Marc Dougherty

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Blog Posts

Internet Volume Control

The Internet can be a very distracting place sometimes. There are so many sites (particularly social media) that demand our attention, and let us mindlessly scroll through photos and status updates, when we really want to be doing something else.


Inspired by the Amazon Dash-style esp8266 IoT button, I built a button my distant family could use to request a refill of my home-made jam (though it could be used for anything). To keep with the theme, i built the whole thing to fit in a standard 8oz jam jar.

Muni Displays

San Francisco’s Muni trains are not well known for their ability to be on time. Recent sfmta data shows a ~60% on-time rate (where “on-time” includes arriving anywhere between 1 minute before to 4 minutes after the intended time). Fortunately, they provide real-time arrival estimates with the Next Bus service. While the QuickMuni app does a great job of displaying this on my phone, I wanted to build a more “ambient” display, to help me decide when to leave in the morning.

Unicode (emoji) keyboard

Emoji keyboards on mobile devices have been in widespread use for a while, but I sometimes find myself using a computer, and have a hard time remembering the unicode identifiers for a nice cup of tea (1f375 - 🍵 ) or a suitable warning character (2620 - ☠ ). So I decided to make a supplemental Unicode keyboard.

Big Red Button

I was working on a particularly challenging service turndown, which involved handholding some user migrations. During the waiting periods, it occurred to me that turning off the service by simply typing the right command lacked a certain gravity.