Being a maker during a Pandemic

I have been involved in the maker community for a few years now. I really enjoy makerspaces because it gives me both something to do, new things to learn and lots of interesting people to meet.

Now that COVID-19 is happening, the hackerspace that I belong to is no longer open to the public. They did close for members for a while too, but have recently started allowing members only to use the space again. This means that I can no longer attend open make night, board game night, random outings to the hackerspace to work on things.

This made me sad. It really did. I’ve had the most social stuff that I do taken away from me. It looks to me like it will be at least a year before things get back to normal. I decided early on that I was still going to make. Of the 3 things I love about the makerspaces, I’m going to have something to do, I’m going to continue to learn things and I’m going to become one of those interesting people that I love to meet.

I came across something called Hackerboxes. Now I love subscription boxes. Well, not quite, I love to subscribe to them at some discounted rate and then cancel future boxes. Hackerboxes so far is different, I want to keep getting more projects. I got a starter kit and a Defcon exclusive right out the gate, then subscribed for some more fun down the road. The starter kit came with a soldering iron and some other necessery items to begin my journey, but lacked other things that I think really should have been in there, like protective eye wear.

The Defcon exclusive box I got was Best of Visions. So far I’ve made the WOPR badge (very cool!), the fidget spinner – which I broke 🙁 and next I’m making the glowing cube. I’m very excited about the glowing cube, it will probably take a while to put together, so I wanted to put some time and effort into getting better with soldering before I attempted that one.

Now that I’ve been doing the Hackerboxes for a hot minute, I’ve realized that the soldering iron that I recieved does not heat up as high as I need it to. It goes up to 500F. I made many very sad soldering messes with that soldering iron since it wasn’t getting hot enough to melt the solder. I did some Googling and figured out that Weller is like THE NAME in soldering. So I decided I’d get me one of those. I looked around and found the most gorgeous looking soldering station. Oooh whee it’s so pretty. It’s like a light teal blue color, it doesn’t even seem like something that would be sitting on an electronic bench. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077JDGY1J/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I did make some badges I got from the Tampa Hackerspace, they had some leftover badges from the Tampa Maker Faire. Enjoy a viewing of me putting together a badge on TikTok.

@ednajon

Soldering a Maker Faire Tampa Badge. ##solder ##hacker ##maker ##tampahackerspace

♬ Næsta Skref – Daði Freyr

I’m hoping to continue this journey of learning about electronics, soldering, hacking things and just in general improving my knowledge of how things work.

I’m also creating a home lab. I will probably write about that as well in another post, but I have a ServerIron server (she’s a beaut!) and I’m setting up a Kali box and other things as well. So yes, pandemic for me means learning and expanding my mind and skills 🙂

ET out.

Request me to be your tutor

If you happen to be in a Full Stack coding Bootcamp powered by Trilogy Education Services and are in need of a tutor, then please read on.

I am a Senior tutor, I have been through the same Bootcamp you are going through, graduated from it in 2016 and have 3 years of working experience since then. You can request me to be your tutor, by putting in a request in with your Student Success Manager. Tell them you want Edna Jonsson as your tutor.

There are a lot of tutors that are available and as such, I have been working on standing out, however, if nobody knows I’m here, then I’m not getting requested as their tutor. Which is why I wanted to tell you what makes me great.

Not only do I know the material forward and backwards, I have done every single assignment that you have done and are going to go through, I know which parts are tricky and how to organize your code. Most importantly, I know how fast paced this course is and how difficult it is from experience.

I have an easy to use scheduling system with lots of available times, you can preview it on https://calendly.com/ednas/tutor and once a session is scheduled, I send you a confirmation e-mail 24 hours ahead of time, as well as the scheduling system will send you a text message 2 hours before the session time to remind you of your session.

