New features are added to the WebPower an Arduino-Webduino Relay Switcher!
The biggest improvement is that I have added physical controls for the real world. The first is a analog sensor for monitoring voltages or more specific light sensor to monitor the presence of a LED that is indicating a device is powered on... this is specifically important for devices that use pulsed relays. I have built in the functions for two such sensors and disabled them by default.
The next feature was the ability to control the on-off functions manually when your next to the device.. I wanted something that would power on the devices in order. So if there is a boot up sequence I could turn on my radio gear quickly with out the use of a webpage. Pressing the On button multiple times will turn on each relay in order, note that if you have a pulse relay the current version isn't monitoring for that and thus will latch a pulse relay. I will correct this later, or you can workaround by simply putting that relay as your last relay and being careful not to latch it.
The off button will reverse of the on button, something like a rocker switch would work nice for this..
I do recommend using a pull-down resistors well as remember to shield the use of analog pins, test this in your environment. I used 10kOhm pull-down resistors to keep the pins quiet. This was some dirty code I put in a lazy debounce and I'm sure there is a better way.. if you have input let me know!
You can get the code back on the main page for this project.
Example of a Analog push button for the on/off switch with a pull-down resistor (10Kohm for example)
In a quest to operate my ham radio shack remotely, one thing I needed to accomplish was remote power for various devices. I have looked into multiple solutions however they are expensive and normally don't fit the bill just as I need them to. My requirements for this project..
1) Cheap, 2) Easy, 3) Flexible
I had a few spare Arduino's sitting around with a few EthernetPiggy boards. So thats the cheap part, priced out on ebay for $20 you can pick up the pair of boards from China, double check! Additionally I looked into some of the pre-made units. For example West Mountian Radios Rigrunner. Real nice unit, but the price is a little hot and with a limit of four ports and 40A on the DC circuit I am a bit limited in flexibility. Then you have the AC only version, the web power switch Also the most affordable way to go about it I have found. Same with the OpenSource Hardware ProjectWebPower Strip, however the quality manufactured version is highly preferred to this messy looking thing.
So back to the Arduino, I had it here in a junk box, I also had some 2-Channel Relay boards.. that are Optioisoloated real nice units. sitting in the junk box (more on why this is cool later)
After some toying around I came to the conclusion that the Webduino Library was the best for the situation, allowing POST and Auth with no effort from myself. About 30 hours of programming later, some help from jQuery.. I have a version 1.0!.
So I suckered into going legal by using Spotify, after lots of consideration of the iMatch in the iCloud I decided that I only want to stream music and not deal with storage on a device. I am tired of paying crazy prices for apples storage memory.
So I chose Spotify, found a long free trial of premium, and love the ability to just search up (almost any) song I want. Then, also link to my home pc for music they just don't have yet. Whatever ... if you have a clue you have seen enough about this.
But here, at the end of my demo of Spotify... And I am not happy, two things 1) the Spotify radio isn't available in the iOS app. 2) the iOS app is not universal. Simple things if you ask me and it's a joke they don't simply solve them. Enough to make me dump it and go back to just using pandora.
Break from that for a moment...
I love pandora, I have used it for years and the most amazing thing about 3G is having pandora in my car. However, I seem to lately have ran pandora dry, the radio stations seem to be repetitive and I listened to all the music there is to listen to that I like. (nothing wrong with that) one thing about pandora I never liked is the penalty for skipping songs or FF/RW.
Back to program... So I complained on the online Spotify support to get totally ignored (lame). Just today I saw this post about a app SpotOn it's a API that will run pandora like radio and use your premium account to play music. All from iOS. I hope someone sees this blog post because the only reason I didn't cancel Spotify this month is because of this app. Now I don't know how good it is with random new and loved music as its only 6 hours old and I have ran it on my iPad for 20 min while blabbering my thoughts here. So far it promises to please, playing random music - At least in this period. So another month of premium thanks only ... and solely to the creators of SpotOn
So the other day I was trying to remove windows update junk files and ran into this little application, slimcleaner. It's a rare, and functional nifty application.
