Tutors for All homepage screenshot

Tutors for All

This was my third year at New England GiveCamp, and this year I had the fortune of working with Tutors for All. This non-profit helps provide students in need with personal tutoring services.

The site was built on WordPress and is running on a modified version of TwentyTwelve. This new site replaces the previous site, which was based on Wix. The main concern for this project was time as GiveCamp only lasts about 48 hours, including introductions, final presentations, and sleep (if you’re smart – I’m not)

Just for fun, here’s a video time lapse of the weekend. Regarding my previous comment about smart people working sleep into the weekend, at about 0:40 (~5:00am Saturday) I’m one of the few crazies you can see in the back plugging away. (thanks for creating this go to Ryan Sutton):

Fun with Pianobar on Mountain Lion

Get more control over Pandora on Mountain Lion with Pianobar

Pianobar Alfred Workflow

  • Use FIFO and an Alfred keyword to send commands to Pianobar
  • Currently producing strange output in Pianobar
    • This output not visible when using direct echo commands
    • What does Alfred do differently?
  • Allows changing songs from anywhere with `pan n` in Alfred

Pianobar Geeklet

  • Create a Geeklet that displays current track info
  • Display timeframe
  • Use event_command ?

Pianobar Remote Control

Remotely Control Pandora with Pianobar on Raspberry Pi

Running Pianobar on a Raspberry Pi to control Pandora remotely

Concept

A Raspberry Pi Model B

Raspberry Pi running Pianobar, hooked up to my overhead speakers

I have a small apartment with a loft, and some computer speakers hooked up overhead for music. Previously these were hooked up to my HTPC/server. A couple batch scripts to toggle between audio on the TV and the overhead speakers. This was because the speakers are terrible for anything with dialogue due to their placement. Using the HTPC also required being in front of the TV to change the track/station, or using some form of remote desktop. This all still requires switching to a different machine (virtually or physically) and using its GUI to interact with Pandora. Hell… in that timeframe, the song I got up to skip might have already finished. Keeping the TV on to avoid it’s start up time wastes energy – there’s no need to keep the TV on if I just want to play music over the external speakers. Keeping a remote control client such as Team Viewer running is an unneeded use of resources on both machines.

Goals

  • Play Pandora on external speakers (possibly extend to other players as time/need warrant)
  • Lower needless power/resource use
  • Simple, easy to access controls

Initial Thoughts

As of starting to write this, the basic goals of the project have been met, but still lots of room to build. I spotted a mention of Pianobar(Githubonline. (can’t remember where that was now) The idea of a command line Pandora client excited me. Initially I wasn’t even thinking about my overhead speakers, but simply my laptop, and how I could integrate it with Alfred to make managing Pandora quicker there. I will likely write up something about that project in and of itself. (Pianobar + Alfred Workflows + Geektool is the general idea there) The Raspberry Pi was chosen simply because it was laying around and not being altogether useful. In reality, as far as I’ve gone with this, you just need a machine that accepts SSH connections, and can run Pianobar. Not sure if there’s a Windows version.

Execution

Resources:

Set up Raspberry Pi:

Interact:

  • SSH into Raspberry Pi
  • Run pianobar
  • More or less a simpler version of remote controlling a GUI system
  • No need to interact directly with Raspberry Pi. Control from anywhere with SSH access

Future

  • Devise way to post contents to FIFO
  • Run and limit to one screen, use this to connect/manage from multiple devices
  • Set up a web server to handle requests through a browser

CodeClarified’s New Start

Well, it’s about time for another shot at making use of this site. The previous incarnation of CodeClarified has been collecting dust for the better part of three years now. I can’t say I put much love into it to begin with, a couple screenshots of a no-longer-existent site, an article on a practice I now completely disagree with (embedding YouTube videos “validly” across browsers – yeah, point the fingers, laugh, validation was all the rage, and I thought I was being cool… to hell with readability, maintainability, and common sense… it was valid!)

So now, a few years later, I have some code and hardware projects I really need to start working on before this list gets much longer. It is simply meant to be a collection of thoughts on various projects.