The magic internet elves have decided to grace my presence once more! Projects that had to take a backseat to life are finally moving back into the foreground! The 8-Digit 7-Segment Display is almost set to ship, and new things are forming in the crucible! Kickstarter is undeniably great for getting a project off the ground using the wildly popular art of crowd-sourcing, but they’re not the only option anymore! PleaseFUND.com is a fairly new option for internet fund-raising, without the staunch guidelines that go along with a Kickstarter campaign. All you need is a Paypal account and a story, and like the tag-line says, you can raise money for anything! For a long time, the idea of a GrayMatterForge web-comic has teetered on the brink of becoming a reality, now you can help to make it so.
If you’ve worked with Node.js, then you’ll probably agree that NPM is pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread. One command handles the download, install and setup of your favourite node packages in one fell swoop. And bada-bing, bada-boom, you’re in business, you can jump feet first into writing your application. As a front end developer wouldn’t it be awesome if you could get that same no-fuss functionality translated to the client-side of things? All that lead up ramps spectacularly into a resounding now you can.
Enter Jam, a command line tool that takes care of some of the more tedious bits of your duties for you. It’s usage is almost identical to NPM, and you can actually use NPM to install it! At the command line simply type:
npm install -g jamjs and then use
I finally got my invite from Cloudno.de! Admittedly, I’m a little late to the party, but now I’ve finally got the chance to get into the Node.js arena, and my first project was (of course) a chat server. This seems to be the “Hello World” app in the clouds, so I took it a step further and added a whiteboard and support for rooms. I’ve put the project on github for any interested parties: Draw-kit.io. I used Express to get up and running, Socket.IO to handle the server-client chatter, and a Raphael.js sketchpad. Cloudno.de makes it insanely simple to get up and running, using git repositories to host your code, and a command line interface a trained monkey could use makes for a sterling silver lining. My background is in php, but the transition was a snap, if you’re a web developer and you haven’t tried your hand at a realtime app, maybe it’s time to get real – realtime is now.
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Goals are the difference between doing and NOT doing. In an RPG, sub-goals, and lesser battles drive the plot, from these (often time menial) tasks, arises the symphonic overview of why it was all worth it. The bigger picture that would otherwise be non-apparent, pieces itself together like an implied harmonic ressonance. So what’s a GPG? A Goal Playing Game. Collaborate across the digital divide, hone your skills, and Get Stuff Done. Coming Soon. Bring nothing but your skills, and leave the fluff to Facebook.
It’s no secret that Github rocks, open-source projects are free to set up, and collaboration is streamlined to the point of perfection. Developers on all platforms can install some flavor of git, and forking and pull requests mean noone is mucking up the production code without your approval. Your code then becomes infinitely more portable – backed up on githubs servers, more manageable and easier to share! Github even has an API, making integration into your application a snap, but it dangerous to go alone! Take These:
Codeigniter is a great tool for web development, “easy to learn, but difficult to master” seems to me to be a the optimal model for any instrument. The same goes for Twitter’s Bootstrap – a frontend framework that allows for the easy and pristine implementation of many of the popular design patterns in modern UI’s. Tying both together has become a pet project of mine, and along the way I’ve begun to tie in some other open-source monoliths like WordPress and Vanilla Forums. It’s far from polished, and by no means ready for primetime just yet, but if you’re a developer, you can fork the project on github and help out. Currently I’m working on MailChimp, Processing.js, Piwik, and MixPanel integrations. Stay tuned in to falcontether.cc for more information as development progresses.
We’ve been keeping busy with a lot of different projects, some still under-wraps, and some that are spanning the globe as we speak. In our quest to build the 1337clock we designed a breakout board for the 7-segment displays, and got it KickStarted! Check out our Tribute to all our awesome supporters who made this possible! The buzz that our project generated got us an invitation to The DaVinci Institutes Inventor Showcase, and has led to some collaborative efforts with the fine folks over at The Quick Brown Fox Inc.! The board will be available for sale on &heartsMarket once we’ve finished with the first round, so stay tuned!
Time is something we all take for granted now and then. That’s why we decided to switch it up a bit. Out with the old, and in with the new, the Romans and their archaic rites and rituals are long dead, but we still cling to the ideals of those who came before. It’s time to break out of the box the Caesar family built on the blood of innocent people. We’ll get more in-depth in the next post, until then, Stay tuned and Be 1337.
The open source movement ultimately means free code for the taking, and the Arduino website is a great centralized place where the 31337 may gather and share their findings. One such finding was a modded LiquidCrystal library that uses SPI to interface to the Arduino.
These LCD’s are great for text output, and you can create custom characters(as mentioned in an earlier post), but the one drawback is how many of your I/O pins have to be sacrificed to communicate directly with the device. With this version of the library, a 74HC595 shift register is used as a go between to drop the required pins to 3.
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