Capital One Removed Amazon Gift Cards From Their Rewards

This is a bummer. The only thing I ever used my rewards for was the Amazon gift cards. For the last few years I’ve almost always had a balance on my Amazon account, making it easy to buy anything I wanted. I’ll have to look into getting gift cards for a store that sells Amazon gift cards. I will beat the system.

Link Dump – 2017/04/18

Set Mac Volume to a Specific Percentage with an Alfred Workflow

The Touch Bar on the MacBook is a pain in the ass. I’ve been getting sick of fighting with it to adjust volume and wanted an alternative to using the icon in the Mac OS menu bar. I already had some AppleScript code I use to reset volume to start my work day, so I ran with it to make a simple Alfred Workflow.

I didn’t realize how awesome this workflow would be. I’m using it all the time, even on my other Mac, which has the keyboard volume control buttons.

mac-vol-alfred-workflow-screenshot.png

Get it on GitHub.

Repurpose

component-video-switchAfter watching recent Adafruit videos (12, & 3) about IR and getting a neat new microcontroller which has a built-in IR transmitter, it looked fun to hack around with. I don’t have an IR receiver though. Then I remembered this old component video switch was in a storage closet. I tore it apart and easily got out the IR receiver. While I was destroying the device I figured I might as well take a bunch of parts that may be useful. If nothing else it was good practice desoldering.

The big PCB with a lot going on is already gone with the trash. The two small PCBs with buttons and LEDs (a triple set and a single) are cool and will be fun to work with since they’re already wired up. Would be neat to use these in an actual project some day.

img_8931The other components I kept are:

  • IR 4 button remote
  • L7805 voltage regulator
  • PIC16C505 CMOS microcontroller
  • HD74HC126P quad buss buffer

  • 2x CD4052BE analog multiplexer/demultiplexer
  • HA17358A dual operational amplifier
  • 78L09L voltage regulator
  • A1515S PNP transistor
  • 71M4 IR receiver sensor

Of course, I can’t find a datasheet for the one part I want to use. IR is pretty standard, so I’m hoping they didn’t go rogue when developing this device. I’ll post more once I get a chance to experiment.

Several months ago I would have had no idea what any of this stuff was, let alone how it worked. I still don’t know what several of those ICs do, but at least I’m able to look at the traces on the PCBs and follow connections to get a general idea of how everything works.

Never stop learning!