Sunday, 19 March 2017

Geeky Father's Day

Today is Father´s Day in Spain, so I gave myself a mini present, a new free app. The twist is that I have programmed the app myself using MIT App Inventor. Ok, not really programmed anything, but I put together a few blocks and made sure the logic holds.I started with this tutorial and it delivers what it says.
The main screen has a few buttons and when one of them is pressed a time stamp is created in a database. The set up page makes it possible to give names to each button (names not shown above) and a user name, so you can keep track of several preset items without always having to change the name of the button first. The nice thing is that data persistence is possible for multiple users as timestamp data is not stored locally in the phone but in the cloud, more specifically in a fusion table. This means each user can log whatever is relevant for them, things like times arriving to and leaving from work, starting and finishing homework, time jogging, etc. Names are locally stored for each user in his/her phone.
Surely there are thousands of apps which do this better, but the fun is learning how to do it yourself and exploring what else could be done. There is no point telling our children to think of the phone as a handheld computer if we don´t apply the same principle to ourselves.
The next step would be to use the same layout and the bluetooth connectivity module to link this to a raspberry pi driving a couple of motors. More TK...

Friday, 17 March 2017


Lo que me llamó la atención de esta decrépita puerta en la calle de la Trinidad en Alcalá fue que tuviera iniciales (supongo que de los dueños). Además, hizo que me acordara de esta otra puerta que fotografié hace ya varios años.