A while back I created a simple website that allows you to quickly create an email signature for your email clients such as gmail, apple mail, outlook and other email clients. This morning it was featured on Web Designer Depot and it brought a huge amount of traffic to the site. The load almost took down my server but since I was using a monitoring service it quickly alerted me that the memory on the server was running out and i was able to take some measures to fix it. Check it out htmlsig.com
I wrote a small python script to tweet my aquariums temperature so that i can monitor it as I raise the temperature slowly to 86°F to fight an ich outbreak .
Updated the code, had to add the temperature tuple in a new variable using srt(temp). Code is now working and running on my Raspberry pi.
CONSUMER_KEY = 'secret'
CONSUMER_SECRET = 'secret'
ACCESS_KEY = 'secret'
ACCESS_SECRET = 'secret'
auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(CONSUMER_KEY, CONSUMER_SECRET)
api = tweepy.API(auth)
cmd = '/opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd measure_temp'
line = os.popen(cmd).readline().strip()
temp = line.split('=').split("'")
base_dir = '/sys/bus/w1/devices/'
device_folder = glob.glob(base_dir + '28*')
device_file = device_folder + '/w1_slave'
f = open(device_file, 'r')
lines = f.readlines()
lines = read_temp_raw()
while lines.strip()[-3:] != 'YES':
lines = read_temp_raw()
equals_pos = lines.find('t=')
if equals_pos != -1:
temp_string = lines[equals_pos+2:]
temp_c = float(temp_string) / 1000.0
temp_f = temp_c * 9.0 / 5.0 + 32.0
return temp_c, temp_f
localtime = time.asctime( time.localtime(time.time()) )
tweetmytemp = tempvar+" "+localtime+" @sebastienb"
#tweets Time, temp and @myuser every hour
Trying them all out. The screen on the Nike fuel band is nice!
Friday May 17th, I picked up a Fitbit Flex from Target. I had one in my Amazon shopping cart for over a month now waiting for it to be in stock. Being a little busy this week, I missed out on ordering and they were now out of stock. Getting started with the Fitbit Flex was very simple; from taking it out of the packaging it took about 20 minutes to get a full charge and sync it with my phone. From there it, was ready to go on my arm.
To test out its accuracy, I took it on a walk with my dog, Dex, and RunKeeper on my phone. After the walk, both RunKeeper and the Fitbit had different values as for how many calories were burned and the distance traveled but they were close enough. I will continue logging the stats from both RunKeeper and Fitbit and update this post on friday.
Setting the Fitbit in sleep mode is fairly easy, tap a few repetitive times until the 2 sets of lights alternate and your in sleep mode. When you wake up, do the same and you are out of sleep mode. On the iPhone and computer you get a graph showing details of your sleep; how long you slept, how long and when you were agitated, and the time you went to bed and got out of bed.
A lot of friends now have one of the few fitness trackers out there but unfortunately when I did a search for friends on facebook that also use the Fitbit results showed that my friends where using those other devices (Nike Fuel Band and Jawbone Up). This factor might be a good reason for me not to switch to the Jawbone Up but hopefully they will come out with one that syncs wirelessly.
The Fitbit lasted a full 6 days on a full charge even with me checking it a lot more then I should with regular use I gave me an extra 24 hours over the estimated 5 days. Thats one of the advantages of Bluetooth 4.0, it uses very little battery. Charging the device with the included charging cable takes less then 30 minutes so its easy to put it to charge while I’m working on my desk.
- Meal input library seems to find what I need and let’s me input what’s missing. So far only thing missing as a can of Fanta soda.
- The silent alarm feature is great and wakes me up quickly and is less of a shock then my phone.
- Sleep monitoring is good as I’m sure I don’t get enough sleep and would like to improve on this.
- Step tracking with calories burned and distance were pretty close when compared to RunKeeper which uses GPS
- Wireless Syncing the main reason why I went the Fitbit instead of the Jawbone Up.
- The new web dashboard looks and works great and it seems that they are adding new features to it.
- At some point I checked the app and my calories burned for the day went down to 15 from the 2000 it was a few hours earlier then after a while it came back up to where it should have been.
- While taking a shower the lights blinked as if i had tapped it but it wasn’t the case. Not sure if the water drops were interpreted as taps or if my hand hit something in the shower by mistake.
- After showers a little water stays inside the band where the Fitbit slips in. It doesn’t affect the usage of the flex but I try to wipe it after or take it off before taking a shower.
When I purchased the Fitbit i was still on the fence about getting it or the jawbone up but now I’m sure that the fit bit works better for me. I really dont see my self taking off the Jawbone up to plug it in to sync, for a company that specializes in bluetooth headsets you would think that they would have the lead in wireless syncing. My only issue with it for now is that everyone that I know who has a fitness band is either with jawbone or with Nike so I haven;t been able to test the social aspect of the Fitbit.
I have a few personal projects that i would like to blog about as i go about developing them so this felt like a good time to refresh the blog.
The Raspberry Pi is a cheap underpowered computer that you can buy for $35 if you are willing to wait a little or about $46 -50 on Amazon and get it the next day. The specs of this small computer are pretty weak, the unit i’m currently using is the version B board and comes with 512mb ram, an ARM 700mhz GPU, network port, two usb ports, GPIO port, audio out port an HDMI port which carries both video and sound and an SD card slot for the bios and operating system. People use these devices in their personal projects to build arcades, home automation systems, robots and other interesting projects which require little processing power.
I got this unit to build a home automation system similar to the Belkin Weemo system but at a fraction of the cost. I plan to wire it up to a 8 relay board which will in turn control some wireless power switches.
I hate how each social service has its own interactive embed code that can’t be modified, they have their own icon sizes and container div sizes. This method used by http://www.fastcodesign.com is pretty interesting and allows for better styling.