Archive for June, 2010

Making the RTM cow more sympathetic

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

I am a big fan of Remember The Milk (RTM), the online to-do list manager. It’s one of the few sites (like flickr) that I’m happy to pay for.

For some reason, the logo for RTM is a cow’s face. Which means that I get a cow staring at me when I’m deciding what I need to do next.

I had a random thought this evening – that the cow should really look more sympathetic when my task list is so full. Because he’s really quite heartless, even when I’m manically busy. 😉

And once I had the idea, I kinda had to give it a quick try. (And I wonder why I’m busy…)

So I’ve knocked up a quick Greasemonkey script – which should work with Firefox with the Greasemonkey add-on, or with Google Chrome.



UK Traffic Checker now in the Android Market

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Update: (April 2011) The app is no longer available

UK Traffic Checker for AndroidMy last post was a bit of a clue, but I still thought it was worth a mini-announcement that “UK Traffic Checker” is now available in the Android Market.

I wrote about the basic idea for the app when I first hacked it together, but to summarise it’s a mobile app that checks for roadworks or other traffic incidents on UK roads for a specific journey. Tell it two places, it will work out the route between them, and check that route for known problems.

And if you give it your schedule, it can automatically check traffic for you – with support for both one-off and repeating journeys. So if you have a regular commute, you can give it the details and it will check your route to work for you in the morning while you get ready, without you needing to remember to ask.

‘UK Traffic Checker’ in the Market


Releasing apps in the Android Market app store

Monday, June 14th, 2010

I’ve just added my first app to the Android Market app store, so I thought I’d write a quick post to share what is involved.

Note: This post isn’t aimed at mobile devs. The process is documented clearly enough that there really isn’t any need. Rather, this was more written at people who are probably never going to write and submit an app to a mobile app store, but who might have an idle curiosity about what is involved getting an app from a developer’s workstation to the app store.

Step 1 – Write the code

click to see full-size version - thanks to PhotobucketThis is really the fun bit 😉

The Android plugin for Eclipse gives you nice integration for publishing.

You can right-click on the project, choose “Export Signed Application Package” and the wizard spits out a signed file ready for publishing.

Step 2 – Register with Android

click to see full-size version - thanks to PhotobucketThis is the painful bit 🙁

You visit the Market site at and pay your $25 to register with Android as a developer. For me, it worked out to a bit over £17.


How to generate a wave graph

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

TV watching - split by channel

I revisited the code behind my TV scrobbling this evening. When I first wrote it, I focused on graphs like bar graphs and pie charts.

Tonight, I tried out wave graphs. In this post, I want to share some of the results of my first attempt, and how I wrote the script to generate them.

I have created wave graphs showing my TV watching over the last five months. I’ve tried splitting it out by in a couple of ways:

Programme titles tend to be too long to make for a very useful graph, and there were way too many of them. But I’ve tried limiting them to the top 10 watched programmes to make for a prettier graph. The channels graph seems to work okay, though.

TV watching - split by channel

To generate the graphs, I wrote a Python script using the awesome graphication graphing library by Andrew Godwin.