Archive for October, 2008

My HackDay hack – see where your friends are

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Today was IBM HackDay 6 – an internal HackDay run across IBM‘s many labs – and I managed to spend a bit of today hacking something together.

PhotobucketIn a nutshell, it’s kinda like Plazes, brightkite, dodgeball and others… find out where your friends currently are. And see where they are from your mobile.

The twist is that it gives you quite precise locations for friends within a known indoor campus – such as Hursley Park.

Hursley, like many IBM locations, is a campus, with thousands of employees in a 100 acre site.

What if you’re trying to find someone? Say you’re in a meeting, and a colleague hasn’t turned up yet. Where are they? Are they on their way?

Or you’ve arranged to meet a colleague for lunch or a coffee, and you seem to keep missing each other.

The idea of this hack was to build on the Hursley Maps tool to come up with some way for you to be able to quickly check where your friends are while you’re at work.

Okay… so it’s a fairly flimsy scenario. 🙂

But I’ve enjoyed playing with location-based services ideas before, and thought this would be an interesting twist. Plus, it was an excuse to play with Django which I’ve wanted to try since hearing about it at BathCamp.


Use CurrentCost to see how your electricity usage compares with others

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

first beta of a web services based CurrentCost appI’ve played with ways that CurrentCost users could compare their usage with their friends for a while.

But now I want to see how it will cope with a bigger group of users.

Want to join in? I’ve started writing some instructions – please do give it a try!

Find out how here.

Update: I figure that if I’m asking for people to help me, then it’s only fair that I give something back. So I’ve made available the Python source that reads and parses CurrentCost updates.

Making your own font

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

hosted on Photobucket

It was my wife’s birthday last week. As a part of the birthday present that our three year old, Grace, made for her, I made a font based on Grace’s handwriting.

This isn’t terribly technical, or even new. But I thought it was cute. 🙂


Comparing your CurrentCost data with others

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

a Python CurrentCost appBetween holidays, meetings, work and other stuff, I put CurrentCost stuff to one side for a few weeks.

I’m back now, and thought I’d share my plans for the app. If nothing else, I figure it’s useful for me to refresh my memory and plan my next step!