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April Fools has been canceled this year.

By , 04/01/2017 12:01 AM

Because we live in a farce now.

That will be all.

Fling a random insult at Trump after every tweet

By , 02/28/2017 5:24 PM

Ok time to get political. I hate many things that Trump tweets these days and would love to reply to each tweet personally, but have neither time not desire to read his delusions. Fortunately in these modern times robots take many of our jobs. And this looked like a perfect job for a bot. Similarly to the bot described in the previous post it will be IFTTT + Scriptr combo. But this time in reverse, here’s intended flow:

  1. Twitter service at IFTTT detects when @realDonaldTrump tweets
  2. It triggers Maker service that makes HTTP request to Scriptr code
  3. Scriptr code generates random insult and posts a reply to Trump’s tweet

Here’s what IFTTT applet looks like: Continue reading 'Fling a random insult at Trump after every tweet'»

Tweet images with Scriptr and IFTTT

By , 02/28/2017 4:34 PM

Sev Trek

Looks like everybody is doing Twitter bots these days so I decided to try my hand on one as well. And it had to be something lighthearted – to let people’s mind off things for a while. Way back in early 2000s there was a funny parody comic of Star Trek called Sev Trek. Original site is gone now, but archive of images was saved at http://sevspace.com/stupidarchive/sevtrek.asp.htm. Images are numbered sequentially – ideal for automatic processing. My bot would tweet random images every couple hours.

To host bot’s script I decided to go with Scriptr which offers powerful JavaScript backend and multiple expansion modules. And IFTTT has a cool Twitter service, one that can tweet image from an URL. So the idea was:

  1. Code hosted at Scriptr generates URL pointing to an image at sevspace.com
  2. Code then call Maker service of IFTTT – custom service capable of accepting HTTP requests
  3. Maker service triggers Twitter service and passes URL of image it got from Scriptr code
  4. IFTTT Twitter service tweets the image

Continue reading 'Tweet images with Scriptr and IFTTT'»

Full control of your LimitlessLED/Milight – v6- bulbs from Amazon Echo

By , 02/24/2017 9:42 PM

A while ago I blogged about controlling you Milight smart bulbs from Amazon Echo. This was done by sending raw UDP packets directly to Milight bridge. Since a packet consisted only of a few bytes – this was manageable.

Then we got v6 of Milight bulbs. They’re vastly superior to previous version – besides brightness and color you can set warmth and saturation among other things. But with new features came increase complexity of commands. UDP packets now consist of huge number of bytes and you cannot simple send packet and forget it, response matters too.

HA-Bridge, which is used to emulate Phillips Hue bulbs so Echo can detect the devices, is incapable of such commands. Thankfully it can run external scripts. Continue reading 'Full control of your LimitlessLED/Milight – v6- bulbs from Amazon Echo'»

Using FusionCharts in SSRS reports

By , 01/30/2017 12:11 PM

Microsoft’s SSRS is pretty advanced reporting system with multitude of advanced features. SSRS also has charting capabilities, but it’s somewhat lacking compared to more advanced desktop or web charting suites

On the other hand FusionCharts offers very cool charting package with gazillion of chart types and very cool features. But it uses JavaScript engine and renders charts client-side only!

What if there was a way to marry the two technologies together – to render cool FusionCharts in advanced SSRS repots? Continue reading 'Using FusionCharts in SSRS reports'»

There’s new reflective LCD in town (SMA Q2 vs PTS)

By , 01/20/2017 12:23 PM

I’ve been a fan of Pebble smartwatch for a very long time, both as a user and developer, but recently, even before announcement of Pebble acquisition by FitBit I got curious – what else’s out there? Two mainstream branches of smartwatches – Android Wear and “The Watch” are of no interest to me – too boring. So I looked into Samsung Gear watches – Tizen platform is very interesting, then it was Vector Watch (which ended up being bought by FitBit as well) and now a new ePaper watch from Chinese company Shenzhen – SMA Q2 (sometimes called SMA Time).

There is no question that despite obvious visual similarities, at this point in time Pebble Time Steel is vastly superior to SMA Time. PTS is on 4th generation firmware which brought many advanced features over the years, PTS has a very popular appstore and high quality developer ecosystem. SMA Time feels like Pebble circa firmware v1.x (probably even less, e.g. it has only 3 slots for watchfaces on the watch) but it seems to have great potential.

