Rackspace Magento Hosting Post Mortem

One of my Magento clients ran into a bit of trouble with their current hosting provider. Stability was not up to what it was supposed to be, there were security issues that raised concern, and support was slow and indifferent at times. The client is a retailer that gets significant traffic spikes during shopping season and when doing promotions. The infrastructure of the current hoster was not flexible enough to deal with huge traffic spikes in an automated fashion.

We decided to switch to a different hosting company to improve the situation. We looked into a bunch of companies and ended up giving Rackspace Magento Hosting a go.

This post is a post-mortem of a failed attempt to switch our hosting provider.

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Rackspace Magento Hosting Post Mortem

USB Volume Control

I have been playing around with the AVR VUSB library for the last little while. This library allows you to build USB devices with most AVR microcontrollers. The first small project I wanted to implement was an external USB volume controller that acts as a regular multimedia keyboard and therefore works with pretty much any device that supports USB keyboards.

As part of this project I also wanted to give PCB etching a go, which seems like a nice way to quickly manufacture high quality PCBs for one-off projects.

IMG_20160502_102227

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USB Volume Control

PS1 Controller Bluetooth Mod

2 Weeks ago I came across a PS1 controller bluetooth mod by /u/Dementat_Deus on Reddit. The mod was very clean and I knew right away I wanted to give it a go too. In fact I ordered the parts 15 minutes after I read the post. There is one major issue with this build though that I wanted to address. The Bluefruit EZ-Key Bluetooth module used in this build only has 12 inputs for buttons, but the PS1 controller has 14 buttons. Because of that 2 of the buttons are not working. /u/Dementat_Deus used those buttons as power switch and to trigger pairing mode. The big advantage of that is that you don’t need to add additional buttons for pairing and power and get a very clean look. In my build I wanted to be able to use all the buttons though because all of the games I like to play utilize the full set of buttons.

I went ahead and the final result with 2 additional buttons looks like this:
IMG_20160319_131306

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PS1 Controller Bluetooth Mod

$15 Wireless Display

output_Xzmr1W

I’ve been looking for a project to use the ESP8266 (ESP-03) wireless module. While playing around with these modules I figured it would be nice to have a place to send debugging data to without using the the serial terminal. I figured I could hook up a 16×2 display (QC1602A) that I ordered a while ago with the ESP and have a sweet wireless display unit. Unfortunately the ESP doesn’t have enough GPIOs to drive the display. I ended up ordering an Arduino Pro Mini of Ebay to control the display, which would in turn fetch the display data through the ESP.
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$15 Wireless Display