Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Tortoise cam has arrived!

In exciting news tortoise cam has arrived!
I've put it together and followed a pile of instructions using a raspberry pi I had sat round not doing very much and now we have the capability to live stream the tortoises!
The instructions I followed are here:
And they were remarkably easy to follow.

Now without further ado you should be able to see tortoise cam, obviously this is running off of my home wifi, so it could well stop working at any point (and that's without interruptions from a 3 and 6 year old).
The live stream should be able to be found at:

If you follow that link in the next few minutes you should see my wife and I attempting to put together a "tortoise table"!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Tortoise cam...


So in a not very shocking piece of news I've taken a(nother) break from playing with the meteor project. There are a number of reasons for this including 2 children, busy job, life and mostly it stopping being as much fun.
However we now have baby tortoises!
So I'm planning on setting up a "tortoise cam"...
I've got a raspberry pi and I've ordered a pi-cam so the plan is to set something up to watch them. I've even got a friend who's set up one of these before so have some help when I get stuck...
I'll be posting technical updates here with details of how I'm doing it (and probably the odd cute baby tortoise pic).

The story so far:

We were given 2 very old tortoises (A'tuin and Molly) both over 100 years old, to our shock Molly laid 5 eggs not long after she moved in. This led to us buying an egg incubator at very short notice, reading the instructions meant we realised we needed a thermometer  as the incubator (linked above) had lots of warnings about how it wasn't great at keeping the temperature! We went for the bluetooth thermometer so we wouldn't have to keep opening the incubator door to check in on the temperature.
For those of you not following the links so far we've spent about £100.
Towards the end of August disaster struck! The incubator was knocked over, we lost one of the eggs and we were very worried about the others.
Then on September 3rd there was great excitement when 2 of the eggs started to hatch!
This of course meant more things! A tortoise table, a heat lamp, a heat mat and a thermostat. Fortunately we had had the vet on the hill round to film the tortoises and he had been kind enough to offer to source some of these things for us, they are going to turn up this week.
We now have the tortoises in their temporary home (an old draw), they are starting to eat and everyone is really excited about it.
More details to follow!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Left the previous domain...

Well I couldn't justify owning the domain, it was £70 a year that I could spend on other things. Especially as I own So welcome to the new domain.

I've also got as far as I'm going to with the Lunch project. I learnt some bits and it stopped being quite as much fun. I may well return to it in the future, but for now I'm moving onto new and exciting other projects...

Tonight my bit of work was to move the blog, as we've seen previously that can be a lot of hassle, however this time things appear to have "just worked".

The near future I've got some plans to play with "groovy" and docker, but mostly the idea is to write up fun techy things that I'm doing.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Picking things up (again)

In exciting news I've got some incentive to start playing with Meteor again.
What this means:
I've got "lunch" working in so far as it functionally works. It looks like a developer designed it, but it will help you make a (or several) meals!
It's no longer hosted at (though should be again "soon"), the free hosting tools that used to supply stopped and they have started paid for hosting. This means that for now, you can get to the tool at if it looks like it's going to cost me money I'll probably stop it being there, but we'll see how it goes.
Meteor has changed a fair amount since I started looking at it and a fair amount of what has changed means I'm going to re-write the app, which I'm sort of looking forward to.
I'll probably be giving up on the domain, it's a lot of money for something that's a bit of fun, but not really something I can justify. This makes me a little sad, but I'll keep going with lunch (and probably the blog) but I'll be moving it to one of the cheaper domains that I own.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

did I say I was finished?

So this evening has been fun working on the app (

I've got some things working, I've also decided the way I need to move forward so:
New features:
You can now by clicking on it modify the serving date / time of the meal.
I've started on, though it's not entirely there the work to add a new meal, there's lots more to be added there, but I have a plan.

It's still really interesting to return to things that I worked with a long time ago and some of the bits are really clever, getting the checking working so that it validates dates, some of the other bits that "just work". However I think I'm going to have to split out a lot of the Meteor functions so that they are separate to some of the helper methods for the steps or meals functionality. Returning to the "time" object that I'd worked on was a nice feeling of finding something I'd done nicely in the past.

I think when I next get some time it will be time to add to the wireframes.

I'm currently waiting at the hospital for a scan (nothing serious), and it's the run in to Christmas, so I'm guessing updates will be quite sporadic.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

fixed it again (again)

So I've spent a couple of evenings and I've again got my little app working locally it has been interesting re-visiting things and as ever getting code working I worked on a year or so ago. is now running the latest version of the code (and I've checked everything into github). I'm at the point where in theory it would be possible to use the app to cook a lunch, though it wouldn't be a lot of fun. So now is the time for improving the app to make it really usable.
Then get it so that others can use it.

When I left this I had started playing computer games again, last night I decided to leave the conquering of Europe do some coding while the kids were asleep, I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but while it's interesting I'll keep going. You never know I might end up with something interesting at the end.

I'm currently working on being able to change the time to serve the meal, this led me into the interesting place that is the input type datetime-local. It still surprises me how incomplete the specification and support for the HTML5 input types are. On mobile devices this box is lovely, however it's not supported on IE at all and the chrome support isn't exactly thrilling. I'll probably look at some plugins to see if I can't figure out a better solution, but I'm going to be continuing with the "get it working, then get it pretty" maxim.
I think the next steps are:
Allow date/time change working
Allow multiple meals
Allow multiple users to have meals
Sort out adding / editing steps so it's "nicer"
Pretty up everything (including making it "reactive")

I'm sure I'll find more steps and do some out of order, but it's nice to have a line in the sand, even if it then gets rubbed away.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

back again (again)

Well I'm back again, the little app I was working on had stopped being fun and as I was doing it in my spare time I decided to stop...

However I recently had to choose if I was going to renew this domain and I was doing a couple more fun techy things so I thought I'd re-start the blog and use the impetus of having shelled out for a .best domain for another year as a way to return me to the blog and to doing tech stuff in my spare time.

Not entirely sure exactly where I'm going to go with this. I will probably try and get the app up and working again, although it is successfully (ish) running in its hosted environment ( the version locally isn't working and upgrading my ageing mac appears to have killed off Git. So my plan for this evening is to get things up and running again. I've got an idea for a different app and I want to have a play with some other languages (I've been meaning to look at clojure and scala serverside and coffeescript for ages).

So I'm going to spend this evening getting things up and running again, I've just installed a new ssd into my ageing laptop and that is feeling a bit like a new machine. I'll let you know how it goes and if what I decide to do.

In the meantime here's a short, silent video of me replacing the hard drive: