Tom Parish

I’m actively engaged in projects, and collaborations for both business and pleasure. Mentoring and teaching are a priority.

My primary technical interests center on IoT devices and teaching the younger generation about computers and software. I have a passion for figuring out ways to automate, ‘things‘ .

I’m building software projects with others using Bildr (Visual coding tool), Node-Red, MicroPython and microcontrollers like the Raspberry PI and ESP32.

I coach people needing help on the Internet. I have made so many good friends over the years I’m interested in meeting people who want to be more successful with their business and see a need for coaching and inspiration. My goal is to inspire curiosity and I’m looking for ways to contribute time with kids and adults wanting to learn how to be comfortable with their higher self in this modern world. Please DM me on Twitter @tparish or Linkedin for a preview conversation. Pricing is here.

Stairwell LED lighting that changes to match the color changes during a typical sunny day and night

Version 1 Prototype. The box below sits in a closet at the top of the stairs. Each relay is wired to a tiny proximity detector at top and bottom of the stairwell handrail.  The LED strip and related wires are tucked up under the stairwell handle rail. The time ‘on’ for the LED strip is adjustable from 45 seconds to three minutes. I left it a 45 seconds for now

How it works

Node Red (NR) configuration pushes a HTTP URL to the Shelly RGB device every 1-2 hours. 

Issue – doesn’t seem to be a smooth way to transition the colors – fade from one to another color. I may need to just research that further.  

I want to get the NR graphic UI going on this app to simplify the selection of colors. The current approach requires typing in a long http request string for each event including the RGB numbers for the colors. 

This is this Node-Red configuration currently in use. I have no doubt there is a more elegant ways to do this but for me the visual layout has been helpful as I figured out the color changes. 

Next Steps

Use the Cron Expression Generator & Explainer to build a better UI in Node Red for remote configuration of the RPI Zero which is powerful enough to run NodeRed.

Move the Node Red configuration from the desktop Ubuntu system to a Raspberry PI Zero and mount this chip inside the box on a perforated board with the other components. This will make the installation more reliable physically and more configurable remotely since I can always SSH into the RaspberryPi Zero for further enhancements.  

Some idea for the future are to adjust the color of the LEDs based on weather outside. Another idea is trade out the LED strip for addressable LEDs for more effects. Not sure that’s needed now but cool idea.

Why nocode/Visual computing is important to a senior developer who has coded for 30+ years

Fraser Gorrie
Fraser Gorrie

UPDATE: Tuesday, March 1, 2022 2:52:05 PM
Fraser recently completed an outstanding interview where he discusses ‘nocode-first’ thinking and the power of divorcing and getting something in front of the customer early to sync with their mind’s eye. Really good interview. #nocodeapps

In this show I interview Fraser Gorrie – a senior software developer who has added Bildr to his collection of tools to build applications for his customers. Fraser has been a mentor for me in learning about software development in general and Bildr in particular. The more I learn from him the more inspired I am to continue on my own path of building web apps both for personal use and maybe even for my own business.

Listen in to find out how and why Fraser has incorporated a visual development tool into his practice, and how this impacts his business in delivering applications for clients.


So, now back to the interview I did with Fraser who is my mentor in creating nocode apps with Bildr. And urging me along to learn how to use Javascript.


Listen in to learn how and why Fraser has incorporated a visual development tool into his practice, and how this impacts his business in delivering applications for clients. Time codes are below.

I like getting right into video interviews so click and go:

0:00  Fraser’s background as an independent software developer

2:54 Javascript past, present and why it’s important  

5:30 Why did you start using a visual development environment 

8:36 Finding Bildr and how it impacts your design and the customer relations 

11:20 Keeping your options open as an independent delivering code also when needed 

15:29 Opinionated versus unopionated tools 

21:19 Using CSS in a visual computing tool – progressing from novice to intermediate expertise.

25:14 No code/visual computing tools are here to stay and the value of comparing tools

Looking for an experienced software developer for your project – Contact Fraser Gorrie

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Why THAT Color? Why Not? Interview with Aleksandar Maćašev

Click to play or right click to download.
chromatweet-dumbo-new3bI’m beginning to understand more deeply that COLOR is more than a well-defined, well-behaved set of terms we all share regarding the physical ordering of colors and our assignment of the use of colors in society and culture.

We tend to think of color as physical measurements of light, and we have psychological responses to colors of light. In fact, global advertisers can count on these predictable responses for more sales.

Here’s the deal: Color is what you make it. In the same way that music can be defined in terms of pitch, interval, and duration, color can be defined as hue, saturation, and value. But like music, color is not something that can only be described by its physical presence. You can feel music and notice its influence, and so it is with color – if you make it so.

And so I say: Let’s challenge the established rules – which so many of us unconsciously find ourselves using – with our awareness, or lack thereof, of color.

And what better way to do that than to collaborate with one particular amazing person who now looks beyond the convention of defining, feeling, and using color. A man who believes in helping others find ‘THEIR’ way of defining, using, and feeling colors – Aleksandar Maćašev. You can start by visiting his website,; in fact, I encourage you to go there and explore. It’s the basis of this podcast.

chromatweet-macasevAleksandar is a New York-based visual artist. His work often crosses and re-crosses a thin line between art and design, and it ranges from deceptively simple to highly political. In 2010 his diverse body of work was collected and published in Aleksandar Maćašev / Book.

“Color is not essential, but very influential …
Color is ever changing, it is very relative and relational …”

This idea of exploring the topic of color from a more artistic perspective originated from five blog posts by Aleksandar  I read at that challenge the typical notions of how we think of color.  It was more of an ‘unthinking’ that I had to get my head around.  Aleksandar references a UK artist and author who explores our views and use of color from mind-altering perspectives, such as why is the West so infatuated with the color ‘white’?

My goal is to bring more awareness of color to people, especially to filmmakers, script writers, set designers, and the like. That’s the world I live in, especially independent filmmakers. I want to teach and inspire storytellers to consider a deeper and broader use of color to transform their audience with different perspectives. To reach beyond what has been done before with color in films, to expand ourselves to a higher level of awareness of life. That’s a big goal, I know, and that’s what keeps tugging at my core.

In the last 5 years there has been a huge shift in the availability of very-high-quality hardware and software for video production, with prices dropping rapidly. This is the area I know the most about. Along with this rise in sophistication of machines, there has been the rise of YouTube (now more than 10 years old), with millions of people just wanting to tell stories with video. We live in a world of “Polaroid video shooters” pushing buttons to tell stories – and yet they so often seem unaware of light and color. I can only imagine that the old masters of the paint world would be dumbfounded should they travel forward in time to meet with the newer generation of video storytellers.

Don’t get me wrong; there are many creative filmmakers. But in general, I sense a lack of awareness and inspiration about color in our lives.  We have the imagination to shape how we feel about color, and now we have access to equipment to use color in far more creative ways than most of us know … yet. If you’re interested in further reading to expand your awareness and use of color in storytelling let me encourage you to check out David Batchelor’s Chromphobia, he will take you on a new journey through the the topic of color that will push up against what you may know now. So on with the show!

Download only the audio portion here.