I really love what I do, I have upgraded my tools to make my students experience better. I use a pro subscription to Calendly, I have upgraded my headset and I have a microphone that is of the same quality used for podcasts or professional video recording, I have two additional cameras. I won’t use my built in camera, the video quality of it is too grainy. I also try to work on making my knowledge base better, I try to find better ways to explain concepts that are challenging, I keep copious notes and I look at how others explain the same concepts I’m teaching.

But don’t just take it from me. Here is what some of my prior students have to say about me.

“Edna assisted me with gaining a better understanding on some things I was confused with.”

“Edna was great and very knowledgeable.”

“Edna is great, very patient and explains topics well.”

“Edna demonstrated that she genuinely wants to help me further my understanding of whatever material I present and I appreciate her honest appraisal”

“Edna was great! She helped me a lot by breaking down what was happening with functions, for loops, and objects.”

If you want a quality tutor, one who works with you to make sense of the material, helps you find resources to continue your studies and is your cheerleader. You can request to get me as your tutor.

Connecting Eat Da Burger to JawsDB on Heroku

Steps to setting up the Node/Express/MySQL app EatDaBurger on Heroku with a working database.

My code for this app is located at Github
I’ve deployed this app using these steps to Heroku

Screenshot of Eat the burger MySQL application

Step 1.

Add a .env file, which you will use to get the process.env variable from for your MySQL database. Also add the .env file to your .gitignore. You don’t want to add your database credentials to GitHub or anywhere else on the internet where it can be grabbed.
echo .env >> .gitignore
There’s more information on getting JawsDB set up at https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/jawsdb

Inside your .env file set the JAWSDB_URL equal to your MySQL string you get from JawsDB, you can get this information from https://dashboard.jawsdb.com/mysql/dashboard or from the running the command heroku config:get JAWSDB_URL

JAWSDB_URL='mysql://username:password@hostvalue.amazonaws.com:3306/nameOfYour_db'

Step 2.

Inside your connection file add this to connect with JawsDB if it’s online or localhost if you’re on your machine

var mysql = require('mysql');

var connection;
if (process.env.JAWSDB_URL) {
    // Database is JawsDB on Heroku
    connection = mysql.createConnection(process.env.JAWSDB_URL);
} else {
    // Database is local
    connection = mysql.createConnection({
        port: 3306,
        host: 'localhost',
        user: 'root',
        password: '',
        database: 'nameOfYour_db'
    })
};

var mysql = require('mysql');

Step 3.

Set up db connection to your JawsDB in MySQL workbench.
Use your JawsDB credentials to sign into MySQL workbench, then open up a SQL editior.
Inside the SQL editor, make sure you’re using your JawsDB database, by running the USE command.

USE jawsDBname;

Once you’re inside your database, using your JawsDB databse, then run your SQL commands in MySQL workbench.
Now your app should be working within a couple of minutes.

Extra Step. If error.

If you’re getting error H13.
Whenever your app experiences an error, Heroku will return a standard error page with the HTTP status code 503. To help you debug the underlying error, however, the platform will also add custom error information to your logs. Each type of error gets its own error code, with all HTTP errors starting with the letter H and all runtime errors starting with R. Logging errors start with L.

I looked up the heroku error code, which you can read yourself, which wasn’t that helpful in solving the problem.
https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/error-codes#h13-connection-closed-without-response

These two articles were helpful.
https://github.com/request/request#requestoptions-callback
https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/request-timeout

Here’s what you need to do. Inside your server.js file, add a timeout. I grabbed a timed out function, then it has to be called after your app.use statements.

// Timeout
app.use(timeout(15000));
app.use(haltOnTimedout);

function haltOnTimedout(req, res, next) {
    if (!req.timedout) next();
}

I hope this has been helpful, if you have questions, leave me a comment.

Successful Coding Boot camp experience formula

  1. Attend every class (Try your best not to miss any sessions)
  2. Spend 15 to 20 hours on your homework and studying every week
  3. Get social, go to meetups
  4. Fill out your LinkedIn
  5. Work on your portfolio constantly
  6. Attend conferences or anything you can make work
  7. Listen to podcasts
  8. Don’t give up