Not only will this do a rather awesome job at finding just about everything I can think of to remove that is temporarary. It will also look at everything you have and rate it for "community trustworthiness" very awesome.
If your pc is slow or just needs a sprucing up I highly recommend running this application and run everything on it that is "easy or normal user" if you see it report that you have risky software remove it!
One word of warning this software makes money with a partnership with other people when you install it they ask if you want to install AVG browser bar. Well I'm sure this is handy software please be aware this could slow you down and to decline the install of such software if your don't want it.
One of the most important features that I consider the iPad for in day-to-day business is the ability to take good notes. Previously I used another application called audionote. I recently found a new application simply by browsing the app store and luck... It was on sale for 99cents which I am a sucker for.
The app is noteability this app blew my mind. Not only is it an awesome editor for documents and making handwriting and text and photos flow nicely. But the management of all the features with the touch interface is simply awesome.
This application will allow you to email in rtf or PDF with the audio It's a clean PDF file no mention of the application developer (one major issue I had with the audionote app I used prior)
In the end notability just shines so much it's seriously crazy professional and can be used for more then just making notes in a class or meeting you can publish some nice documents with it. I love it!
So I would be leaving out important details if I didn't mention that most of the reason that I went to WordPress and spent six hours upgrading servers wasn't only to save cash. It was because I came across this cool iPad app called blogsy that seems to be the only fully featured blogger out there. It did not support my prior platform, so the change to WordPress took place...
So I was stuck in silicon valley and thought what should I do to make this more exciting?I ended up taking a nerd tour!
After that I swung over to google, this was interesting as the security guard huntedme down. I explained I was one nerd tour and he was very happy to show me where thelargest sign I could take a photo of was. Additionally he offered to light it up withhis headlights! Very nice fellow, cheers to you google on that!
After that I wrapped it up by checking out Facebook.. Which is real boring as itsjust a campus building for Stanford. But eh
After looking around Facebook and thinking lame, I then noticed that people live acrossthe street from Facebook, which was rad I wonder if they ever look out the windowwhile face booking.
There is obviously every major tech brio and mortar in this area I did drive arounda bit and check out everything from Dell to IBM to AOL to Creative Labs ( the soundcard people) but seriously who wants pictures of all that? Did I mention that my alternativewas sitting alone in my hotel room? ....I'm not crazy.
So I recently got a iPad, I am not a apple fan I actually don't like much about applebut the hardware quality they produce. The iPad is very clever device powerful enoughfor a super user but easy enough for a 4 year old. Some serious issues that I havewith the device OS however is no central storage, which allows every app to have itsown storage space. Which forces the users to use a cloud file storage space. Whichstinks for security. That is my only major gripe about it however. Otherwise I amvery happy and have replaced my laptop almost for every non critical work task (cantdo my real job from one) but I can do email and lightly review and edit documentsand calendar on exchange.
I did choose to upgrade to the middle class memory unit, which after 2 months of useI couldn't have been happier with.. I filled up 16GB in apps alone in about 3 weeks.Add music and some movies and my iPad has about 1.2gb free today. I also updated tothe ATT 3G unit. I also couldn't have been happier with this. I use almost 2GB a monthand without this 3G the iPad is mostly a useless large iPod. As a consultant I findmy self constantly in locations with networks I cant use or don't have access to.Also while driving, or sitting in an airport having access to internet now thru anetwork I likely trust more is invaluable.
The first thing I did when I popped it out of the box was change the way it handledsecurity, I set a default lock of 10min and changed from a PIN password to a "real"alphanumeric locking password. I also allowed the device to be wiped clean after 10failed logins. The next thing I did was create a lock wallpaper (using good old ms-paint)which stated the owner information (me) and a friendly reward on return with my contactinfo. This way if my device is lost somewhere a kind person can return it so I don'thave to worry as much. I also hesitantly applied for the location service fromapple to "find my device" I gave into allowing my constant location awareness herebecause it's a cool service, but sadly its at a huge cost of allowing some serviceto locate me 24/7.
