Tag Archives: agile

Synching an Arduino with gnome-shell-pomodoro

Having fallen in love with gnome-shell-pomodoro, I’ve stopped using my good old kitchen timer for the pomodoro sessions. The problem is I used to put the timer on top of my screen, so that my coworkers could see when I was available or not. With a software such as gnome-shell-pomodoro, this is of course not possible anymore. And here came the disturbing questions every 3 minutes…

So first, I tried to use both the software and the timer, starting them (almost) together. It was boring, and as you may guess, I stopped doing that after 2 days. I had to find something better, something lazier & a bit more clever. I therefore decided to hook up an Arduino with a flashy, blue, LCD screen to my computer and started hacking a little sketch for it. Then, I modified gnome-shell-pomodoro to send commands to the serial port when changing its state. The result was a simple, yet effective, way to show to my coworkers when I’m available or not… and in how much time they will be able to ask for a question.

Once it was working, and since I don’t like maintaining forks, I asked the upstream if it was a good idea to add support for this into the software directly, through Dbus. The answer was quite positive, so I’ve started working on adding that, wrote a python daemon and published  the arduino sketch into this repository. It’s still very rough, but usable. I’ll enhance the dbus support and usability on both sides during the next weeks, to match my daily usage and make it cleaner.

If anyone’s willing to add support for another software or enhancing the arduino sketch (it really needs a better timer), then please go ! :-)

It’s been a long time since a… rockn^W post !

Yeah, right. I haven’t written a post since a long time… but, wait, there’s a good reason.

In fact, I’ve quit my PhD to start my company (it’s called FuzzyFrequency) and our first project is SpreadBand. SpreadBand is an online booking tool for independent musicians. I was kind of fed up with the french research system and, more personally, with me spending my days coding something alone and with no faith in it. So… maybe that was the moment to start blending my two passions : computer sciences and music. SpreadBand was born :-)

In this platform, we’ve put all our philosophy (openness of information, reuse and contribution to free software as much as possible, social impact, …) , a lot of our knowledge (software design, scaling issues, collective intelligence, …) and most of our energy (we don’t want no investors while we don’t have a lot of money, we want to keep our independence, …). So, in fact, that’s a big adventure since a few months. And it’s just *great* !

SpreadBand has been released since a few days as alpha software. It’s clearly still a big WIP but as we want to be Agile as much as possible, we wanted to give it very early to our volunteer testers. And it’s a success until now ! Oh. I’m writing this post right now in english while SpreadBand hasn’t been translated yet in English. It will come of course. Feel free to send us an e-mail if you like the idea of this project and want it sooner in english.

See you !