I am posting here a few pics comparing PTS with SMA Time. Continue reading 'There’s new reflective LCD in town (SMA Q2 vs PTS)'»

SSRS and HTML rendering of ordered list

By , 11/14/2016 2:02 PM

Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services supports rendering of HTML tags, but for some reason that support stuck in 1990s – only very limited set is supported. And even using that set is problematic.

Case in point – ordered list. While officially supported – the way it is rendered is the stuff nightmares are made off. Jumble of original tags generously intermixed with DIVs and SPANs – it’s a wonder it renders at all.

And sometimes it doesn’t. If you try to view a report in Internet Explorer (especially from older, but still actively used versions of SSRS like 2008) numbering get screwed.
Continue reading 'SSRS and HTML rendering of ordered list'»

Simulating Pebble GPath in Rocky.js

By , 08/17/2016 3:56 PM

RockyJS is a black magic voodoo from Pebble Dev team. It allows you to run your JavaScript code on the actual smartwatch (unlike PebbleJS that runs on the phone). When RockyJS debuted it ran as a simulation in a browser, but since then it matured and now runs in Pebble emulators and on actual hardware.

RockyJS changed drastically since that web release. It resembles C code less and takes more standardized JavaScript approach. During that transition some features were lost. One of them is Pebble GPath concept – a graphical object that consist of set of coordinates that you can freely move and rotate. In particular missing commands gpath_move_to, gpath_rotate_to and gpath_draw_outline that move, rotate and draw the GPath. When I was porting my first Pebble watchface to Rocky I used those extensively. You can read about that implementation complete with the source code here. But now the commands are gone and I needed a substitution. Continue reading 'Simulating Pebble GPath in Rocky.js'»

Future Time – watchface for Pebble smartwatch

By , 07/17/2016 1:32 PM

http://tinyurl.com/timefu

This is the face of the future.

Two faces actually – because you get both analog and digital face – and it’s up to you which one to use. You also get eight predefined color themes as well as ability to set each color individually. This face also provides weather and fitness tracking at your fingertips. And it just looks cool.

Key features:

– Digital or Analog face type selection
– Multiple color themes as well as custom color settings (or you can leave it on auto and the color will depend on battery level)
– Weather (powered by Forecast.io), Step Counter, Distance Walked, Sleep Hours
– Bluetooth Connect/Disconnect alert of configurable intensity with visual clue
– Battery level represented by percentage number as well as visually by outer perimeter of dots (also by watchface color – if in auto color mode).
– Visual step goals

$0.99

After installing watchface you have a 3-day trial period to explore all the features and different aspects. At the end of trial if you like Future Time and want to keep it – it’s just $1.50 USD via Kiezel Pay payment system, you will be prompted to enter code and follow few easy payment steps. Once purchased – the watchface is yours permanently, no matter what Pebble or what phone you use, as long as you keep the same Pebble account.

You will need to get free key for weather services at https://developer.forecast.io – this is one time procedure.

Design by Paul Joel http://www.pauljoel.com

CobbleStyle 2 – watchface for Pebble smartwatch

By , 07/16/2016 11:41 PM

http://tinyurl.com/cobblestyle2

CobbleStyle is back! This time with THREE modes to display the time: analog, digital or BIG TIME! With complete customization on what information you want displayed. With pre-designed color sets and complete color customization. Make CobbleStyle 2 how you want it!

Key features:

– Three Ways to display the time: Analog, digital, or BIG TIME!
– Multi-language support
– Anti-aliasing text and graphics.
– Date / Weather / Bluetooth connection.
– GPS Location.
– Week number.
– Local time.
– Alternative timezones.
– AM/PM.
– Seconds counter.
– Pre-designed color sets.
– Custom colors.
– Custom text.
– Backlight when charging option.
– Bluetooth alert options.
– THREE weather providers – choose most reliable for your location
– Master Key weather provider control via https://www.pmkey.xyz – store all your weather API keys in one convenient location

Health Info:

– Step Count
– Live step goal bar.
– Custom step goal.
– Distance Walked
– Time Active
– Calories burned at rest
– Calories burned while active

Only $0.99 USD

After installing CobbleStyle 2 you will have a three days trial period to explore all the features and different aspects. At the end of the trial if you like CobbleStyle 2 and want to keep it, it’s just $0.99 via KiezelPay payment system. You will be prompted to enter code and follow easy payment steps. Once purchased, the watchface is yours permanently, no matter what Pebble or phone you use, as long as you keep the same Pebble account.

Design and Art Direction by Paul Joel – http://www.pauljoel.com

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