Wiki redesign

The Wiki now has a new fresh look. I migrated the whole website to a custom framework - mwp - to be able to customize it as much as I please. mwp is built in Rust on top of actix (web framework), maud (macro for writing HTML), and tantivy (search). The whole server is then packaged into a docker container and deployed on

The main goal of the rewrite was to add a search functionality that would allow me (and anyone else) to search for all links in the Wiki in a way that takes into consideration the content of the linked websites. That’s done by scraping the links, putting the content into an sqlite database that lives alongside the repository, and indexing everything using tantivy at startup. There’s plenty of room for improvement; at the moment the scraping needs to be triggered manually and while the index building is fast, it unnecessarily delays the application startup which is annoying during local development.


Running Zephyr on ESP32

Two weeks ago I started toying around with a development version of SumUp Solo card reader and learning more about embed and hardware in general. Recently, we have launched a new reader, Solo Lite which runs on Zephyr and seemed like an easier entry-point. I don’t have a development Solo Lite at hand but I found a couple unused ESP32 microcontrollers at home. The task for the weekend was simple: get zephyr up and running on and esp32.

First, I followed the official Getting started guide. I only diverged in the dependencies installation step, using Nix instead of Homebrew. In my home-manager config I added the necessary packages:

{ inputs
, outputs
, lib
, config
, pkgs
, unstable
, bleeding-edge
, ...
  username = "matousdzivjak";
  homeDir = "/Users/${username}";
  home.packages = [
    pkgs.minicom # Modem control and terminal emulation program
    pkgs.python3 # Small build system with a focus on speed
    pkgs.ccache # Device Tree Compiler

(I switched to nix + home-manager quite recently. If you are interested in my whole config checkout

Next, I update the binary blobs needed for ESP32:

west blobs fetch hal_espressif

With that, the development setup is done and what was left was getting something running on the esp and what’s easier than a hello world. Zephyr comes with a hello world sample application, we don’t even have to write anything ourselves. The sample hello world app can be build using:

west build -p always -b esp32_devkitc_wroom zephyr/samples/hello_world

Resulting into an output ending with:

Generating files from /Users/matousdzivjak/code/ for board: esp32_devkitc_wroom v4.5
Creating esp32 image...
Merged 5 ELF sections
Successfully created esp32 image.

I flashed the ESP32 which was as simple as connecting it to the laptop with and USB-C cable and running:

west flash

The esp blinks a few times and the flashing is done in a couple of seconds. Theoretically, we have the hello world sample app up and running, but better confirm. For that, I connected to the esp using serial port to check the logs. First, minicom needed tweeking as the last device I worked with had a different setup:

sudo minicom -s

This pops up the configuration menu:

| Filenames and paths      |
| File transfer protocols  |
| Serial port setup        |
| Modem and dialing        |
| Screen                   |
| Keyboard and Misc        |
| Save setup as dfl        |
| Save setup as..          |
| Exit                     |
| Exit from Minicom        |

Here one needs to configure the Serial port setup:

| A -    Serial Device      : /dev/modem                                |
| B - Lockfile Location     : /var/lock                                 |
| C -   Callin Program      :                                           |
| D -  Callout Program      :                                           |
| E -    Bps/Par/Bits       : 115200 8N1                                |
| F - Hardware Flow Control : No                                        |
| G - Software Flow Control : No                                        |
| H -     RS485 Enable      : No                                        |
| I -   RS485 Rts On Send   : No                                        |
| J -  RS485 Rts After Send : No                                        |
| K -  RS485 Rx During Tx   : No                                        |
| L -  RS485 Terminate Bus  : No                                        |
| M - RS485 Delay Rts Before: 0                                         |
| N - RS485 Delay Rts After : 0                                         |
|                                                                       |
|    Change which setting?                                              |

Fist, A to modify the Serial device. We need to specify the tty of the connected esp. For me this was /dev/tty.usbserial-0001. I think this might differ for others, so the quick way to check which serial device to use one can run ls /dev | grep 'tty.*usb' and unless there are multiple devices with serial port connected via an USB cable there should be exactly one result.

Once that’s done, Exit, and here it is:

Welcome to minicom 2.9

Compiled on Jan  1 1980, 00:00:00.
Port /dev/tty.usbserial-0001, 22:07:30

Press CTRL-A Z for help on special keys

0020 vaddr=00000020 size=0001ch (    28)
I (113) esp_image: segment 1: paddr=00010044 vaddr=3ffb0000 size=00104h (   260) load
I (122) esp_image: segment 2: paddr=00010150 vaddr=3�NG early entropy source...
*** Booting Zephyr OS build v3.6.0-1966-g3f218c6cdae0 ***
Hello World! esp32_devkitc_wroom/esp32/procpu  

A beautiful, rewarding, and underwhelming Hello World!.

Next I think I will try to run Hello World! with hubris which upon initial investigation seems to be way more complex as esp32 board isn’t supported out of the box. Alternatively, I might try to get Zephyr up and running on a Solo instead. Either way, enough for one evening and more to come.


Notes on Nix

Over the weekend I switched my MacOS setup in large part from homebrew to Nix. You can find the new home at To be frank, I know little about Nix which is famous for its steep learning curve so I ended up copying and stitching together code from google and people I follow.

Nix allows multiple different versions of the same binary to be installed at the same time which helps with avoiding collisions and allows different tools to be updated independently.One can do something similar with homebrew, e.g. installing Qt version five using: brew install qt@5, but to my understanding this is way more limiting because of the dependency chain.

  • To go over historical versions of specific package see nix-versions.
  • Install the package using nix-env -iA, e.g. nix-env -iA nodejs_20 -f

Previously, nix used multiple different command for different things. E.g. nix-env for installing packages into the environment, nix-shell to init a nix shell, etc. Nowadays, all these commands are available under the nix command which you need to enable using ~/.config/nix/nix.conf:

experimental-features = nix-command flakes

There are a few promising things about Nix that I want to explore:

  • With nix it is easy to provision developer environment per-repository. One can do so by adding a flake that configures all required tools for development.
  • There’s NixOS which allow whole OS to be declaratively configured using Nix.
  • You can build packages using Nix which builds them in isolations using specific versions of dependencies which ensures that you will get a consistent result.

That’s it for now, I will keep on toying around with Nix and see what more there is to it. For now, I manage my dot files and tools using home-manager and started experimenting with using Nix to cross-compile software for Solo.



In a recent side-project attempt to built an RFC management tool I ventured into the topic of CRDTs (Conflict-free Replicated Data Type) and web-based text editors. Here is a loose collection of links to various tools and articles on the topic:





This is the inception of Atoms - a short-form stream of notes and thoughts inspired by Tom MacWrigth’s Micro and Brandur Leach’s Atoms and Fragments. Atoms will serve the void between notes in the Wiki (currently undergoing a rewrite) and longer posts.

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