I’ve been using Vagrant as part of my development process for about 6-8 months now. It makes it so much easier – I’m not too sure how I managed before!

I now include a Vagrantfile (it’s config) with every project/repo that I build.
Using this I can launch a box with a specific hardware/software configuration depending on the projects requirement.

I have a number of boxes which I’ve manually built and are hosted online. If I decide to make an update (upgrade php or mysql for example) the next time the local box is started it will automatically update from the hosted box. Neat huh?

Check out my Github repo for my debian web box:

So what’s next? Well… coupled with Ansible I should be able to nail down my deployment process & remote server management for good.

First starts on the Wearable App & API

The other night I started making the initial app (android) which will work with the Wearable API.

Initial input & output methods were explored and implemented in a basic application.


The idea was to start with finding out what ways we can communicated with the Wearable API.

So Far:

Inputs: GPS, Mic, Accelerometer, Temperature, Compass, Message, JSON, Camera

Outputs: Dialogue, Talk, Vibrate, Notification, Audio, Toast

Even with these simple methods added we can start building the API to do stuff for us.

Right now my preferred method of receiving output is by audio. So right now It ‘speaks’ a lot, but but voice/audio notifications work so well.

“Louis, you have received an email”, “New calendar appointment received” “Warning: You are doing over 70MPH” Of course; these are all configurable in the API.

Grab album art from Google image search

Whilst working on some Shoutcast scripts, I thought it would be cool to grab the album art of the current playing song to display. I googled for services, but none seemed suitable. (If you know of one, please leave a comment below.)

We can grab an image using PHP & curl:

Simply pass through the song title eg: Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees and it will return an image for you.

Now remember, this isn;’t an exact science, the image returned might not be related at all, but in my tests I found 90% of results perfectly acceptable.

Here’s how it looks:
Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 20.31.52

Facebook API

In recent weeks at ID we’ve been doing a lot of work with the Facebook API to create more social interaction on some new upcoming projects. The API is HUGE and very versatile. Once you have created an app you can access the API and use it for what ever functions you wish. Ive created some sample apps that do the following recently:

  • Track fans on Facebook pages, allow page admins to see who has joined and left their pages recently by name with daily email updates. Fantracker
  • Tie in events and checkins to make events more social. This is an exciting one, and could mean great social interaction for event organisers. Flocc
  • Share links from a browser based toolbar to specific Facebook pages. Great for page admins to easily manage their content.
  • Tag facebook friends in pictures on external sites. A great idea in project development with my good friend Dan.

Watch this space!