I also did try jail breaking my ipad but found no significant reason to keep it jailbrokenand after reviewing the app-store for jailbreak.. decided its not worth my time topay for apps that might get removed in the next apple release of iOS. other then SBStoolbarthere just wasn't any apps that were worth my time (remember the whole point of thistablet is to have something that just .works all the time)
So after that fun . on to the App's I have spent a lot of time looking and reviewingat free apps and non free apps. So I give to you in a jumbled list
Kelly's Top iPad Apps for IT professionals.
The must have apps, no questions asked.
- Goodreader, this app is hands down the most important app on my iPad its invaluableand you can read about it elsewhere.
- FlipBoard,this is the best RSS/News/Social reader I have found I use this app every day allday* (very cool to link with google reader feed)
- Editions,this is a awesome news reader
- AudioNote,I prefer this to evernote as I don't like to keep my notes in a cloud. this app allowshandwriting, audio recording, and note taking all wonderfully wrapped into a awesomeapp
- imo,instant messaging application.. best I have found so far to communicate with my familyand co workers across multi chat platforms.
- NightStand,alarm clock application which allows sleep to any music and wake to music and veryhandy to remember what city your waking up in
- CalculatorLCD, the best free non obnoxious calculator app (why the hell isnt apple providingone for free?)
- iSSH,a very awesome SSH/Tunnel client its $10 bucks ..just pay for it
- NSlookup, afree and useful DNS tool
- FileBrowser,the best file access product for accessing windows file shares I have come across
- WisePocket Cloud,the free version will allow you to connect to one RDP or VNC or Citrix and it hasa slick user interface. just re configure it when you need to connect else where
- 2XRDP client the only good free RDP client I have found so far
- waze,free mapping and GPS guidance application
Apps that are IT focused, not must haves but things I found I use consistently
- WebEx, GoToMeeting (ifyou find you attend a lot of meetings and want to be hip and trendy)
- As a consultant I also have McafeeEMM, JunosPulse,Cisco Anyconnect todemo and use the various networks but these are by no means needed for everyone
- Penultimate fordifferent types of smart white boarding this app is smart to know if you rest yourhand on it rather then just a finger
- Print to PDF,this is not free but I find it very useful for printing boarding passes for lateruse or just for the use of a printer when needed for apps
- Converter,unit converter for the iPad.free version if you look for it
- Alarmed,count up and count down timer application
- VTrace traceroutwith visual map
Apps that have nothing to do with IT but are fun and I like em!
- Pandora,obvious awesome free audio
- iCatcher,podcast viewer and player, the best one I have found
- CoverJam,cool little visual app for playing music
- Aweditorium,cool music discovery application
- SoundHound,AWESOME music application
- DragonDictation Speech to Text, handy for emails while driving
- Flixter,find movies around you
- 8mm HD, niftyvideo recording application
- Xfinity, Netflix, HBOGo, streaming video if you don't pay for an account you can use others!
- Songify, sillyfun application
- PopBooth,cool way to send photos of family to family
- iMovie, greatway to get family videos quickly
- AOL TV, nicelocation aware TV guide
- Skype,chatting with family ..works great on 3G and Wifi
- Taptalk,BBS forum reader
- NPR, CNN NPRcuz they are good and CNN because you can stream video live
- DerManDar waycool panorama photo taker
- GoogleSearch (photo, voice search)
- Amazon, eBay, NewEgg,specialized shopping apps
- BankOfAmerica,actually a very nice application for banking
- CraisgslistFree, very fun application for browsing CL highly recommend
- Zillow, how much isthat house worth?
- RedLaser,barcode and Qcode reader and price checker
- WeeklyAds,gets you the junk mail in digital forum save a tree get digital ads
- Alfred, nicerestaurant locator when your out in a new area
- AmazonPrice Check, handy for controlling impulse buys
- pUniverseX,(note I couldn't find the link for the free one) a star locator real cool app if youhave never seen this get the free copy
- Bing for iPad,this application is actually very well done.
