What should I use my Blinkt! to notify me of?


(Daniel Hollands) #1

As part of their 4-year birthday celebration a couple weeks ago, Pimoroni were doing a special promotion where, in addition to 10% off your order, if you spent over £50 you’d get a free Blinkt!

Needless to say, I’m always happy to find excuses to spend money (which resulted in the purchasing of my circuit stickers and e-textile stuff), and thusly earned the free Blinkt! - but now I have no idea what to do with it.

OK, so that’s not entirely true - I know that I’m going to stick it on a Pi Zero, and mount it on my monitor to use as some type of status indicator - but what I don’t know is what statuses I should use it to indicate.

So this is why I’m throwing it out to you lot, to see what ideas you can come up with.

One idea I just had was a new forum post indicator. I could have it poll the API on a regular basis, and change the colour and/or brightness of it’s associated pixel based on how long ago the last post was made.

If that’s going to be one of the pixels, what should I do with the other 7?


(Andy Wootton) #2

This is the best analogy I’ve ever seen for how companies get sold a product then look for problems that it is a solution to. :slight_smile:

This was much cheaper than Lotus Notes, ‘an intranet hub’, Content Management Systems, enterprise architecture management or network monitoring systems though. I think I see a pattern - an apparently simple solution to coping with complexity which actually only adds more complexity.


(Daniel Hollands) #3

Hahaha, as may be. Truth is, I want to play around with this sort of thing to gain more experience with it. It’s an excuse to play with Python - which I don’t really want to do (the more I look at it, the more it looks like a rubbish version of Ruby) - but seems to be the way forward.


Another idea - how long since the last notification on Slack? Or, if it’s possible, show that I have unread messages waiting for me.


(Andy Wootton) #4

Entering into the spirit of innovation instead of being cynical:

  1. The soil is too dry. Water the plants.
  2. It’s raining. Get the washing in.
  3. You’ve done your 30 minutes, take a rest from the screen and stretch. Needs a reset button.
  4. The battery is charged
  5. The post has been delivered
  6. You’ve left a window open

(Andy Wootton) #5

I only mock you about your habit as a proxy for me. I have no real idea why I bought a Raspberry Pi or a drum machine.


(Andy Wootton) #6

The local blinken-lights need to be one local copy of distributed virtual alarms in The Cloud for the general solution, with multiple responders, a call-order and time-outs before calling next on list #ScopeCreeping


(Daniel Hollands) #7

Tell you what, let’s see if I can even make the damn thing light up at all first :confused: then we can see about taking over the world (or whatever it was you just said :joy:)


(Andy Wootton) #8

I intended to specify a direction of travel not a precise destination. You should only travel for as far as you believe it delivers value. Value can be delivered in what my German colleagues used to call “learnings” rather than product.


(Daniel Hollands) #9

It’s not much to look at right now, but I figured an update photo would be appropriate

(My desk is a mess - the sooner I get my shed, the better).

I’ve had the Zero in my drawer for a couple of months now and got the Blinkt a couple of weeks ago. What I didn’t have were the GPIO header pins to solder in place, so ordered a basic kit which included the header pins, a case, and a heatsink (not that you really need one for the Zero, but whatevs). The kit arrived just before lunchtime, so favouring technology over substance, I soldered the pins, installed the case, added NOOBs to the SD card, and set about installing Raspbian.

Because I want to keep this as basic as possible, without having lots of cables trailing out of it, once it’s all installed and set-up I’m going to use the Ethernet Adaptor for Chromecast to backpower it via the USB port to provide a network interface, then access it for updating via SSH.

I’m not sure how I’m going to attach it to the back of my monitor yet, but I have a feeling velcro might be an option.

UPDATE:

https://vine.co/v/5hpZjvBdlmX


(Daniel Hollands) #10

One more quick update - and maybe this is Yak-shaving, but I don’t care - I’d like to turn my hand at converting the Python Package which powers this into a Ruby Gem.

The actual meat of the package is no more than 67 lines of python, which in turn relies on the RPi.GPIO library, and seeing as this has already been ported as ruby gem, I’m hoping the process of converting the rest of Ruby will be simple.

I’ll be honest, I’m scared, but if I can manage this, I’ll feel pretty good about myself. Lets see what happens.

:gem: > :snake: (wrong colour, but you get the idea)


(Marc Cooper) #11

The tech that solves the problem you wish you had is always more attractive than the one you need :wink:


(Martin Meredith) #12

Congratulations, you’re on your way to making KIT.

On a seperate note - ooh… Ethernet for Chromecast? Shiny. I only bought the new chromecast because living in $studentville means 2.4 is swamped and I was getting spotty performance with the old style chromecast. know if it works for the old ones? or only the new ones?


(Daniel Hollands) #13

I have no idea as I’ve not yet used it, and when I do I’ll be plugging it into a Pi.


(Steve Jalim) #14


(Andy Wootton) #15

Did you see the story of the kerb in a car park that was on the San Andreas fault line? Teachers took students there to see the 2 halves, several inches out of alignment. Someone fixed it.


(Daniel Hollands) #16

I’ve had another idea for this (or, rather, I’ve stolen an idea from someone else). Maybe the colours on the LEDs could indicate my current progress though the working day?

This is based on an applet I found in Ubuntu which shows the percentage of the work day, although, instead of a percentage, it would gradually light up each led as the day progresses from 9am till 5:30pm.

It would be a silly idea, but one which would flex my python coding skills, especially if you take into account things like the weekends.