CSS LEDs

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I needed some sort of activity indicator for a web application I am building, so I hacked together some LEDs in CSS. Thus, led.css was born.

Just a few lines of HTML will get you up and running. If you are familiar with the btn class in Bootstrap, this works similarly.

The default LED can be created like this:

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<div class="led"></div>

The default LED is in an “off” state, so add some color:

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<div class="led led-red"></div>
<div class="led led-orange"></div>
<div class="led led-yellow"></div>
<div class="led led-green"></div>
<div class="led led-blue"></div>

And you get something like this.

Throw in some Javascript and you yourself some pretty blinking LEDs in CSS:

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$('.led').click(function() {
  $('this').toggleClass('led-green');
});

I have implemented these LEDs to show network activity and status when using the wonderful Socket.IO library. Helpful when network connections are sketchy.

Run Hercules on a Raspberry Pi

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Hercules is an open source software implementation of the mainframe System/370 and ESA/390 architectures, in addition to the new 64-bit z/Architecture. Hercules runs under Linux, Windows (98, NT, 2000, and XP), Solaris, FreeBSD, Mac OS X (10.3 and later).

So why not turn your Raspberry Pi, the $35 ARM-based mini computer, into an emulated mainframe?

Compile Finch on Ubuntu 11.10

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Finch is a console-based implementation of the popular chat application Pigdin. Finch is super useful when you need a chat application but only have a terminal interface.

A Finch package is available from the Ubuntu repository with sudo apt-get install finch but sometimes you need to compile from source.

Octopress

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Hello World! I have migrated my blog to Octopress and delpoyed to GitHub Pages. Installation and deployment was a snap. Looking forward to see how Octopress and Jekyll evolve since Tom Preston-Werner and the GitHub team will be working on Jekyll more this year.

@OhChristmasTwee

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A tweeting miniature Christmas Tree controlled by Twitter. Powered by the CheerLights project. Tweet #cheerlights and a color: red, blue, green, white, magenta, cyan, yellow, purple, orange, and warmwhite.

How it Works

(in plain English)

@OhChristmasTwee is a cheap 32” miniature Christmas tree with fiber optic lights from Walmart. But this is no ordinary tree. @OhChristmasTwee is plugged into the CheerLights project. The CheerLights project is a worldwide network of Christmas lights that sync their colors via the Twitter hashtag #cheerlights. That’s right folks, you can control the color of my Christmas tree (along with all the other cheerlights in the world) from your Twitter account.

When anyone includes the hashtag #cheerlights and one or more color words in their tweet, all Cheer Lights across the world will change to the color you’ve command. For example:

@austinrobertson: Let’s paint the world blue! #cheerlights

Now all cheerlights, including @OhChristmasTwee, will be blue! @OhChristmasTwee will even give you a @mention shoutout containing a clever Christmas phrase and the colors you tweeted. But wait! There’s more! (Stop reading if I’ve already blown your mind.) You can watch the colors change live below via LiveStream!

New Site

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Today, I am launching a new version of austinrobertson.com. By now, I’ve gone though a number of different Content Management Systems. From WordPress to Tumblr, I just couldn’t find one I liked. Everything was too busy. I wanted simple and minimal, so I created this. Built from the ground, I’ve created simple static HTML. That’s all I need and want. It’s hosted on Amazon S3, which is scalable and dirt cheap. But that’s enough nerd talk.

I rarely blog, but I like to have a little spot on the Internet to dump my thoughts and creations. Don’t expect any deep thoughts or philosophical ponderings. Mainly, I want this site to be part Internet business card, part home for my silly creations and codings. Maybe someday I’ll get around to blogging my life, when it becomes interesting enough. For now, you’ll have to put up with the nonsense I leave here. Enjoy!