Normally when family or friends say they need a website I roll my eyes and hope there's a way I can get out of doing it. But then my older brother, Tim, asked me to do one that actually got me quite interested.
Tim's the engineer for a local radio station and is responsible for making sure - amongst other things - the station stays on air. He wants a way to monitor the output level of the station's signal remotely. So he's bought an Arduino kit and written a "sketch" file to have it monitor audio signal levels via a 3.5mm input jack.
The Arduino board has a network connection and the plan is to put it on their network and it give a publically resolvable IP address. The Arduino board will respond to a HTTP request with a text/plain response that contains a number from 1 to 20 that is a measure of the output at that moment.
What Tim wants me to do is write a web front end to this. It needs to regularly "ping" the Arduino board to get the output signal and make some kind of visual indicator of historic output. If it drops to 0 for any length of time then he's got an issue. Either the Arduino has packed up or station is off air.
This is the kind of geekery I enjoy and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to it. The Arduino in the shot above is in my possession and I'm free to mess about with it as I please.
Also on my to-do list is to make a website for Quinn's boyfriend's dad's driving school. He too has produced a "sketch" to show me how it should look:
Quinn's boyfriend is a talented artist and currently studying on a Computer Animation course at university. He must have gotten his talents from his mum's side me thinks.
The Perfect Desk Quest - 2013 Update (Part 2) | Blog
Wed, Dec 11th 2013 3:10a Jake Howlett Back in March I updated you all on how my on-going quest for the perfect desk was coming along. Here now is another update. Question: Can you ever have too many monitors or enough "real estate" desktop size? Answer: No! Here's how my desk looks now: From left to right, there's a (newly-added) Dell U2713H (showing OS X), a Dell U2711 and a Samsung SyncMaster 245B (both showing the same Windows 7 PC). All in there are 9,676,800 pixels glaring back at me!! Aside from adding a brand new monito [read] Keywords: desktop
Recovering a Laptop After Forgetting Windows and BIOS Password | Blog
Wed, Dec 4th 2013 3:10a Jake Howlett My sis-in-law loves a bargain (she's from Yorkshire!) and recently rang to ask me (via her sister, my wife) if I'd be able to recover a laptop she'd been offered, before she went ahead and bought it. Apparently the owner of the laptop had forgotten the Windows password and had written the laptop off as worthless, so was willing to sell for next-to-nothing. I said yes, I'd able to do something with it. What I didn't realise was that it might have a BIOS password, which it did! Initially I' [read] Keywords: google
Rockall Design Now in its 11th Year! | Blog
Fri, Nov 1st 2013 4:00a Jake Howlett Rockall Design ltd (the little company I run from the office-slash-garage in my garden) was 10 years old yesterday. It's customary on this day each year that I plot a chart of turnover growth over the years. So, here it is: As you can see it's been a bumper year. Last year I put down what, at the time, I thought was a good year to: Long hours and 'hard' work. But mainly luck! This year is much the same. Although, if I thought I was doing long hours back then I had no idea what was in stor [read] Keywords: domino
Using Font Awesome Icons in Fireworks | Blog
Mon, Oct 14th 2013 4:00a Jake Howlett The font-based web icons from Font Awesome is brilliant. Especially when used in conjunction with Bootstrap. You can quickly and easily add any one of the icons to your HTML buttons (or many other elements for that matter). Like so: Sometimes though, you can't use web fonts. Either you can't rely on them being supported or, for some other reason, you just want to use an image file. That was the case for me recently and I wanted an image file of an exclamation mark. Here's how easy it was usi [read] Keywords:
Bootstrap Advanced Date Picker Plugin | Blog
Fri, Sep 6th 2013 4:00a Jake Howlett For some time now I've been creating date fields in Bootstrap-based websites that look like this: Clicking either in the field or on the button next to it launches a date-picker, like this: In the Notes Form the Date Field is configured in such a way that it accepts dates in the format 12-Dec-2009 (while storing them in normal Notes DateTime format of course). The field properties are like so: It all works well and users like them. Not least because there's no confusion over whether it' [read] Keywords: domino
Quick Tip: Login To Same Site as Two Different Users | Blog
Tue, Aug 20th 2013 12:00p Jake Howlett Here's a tip I discovered kind of by accident in one of those "I wonder if" moments. It came about after discovering a Fiddler tip that lets you trace localhost http traffic. The solution is simple: you simply add a trailing space, so that you surf to http://localhost./ At first I'd assumed that this was some odd quirk in the way browsers handled host names. Turns out it's actually working the way it should. Technically speaking all FQDNs should have a trailing space, in order to make them [read] Keywords:
How To: Virgin Media + BT Infinity = Reliable Internet Connection? | Blog
Mon, Aug 12th 2013 4:03a Jake Howlett The quest for an always-on internet connection is almost at an end! As if to assure me it was worth it, within 24 hours of Virgin Media connecting my secondary (failover) broadband connection the "primary" BT line went down. Again. For the third time in as many months. This time, however, I was prepared and had a backup connection and could carry on working. The BT engineer that came this time was very helpful. Bordering on apologetic for the fact I'd had so many visits of late. So much so he [read] Keywords: admin
Modern Day Communication Reliability | Blog
Thu, Aug 8th 2013 4:09a Jake Howlett Two weeks ago today I mentioned that I'd ordered a Virgin Media cable internet connection as a redundant 2nd connection in case my first goes down. Today the engineer is due to come and connect me up. Yep, a two week wait to get connected. Luckily I'm already on the internet, otherwise there's not a chance I'd ever wait that long. Anyway, I booked a date and the AM time slot for the visit and went about "waiting". Then, yesterday I got the message below: Which sent my overly-paranoid an [read] Keywords: twitter
Error Correction in Lotus Notes Maths | Blog