- WebMD,is it a spider bite or just a big zit?
- QuickOffice, but only if its on sale it's a good app but has some serious securityissues in sharing files..
- IMDb,nice to have to remember that actor
- MyPad,a ok Facebook application its not the best I actually prefer FlipBook or the Browsermore
- Mileage Keeper,handy application to track gas mileage, I have a old truck and so this is super handy
- Photo365,reminds you to take a photo every day cool at the end of the year - just wish youcould print or email the calendar
- Kindle,Nook,24Symbols Bookreaders and magazine subscription readers
- Olivetree Biblereader
- Qwiki, Discover,Wikipedia Apps
- Google Earth,the original
- WSFSchedule, Nifty schedule and camera and wait time app
- SeattleFrwys, cool app for traffic cam, speeds and traffic map
- Day Tides,MultiTide, I dive so this is handy
- WikiHood, Thisapp is real cool it will take your location and show any wiki articles.. its fun
- iExit Light,way cool application to show you what services are ahead on the freeway very handy
- Yelp, Groupon, UrbanSpoon, AroundMe, handy apps to see discounts and deals and reviews around you
Games ones I have enjoyed see the note below about flipboard I normally don't payfor games but get them when they are free. I cant tell you how critical this is. Justdownload the game when its free and play it later. If you don't like the game youcan always delete it later, if it becomes a hit and they seriously upgrade it youalways have it in your "purchased" software list so you can go get it again if youdon't like it. I cant tell you how awesome it is to have someone show you a cool gameyou didn't understand or have time to play with before .to just go to your purchasedapps and download it later on.
- World ofGoo, if you have ever played this on the Wii or Xbox you will love the touch interface
- Harbor Master,way cool line drawing application
- Cross Fingers,fun wood block puzzle game has a free version
- UnblockMe, classic wood block puzzle game has a free verison
- Cutthe Rope, this game is like angry birds it stands up to the hype linked to a freeversion
- Cover Orange,this game unlike angry birds I don't understand the hype . I don't get why this gameis so liked
- Edge, this gameis different and if you see it free its fun
- GameTools,this is handy to have it provides dice and a timer and score keeping for traditionalboard games
- LemonadeTycoon, the old classic sim in its originality
- Labyrinth,fun retro game on the iPad
- DrawRace, thisgame is worth checking out for free when advertised
- Contraptions rememberthe old days of The Incredible Machine?
- PushCarsHD freepuzzle game that is fun
- ICircut, thisisnt a game but I consider it one
- To-Fu Free,platformer game that is fun
- HardLines,free tron/snake game that is rad
- Save OurSheep, its ok.. not worth the money IMO watch for it for free
- ZombieSmashHD,Zombie Slinger Fun, lives up to the hype
- Wind Tunnel,addictive physics .game?
- KillLights,closest thing to geometry wars but for free
- TinyTower,I got addicted to this game ..its free so that was why
- Rolling Ranch,bubble bobble like game only advanced
*the note on FlipBoard, if you set it up there is a feed for "Apps" you want to subscribeto this feed. It will tell you the top free apps of the day and apps that go on sale.Most of my apps I have gotten for free or for sale because I watch this feed. Itswonderful for saving money or finding a new cool game.
I just spent the last 9 hours making this work, hope you like it
So I thought I would take this time to chat about my recent vacation I just took.We went to the Bahamas, before we go there. actually about 12 hours before we flewI told katie LETS get dive certified! She was only half excited about this becauseas I mentioned this was . now about 10 hours before the flight.
So we busted out some PADI education like crazy then did our open water dives thenafter that we did some fun dives. so far 310min with a max UW depth of 105fsw we didsome wreck dives as well as some shark and fun coral dives. Totally awesome! I amhooked and hopefully Katie enjoys the hobby so we can do it more and more!
But as I sit on my flight with wifi at 30k feet up in the air I thought it only fittingto blog about being 100ft below!