Coworking notes at Elixir Vitae

A productive afternoon with Mohan Kartha in which I opened a great many tabs in Chrome. This bit of writing to close those out. Elixir Vitae is a great spot for writing - lots of quiet noise from the coolers to keep a background hum, and close to the bus station.


I’m sorting out the simplest task that I’d like to do with Node-RED, now that I have a Raspberry Pi 2 running it under Docker in a configuration that’s reliable enough that it seems like it’s stable. The easiest network test in the world is the ping test, and so my first stab at a try for “run always” is a simple configuration to notice when the network looks like it’s down and when it is to collect some more detailed information and log it to a file.

The inspiration for that is this simple configuration from an idea by Nathan Chantrell, implemented by Martin Harizanov in 2014. Presence detection using phone’s WiFi and Node-RED relies on static IP address assignments from DHCP, plus “ping”, to notice if someone’s device is in the building, turned on, and listening to wifi.

I’ve had enough phones drain their battery to know that absence of a wifi signal is not an unambiguous marker!


Fantelope is doing a beta product launch at the final AFC Ann Arbor minor league soccer game of the year, Saturday, July 25 at 6 PM at Hollway Field (Pioneer High School, 601 W. Stadium, Ann Arbor). See the Fantelope web site for more details.


My first pass at writing code to send postcards from Lob.com is working. The note to self is that if you have a square bracket in a URL, that you have to turn off curl’s globbing function, e.g. with -g or –globoff. “When you set this option, you can specify URLs that contain the letters {}[] without having them being interpreted by curl itself. “

Every card has a tracking code, so the next bit of reporting to write is to see which cards are awaiting printing, which ones are in transit, where they are going to and whether they have been received.


The AAATA moved the endpoint URL for its old-school “classic” mobile RideTrak application. To go to a particular route like the 5, see e.g. http://mobile.theride.org/classic/rideguide_m.asp?route=5 . The main http://mobile.theride.org has a newer interface, but alas my Windows Phone 8.1 with its Internet Explorer browser doesn’t do that page justice. (That, and I prefer the old interface because I managed to figure it out for the stop I’m always catching the bus from.)


Little Bird promises to “help businesses unlock the valuable information in structured social data”. I’ve asked for a trial to see what they have in store.


I’m wondering what the best approach is to the task of “download all of my email from Gmail”, since the storage I now have available on my laptop would make it straightforward to have an 18 GB personal mail spool and because I really actually would love to search through it so that I can mark some messages for permanent deletion. One possibility is Enkive from The Linux Box.


I am reminded that I want to carry around a set of headphones with me that plug into my Nokia 635 so that I can use the phone as a radio, and also reminded that I want to try to construct a headphone dipole as an antenna for my NooElec DVB-T tuner. The challenge will be remembering those desires at the right time so that when I see the parts I need in the junk pile at home that I can grab what I need for my every day carry bag.


Oh, and I need to track down an 8 GB USB stick to load a boot ISO on.