Chris Roos by Chris Roos

Show and Tell 11

We hosted our 11th Show and Tell in our shiny new office in Shoreditch Works.

There were eight of us in the office and we managed to set the projector up to display on the blank wall opposite the windows. It felt a little cosy but wasn’t too uncomfortable. I think we’d want to use a different space if there were going to be many more than eight of us in future, though.

Foodgeeks and Bummy Tummy

Ryan started proceedings by talking about two related projects he’s currently working on. The first is a food journaling app that hopes to surface patterns between what you’ve consumed and how you’re feeling. Similar to something like MyFitnessPal but with the intention of having a much friendlier user interface/experience: The UI has definitely put me off sticking with MFP in the past so I’m really interested in how this’ll turn out.

Ryan’s second project is a visual refresh of Foodgeeks - a recipe site he’s been running for the best part of 15 years! It was looking a little dated but Ryan’s done a great job of bringing it up to date.

Personal data collection

Following on from my contribution to Show and Tell 10, I demonstrated a very simple JavaScript app I created to display data from a number of the different spreadsheets that contain my personal data. I wondered whether showing different sources of data for a specific date would help me understand something about the data I’m collecting. It turns out not to be that useful, but I’m still interested enough to continue playing with the idea.

AIS on SDR

James talked us through a little presentation he’d created to give an overview of his plans for the AIS on SDR project. He explained the problems faced by small boats crossing some of the busier shipping lanes, the relative expense of commercial AIS devices and how he’s planning to build a low-cost alternative with a USB TV Tuner and Raspberry Pi.

Timelapse with a Raspberry Pi

Ben showed us the hardware and software that makes up his Raspberry Pi Timelapse device. It was great to hear about it evolving from a silent camera in the corner, to something with a screen, to something that played a tune when it was about to take a picture. The addition of the audible output resulted in his family photobombing the image captures as you can see in Ben’s video :-) Not content with producing a great little video, Ben went on to explain how he created a flipbook of the timelapse so that his daughter could take it to school. Great stuff.

A Tiny Letter Blog and Dokku

Paul explained how he’d created a simple blog for his friend’s Other Valleys TinyLetter newsletter. He was particularly impressed by Postgresql’s full text search.

Paul’s also been experimenting with Dokku having run into the limitaions of Heroku’s free plans. Paul’s not-even-alpha Stay in Touch app gives you a Twilio number which, when called, will call a range of numbers you’ve configured according to your travel schedule. It sounds great but unfortunately, because of the Heroku app start-up times, the initial connection from Twilio to the app often fails :-( The good news is that it sounds like Dokku gives Paul a viable alternative to Heroku for exactly this sort of app.

Show and Tell 12

As always, do get in touch if you’re interested in joining us for the next Show and Tell.

Until next time.

– Chris

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