being replaced with a Madrid street circuit) the Hamilton news felt like the seismic shock to cap the silly season. However, right now as I type this on Friday morning Christian Horner, Team Principal of Red Bull Racing is taking part in an internal hearing into allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against him by a colleague.

There is little to no information out there other than rumours right now, but to say that he very well may be fighting for his career is no overstatement. F1 is not the old boys club that it used to be, and I applaud the Red Bull organisation for taking any allegations this seriously. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out, and what information makes its way out from the hearing.

Horner, whether you like him or not, is the beating heart of the Red Bull team and his partnership with Adrian Newey has dragged the Milton Keynes team from a curiosity on the fringes of the grid, to a multiple world championship winning team, and in 2023 the most dominant driver/car pairing in the sports history. If Christian is found to have behaved in a way incompatible with his role as team principal, and must go, it will leave a vacuum of monumental scale within the RB hierarchy.